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Everything posted by markovitch

  1. how did marshmallows ever come into existence? i know the etymology ties this amorphous sponge to the plant from which the originals were made, but given KRAFT's mordant desire to eliminate any natural substances from their food, i'd like to know with what they have replaced the mallow-root
  2. Everything tastes better in Mexico. Except Nescafe. Not even the Mexican ambience can improve that.
  3. ever since i can remember my parents would drag my brother and i on a hike every thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. it was a great way to put activity into such gluttonous days. i haven't met many people who do this-- the trails are usually deserted so we would go to the really popular places and enjoy enfractured solitude.
  4. IN Portland, we have the good, the bad and the ugly... okay so maybe jsut the bad and the ugly: The Oregonian, the only daily i know of, feautures a wednesday food section that, apart from the occasional section actually written by a food PROFESSIONAL (e.g. the wine suggestions) it is pedantic and poorly written. For a while over the summer they were featuring short interviews with 'accomplished' home cooks. In a town full of talented and eccentric chefs, this seems the dumbest idea ever. The Tabloid style restaurant reviews are ht and miss but the ones i've read seem well done: meaning thorough, fair and they don't show up on opening night... i don't get a chance to read it much. THe Williamette Week and the Mercury, our 'alt' papers; apart from the occasional Jim Dixon piece (i like him) i am not a big fan. I've seen Roger Porter actually try to pass the famous Bourdain 'vegan' comment as his own (not in print, but spoken). I am just glad Caryn Brooks is gone. she wrote like a high school drop out from gresham.
  5. markovitch


    He did, but I forgot off the top of my head. I would have to go back to last year's notes. i have set my chemstry goddess girlfriend on the task...i'll have an answer shortly i think
  6. i used to run a small cafe location for my last restaruant job in a corporate complex. just me and one other guy, so we got to pick our own music. i really got into it and started having theme days, cuban tuesdays (poncho sanchez, Tito, afro cuban all stars, los van van etc) western wednesday (nothing but the man in black baby) Tribal thursdays (i'm a percussionist, so i have lots of weird drum stuff) funky fridays (Sly and the family stone, bootsie, umar bin hassan) and Modern mondays (post big band ear jazz. bop on). my tips tripled and people were dancing through the salad bar. i got a lot of weird looks tho-- i mean i was 16 and salsa-ing in front of the grill top while serving all these button down corporate types. i got one complaint-- i was playing Art Blakey and the Jazz messengers with Thelonious Monk and this guy told me he hated MUZAK.... i almost lopped off his head.
  7. Travel on the trail is already restricted: one must now travel with a licensed tour operator to get into the park, but trust me, that is a good thing. My favorite thing about stumptown is the reporducability of their coffee. as i type i am in the reed college library, procrastinating on a paper, making my very own french press coffee as per the instructions i got from a barista at stumptown. It won't be quite as good as what you get in the shop, but i think that is only because everything tastes better when someone else is doing the work.
  8. My best coffee memory.. hmmmm... all of my memories are coffee memories... I had the wonderful pleasure of trekking for four days to Machu Picchu. It was a fantastic, taxing experience; i had quit smoking the day before going into the mountains so Dead Woman's pass, a knee bashing 1500 vertical feet of stairs over about 3 miles at a rediculously high altitude with wild alpacas lookin at you with mild bemusement was the toughest part. Anyway, after four days of ethereal beauty i found myself in the ancient city of Cuzco, which was once the Capital of the Inca empire. As i walked through this city, whose center is built on the foundations (literally) of the inca buildings, i was reminded of "Aves sin Nido" by Clorinda Matto De Turner. The first chapter is about Turner's first visit to Cuzco as a young boy. I will spare you the spanish and transliterate a passage. loosely. "as i passed through the narrow roads i saw the great stones of the inca underneath the stucco walls of the spanish haciendas. It was as if the white spanish walls existed solely to lighten the inca." I found a hole in the wall restaurant far from the tourist traps but still in the center of the city. i climbed the narrow, precarious stone steps to the second floor. The restaurant was one room of tables: cheap plastic and not very clean. The tables in one corner apparantly served as the owners' family's living room, for there were five little children watching three year old copies of WWF Smackdown. It was an israeli restaurant. i'm not kidding. The owners fed me much to much as they interrogated me about the finer points of Stone Cold Steve Austin's persona, and the significance of Austin 3:16; apparantly the reference was considered borderline heresy in Peru. They kept filling my coffee mug- coffee was not on the menu- and it was the best coffee i have ever had. It was as thick and black as the oil drained from a '64 plymouth valiant. the coffee was so good when i returned to the states i refused all coffee. I reasoned if i couldn't have coffee that good it just wasn't worth it. that held until i discovered Stumptown coffee roasters in Portland Or. they make great coffee.
  9. markovitch


    thanks for doing all the management the res of us are all too tipsy to handle!!!!! or at least me... markovitch
  10. i am not sure where i fall on your continuum, but i prefer gin, except in martinis (i am weird... i order vodka, dry, no olive) bourbon over anything else, rocks, or if top shelf, straight. for what it is worth, i asked my bartenders: they repart a preference for scotch and vodka over bourbon and gin. but i'm poor and these bars kinda suck. markovitch
  11. KATIE LOEB WROTE Last month I made arrangements to have Frederick Booker Noe, III, great-grandson of Jim Beam himself, come in and do a staff training and tasting on small batch bourbons. ----so cool! i'm jealous. the heir to the McilHenny fortune used to live on my floor in my dorm my first year....the tabasco fortune. stoned outta his mind. all the time. seriously, this cat smoked too much pot. imagine Paris Hilton, and replace her witha pasty doughboy, and replace her shoe collection with 1 oz of pot (per shoe, not pair). JHLURIE WROTE Will I seem frightfully common if I confess to actually liking Jim Bean Black Label? Maybe its not a "favorite", but I found it surprisingly good--especially compared to "regular" Jim Beam. ----absolutely not! taste is taste, completely subjective. I like JB, but i've had too much. This whole list and thread came from my desire to branch out. JASON PERLOW WROTE Apparently Dickel is one of only 2 whiskies (Jack Daniels being the other) that are officially recognized as Tennessee Whisky. ---i have been told that Jack Daniels and Dickel (both tasty) are called "tennessee whiskey" because they are made 'near or in' Bourbon county tennessee but are not made to the 'bourbon' specifications. I WROTE: does anyone know exactly what it means to be bourbon? i know that you have to be in the county, i know that new oak barrels are involved, but beyond that, i am no sure what makes a bourbon. can anyone fill in the blanks?
  12. i don't know about the rest of you, but straight bourbon is my drink. post a list of your top five 1. Vanwinkle 12 yr lot 'B' 2. Van Winkle 18 lot 'A' 3. Knob Creek 4. Makers Mark 5. WIld Turkey Reserve but i have to be honest.. i'm in college. i drink more Evan Williams Black Label than anything else.
  13. the reed college student's grocery list for finals week: 5 lb. Stumptown coffee, organic & fair trade 5 lb. yerba mate tea leaves 3 bx. yellow jackets 2 cs. red bull or rockstar... or if you're hip, pimp juice 6 ct. cigarrettes 3 jar. adams peanut butter 1 wing 1 prayer 1 cs. Pabst for when you finish. wish me luck
  14. Thai food... yes thai food in Buenos Aires after 3 weeks in the peruvian/bolivian low jungle. it was quite a unique situation. It was december of 2001 and we were dining the day after the currency collapse; we had just learned that in our 3 weeks in the jungle Argentina had gone through more presidents than i have fingers (and toes). Now, we had learned earlier in the trip that dining in argentina is roughly equivelant to dining with my grandparents in Iowa: meat and potatoes, no spice, no pizzazz, no nothing. You have to ask the waitress for pepper. no, not hot pepper flakes, black pepper. Anyway, we got back to Buenos Aires dirty, smelly and roughshod enough to garner a full search of our backpacks @ the airport. We showered, shaved and wandered about looking for a chinese restaurant that was suggested by our hotel manager, apparently it was run by family. we never found it, but we did find a very chic thai restaurant perched on top of what seemed like a hopping night club. it was deserted. the whole city of millions was deserted. i have never felt so alone in a city like i did that night. The restaurant doors were locked. This was another development since we had left-- restaurants, shops and even supermarkets were locking their doors during business hours, afraid of looting and theft. A very cute waitress charged down the stairs for the door in heels so tall she seemed balanced on the stilleto and the bottom of her big toe. The restaurant was chic. very chic. Decorated by the Hilton twins chic. the only reason-we-could-afford-this-restaurant-because-of-the-collapse-of-the-argentine-currency-that-morning chic. Vongerichten-66-in-spanish chic. The joint was made from a converted apartment; each table was in a different room so my only sense of the presence of other diners was through sound. it was silent. We sat down, ordered some Quilmes and took a peek at the menu and wine list. Quilmes is Argentine for piss-water. The Argentines, proud of the european heritage (they killed all the natives back in 1836), are so hell-bent on being french that they make sure their wine is great and the beer sucks. The wine list was longer than i expected and more varied, the place had obviously escaped the Mendoza Mafia that runs the fermented grape juice racket there. by the time i ordered, i was drunk. okay, i have to qualify that. there isn't much safe food in the jungle, and i had dropped about 20 lbs in three weeks. but still, one 32 of Quilmes had me spinning. Now, i am pretty darn sure that Argentina is not a immigration mecca for the Thai people, but i swear to you, they must of had a whole team of grandmas running that kitchen. In an country afraid of spice, they had me sweating like a navajo sweat lodge. Their curries were perfect. I was shocked at the quality of ingredients in such a cash-strapped country. I was eating ambrosia... and the attentive-flirty service from the supermodel waitress didn't hurt. I have never gotten so toasted so quickly. Not even at 13 when i finishing glasses at my parents dinner parties. Not even after my first trip to Jalisco. sorry for the rant... i hope you liked it.
  15. there are two fabulous restaurants in portland (OR) who have their handle on rum... ca˜ita and pambiche. i think they're owned by the same guy. both are fanstastic, but ca˜ita has the best rum drinks i have ever had. beyond the cuba libre, the mojito etc... the menu commands expertise of rum beyond my knowledge. has anyone heard of the canchanchara? on the menu it is "aguacate rum with clover honey and lime juice" but i've never been able to watch the bartender make the drink. any hints? thanks markovitch --the ingredients to this recipe are two cups of step the **** back and a table spoon of dont mess with me
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