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Zeemanb

eG Foodblog: Zeemanb (2011) - A sweetbread or so north of "Winter&

134 posts in this topic

Count me in the kale fan club. I am curious about the freezing of that soup. So often I hear people say that freezing soups containing pasta results in major mush upon reheating. Do you purposely undercook the pasta, or has your experience been different?

Hi, Heidi--that was actually an oops moment on my part. I usually cook the pasta separately, but I just dumped it in that last batch without thinking. It was definitely softer than I prefer, but not too mushy--maybe because it was wheat pasta it held up better?

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Had a great lunch earlier today. I had to fit Lidia's in at some point because other than the great food and service, it's pretty much where I began the part time job of serious dining over ten years ago. Feels weird to realize I've been eating there for that long. It was the first place where I became a "regular" and began my habit of having a go-to server, and usually a backup go-to server for anyplace that has entered my "rotation". Lidia's will always be in the rotation. Way before I was married and still had a couple of Manhattans before dinner and however much wine I could afford with dinner, I really took it to the wall eating there almost every weekend. Awesome credit card debt seed money. After I had gastric bypass I didn't go back for a long time, and by the time I had dinner there again I'd also quit drinking. I figured, oh great, they will have forgotten me and I'll be a pariah now that I'm not plunking down the wine money. Open arms, a warm welcome back from many familiar faces, like I'd still been there every weekend, great table on a weekend evening. Gracious and fun folks.

Probably the best memory I have is from the night my grandfather got to meet his all-time, numero uno food hero of all time...Mario Batali. Mario was in town for a promotional dinner and we took him down there for Father's Day. Grandpa passed away a couple of years ago, and that story still comes up when the family gets together. Way more heartwarming but not nearly as funny as the first time I met Mario....it was back in the Po days, and I remember saying to him "Yeah, I think my mom is still in there", when he was trying to force the bathroom door open because he didn't think anyone was in there.

A very distant second greatest Lidia's memory was a meal my mom and I had up in the loft, hosted by the queen herself. Lidia told a funny story about sneakng a very large stash of fresh white truffles into the country that morning. Then she took those same truffles around the room to show everyone as the servers sat a plate of risotto in front of each of us. After the risotto was in place she walked around to every diner and shaved the white truffles down onto the warm rice. She used an obscenely decadent amount of truffles on each dish, and it pretty much ruined me for truffles for life. The all-encompassing funk, like a wild rotting carcass in the very best way possible, it was sooooo far over the top. And the smell freaked my mom out. So I got to eat hers too. And I also got to eat her foie gras. Big points for mom. Mario kicking in the door on her, and ending up minus two courses in Lidia's loft.

I probably don't have to say much as far as explaining who Lidia Bastianich is, or the ties that she and her unlikable son Joe have to Mario and a good sized New York restaurant empire. Lidia's Kansas City is modeled after Becco. Upscale casual, and it is located in an old freighthouse building in the crossroads art district.

In all the years I've been dining at Lidia's, I've probably eaten lunch there less than ten times. Solid menu. Met a friend to catch up over some grub and maximize the number of photos....

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Bread service- all made in-house...

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Their famous Caesar Salad, truly my favorite version ever...

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Most pointless photo ever, but very tasty potato leek soup with saffron broth...

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The pasta trio...servers roam the floors with big pans of this all you can eat Lidia's favorite. The housemade filled pasta today was beef, pork and chicken agnolotti, cavatappi with heirloom tomatoes, and housemade fettucine with one of the cured Italian meats I'm not remembering and some other stuff....

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The lunch entree special of the day was this beautiful piece of barramundi over an heirloom tomato and cucumber salad...

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I'm not a big dessert person, and to be honest, for long time the desserts at Lidia's were JUST okay. With Danica Pollard in the pastry kitchen now, the desserts are dynamite. A perfect mix of tradition and creativity. When it's available, her basil ice cream is just the best stuff.

Dessert today was a lemon cake (texture more like a biscuit) with blueberry jam in the middle, fresh blueberries, orange blossom ice cream and cardamom streusel...

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And that is IT for Tuesday. Hoping to pull off a fieldtrip of sorts tomorrow afternoon if we can both skip out of the office and are emotionally prepared to handle one of my favorite stretches of KC.

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I “value” bringing my lunch to work 99% of the time and having one really nice weekend dinner at one of my favorite joints a couple of times per month, vs. an array of $5-$8 lunchtime chowfests that probably end up costing about as much as my one dinner.

SOOOOOOOOOOOOO true ! And what so many people don't realize.

When I was working at any one of my many soul-sucking, pour-all-my-being-into-the-work-for-little-reward jobs (which I *thought* was building my career...but that's a digression) and being too drained and burnt to cook at night, I never realized how much money I was spending "popping into TJ's for one of their prepared meals for lunch or dinner (or both)" or "swinging by Pavilions on the way home for something for dinner" or "running over to Del Taco/Carl's Jr./Taco Bell for lunch". Or how many empty CALORIES I was ingesting.

Until I stopped and forced myself to cook something each night (no matter how simple) and take leftovers for lunch. Suddenly I had walkin' around money I didn't before, and I dropped 10 pounds without even trying. It was amazing.


--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

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....I can either do a REALISTIC Friday dinner where we jockey for position on who is choosing and pickng up the carryout, OR I could cook something I've never tried before.

*I* vote for something you've never cooked before !


--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

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I “value” bringing my lunch to work 99% of the time and having one really nice weekend dinner at one of my favorite joints a couple of times per month, vs. an array of $5-$8 lunchtime chowfests that probably end up costing about as much as my one dinner.

SOOOOOOOOOOOOO true ! And what so many people don't realize.

I never realized how much money I was spending "popping into TJ's for one of their prepared meals for lunch or dinner (or both)" or "swinging by Pavilions on the way home for something for dinner" or "running over to Del Taco/Carl's Jr./Taco Bell for lunch". Or how many empty CALORIES I was ingesting.

Until I stopped and forced myself to cook something each night (no matter how simple) and take leftovers for lunch. Suddenly I had walkin' around money I didn't before, and I dropped 10 pounds without even trying. It was amazing.

Me too. Except the weight loss part. :laugh:

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Pierogi- Good point, apathy and ease are big traps. I know a lot of people who simply cut out sugar sodas and lost a lot of weight. I don't know what it's like in the rest of the country or the world, but it's pretty shocking what people (including myself prior to the stapling) consider a portion size. We've got some home cookin' type restaurants that are just wild, and of course The Cheesecake Factory has more than one location. The scariest thing....people walking out WITHOUT to-go containers, lol. Quantity equals quality....you know how that goes.

I'm torn, but I probably should attempt something other than just the chicken on Sunday. I have a tri-tip and a slab of beef ribs in the freezer. May consult the sous vide gods and give it some thought....

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Man, when they expect you to work at work, that is just outrageous. Very long day learning an antiquated mainframe system from someone who retires next Friday. We were planning on BLT's with some nice heirloom tomatoes I got at the market this weekend, but we realized...no thawed bacon. Yeah, we could have done a quick thaw, but then...who wants to fry that stuff in this heat?

Sooooo...here is some reality dining for you tonight. And later I'll come back and post everything from lunch today.

Perfectly ripe Crum's heirloom tomato and Farm to Market Grains Galore sandwiches, and a "fresh from the freezer" bowl of chickpea and kale soup. The soup is fantastic, it has whole wheat shell pasta and ground turkey in it as well. Huge contender for precious freezer space We have eaten a ton of fresh kale this season, I just love it. Hey, I'll bet a little dollop of bacon jam on top of some slow cooked kale wouldn't suck.

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Hanging out in the cool basement, watching the best of what Bravo Network has to offer after a long day. I want to star on a Bravo show where I live with Jeff Lewis from Flipping Out and all we do is try to think of something to say that makes the other person cry. That would be the most brutal show ever. Back in a little while with some Lidia's. I have to go sit under a tree like Hazel from Cannery Row, and think about what direction to take with an evening meal to come. I can either do a REALISTIC Friday dinner where we jockey for position on who is choosing and pickng up the carryout, OR I could cook something I've never tried before.

I just love Jeff Lewis. If I wasn't married....and he didn't bat for the other team, I know we'd be together forever. :laugh:

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Love your blog, zeemanb.

Engaging writing, compelling life story, abundant dry wit and necessarily appropriate culinary obsessions. I'm on board.

This is literally one of the easiest and most cost effective food-nerd hobbies you can get into. And once you roast your own, that's it for you. So be warned.

I'm screwed. :angry:


"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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Shelby- LOL...oh man, we love him too. As far as food goes with that crew, THERE is a fine example of excessive fast food dining. It always cracks me up to see any kind of celebrity who I assume to be too rich or above such things just chowing down on some Taco Bell. And when you find out the guilty pleasures of your favorite local James Beard award chefs...you don't feel so bad about your yearly journey to Red Lobster. Chefs eat real garbage, and I love that with all my heart.

johnnyd- It's The Matrix red pill decision here man...if you start roasting your own, it is the end your coffee reality. An Extinction Level Event resides in that popcorn popper. And thanks very much for the compliments, it is genuinely appreciated.

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Shelby- LOL...oh man, we love him too. As far as food goes with that crew, THERE is a fine example of excessive fast food dining. It always cracks me up to see any kind of celebrity who I assume to be too rich or above such things just chowing down on some Taco Bell. And when you find out the guilty pleasures of your favorite local James Beard award chefs...you don't feel so bad about your yearly journey to Red Lobster. Chefs eat real garbage, and I love that with all my heart.

johnnyd- It's The Matrix red pill decision here man...if you start roasting your own, it is the end your coffee reality. An Extinction Level Event resides in that popcorn popper. And thanks very much for the compliments, it is genuinely appreciated.

I know, right? And, God forbid, whoever he sends after the El Pollo Loco better get enough sauce! :laugh:

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Bleh. Now that I let it into my brain I can’t get rid of the “don’t be a poser…the chicken wasn’t enough…cook something you’ve never tried before that will make you want to kill yourself” broken down carnival music that is blasting at full volume. The good news is, the thing stuck in my brain can’t be done on Friday night because I need stuff from the market Saturday morning. The bad news is, the potential for total meltdown and backup BLT’s on Sunday night is very high. With meats that are new to me, I work backwards the majority of the time…I choose a Mt. Everest (for me) of a recipe so that if it is successful anything from that point forward will be really easy. Full glory or nothing….which goes back to the whole “my wife is the REAL cook” dynamic. I will probably just encourage Meredith to go and enjoy herself at the local cinema. I love to plan and I love the end result, but when I’m in the middle of one of these things and doing the actual cooking…I’m not someone you want to be near. Danny isn’t here, Mrs. Torrance.

Gotta hit the road in about an hour, will be back around in the early evening with a full belly. Meredith might showcase one of our favorite veggie burger recipes at some point.

Speaking of the wife, we had some zucchini left over from our CSA this week, so she made some of these muffins. And of all places, Whole Foods had a $4.99/lb sale on Rainier cherries this week.

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Here is lunch from earlier-

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I wish I had more time to talk about lunch. This is a rant, it may make me sound angrier than I actually am. The monthly potluck at the office is just...it is hard to think of the word...annoying, a little depressing maybe. I would never ding someone on the quality of their food if they put forth any effort, and I’m willing to put the definition of “effort” on a very, very forgiving sliding scale. Let’s say on a scale of 1 to 10, I’ll give Jello a five for effort. Fair enough. When it saves me from cooking for myself, I will eat anything.

But what we have here is a situation where about five out of fifteen people do any actual cooking each time, and the bozos who bring in a pack of Oreos, hot dog buns, or a 2 liter of Best Choice soda reap the benefit month after month. Which would still be fine, BUT they are the first ones to do recon to make sure someone is planning to make something they want to eat. AND they are the first ones to get in line and end up going back three or four times to fill their plates at least twice as full as my picture. No exaggeration. And of course, it just goes without saying, they probably also brought sandwich bags and/or Ziploc containers in which they can pack stuff to take home. Minimum effort, maximum return, and a heaping helping of entitlement drizzled throughout. It’s the “I don’t know how to cook or I just don’t want to, so the joke is on you! You have to feed me!” philosophy.

Like a gullible fool, I learned about the entitlement the hard way when I first came onto the team. I was doing a bbq the Sunday before my first monthly luncheon, so I thought it would be a cool thing to bring in a big container of pulled pork. Well it WAS a cool thing. People who are used to regular restaurant bbq lost their damn minds. What I failed to realize, silly me, was that in THEIR minds, the people who either cannot or will not actually cook real food have you hostage...until the end of time it is your responsibility to put forth the same level of effort every month so that they can look forward to it, load their plates, take it home, etc. etc. No exaggeration, that’s the mindset. And once I realized it was a trap and blew it up with a tactical nuke, as is my custom, there was actual agitation and head scratching as to why I wasn’t going to keep that effort and expense in the rotation, for people I don’t even really know. Not even sure how to approach that one, don’t expect any answers, I’m simply stymied. I bring delicious pie from the Corner Café now. Absolutely excellent pie, total overachievement for anyone who wasn’t stupid enough right out of the chute to bring in thirty dollars worth of meat that took sixteen hours to prepare.

I try making inroads into the mindset when I talk to people, and ranting aside I can be pretty diplomatic. But it’s like that movie “Nell” with Jodie Foster. We just don’t speak the same language. But the problem is- who is Nell in this scenario? If I’m going against status quo maybe it’s ME going “shikka shikka may way”.

Anyway, a hard earned couple of pieces of brisket today...off to have a REAL meal.

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I have a somewhat different pot luck experience. There tend to be few slackers who bring doughnuts or something, but there are a lot who bring stuff that's just plain inedible. Do they eat this way at home? It makes me sad.

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I used to go all out on bringing food to work. I had no problem spending the time and effort to share. This was until people who live off of fast food and convenience food started to make demands on how I should make stuff and how I should season it, and how I should make specific dishes for them. The event that broke my will to ever do this again was when I brought in a Kenyan Beef Stew and Coconut Rice for a Kenyan co-worker who was homesick. People were freaking out about how spicy it was without even trying it. It was not a spicy dish for a large batch it had about 1 tbsp of cracked black pepper. They were complaining about it without even trying it and not even knowing what it was. The guy I originally made it for was happy as could be because that meant more for him and he took the leftovers as well. Since then I have a few people I share food with, and who share their cooking with me. Whenever we have a food day I will bring in some novelty items, but I refuse to do anything more than that.

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O M G I totally get what you're saying about the potluck. We used to do that at my job...for every holiday. St. Patty's, Easter etc. Pretty quick I realized there were the dedicated few that made something decent, and the others ran to the store mid-morning and came back with a container of potato salad. AND, they never helped clean up afterwards.

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My workplace used to be filled with really good home cooks and our holiday potlucks were amazing feasts! Now, I'm about the only old-time cook who hasn't retired yet. Our holiday potlucks are filled with Publix deli and bakery items. At T'giving, I'm always asked to bring cornbread dressing and that's easy, so I do it. Other times, it depends on my mood. Sometimes I make something I want to eat! :biggrin:

My husband's workplace has a lot of good cooks and they go all-out for bring-a-dish meals, often with some sort of theme. I don't mind helping him prepare things for them, because it is always appreciated. They had a sort of "Top Chef" contest as a charity fundraiser and the required ingredient was sweet potatoes. The judges were local chefs. We won with a roasted sweet potato curry. That was fun!

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Wow, I guess things are about the same wherever you go....complainers, ungrateful, slackers, and the rare appreciative and motivated teammates.

One additional dynamic reading all of your responses made me think of has to do with the difference between my previous team at this job and my current one.....my last team only did a potluck every 2 months and we would all eat together in a big conference room. It went way smoother and more people put in real effort. My current team does a potluck every freakin' month and you go and grab food and head back to your desk...so less accountability when you and your food aren't on display. Man, people are predictable.

Oh well, lesson learned. Oh, here is a mindblower...the company I contract with is taking my team out to lunch next week to a very unlikely restaurant. Usually, it's an entirely other type of drama that results in picking a place nobody really likes in order to accomodate everyone. But next week, SOMEHOW, a Thai restaurant got the nod. I'm predicting a serious Lord of the Flies moment within fifteen minutes.

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Jerry, loving your blog! I totally agree about the potlucks at work, too. When I worked at the hospital there were a few of us who made homemade things every.single.time and the others brought bags of generic chips or paper napkins.

I have only been to Kansas City once and that was to pick up a tractor a few years ago. Nice folks, though. They loaded it on the trailer for us and told us a quicker way to get back home.

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Jerry, I meant to say how much I'm enjoying your blog! I was born in and lived most of my life in Missouri (the Ozarks) and also lived a bunch of years out in the boonies a couple hours South of KC... it was where we went for serious shopping/eating. One of my favorite memories is of the night 15 college friends joined us for a Buffett concert at the Starlight... HUGE harvest moon hanging over the stage. Fun times! Most of my KC food memories involve hung-over mornings at some weird coffee-shop in the CC Plaza... can't remember the name of it. Oh, and Stroud's and Stephenson's Apple Farm. A couple of really memorable meals at the Peppercorn Duck Club (friends over food) and The American Restaurant. We were young and poor and not so much into food in those days. It was decades ago!

Friday, I have to attend what has been termed "IT family bonding" <gag> at a nasty, cheap sushi place. They also serve some sort of bowl filled with noodles or rice and token cheap protein/veg. Who knows what I'll choose. (where's that puking emoticon when you need it?)

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annabelle- That's funny, my wife has worked in healthcare for a while and has some pretty funny stories about looks of horror from co-workers at her last job when she'd do something like suggest Vietnamese for lunch while they chowed down on a lunch of Mountain Dew and Doritos. The most recent, funniest thing where I work has to do with a couple of people who are shocked that I don't think to bring them my leftovers when I have a great meal on the weekend. Same ones who automatically expect authentic bbq every month, obviously....

onrushpam- It's awesome to hear from people who have ever had to look to KANSAS CITY for their destination dining! My ex-girlfriend's family lived in Butler, Mo.,so when we'd stay down there the closest place to eat was an Applebee's about twenty miles down the highway. The American and Peppercorn Duck Club were the end all be all here for a very long time for sure. I still hear good things about The American but haven't been forever. I don't think I've ever had dinner at the PDC, just that huge chocolate dessert bar when I was out on a date. Ah memories.....

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I'm sure that Meredith is the exception, but I have found that most nurses have appalling diets. I am a lab tech and we have our share of junk food junkies, as well. I know what you are saying about people expecting your authentic homemade BBQ, too. I used to take turns making homemade baked goods with one of the other techs, cinnamon rolls and birthday cakes, until we had had enough of the special requests and went on strike until we received a sufficient amount of groveling after they had to eat cupcakes and donuts from WalMart for a few weeks.

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Okay, I'm going to veer off the reservation a bit, but will bring it back on home pretty quickly. I shortened my work hours somewhat this week to accommodate some of the dining and reporting...so it may help you to imagine me relaxed in an old leather chair, with the intensity of Marco Pierre White, minus the accent and huge index finger, focused like someone under hypnosis telling a story as a montage of days gone by plays on the screen...you know, the camera pans upwards from where Forrest Gump sits as he remembers his dear Jenny...

Independence, Missouri - departure point for the California, Oregon and Santa Fe Trails, home of Harry Truman, and depending upon your religious upbringing it may also be the actual location of the Garden of Eden. The juicier, more recent history and infamy of Independence is way too non-food related to get into, but I’ll just say that Hollywood could parlay “Winter’s Bone” into a Harry Potter level franchise if they wanted to. But for ME, in the PRESENT, that part of the city is all about Independence Avenue- the stretch of 24 Hwy that takes you from downtown Kansas City aallll the way out west of town where migrant farm workers pack the weekly-rate motels. I literally debated whether or not to make this week’s blog specific to food along the avenue. Most of it isn’t that pretty, sections of it can be very unpredictable and randomly violent. If you visit, bring a reformed thug like me along so you don’t exit the vehicle to take your blog photos in the wrong place. I didn’t grow up there. I discovered it in the early 90’s when a friend first took me to eat, and in the years that followed another buddy and I would seek out the scariest possible bars to enter on a dare and have adventures. But I love this part of Kansas City. I genuinely do. And not in that “NPR junkies Biff and Bunny go slumming” kind of way...it’s in my guts. If you know anything about this town and that avenue, it can be very beautiful to drive through and discern all of the stories the architecture can tell you and how much of it has stayed the same as generations have passed through. Old drugstores that are now cell phone shops, banks into taquerias, hardware stores morphed into Asian markets...imagining the crowds strolling down the avenue back when that ancient McDonald’s arch was new or Mayfair Cleaners had just opened.

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That ghost town of a steel plant.

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It’s hard to describe. The place just has character. I feel like the pot dealer in American Beauty trying to express his feelings about the empty trashbag swirling in the wind. The space in my heart that I reserve for Independence Avenue is huge.

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And one of the greatest things about Independence Avenue is that it takes you to Jim’s. It used to be located a little farther east, by the Truman library, and it was called “Jim and Sue’s” for a long time. But from what I was told they got divorced. So now it’s just “Jim’s Family Restaurant”, and it has since moved to an old Captain D’s building in Sugar Creek. Sugar Creek is a wee little place that borders Independence...it began as a Slavic community and if you stay on the avenue you just kind of blow through without knowing you’re in a different town. Its significance in the folklore of Jim’s is the rumor that he moved his restaurant because Sugar Creek was soon to be one of the last places in the area with no smoking ordinance (the other rumor I know of involves gambling debt). Love it or hate it, I guarantee one of the last places you’ll be able to smoke in a restaurant in the United States will be in some pocket of Missouri. Prohibition never happened in these parts, btw. That’s how we roll. When it comes to the stubborn Missouri spirit I am totally convinced that it would have been an abolitionist state, but at some point some Kansan...probably from Johnson County...pointed a finger at someone and said “you HAVE to do this”...and that kicked off what SHOULD be the Missouri motto instead of the Show-Me State: “We WILL cut off our nose to spite our face!”...or “Eventually we’ll do the right thing if you just leave us the hell alone about it”. Both too big for a license plate I guess...

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ANYWAY, if you go to Jim’s with ME...I must not only love you, but I also trust you to be someone who can appreciate exactly why it is so great and show the proper respect. Is it the best version of home cooking you will find anywhere? Absolutely not...but any fool can go to The Corner or Stroud’s. Is it too far gone to be a contender for “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives”? Why yes it is. In fact, Guy Fieri’s haste to get the hell away from there would be so fast that he’d total his Freudian jalopy while exiting the parking lot. Could it benefit from a good “Kitchen Nightmares” treatment? My suspicion is that if Jim and Gordon walk into the back together, only Jim returns, and you may not want to order the chili for a while. Could the décor use a little updating? No...duct tape for repair AND upholstery in the booths is timeless, as are Sugar Creek themed hand painted murals. It’s a little rough around the edges, but good manners are important. If someone tried something heinously rude or was going to attempt a dine and dash...I am not joking when I say I do NOT know how that would end. If any of y'all are familiar with old school country types, small town law enforcement or good ol’ hills justice (not unlike the Swayze classic ‘Next of Kin’)...you understand that simple politeness and basic respect are all you need to make loyal friends for life.

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This is a place that will never be “popular”, but the parking lot is always full, if that makes any sense. If I lived to be a hundred and went there twice a week until I died I’d still probably never be considered a “regular”, but the service is always friendly and efficient. Very sweet people, a true family-run place. The non-smoking section is three booths by the front door, and the dessert case is...kind of like peeking in the window of the local haunted house when you were a kid.

There are at least a dozen “home cooking” places in the area I could have chose to represent my town. And though I joke around, my love for Jim’s has no smartass irony. I adore it- the food is good and it is just a little untouched snapshot in time where you can relax and take it all in. My WIFE loves it, so I know I’m not alone. I painted an even longer, more detailed picture for her before I ever took her, and in the end she had to admit “Nothing you said to me was in any way exaggerated. It was completely as-described”. Even the caricature of Jim on the building and menu is a testimony to my truth. We pulled up, I pointed at the sign and said “Jim looks EXACTLY like that”. And sure enough, shortly after we were seated, my wife’s eyes got big and she said “Oh wow, THERE’S Jim!” before I even had a chance to spot him. This afternoon we were actually greeted and seated by the man himself...

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Sorry to have only two photos of actual food after so much yammering, but there were only two of us and the portions are HEARTY. The menu is huge, from biscuits and gravy to fried chicken, omelettes, tenderloins, BLT’s, monster sized burgers, you’d have to have a roving gang to make a dent in that thing.

We have dubbed the smallest burger at Jim's "The Ron Swanson". For any fans of the tv show Parks and Recreation, you may remember the episode where Ron Swanson and (enter Rob Lowe's character's name here) had a contest to see if Ron's plain Jane, cheapest possible hamburger held a candle against a very high-end turkey burger. Everyone loved the saffron-laden mega-fancy turkey patty until ripping into the "Ron Swanson"...proving the point that no matter how cheap and how plain a beef patty may be, it is still light years beyond any other meat. The burger at Jim's is exactly like the burger any one of the millions of midwestern moms on a budget serve their families....except bigger. And if you order The Big Jim triple patty version and Jim is around, you can COUNT ON him coming over to bring you an extra bun.

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I usually stick with another trusted classic- the open faced sandwich. Specifically, the open faced chicken fried steak sandwich. It. Is. Awesome. Not the cheapo crumbly or gristly cube steak you get a lot of places, but definitely tenderized. And perfectly breaded. The key to the whole thing is the combination of the cream gravy and the cheap white bread. They meld into a totally different substance when combined and have that stick to the roof of your mouth effect.

jimshotsandwich.JPG

And of course you can get a side of gravy with anything, a side of mayo is a literal bowl of mayo, and you know if you ever DO become a regular because your waitress will stand right at your table and smoke while she chats with you. It's kind of funny to see how differently you are treated than a "regular". It's kind of cute, they joke around completely differently and Jim is all anxious to make sure you like your food.

jimsinterior.JPG

Inside the wonderful time capsule. It is probably painfully obvious that this place is a non-guilty pleasure of mine and that you can decide pretty quickly whether you'd love it or hate it. I don't think a lot of locals even know about this place, much less eat there. I don't take many people there either. I'd hate to smack someone if they complained about the bus tub full of dirty dishes two feet from their head. Making a scene because one of my favorite chefs refuses to make you a meat-free beef tartare is one thing, but you can't go messing with Jim's. My endless rambling about this wallflower surely communicates my sincerity.


Edited by Zeemanb (log)

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Looks like some sweet neon along that road.

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Bourdain did the whole "Winter's Bone" thing (including nearly killing/paralyzing the author of the book from whence it came) and made Miz-ery look bad enough (not inaccurately, I hasten to add).

I am glad at least that said author is an alum of KU!


Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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Any neon martini glasses with bubbles?

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