I always try to eat delicious food. Unfortunately I don't have that much money, so I have to cook a lot of it at home. But thats OK because I love cooking and I love eating at home with my wife. This is a website with my favorite recipes and a little bit of commentary.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Trip to Virginia

I had a brief stop off in my home town before heading back out to my away rotation. That gives me a quick chance to update the site.

My flight to Virginia took off at 5:00 AM. It is a small airport so the nice lady who checked me in was also in charge of de-icing the plane.

By the time I got to Charlottesville it was dark so the next few pictures I took during the day.

I had never been to the University of Virginia so I was in for a real treat. As soon as I got to town I headed down to campus to a place called the Lawn. I had no idea about the history of the University but I learned a lot while I was there.

The Lawn is Thomas Jefferson's design for the University. The idea was to have professors living in houses rimmed on either side by student housing. The housing would form a big U shaped structure with a lawn in the middle. At the lowpoint of the U is a large library.

Here you can see a professors house surrounded on either side by student housing.

When I got there I could smell the smoke rising from the chimneys. Every room has a fireplace and they have wood stacked outside each room.

Imagine the same scene only at night. It was so pretty it was almost like I was in a dream. There was a reception in one of the 'professors' houses. I am not sure they are used for that purpose anymore but the students still live in the student housing. In fact it is quite an honor to be chosen to live in one of the rooms.

Surrounding the Lawn is a large ring of gardens. I think I remember someone telling me that there are 18 gardens. Various gardening clubs keep them up and have contests to make each one unique. People come from all over the world to see them. Its the offseason but I took a picture of one anyway.

I got a few pictures of the hospital as well.

And here is the view down Hospital Drive -

The medical campus is incorporated into the undergraduate campus, so there are a lot of college town type eateries etc around.

The afternoon after the interviews I went out to one of our country's treasures.

Do you recognize that building? I'll give you a hint. Look on the back of your nickle.

I am a History Channel junky so I was thrilled at the opportunity to tour Monticello. It was Thomas Jefferson's Home on the mountain. It is on top of a small mountain that he inherited from his wife's father. It is surrounded by woods.

I was afraid that it might not be the right time of year to tour but the weather was actually very pleasant and at least a few wildflowers think it is spring.

I walked around the grounds for a while before touring the house. I spotted Virginia's state bird - the cardinal.

The house was very neat on the inside but we weren't allowed to snap any pictures. I learned quite a bit about Jefferson, his times and his passions. As it turns out, back in olden times, they liked beer just as much as we do, and Jefferson had his own brewery right there on the property.

He also did a lot of research on the best way to garden and grow certain crops.

He had a massive garden and vineyard. I wanted to see what Jefferson's kitchen looked like and viola -

I wonder what it would be like to cook in that setting. It probably isn't a lot different from when I cook outdoors using Dutch ovens.

That night I ate BBQ at Wolfie's.

It was mentioned by several locals as the best BBQ in town.

They had a lot of choices on the menu, but the one that caught my eye was a combo platter. It was served with ribs, 'Virginia BBQ' and a couple of sides.

The ribs were pretty tasty and certainly at least 452.2 times better than the ribs at Twin Anchors. That number is precise and the result of hours of tedious calculation. The 'Virginia BBQ' was pulled pork mixed with Virginia BBQ sauce. The closest thing I can relate it to would be Texas style BBQ sauce. It is more of a gravy than a traditional BBQ sauce, although it had elements that would be familiar to you. The sauce was a little sweeter than I would have liked but still very tasty.

For desert I stopped at a gas station and got the all time classic southern snack.

You can't get these in Kansas City so if I am down in the South I usually try to pick one up.

I was going to go out and check out more of the town but I was exhausted so I just went to bed.

I also went to the University of Nebraska, but I forgot my camera in the car. I didn't get a chance to sample any of the local cuisine.

Well that is it for a while. I won't be able to cook anything for a while because I am 500 miles from my kitchen.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Mother of All Burritos

I am still laughing. Check out this other food blog. Its so funny I almost fell over.

Mother Of All Burritos

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Louisville and Chicago

I just got back from Louisville and Chicago. My flight has a long layover in my home city, so I got a chance to stop at the house for a while and update my website.

The first thing I did when I got into Louisville was check in at my hotel. I didn't stay at the recommended cushy hotel because I had an immediate flight and I didn't want to leave getting to the airport to chance. So I rented a car but the extra cost forced me to stay in a flophouse north of the river in Indiana. All was well though because it allowed me to explore the north side of the river.

The river is dammed right at Louisville and the dam was massive. It was quite impressive to see such a massive river contained at one point. If I was crazy I would take my kayak into the turbulence downstream from the dam a bit, but I'm not crazy.

The night before my interview I ate at a BBQ place called Mark's Feed Store. It is a BBQ joint that was made out of an old feed store.

The ambiance was unique to say the least.

I got the pulled pork sandwich platter.

Mark's sauce is a mustard based sauce which was very tasty. I would associate their type of mustard sauce more with Georgia. I highly recommend stopping in if you are in Louisville.

After the interview I flew up to Chicago. I arrived late so I didn't do a whole lot except stop off at Portillo's.

I got an Italian Beef and Sausage Combo.

A beef and sausage combo is just that, roast beef soaked in juice with a grilled Italian sausage and hot Giardinera peppers. Its was amazingly tasty, especially when combined with some cheese fries.

I stayed with a cousin up in Lincoln Park. I got up early the next morning and hopped on the el to my interview.

It is a little more trouble to take public transportation but if you are on a budget like me I would highly recommend looking into it. Don't be afraid of using public transportation.

After my interview I was HUNGRY. I walked around the corner from my cousin's apartment to a place that I used to stop at occasionally.

After stepping inside, I quickly realized why I didn't eat there very often. It was packed with people from the suburbs who were taking their kids to the zoo. I got out of there quickly and walked up the street to the Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder Restaurant.

This restaurant has the dubious distinction of being located directly across the street from where the St. Valentine's Day Massacre took place. There used to be a garage there but now it is just an empty lot.

The atmosphere inside was close and dark.

As it turns out, the pizza they serve is actually a pizza pot pie!

It was a very unique take on pizza. To make it they place a layer of cheese on the bottom of an oven proof bowl. Then they fill the bowl with sausage, mushrooms, onions, and marinara. Then they cover the bowl with a round piece of thinly rolled out dough and bake it in the oven. TO serve it they turn it over on the plate and use a spoon to shell it out. It was delicious and I am very glad I ate there. It gives me a new project to work on when I finally get back from purgatory.

We ate a late dinner at a famous Chicago joint called Twin Anchors.

It is the place that the movie Return to Me was shot at. Why do they call it Twin Anchor's you ask?

They don't much care for people dancing inside.

They are 'famous' for the 'best ribs.' I looked at the $20 tag and figured it was a little out of my price range. I got a hamburger instead which was unremarkable. Someone at the table did get ribs and gave me one. I must very strongly disagree with their claim to having the 'best ribs.' They might have the best ribs in that building, but even the slop they serve at Applebee's is better. If you want the best ribs in Chicago, just head up to Irving Park Road to a place called the N&N smoke house. Now those are tasty ribs!

After dinner we went to this bar called the River Shannon.

It is famous amongst our group of friends, especially my cousin and a certain ex boyfriend, for another reason. I liked the atmosphere a lot.

And that was my trip. Next weekend is Virginia.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Phouk Dhat

We ate Vietnamese last night. It was pretty tasty. I got the beef stew with clear noodles. It had very tender chunks of beef with onion and carrot in a sauce. It was topped with fresh cilantro. My wife got the vegetable chicken, which was also tasty. I gave my wife some of the beef stew and then I spiced it. They had a bottle of my favorite Asian hot sauce - Sriracha. Its the one that comes in the squeeze bottle with the rooster and all the crazy writing on the front. I loaded it down because its been a long time since I have had anything even remotely spicy. I call that tasty food, but some people might call it fear factor.

Monday, February 07, 2005

More Garden City Eateries

For the Superbowl we decided not to go out to eat. The apartment is equiped with a rudimentary communal kitchen. About the best I could do was spaghetti with garlic bread. It was pretty good. I just used some hamburger and added it to some Newman's Own sauce.

We ate at the Jade Buffet last week. I must say that again I was very impressed by the quality of the food. It was at least as good as the places that we used to eat at in China Town in Chicago. The decor was also very interesting. They had the typical Chinese lamps hanging from the cieling. Hanging from these lamps were strings of firecrackers. It was pretty sweet. I bet on 4th of July they have a tray of firecrackers right there in the buffet, and you dish a few of those up and light them off at will at your table. They also had a gigantic painting of these cranes about to land in a pond with mountains and other Asian influenced things. The painting was equiped with light displays of different colors. One of the light trails was supposed to indicate that the cranes were flying, but the colored bulb got replaced with a standard white lightbulb, so the effect was much more suggestive of a crane flying over a pond and letting loose his rather ample bowels. We were so moved, we composed a Haiku:

The crane flies over
Looking for a very nice place
to take a large dump

On Saturday we ate at the Lone Star Steak House. It was pretty good. The steaks out here are of high quality because of all the numerous packing plants. We had bread pudding with bourbon sauce, which was magnificant.

Tonight we are planning on going to a Vietnamese place called Phouk Dhat. I will have to post a review tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

El Camino Mexican Establishment

Wife and baby are now both out in Garden City with me. Last night we ate at a restaraunt called El Camino. I was blown away by how good the food was. She got the enchiladas supreme (3 enchiladas with sauce and rice) and I got the chicken fajitas. Our total bill was 15 bucks and we were stuffed. I have not had mexican food that good anywhere else except Frontera Grill.

The nice thing about Garden City is that there are like 40 million Mexican restaraunts and they are all really good. I'll have to go to each one before I leave.