October 26, 2011

And Deservedly So

I sure do love the taste of a bad piece of top-round, beat to hell, dredged in eggs and buttermilk, battered, and deep-fried in cast iron. Once the steak is cooked through you take it out of the skillet, drain most of the oil and start to add the flour, slowly, then the milk, stirring, slowly, and the salt and pepper, stirring, until just thick enough to call it gravy. Layer it liberally atop that cut of meat and voila, Chicken Fried Steak.

It's a lovely dish. Perfectly acceptable with eggs and coffee or fries and whiskey. And now, thanks to the efforts of the hardworking men and women of the Texas State Legislature, it has been resolved that October 26, 2011 be recognized, officially, as Texas Chicken Fried Steak Day (this is no sh*t). So what took so long? 


October 22, 2011

Last Shot

Up early this morning to get in a final hunt of the season and came home with... nada. Sadly, sometimes the birds just don't fly. All I saw were chi-chis, buzzards, and a couple hares (one jack, one cottontail, which excites me for the next outing). Took a few shots at the treeline and called it a day. Oh well, at least there's plenty already in the freezer for something delicious. And a little Hill Country therapy set me right for a while...



October 16, 2011

By the Bay

“The pleasure of our company has been requested” twice now down at Mobile Bay, which juts inland from the Gulf of Mexico up toward Mobile, Alabama. Along its eastern shore is the town of Point Clear, and I simply cannot imagine a better place to be in early October. It's home to The Grand Hotel (est. 1847), whose storied history is spectacular, its tradition present; every day, barring lightning, a cannon is fired toward the Bay, both in remembrance of and to honor our military. "God Bless America," then, boom.

The weather was perfect for a celebratory weekend, and on Saturday morning we walked on the boardwalk, snaking along the water in front of homes that abut the shores. Afterwards we headed into Fairhope, a small town just up the road and cut straight out of central casting, pharmacy and all. Lunch was at the recently opened Thyme. by the bay. Specifics of the meal are fleeting - quite honestly I was too busy enjoying the moment - but we kept things simple with burgers and beers, each one refreshing in its own right.

If your presence is ever required in lower Alabama you'd be hard-pressed to do much better in terms of staying and eating.





   

THE GRAND HOTEL
One Grand Boulevard
P.O. Box 639
Point Clear, AL 36564
251/928-9201

  






THYME. BY THE BAY
151 South Mobile Street
Fairhope, AL 36532
251/990-5635

October 10, 2011

Parkway for Po'Boys!

There was a moment last Sunday, on our way back to New Orleans, when we actually contemplated skipping lunch. Dinner at Galatoire's awaited us later that evening, and I didn't want to yield any stomach real estate... what a bastard of an idea that turned out to be (literally, neither of us would claim it). Thankfully fate has a way of kicking errant travelers back onto paths originally intended, and in this case, fate came by way of the latest Garden & Gun.

Rick Bragg's current piece, "Home of the Po'boy", delves into some nuances of New Orleans' fine sandwich, and had us salivating at the prospect of that distinct warm French bread, hollowed-out and encasing some roasted something all dressed in fixins. Helpfully, within the article Pableaux Johnson listed five of the city's best spots to get just such a thing; I didn't know who he was, but given the context I was perfectly inclined to take the advice of anyone called Pableaux.

We opted for a spot in Mid-City, Parkway Bakery and Tavern. It's an old building on an old corner with old wooden everything and riddled with as much authenticity as you'd hope to find in a sandwich shop on some back street on a Sunday afternoon. Really, the ubiquitous uniqueness of establishments like this is what makes this great American city such a Great American City. We saddled up between two doctors on our right and two cabbies on our left, and when the sandwiches arrived, we opened that butcher paper, inhaled the roast beef and gravy, and got ready to have the best appetizer Galatoire's never offered.

PARKWAY BAKERY AND TAVERN
538 Hagan Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70119
866/755-9842
http://www.parkwaybakeryandtavernnola.com/










October 3, 2011

Magazine St (con't)

For our pre pre-dinner cocktail cocktail we sought refuge at Bouligny Tavern, conveniently located right at the end of our block. It was Thursday afternoon and the traffic along Magazine was picking up. Uptown denizens stopping by for an early start to the weekend, and we landed a spot on the front porch to take it in; oh how I love a good front porch, an all-too-often under-utilized appendage of the home, in my opinion.

Afterwards we stuffed ourselves with homemade gumbo and french bread and couldn't muster the strength to do much other than go upstairs and ready ourselves for the weekend.

And now, sitting in the kitchen on Monday morning, the weekend come and gone and the festivities behind us, the soft smell of onion and spices has suddenly drifted in through an open window... someone preparing tonight's Red Beans & Rice? Perhaps. One thing's for certain though: if we stay here much longer I'll have gout. So we're gone. Cheers, to the ever-spirited...





BUSH ANTIQUES
2109 Magazine Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
http://www.bushantiques.com/

... and refreshing...
 



La Madrugada
Blanco Tequila
Grapefruit Juice
St. Germain
Campari

BOULIGNY TAVERN
3461 Magazine St.
New Orleans, LA 70115
504/891-1810
http://www.boulignytavern.com/