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Eat + Drink

Bates and Schmitt



I’m a huge cider fan, dating back to my teenage years and my first trip to Europe. It was with my parents, and I was about 15 years old. Going to Europe at that age with one’s parents was difficult enough. I was always trying to drift behind or bolt well ahead of the family unit so that no observers (especially the European teenage girls) would suspect that I was traveling under the auspices of parental units.

Use Your Words, Part 2

Eat + Drink Poll

Thanks to the hundreds of you who’ve voted in the annual Readers Choice Poll and went the extra mile to back up your nominations with some eloquent turn of phrase. If you missed it (voting closed yesterday), or if you loved it so much that you want to do more, here’s your chance—it’s not too late!

We’ve added five extra questions, included a free-for-all spot for you to input your own category (and nomination) and extended the deadline to December 30.

Homecoming Parade

I was on vacation, and now I’m not. Everything else, as writer Calvin Trillin once wrote, is just commentary. I thought about posting some pictures from my non-traditional Thanksgiving trip to Kauai, but then thought better of it—not only might they be jealousy inducing, in nearly every single image I’m eating something: a pineapple frosty, onion rings, banana pancakes, eggs with a side of fried rice. Fitting, maybe, but hardly attractive. Hard to pose for a photo when your frosty is giving you brain freeze.

Let Us Now Praise the BLT

When the days get cold and dark like this, nothing quite does it like basic comfort food. My current kick is the BLT: a little genius of a sandwich that’s stellar when tomatoes are in season, bread is fresh and bacon is high-quality, but is even damn good when all its elements are merely mediocre.

My current three local BLT faves are each a little different in scope and genre:


Liverpool Lil's BLT with avocado.

1. Liverpool Lil’s version is simple and down-home, with basic sliced bread and the always-nice addition of avocado.

The Ginger-Barn (Day 2)

Jessica is out of town, lounging around somewhere on the island of Kuai.

Unfortunately, I'm not.

Instead, I'm here to give you an update on the gingerbread barn we're working on at the Palace Hotel (along with chef Russell), for their annual gingerbread competition, which I know you're absolutely dying to hear more about.



Very small photo of Jessica
helping with our very
big gingerbread barn.

Cure (Not So) Simple



At the photographer's studio, charcuterie awaits its beauty shot.

When Turkey Leftovers Won't Do


Seaweed salad, hamachi jalapeno sashimi, sashimi combo

My three passions in life are, roughly speaking, food, fitness and travel, so it’s no surprise that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Every year, I fly home to Bethesda, Maryland (a DC suburb), run the Turkey Chase 10K race with my brother, then eat lots of turkey, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie. It’s the best.


If You Find This, Buy It



Laphroaig 10-year cask strength scotch whisky is no longer to be sold. But you should snap it up if you encounter it, as it’s a hell of a dram—a violent wallop of peat smoke and brine gently sleeping in rich warm blankets of honey and toffee with a pillow of sweetness. It’s incredible stuff. I recently picked up the last bottle at a Bay Area Bevmo, but know that there’s more out there . . . just not for long. Make sure to add a squirt of water, though, because cask strength means it’s never been diluted and thus comes to you at a whopping 111 proof.

Good luck.

Macvin



It sounds like something that might be served at a McDonald’s in Marseille, but Macvin du Jura is actually a delicious sweet, fortified wine from the south of France that you might consider for your seasonal winter feasts.

It’s unusual but also sumptuous, coming in red and white, with flavors ranging from orange peel to quince to ginger to figs. What’s also interesting is that it can hardly be called a wine as there’s no real fermentation going on.

Invisible Cities

One of my favorite novels by Italo Calvino is Hidden Cities, which is imagined as a conversation between Marco Polo and Kublai Khan and includes Polo’s fantastical and imaginative descriptions of 55 cities he’s seen on his travels.

I had a hidden-cities moment myself the other day, when I was led to a party in a particularly fantastical backyard, behind a row of houses near Duboce Park. The yard, shared by several residences, was a marvel and to emerge from an ordinary back door to gaze upon it was similar to feeling like Alice after falling down the rabbit hole.


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