Food news antipasto

Restaurant aficionados often turn up their noses at chain restaurants, and there are many reasons why a food lover might not like them: they can be noisy, the food is often bland, and the overall dining experience will never knock your socks off. But as Grace Dent explains, sometimes a chain restaurant is just the place to go, especially if you are looking for comfort.

Almost-famous milkshakes from Food Network Magazine

The milkshake is a uniquely American invention, allegedly created by a soda jerk at a Walgreens pharmacy in 1922. Because they are so delicious, milkshakes quickly became a sensation, spreading across the country like wildfire. Even though the milkshake might seem innocuous, the creamy beverage is often used as metaphor in cinema, says Eater’s Jaya Saxena. She writes about how a milkshake on screen is never just a milkshake.

Moving from one dairy product to another: the next item that caught my eye this week is about cheese. Good Food (Aus) has an article that I definitely want to believe is true, with claims that cheese can actually be good for your health. Studies have shown that older people who ate cheese performed better in cognitive tests, and that cheese consumption was linked to lower BMI and blood pressure. Sounds good to me.

If you have ever baked a cake, you’ve probably read the word “room temperature” at some point. But what, precisely, does room temperature mean and why is it so important? Matthew Zuras explains at Epicurious, giving us the ins and outs to ensure your ingredients are hitting that temperature sweet spot. A chef once showed me how she determined if butter was at the appropriate temperature: take the stick of butter and bend it in the middle. At the correct temperature it will easily bend but will still hold its shape once bent.

Speaking of cake, when it comes to birthday celebrations, cake usually makes an appearance as the star of the show. But why cake and not some other delicious, decadent dessert? That’s exactly what BBC Good Food wonders, answering with 20 different birthday cake alternatives. I was a little disappointed that one of the options was cupcakes, which is cake after all, but there are other ideas with merit, such as a skillet cookie.

NYC’s Eleven Madison Park, known as one of the top restaurants in the world, turns 25 this year. For the restaurant’s anniversary menu, chef Daniel Humm is sticking with the decision he made nearly two years ago to turn EMP into a fully vegan establishment. He reiterates that EMP will never again serve meat or even butter, and explains that the restaurant has been moving toward this plant-based experience for years.

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  • Fyretigger  on  October 2, 2023

    I applaud Eleven Madison Park. While I’m still an omnivore, I’m striving to eat with less impact on the planet. One of my favorite restaurants was the Vegan restaurant Millennium in San Francisco (they have 2 cookbooks in the library, The Millennium Cookbook: Extraordinary Vegetarian Cuisine and The Artful Vegan: Fresh Flavors from the Millennium Restaurant). They were conveniently located near Union Square and the theaters in the neighborhood. But then the hotel they were located in changed hands and the new owners wanted to do something different with the space. After several years, it reopened in Oakland California. While in a less convenient location (they are now a destination instead of a “…and let’s eat dinner at…”), they are Bib Gourmand rated and rated a top 25 Vegetarian/Vegan restaurant in the world by Food & Wine. When it comes time for dessert, if the cardamom ice cream is on the menu, do indulge.

  • DromJohn  on  October 3, 2023

    I am very much an omnivore, which means I will eat vegan. OTOH, some of the worst meals I’ve had have been vegan. Shelmar and I went to NYC for our anniversary this year. Eleven Madison Park was the best meal I have ever eaten. While Shelmar had the wine pairing, I had a dust-caked bottle of the cherry version Alvinne The Oak Melchior. Having recently cloned the mustard version of The Oak Melchior, this beer made the meal even better.
    As for cardamom ice cream, Mora in Las Vegas cardamon ice cream was brought home in two pint containers this weekend.

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