Thursday, May 14, 2009

Food, Inc

I can't wait.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Darling's Cheesecake

Today my boyfriend and I made our way to the Franklin Institute. Had I actually been smart about it and asked someone how it was ahead of time, I would've saved us both the disappointment. Well, I guess if you're between three and eight years of age, it's actually pretty fun. But I also would've missed out on a lovely foodie experience: Darling's Cheesecake.

Yes, I realize I just talked about cheesecake recently, but you'll just have to deal with it - cheesecake is a heavenly thing and I don't mind talking about it again.

Located right next to the Institute, it was entirely too convenient and serendipitous for us - hungry and looking for something to save the day. Inside the cafe, they have one case displaying their gorgeous cheesecakes, and their cafe menu holds a coffeebar (instant brownie points in my books), breakfast items, and simple lunch items like salads and sandwiches. 

I had a very tasty Tomato Mozzarella sandwich - layers of tomato and fresh mozzarella on a baguette with S&P and olive oil topping. I've had better fresh mozzarella, but that always seems to be a hit or miss thing anyway, and the topping helped a good bit. Their pickles on the side I suspect are homemade. The boy had a "Polska! Polska!" sandwich - try ordering that without feeling like an idiot. Kielbasa, kraut, and spicy brown mustard on a baguette...yum. I had to ask about the baguette - a very good one - and learned that right now they buy out the dough and bake it in house, but at the restaurant they're opening this Saturday, they'll be making their own. 

On our way out, we ended up getting three different slices of cheescake to go. I guess we were getting tired of my ass fitting into my new capris. The Classic of course, because if you're trying something for the first time you gotta go plain - just like trying plain cheese at a new pizza joint or a regular vanilla cone at a new ice cream place. In addition, there was a slice of peanut butter and a slice of berry. 

The verdict? Cheesecake unlike any other I've had. It was amazingly light and airy - they claim it's "Philly style" cheesecake.  In 2006 they won "Best of Philly" for their bananas foster creation. My favorite out of the three we tried was the peanut butter on a chocolate cookie crust - odd, since I usually don't care too much about peanut butter desserts. Both the berry and peanut butter are topped with pretty little rosettes of chocolate and vanilla frosting. The classic is nice and tangy, and the berry was made mostly with blueberries (maybe a little bit of blackberry too), and there are actual whole blueberries in the cheesecake. I should also mention that it's very reasonably priced. I've seen places that charge upwards of $7 a slice for their "gourmet" cheesecakes that are in fact a bit mediocre. But here they range between four and five bucks. 

My only regret is that I didn't think to take pictures of lunch while we were there.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Led Zeppelin Wine Pairing

From City Winery's website:

"This wine pairing is the concept of Joe Bastianich, who is Mario Batali's partner in Babbo, Del Posto, etc...

Bastianich has paired Zeppelin's raw, nuanced, complex and high energy music with fine wine and italian food. The writer David Lynch and Mike Edison have joined the team to discuss the songs and the appropriate wine pairings. Led Zeppelin lends itself to wine; Hearty, robust reds match Page's raw riffs and Bonham's thunderous double bass pedal, while the band's lighter, more playful work calls for tamer, yet complex whites. On stage will be the live Zeppelin cover band Six Foot Nurse featuring special guest guitarist Scott Ian of the band Anthrax, all coming in from Los Angeles for the evening. This event was recently tested without the live band at the smaller restaurant Becco where it sold out instantly..."

I absolutely love the idea of pairing any type of food with any type of music. It started a couple years ago with a friend of mine, when we played music appropriate to whatever we were cooking that night. For pasta, we'd put on some Sinatra. Fajita night? He had a mariachi CD just for the occasion. Baking cornbread? You better believe I'd be putting on one of my favorite B.B. King records.

I got a little bit giddy when I saw an episode of Good Eats where Alton Brown used chords (two tone, tritone, augmented...ah, the days of music theory) as an analogy for cocktails. Scott Ian did a wine pairing to metal songs on his blog a while ago, which I was equally amused by. Now, I don't know wine very well yet. I'm hoping the wine class I'm currently taking will get me started, because it's a field I have much to learn in. Perhaps when I get to the point I feel as though I know enough, I'll attempt a pairing as well...though to what type of music, time has yet to tell.