1. I keep giving American cheese a shot. It never succeeds. It suffices on a Triscuit, but a lot suffices on a Triscuit. Every time I taste American cheese these days, I kinda wonder if it’s made by people who’ve failed in the cheddar industry.
2. “The monastery’s motherhouse, the Abbey of Gethsemani in central Kentucky, makes fudge flavored with a Kentucky specialty, bourbon. To give the local fudge a Georgia spin, Delisi settled on peach brandy, peaches and pecans.” After an insurance-friendly fruitcake fire, Atlanta-area monks are switching product lines. With possibly delicious results.
3. One highlight from Key West was meeting Kermit Carpenter, proprietor of the Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Shoppe. The place where we were staying had welcome bags of his cookies, and we found his shop just down the block. The welcome bag cookies were light but almost mint-like in power, and I left with more bags. If you’re visiting his site, yes, I saw him strike that pose. We were having a conversation about how he grew up in Gaithersburg, Md., when he started looking outside and picking up a key lime pie. He approached the trolley rounding the corner, raised the pie at a woman in a front seat, then tossed in some bags of cookies with his free hand. It was a little ridiculous, but I bet the marketing worked.
4. Miami International’s Pizza Hut stand is definitely better than its Uno’s stand.
5. I’m intrigued by Elevation Burger, now open in Falls Church, Va. It seems to be a next-generation burger place, and I’ve never been to one of those. With the snow about to start here, a carefully-prepared-yet-greasy burger would hit the spot.
6. Al’s Deli is still great. Have been meaning to recap the Chicago trip but haven’t yet. Will get around to it. But I ate a cookie and some macaroni salad at Al’s, and they made me want eight sandwiches at once.
7. What’s the deal with selling beer at Chicken Out? Not that I have a problem with it, but it’s just surprising. The service leaves something to be desired, but the restaurant makes me feel good about the future of quick taste.
8. The Amateur Gourmet is headed to Paris in a week, and he’s bought a copy of Adam Gopnik’s From Paris to the Moon in preparation. The book’s come up about three times in the last few weeks, and any discussion leaves me frustrated. I’m pretty sure I read the book, but I can’t remember a single thing about its content. I think I liked it, but I honestly have no idea. It’s possible no book has left less of an impact on me in my entire life. And I like Gopnik’s New Yorker work, so this is all very confusing.
9. Every time I see dates in the fruit section at the supermarket, I think of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Poor life-saving monkey.
10. Egg salad, the forgotten sandwich.