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Category archives: Books

Slim´s Last Chance and The Mushroom Hunters

My friends suggested Slim’s Last Chance Chili Shack  at Georgetown for lunch.

I did not know about this place at all!

WP_20140723_11_49_55_ProUpon entering, it most certainly had a bar-feel, and it did not look like it served food.

The menu was simple: 4 kinds of chilis, with burgers, wings and hot dogs.

Since it was a chili shack, I must try their chili!

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I had the Chili verde, which had New Mexico green chili, tomatillos and slow simmered pork, and it was excellent!

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Garlic and Sapphire, Crumble and Flake

Garlic and Sapphire by Ruth Reichl

This book was absolutely eye-opening and an extremely fun book to read, especially for food nuts!

It told the experiences of the author, Ruth Reichl, when she was the restaurant critic for New York Times.

I would have never guessed that multiple disguises, with different personalities would be involved in writing about restaurants!

The author wrote in details of her encounters with people around her, the services and attitudes she received as these alter egos.

All the work to make sure she had a full spectrum and clear understanding of each restaurant she was writing about — and what a contrast to the tweeting and instantaneity of today’s society!

Ruth went to each restaurant at least 5 times before she wrote a review, and made sure she was not recognized in some of those visits — inevitably the New York Times critic would be treated far superior with better table and services, bigger and fresher portions of food and larger berries on desserts.

It was fascinating to read about those encounters when she dressed up as an old lady, or someone who did not seem to be rich, or a blonde.

It gave me to jolt of a reminder that how quickly we tended to judge people in general — is it right or is it wrong?  something to ponder on.

Personally as a food blogger writing about my restaurant experiences, this was a bible.

Particularly the inclusion of the actual reviews that Ruth wrote.

They opened my eyes to how descriptive writing could be; and to experience as if I was sitting in the restaurant having that exact same meal the author was writing about.

The power of descriptive writing — something I am slowly learning — and does not come natural to me especially all my experience are in technical scientific reporting.

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Fed Up with lunch and Fake Cheese

Finally got around to read Fed Up with Lunch — and what an additive book!

The book documented the journey of the author, a speech pathologist from the Chicago public school system, secretly and diligently blogging about her consumption of school lunch for a year.

She accidentally stumbled into school lunch and realized how bad the quality of foods were, and decided to take pictures of the food she consumed every day.

The book included some of the pictures of these foods, and I was at awe: mysterious formed meat, fried food, frozen desserts high in sugar (high fructose corn syrup!) and lack of fresh fruit and vegetables.

A lot of the food served in the author’s school district were frozen foods and it was difficult to find the list of ingredients for these foods.

USDA’s guideline did not help children’s cause either as the guideline allow fries to be counted as vegetables, fruit juice was counted as a fruit requirement.

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Almond Ice Cream and Hamburger

We found “Almond Dream” almond ice cream at local PCC.

It was delicious!

Technically it was a cheat during detox because the second ingredient on the list was organic cane sugar.

We decided to turn a blind eye.

I liked the fact that it was made with real almond.

I had a bunch of gums in the ingredient list, but it would be unavoidable given that there was no egg and no dairy.

We chose vanilla bean, as the other flavor offered was chocolate, which we could not have.

Color of the ice cream stood out different from conventional vanilla ice cream as it was beige with brown specks.

Vanilla bean flavor was natural, fragrant and pleasant.

It had a hint of almond nut flavor throughout that was roasty and tasty.

In fact, the roastiness of the almond conjured the illusion of consuming chocolate!

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