Saturday, September 17, 2011

New Blog Picture

While in Raleigh for a few hours I met my friend Helen who took this picture.  Well, it is sort of a nice picture so I jokingly said, "Maybe the next blog picture."  Hmmm.  So what do you think?  Do you like the sunset behind the plane in New Orleans (the current picture) or this one?  

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Evil Evil Foodswings, get thee in my belly before I leave Brooklyn.

Foodswings, it's black veneer clearly designed by the devil himself with a menu put together by the very same Satanic forces of evil.  Like the mythical Isle of Lesbos, Foodswings calls to me, forcing me to alter my course into the vegan dietary shoals.  I hit hard and boy am I aground.

Part of why I am a vegan is of course for my health.  There's no doubt in my mind that I feel better, have my weight a tad more under control, provide healthier fuel for my body, leave a smaller carbon footprint and of course, lead a more compassionate life.  I do miss some foods.  My mind skips a beat when I smell Brother Jimmy's BBQ, wafting down my block, but then a different part of my mind recoils at the thought of what Brother Jimmy's BBQ actually IS.  Tons of comfort food were consumed in my life without a thought to where it came from, and tons of anything leaves a lasting culinary memory.

No recoil necessary at Foodswings.  This is where you should go when you miss fried chicken, Philly steak sandwiches, Buffalo wings and any other junk/comfort/decadent food from the hinterlife.  This is clearly where the word "health" is cleaved from the word "vegan."  I say it all the time but just because it's vegan doesn't mean it's healthy.  (Healthier ... maybe).  When your vegan-ish resolve is tested, take the subway, car, crawl or hijack a cab to Brooklyn.  Unless you still live in Brooklyn, (I so miss my homeland), then just walk or bike over. You can fall back to the kale salads and green smoothies tomorrow.  Oh, and one last piece of advice ... don't get on the scale for a few days.

Our entrees came out before our apps, so here they are in that order.  The Buffalo Burger has the perfect imitation of Buffalo sauce.  The roll had a nice mush to bread texture ratio but I did find the burger a bit on the mushier side than I am seeking.  Lettuce and tomato and red onion put a wonderful flavor and texture combination together.  Not my first choice in burgers as I think more along the lines of mushrooms, sauteed onions, and cheese, (read Daiya Mozzarella), or soy bacon or chili are more to my liking.  But I didn't order it. (ha ha).

THE BUFFALO BURGER-Homemade Burger w/ Buffalo Sauce, Bleu Cheese, Lettuce, Tomato &
Red Onion 7.75

Now this is what I ordered, a Philly Cheese Steak.  This is hearty comfort food. This is delicious.  The bread, perfect crumb and crust with just the right "pull" to rip the sandwich away from it's mother planet, the toothiness of the steak, the crunch of the onions and soft mouthiness of the cheese.  If I was on death row I'd have to consider this a last meal option.

PHILLY CHEESE STEAK-Marinated Mock Steak w/ Onions, Mushrooms & Your Choice of Daiya Cheese (American or Mozzarella) or “The Wiz” Served on Italian Bread 8.75

And now for the Chicken Parm.  Same bread but now with a fried patty.  Satan's seitan and May Wah's cutlets?  It's just a soft bread, crunch, smoosh, and a gentle genteel marinara sauce.  A touch of sweet tomato.  No thoughts of falling off the vegan wagon if this is within reach!

CHICK’N PARMIGIANA-Breaded Mock Chicken Cutlets w/ Daiya Mozzarella Cheese, Covered in
Marinara Sauce, on Italian Bread 8.75 

Ah, and now the appetizers.  2 combo plates so we could cover all of the 4 kinds of wings.  My favorite was all of them.  There are 2 kinds of Mac N Cheese.  One with nutritional yeast and the other with Daiya.  Get the one with Daiya.  The other tastes like it was nutritional yeast in a veggie broth.  OK, but not my favorite.  Daiya is thicker and cheesy like Mac and Cheese should be.  I don't know which pic is which but they both LOOK the same.

The wings below, from left to right, are Southern Fried, Buffalo, and BBQ.  The BBQ had a nice caramelization and slight char.  They all reminded me of a place I used to live in long ago.  (Hi Mom).

BUFFALO STYLE-Breaded, Fried & Then Smothered in Buffalo Sauce Served w/
Foodswings’ Bleu Cheese BBQ-Drenched in BBQ Sauce & Fired Up On The Grill SOUTHERN FRIED-Battered & Fried SWEET SOUTHERN FRIED BBQ-Battered, Fried & Then Drenched in a Sweet BBQ Sauce COMBO PLATE-Three Drumsticks w/ Choice of House Salad, Mac n Cheese, Fries, Plantains, or Mashed Potatoes 10.75

From top, Sweet Southern BBQ, Buffalo, and Southern fried.

Of course I can't help myself when I see an empanada.  Fried, no less ... or ... fried, of course.  I am so able to be tempted.  I have no self control, I crave, and I cave.  But I've saved the last piece of decadence for later.  Wait.  This is only a 5 on the decadent scale and I have a 10 a little further down the page.

This empanada had a perfect amount of filling, meaning only a little bit dripped out.  The hot sauce is really really good.  (Read hot).  And shmearing a bit of sour cream on the exposed innards before slathering with hot sauce was ... crunch, cool, hot, meaty.  Yes, meaty.  Ground bits of seitan in the chili make it reminiscent of ... chili.  Which by the way, isn't hot but flavorful.

Oh, if they could put this in a bottle and sell it as a sex replacement.

Nah, wouldn't be the same.  As sex.  Or as an empanada.

If you look at the next picture and don't want to just take a bite of this ... you have to be dead.

HOMEMADE CHILI CON SEITAN-Ground Seitan w/ Kidney Beans, Peppers, Onions,
Tomato & Spices

Now someone at the table had to go and order the cheese fries.  Why oh why? Why not get the chili cheese fries.  Well, actually, it's not low fat for sure but since none of this has any cholesterol you can't even order it with a side of angioplasty!

When the friedscool and soak up this sauce, and you spray the basket with ketchup ... being hungry is no longer a reason to eat.  I think this is Wiz sauce. Which, if you give me a billion dollars, I'll tell you what it is.  Maybe.

Cheese Fries 4
And now finally, for the most ridiculously decant thing we could have ordered. The thing I haven't had in a few hundred years.  A milk shake.  Chocolate chip mint to be exact.  My only critique is that the straw diameter to chip size ratio is out of whack ... it's is too small and the chips get jammed up at the bottom and straw suck pressure is more than the tensile strength of the straw wall and you get milk shake seepage with straw wall failure and collapse.   This is a very serious technical issue amongst those of us who like solid ingredients in our drinks but can be simply solved by using a special order milk shake straw.  Or just a wider one.

Minty, thick, creamy, chocolaty and oh what a blast from the past.  Here is where the meal finally topped 5,000 calories.  (Just a guess).  Anyway, my liquid cleanse starts today.  Well, maybe tomorrow.  I'm just glad there isn't a Foodswings on MY block or ...

THE BASIC SHAKE-Pistachio, Chocolate, Vanilla, Mint Chip, Coffee or Strawberry Regular 4 / Large 6.  And yes, it's a large.  What did you think I'd order?
 ... I never would fit down that aisle.

Camera put against the door.  The printed menu is repeated on the blackboard.

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