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It's like Proust, only longer.

Deuxième Partie.  Êtes-vous prêts?  C’est parti…

Time for the second nail-biting installment of the trip to Paris.  Reading over the first entry, all it makes it seem like I did all weekend was eat.  That is maybe 64% true.

After the giant feast at le comptoir, the burger buddies were feeling a little sluggish.  Food was last on our minds as we headed over to the Louvre and wandered around the tuileries for most of the early and late afternoon.  Well, last on our minds until dinner time rolled around.

We both had a craving for something.  Something meaty, and something smothered in an addictive sauce.  And this meatiness “à côté de” some fried potato items.  I’m talking about the one, the only, Le Relais de Venise l’entrecôte.  Its original location is located in Paris’ 6th.  We walked over to it, only to find a line going halfway down the block.  I guess this will teach us to try to go to l’entrecôte on a Saturday night.

We ended up at a little bistro also locatd in the 6th arrondissement.  Overall, the meal was uneventful, except for the petite souris that BG saw in the corner of the covered outdoor area.  The reaction by the waiter: “c’est possible.”  So French.

Prior to this, I had enjoyed some andouillette (AAAAA , of course.  Which stands for Association amicale des amateurs d’andouillette authentique, in case you are curious).  It is a delightful French treat, which is basically a sausage stuffed with tripe.  And it smells, umm, delicious… and earthy.  And that’s putting it lightly.


After that we called it a night, since our stomachs were still reeling a bit.  And we had to get ready for a couple of strong days of eating (they were our last two, after all).

We awoke on Sunday morning and headed over the Raspail Marché Bio, a huge organic farmer’s market on Boulevard Raspail, also in the 6th.  The market is intense, and basically blows away any farmer’s market here in the US.  The artistry with which the food is presented is something to learn from, and it again proves that organic does not need to equal dirty and poorly-displayed.









At the end of the market was a man making potato galettes, with onions and some sort of cheese product.  I had two, which were delicious.  After wandering around a little bit, we headed over to the île de la cité so that burgerboy could repent for his gluttony at Notre Dame.  Before that, of course, we needed to eat a little bit, so we had a pit stop at berthillon for some vanilla ice cream and a nutella banana crêpe.  Why not, right?


A couple of hours later, we found ourselves in the marais.  The Rue de Rosiers means only one thing: falafel.  More specifically, l’As du Falafel.  I had been there before, but it was burgergal’s first time.  She was suspicious, despite all of the positive press that she had seen and the myriad of blogosphere mentions.  However, her fears were allayed when she saw that Lenny Kravitz had given the place his stamp of approval.


L’as du falafel was tremendous, as I had remembered it.  The crunchy falafel balls were small and perfectly fried, nestled in a fresh pita with heaping handfuls of cabbage, eggplant, and tahini.  It’s nothing like any other falafel that I have had here in NYC.  It’s tremendous.  Check it out.  Trust me.  Let me also mention that it was about 4pm, and we had 8pm reservations at Senderens for dinner.  Yeah.  It’s worth it.


Then we walked over to the 1st arrondissement, to get some French macaroons at the Ladurée located on the Champs Elysées.  The place was a madhouse, but we walked away with a variety of French macaroons in a variety of flavors (lemon, red fruit, vanilla, chocolate, caramel, pistachio).  These little guys were going to get devoured at a later time, however since it was time for dinner (!).



And on that note, I will stop myself again.

Is Michael Pollan Sustainable?

In an article today in the Los Angeles Times, it’s been highlighted that Michael Pollan is encoutering some serious pressure from agribusiness about his speaking tour, most recently at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.  The university was basically forced to convert the solo speaking arrangement into a panel discussion because of threats from CA agribusiness companies threatening to pull monetary donations from the school.  Really?  This is what it’s come to?

Now, you all know that I am not the biggest fan of MP (and I say this every time I write about him), but I think that the guy’s message still needs to be heard, and censoring him in his speaking tours is not the way to go.  I understand that it is a sensitive issue, and films such as Food, Inc, have brought to light the amount of sensitivity that exists, all the way up through Washington.  However, I think that there needs to a bit more “holding hands across the water” and on both sides.  MP needs to work with agribusiness to get the changes done, and the big agri-giants need to work like this giant and be a little friendlier to the guys who want to make some meaningful changes in the industry.

MP is not a monster, so don’t treat him like one.  Even Ahmadinejad gets to speak at the UN without censorship.

Hes a nice guy, see?

He's a nice guy, see?

Fall has arrived.


The weather has turned slightly cooler, and the air is crisp.  Fall has arrived, and it’s time to enjoy all of the splendor of the fall fruits and vegetables popping up at the farmer’s markets.  Of course the root vegetables are coming out in full force, but all sorts of cabbage and squash are making their appearances, and apple season is officially upon us.

At the market yesterday, I picked up some Ronnybrook yogurts (duh), and a few apples from the Terhune Orchards (jona mac and gala).  Next to the Ronnybrook stand has been the Sun Fed beef people, and they’ve been selling hard.  Uberchef and I went in halfsies on a couple of pounds of ground beef, which is going to be used in the bloggingforburgers ground beef taste test, to be scheduled for later this fall.  Their beef is grass fed and grain finished, depending on if it’s a heifer or a steer, and I’ve got high hopes.

I also picked up some sun gold tomatoes.  I’ve been obsessed with these things lately.  They are the sweetest tomatoes that you will ever find, and they are perfectly firm yet with a tender skin that pops in your mouth like a ripe grape.  I’ve been simply splitting them in half with a generous glug of extra virgin olive oil and a splash of balsamic.  Maybe a few rough-chopped leaves of basil and you’re golden.  Like a sun gold tomato, yuck yuck.

I also picked up some brussel sprouts from the Rexcroft Farm, since they’ve been staring me in the face for two weeks now.  They are sold fresh onthe branch (is that a branch, is it a root?).  I’m looking forward to roasting these guys with some oil/s/p and calling it a day.  Gotta love the fall.


My other purchases were not very exciting, so not worth getting into details.  I have decided that my second bo bo chicken (the silky chicken) will be finding its way into a braised dish at some point in the near future, so keep an eye out for him.

Uberchef also made a unique purchase o fa scarlett rose apple, drawn mostly by the “PINK FLESH!” sign that was positioned behind the bin of them.  Apparently it tasted like an apple, but it looked crazy!  It’s like a Dr. Suess apple.


Other than that, I’m getting ready to ship off to gay Paris in a couple of weeks.  I’ve already got my scarves and skinny jeans out, so I’m ready to go.

When pigs fly, they soar.

Settling down from a weekend filled with football and business school applications and babies, in whatever order you please.  Fantasy football is such a mixed bag this season, and my squads have been suffering from a general lack of attention on their coach’s part.  But alas, I digress.

I did some solid eating this weekend, from two of my favorite sources: burgergal and the flying pigs farm.

Flying pigs farm piggies.

On Friday night, after a long week slaving away at the office, BG treated me to a turkey meatloaf.  I treated both of us to a bottle of wine.  The meatloaf was great– sauteed mushrooms, fresh breadcrumbs made from the guys at not just rugelach, sauteed leeks, and some fontina cheese.  The cheese really added in a great earthiness that probably would have been missing since it was turkey meatloaf and not beef.  I’m not sure where she got the recipe, but just throw “turkey meatloaf fontina” into the google or the bing and see what happens.  I made a little root vegetable puree, since they are all showing up at the farmer’s markets these days.  All in all, a great weekend.

On Saturday, we headed out to the BK to visit the newest member of the b4b family– li’l G.  Once he gets teeth and starts eating solid food and is able to speak, he’ll be a regular contributor to the blog.  His favorite burger is at shake shack, but mostly because he likes their onesies.

Anyway, we took some Jane’s So Sweet Italian sausages out there, which we had purchased from the Flying Pigs Farm at the Union Square market last weekend, and they were awesome.  First of all, I have never seen so much fat render out of a pork sausage.  Those guys are doing something right with these pigs (actually, I think it’s that others are doing something wrong), and the quality of the meat is a testament to that.  Their breakfast sausage is also great.  We did that up with onions grilled in the pork fat (how could you go wrong?) and a salad with fresh figs, tomatoes, and blue cheese.  BG rocked the dressing, and we had some leftover meatloaf, which was just as good on the second day.  All in all, a great saturday afternoon.

Yesterday I hung out in my batcave for most of the day, but did manage to get out to the UWS farmer’s market, which I had never really been to before.  It had a pretty solid showing, so I was happy, since I needed some supplies.  I bought some of the usual things, fingerlings, tomatoes, not just rugelach bread, and then I got suckered into some bacon from the Tamarack Hollow Farm.  It was pretty pricey, but I guess quality bacon is always pricey.  I haven’t tried it out yet, but I’ll be sure to report how it compares to my peeps at the Flying Pigs.

It's time to go to burger school.

Self-taught burger school that is.  I consider it to be like my GED.  I have no formal training in the art of hamburger making, but I read about them a lot and I enjoy eating them even more.

I was inspired by this post on AHT, which, by the way, is the first post to show up on Google if you google “Minetta Tavern Burger.”  Those guys are good.  Damned good.  I want their SEO agency to work for b4b.

So I decided that I was going to do my own photojournal of me making a burger.  Sounds simple enough, but it’s actually kind of a PITA.  Making sure the lighting is right, getting the camera all set up, prepping, cooking, focusing, pushing the button, making sure my hair looks good even though my head is nowhere near any of the shots, the list goes on forever.

So, without further adieu, I present the bloggingforburgers photojournal, dated September 27th, 2009.  I know, the post is being written on September 29th.  Sue me.

The Day prior: Union Squre

Burgergal and I had to hit up the Union Square Farmer’s market to gather the essential supplies.  And take some pretty pictures.

Oooh, pretty.

Oooh, pretty.
Also pretty

Also pretty

You guessed it-- pretty!
You guessed it– pretty!
Pretty and cool.  They look like little watermelons but taste nothing like a big watermelon.
Pretty and cool. They look like little watermelons but taste nothing like a big watermelon.  They are little cucumbers.  And magic.

Come to think of it, I didn’t take any pictures of the supplies that I needed for the burgers.  This is probably mostly because I didn’t need them from the farmer’s market.  I just wanted to show off how sensitive and artsy I am through the camera lens.  I know what you’re thinking.

Yes, I am perfect.

Oh, but guess who I finally got to see again!!  Yeah, my boys from the Ronnybrook Farm.  Whatup!


Walked over to Ottomanelli to get some fresh ground chuck.  I know that bloggers in the ole blogosphere have mixed thoughts about Ottomanelli, but I am a fan.  They always do right by me when I head over there.  I got about a pound, so that BG and I could rock a couple of half-pound burgers, just like Minetta does.  Yes, I do have a weird obsession and want to do everything just like Minetta Tavern.

BG walked over and picked up a bag of brioche buns for the beefy perfection that I was going to be cooking up on the griddle.

I made two patties, loosely packed, and generously seasoned them with salt and pepper.


Then i threw them on the griddle, which I think is the best place for burgers to be cooked– otherwise, you don’t get an of that crispy exterior and you don’t get any of that sizzlin’ action.  Speaking of…


Minetta uses clarified butter- I used just the regular kind.  It worked pretty well.  I overcooked the burgers a touch, but they were still solid.


Don’t they look fake?

By the way, got wind of a potential trip to Minetta in my future (two weeks, actually).  You KNOW what I’m getting.

It feels good to Bayless.

Courtesty of

Courtesy of

Sustainable food sources took center stage at a chefs collaborative event over the weekend out in Chicago.  Rick “i’m the mexican man” bayless rocked out the mic with hard-hitting talk about sustainability in the food industry.  Ok, his talk wasn’t so hard-hitting (I mean, come on, you’ve seen the guy), but he had some great points about sustainable food sources and the progress that needs to be made in order to make this the way that Americans can eat.

As I’ve been saying, locally produced small-scale farming is the wave of the future– everyone has pointed to indepdendent business as the only way to get the economy jump-started again.  What better industry that the one that can jump-start the workers, too?

Anyway, check out this article, and hit the greenmarket this week.  BB can’t go this week, because of the UN General Assembly.

By the way, I did some serious eating this weekend, and as uberchef mentioned in his post, I’ve got more damage to do tonight.  Next up, fried chicken!