Not Your Grandma’s Roast Chicken



For most serious foodies, chicken has long been that “other” item on the menu — the one that you might order if it’s fried, but otherwise would never prioritize over pork or beef. But lately I’ve seen more than a few restaurants that put fowl front and center, making the humble bird their centerpiece dish. None more so than Le Coq Rico, which I first read about in The New York Times earlier this summer, and simply had to have their gloriously golden roast chicken, 100-degree weather be damned.

The restaurant was kind enough to share Chef Antoine Westermann’s recipe for the perfect roast bird, a deceptively simple dish where butter and olive oil rubbed all over — and inside — the chicken make a world of difference.

Roast Chicken, Westermann Style

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Pop-Up Dinner: A Scenic Feast

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Pop-up dinners are a thing. Just when you think you’ve caught on to the latest trend, something else “pops up” to slap you in the face and tell you how much you suck at staying up to date with the cool kids. Generally, pop-up dinners are a way of having a fancy meal wherever the eff you want. Typically, pop-up dinners take place outdoors in a very scenic area. Think candlelight dinners on the beach, sunsets in the country, farm-side dinners on the horizon, etc. Pop-up dinners can be hosted by friends and family, or they can be hosted by restaurants. We found out about this concept by getting an invite from my sister to her boyfriend’s farm. The dinner was a true attempt of farm to table (like…table is on the farm).

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The beauty of pop-up dinners are that anybody can do it anywhere…in theory. You just have to make sure you have a means of getting the food cooked and serving it to your guests. However, the options are endless in terms of decor and menu. At the pop-up dinner we attended, it was right next to the actual harvest of the farm. The scenery was the farmhouse on one side, and on all other sides were crops and farm life ranging from leafy greens and tomato plants to chickens and goats. The tables were under a few white tents, with strands of lights set up and a country-themed decor. Aside from being one of the most humid and hot days of the year, the scene was perfect.


One of my favorite parts of the concept of pop-up dinners is the menu. Hosts can craft the menu according to the setting. Whether it is a seafood while waterfront on a summer day, or fall harvest on the farm in the autumn, there are endless options in creating a menu that allows guests to appreciate the food in a different manner. At the farm in Maryland (Third Way Farm), The menu started with a charcuterie board followed by a salad made of all the crops harvested at Third Way Farm. The next course was a tomato gazpacho (from the farm) with berries, assorted melons, and spicy watermelon balls. Finally, the main course was a braised goat with the locally harvested vegetables from the farm followed by a bourbon honey ice cream over herbed peach galette.

The chefs at Laurrapin in Havre De Grace, MD came to the farm to cook the meal. While a lot of the food was brought over and then warmed, they tried to cook as much of the food as fresh as possible. They did a good job getting the food out hot for each guest and trying to incorporate the farm’s food into each course. The most challenging part of the pop up dinner is ensuring that you have the equipment necessary to serve your crowd. Planning is important for these kind of events but when done right, the reward is quite impressive! If you are bored of your regular restaurants and want to try something new and creative with some friends – pop-up dinners are a great way to jump into something hip and new!

Eureka Austin Nachos

Food Porn Champion: Nacho Mountain Part 2

Now I’ve written about Nacho Mountains before, but when lightning strikes twice, you must take note.

Eureka Austin Nachos

This pile of pleasure is from Eureka! in Austin – although they have locations in Washington and California as well, so if you are in any of those three states, you can summit this peak of chips and cheese for yourself. (And weirdly those are the three places I’ve lived, so I guess the relationship between these nachos and me is really meant to be).

These babies are comprised of hand-pulled, smoked chicken, black beans, guacamole, tomato, cilantro, Monterey Jack, sliced jalapeños, chipotle sauce, and sour cream. The chicken and the rich, smoky-sweet chipotle sauce are what really makes them. Oh, and the sheer size of them, of course. If there’s one thing Texas bars love, it’s serving me an irrationally large amount of nachos. Bless you, Texas.

Eureka Nachos Happy Hour Austin

Liberty Kitchen Austin Chef's Salad

Food Porn Champion: The Ultimate Meat Salad

Liberty Kitchen Austin Chef's Salad

Look at that. Would you call the above photo a salad or a giant pile of assorted meats and cheeses? Turns out, you’d be right either way.

This is the FeedTX Chef Salad (menu description: “chilled greens, cheeses, rotisserie meats, bay shrimp salad, hot smoked salmon, egg, avocado, tomato, cucumber”) at Liberty Kitchen, a popular Houston restaurant that recently opened another location in Austin. They feature all sorts of decadent meat and seafood dishes, and even a salad is not really a salad. I was disgustingly full after about half of this bad boy. I mean, “meats”… okay, there’s pork belly, turkey, chicken, bacon, and not to mention a giant hunk of smoked salmon AND shrimp salad. Talk about some protein.

This Exists: Pizza-Topped Pizza

Photos: Vinnie's Pizza

Photos: Vinnie’s Pizza

Last week, it was a slow day at a Williamsburg, Brooklyn pizzeria and the cooks decided to try something new: whipping up mini-sized pizzas and layering them on top of other pizzas. It was really just a joke — until they put a photo on Instagram, bloggers picked up the “news” and crazed customers demanded a taste of this pizza-topped. So Vinnie’s Pizzeria actually started offering “pizza on pizza” and in just a few days have sold some 400 slices. America: Is there anything we can’t do?

Read the full story on DNA Info.

Off the Grid BBQ Truck USVI

Endless Roadtrip USVI: BBQ Off the Grid

Off the Grid BBQ Truck USVI

As luck would have it, the BEST food truck in St. Thomas (or quite possibly, anywhere ever) just happened to be located in the entrance of Sapphire Village, right where we were staying on the East End. When we were in the Virgin Islands last month, we heard they were gearing up to open a second truck on nearby Coki Beach as well. Double your chances to get in on this mouth-watering meat wonderland!

Off the Grid is a BBQ truck with a vibrant Caribbean twist. Pay only $15 for all-you-can-eat meats of the day such as wings, pork belly, brisket, pulled pork (A++++!) ribs, and mussels. Yes friends, BBQ mussels, and they were amazing, basted in a sticky-spicy-sweet sauce. BBQ sides are Caribbean style as well: gooey baked sweet potatoes, spicy-creamy rainbow slaw, rice and peas, etc.

Fellow vacation lushes, don’t worry, because Off the Grid also offers a bevy of booze. I, of course, opted for the bottomless mimosas (mixed with a homemade tropical fruit blend instead of your average orange juice) but they had fresh margs, beer, sangria, the whole shebang. As you probably know, Austin is ridiculously rife with BBQ and food trucks, so you might think an Austinite wouldn’t be able to find the novelty in eating at a BBQ truck on vacation, but this was worlds away from Texas BBQ. Plus, no food truck in Texas has this view.

Off the Grid BBQ Truck USVI

Note: Off the Grid opens around 11am and closes when they run out of meat, often around 4-5pm. So plan on a big lunch/brunch here, not dinner. Bring your appetite and steel your liver.

More Endless Roadtrip USVI:
1. Caribbean Comfort at Gladys Cafe
2. Bones Rum Shop

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