27 10 2010

Having lived in the US for a number of years now, I am still amazed at the low quality of cheese. Strange thing to mention, but cheese is an important food item in Europe. The French, obviously, have amazing cheeses including Brie, Camembert, Roquefort, and various Bleu cheeses. The British have more cheeses than imaginable, including Red Leicester, Stilton, Double Gloucester, Single Gloucester and so on…

So, to see an advert for Kraft Single Slices as the ‘American Cheese’ is pretty funny to a European. Please tell me there are more cheeses in America than Kraft Single Slices…


Chicken Salad

12 03 2010

This morning I was tasked with making lunch for work, I was told to make chicken salad sandwiches. In my mind this means lettuce, tomato, cucumber and chicken, probably breast. But what I found was a tub of chicken in mayonnaise that said it was chicken salad.

Now, perhaps I have hit upon the issue of weight in America. People are told to eat more salad, and if they think that chicken in mayonnaise is salad then we end up with a weight problem.

As I pointed this out to my wife she promptly asked me what we call ‘chicken salad’ in the UK. To be honest, I do not know. When I worked in a cafe for a number of years we did sell something similar but we simply called it ‘chicken mayo’.

My wife loves to tell me how un-inventive we are in the UK, she will count out all the Kingstons, Yorks, Richmonds etc that we named when we landed in a new country, and she laughs at how we name food items so literally such as ‘cheese on toast’, ‘poached eggs’, and of course ‘chicken mayo’.

We might not be very inventive but we at least do not leave room for ambiguity!

Baltimore Restaurants

30 01 2010

While I am not a ‘foodie’, I do enjoy cooking and eating out. I have a number of cook books by Gordon Ramsay, Jamie Oliver and Jill Dupleix. I know who Heston Blumenthal, Fergus Henderson, and Ferran Adrià are. And I understand why snout-to-tail eating is so popular. But I would not say I am a ‘foodie’.

For a while, I did run a blog called ‘Baltimore Restaurants‘, not many people followed it and I ran out of steam. Partly because there are so few good restaurants to review in Baltimore and I can’t keep writing about them over and over again. I may import the blog posts in to this blog, so that if I don’t find a new restaurant, I can write about something else in the meantime.

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Cazbar – 316 N. Charles Street, Baltimore MD 21202

4 07 2009

Happy 4th.

To celebrate the wife and i went to Cazbar on Charles street. I had the okra with lamb, Wendy had the mousaka. The plates are huge so we took doggy bags home.

The lamb was great. Tender and well spiced. The mousaka wasn’t the best. It was too greasy, and had way too much cheese. The staff are really great. They can’t do enough for you and the food is good. Definitely worth a visit, but i’ll probably leave sometime before our next visit, it wont be on our regular rotation.

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Dukem – 1100 Maryland Avenue, Baltimore MD 21201

3 10 2008

The Wife and I are creatures of habit. We like things to be done in certain ways. This often leads us to have little arguments. The other week it was about my laundry. The Wife had graciously put my clothes in the wash. But instead of checking the pockets of my jeans, she just threw them in the washing machine. With my passport.

Now, that would have been fine if the passport wasn’t just a few weeks old, and I was travelling to Europe two weeks later. To put it mildly we had a little argument about the best way to wash our clothes. I like to throw my clothes in the basket, and then check everything before being washed. She puts clothes in the basket and then throws them in the machine. No checking. Needless to say, I now have a separate laundry basket, and I am responsible for my own washing.

This can be extended to any number of daily tasks in our house. Washing the dishes, cooking, cleaning. We both have our different ways of doing things.

One habit we both share is enjoying the great tasting food at Dukem Ethiopian restaurant. The Wife especially like Dukem, I have the feeling she would go every week if I let her. We did go every week for about five weeks once. Often, eating the same meal. It is that good.

The restaurant has been open for quite a while, they offer authentic Ethiopian cuisine. Thankfully there isn’t anything American-ized on the menu. They have a lot of Ethiopians who eat there regularly. A sure sign they know how to cook proper Ethiopian food.

There’s not much to look at inside. The restaurant is pretty basic and laid back. No need to get dressed here. The waitresses are very friendly and efficient. Upstairs is quiet, downstairs can get a bit drafty with the busy door opening and closing often.

The Wife usually has a glass of Chardonnay, and I have the Harar lager. Both are excellent. Even the Wife who detests beer, likes Harar.

As I mentioned, we have our favourites we stick to. The Dukem Special Lamb Tibs and Dukem Special Veggie Combo (3).  Don’t have the fish, that is Dukem’s only weak spot. The wife is an Island girl and knows a thing or two about good fish.

The lamb tibs are definitely tastier than the beef ones. I have heard other customers ask to have the jalapenos removed from the tibs. Don’t do that. Have them as they come, as the chef intended. You use an Ethiopian bread called Injera to pick up the food. Injera is also spread underneath the food. It sits there absorbing the tasty juices, waiting for you to eat enough to get access to all the sauce.

This is a great social place, also very romantic to be eating with your hands. Become a creature of habit like The Wife and I, visit Dukem regularly.

Grab lots of injera, be brave, dig in and enjoy.

The Wife’s Rating *****
My Rating ****

* Dukem Nukem
** Injured Injera
*** Say Wat?
**** Sweet Nectar
***** Fit for the Queen of Sheba

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