Free association

After a week of no-holds-barred eating, I’m ready for tea and toast.  My Thanksgiving week indulgences covered everything from chicken gumbo to brownies to mashed potatoes made with a cow’s worth of heavy cream, including detours through ham, turkey, pot roast,spatchcocked chicken, sweet potato crunch, almond cakes, cupcakes, and pralines.

By last Wednesday, I was already feeling the need for a little restraint, so I opted for the veggie burger at Tru Burger (8115 Oak St, New Orleans, LA; 504.218.5416).  Oy, what a mistake!  Now, I’m not a veggie-burger-hater in general terms; in fact, the housemade veggie burger at Cowbell just down the street is right tasty.  Tru Burger’s meatless patty should be renamed the BeetBurger.  It was, as far as I could tell, 99% shredded beets.  One bite revealed an interior color far more gory than a rare beefburger, with an ultra-beet flavor to match.  Honestly, I couldn’t finish it; too earthy, with an odd, intermittent crunch (crisped crust?  undercooked beets?)  To a beet-lover, the burger is probably heaven.  To the beet-indifferent (moi), it was far too much.

To wrap up today’s free association, I’d love to hear about your favorite San Francisco food spots, as I’m headed to the West Coast next week.

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3 thoughts on “Free association

  1. I’m regretting not making or getting any sweet potato crunch this past Thanksgiving. I did have an interesting holiday, though. My wife and I decided to take it easy in the morning. We went to a local Lafayette diner called Mel’s which has a really kitschy 50’s vibe to it. Had a really good breakfast of chopped steak, eggs, hash browns and biscuits with white gravy. It was the first time I had ever gone out to eat on Thanksgiving. It was actually pretty nice.

    Later on that day, we were planning on going to a friend’s house for dinner. I decided to get a little exotic and make a spicy chicken curry with peanut butter over noodles. It was a big hit at the dinner party. The food and the party were both really impressive. My friend is a fellow artist, so it was a mixture of her family, old friends and a lot of our fellow, crazy artist friends. Beside my curried noodles, we had some really moist, roasted turkey, oyster and cornbread dressing, turnip greens with ham, Caesar salad, homemade cranberry/mixed berry sauce, shepherd’s pie (there were some Brits there), pumpkin cheesecake, chocolate pecan pie, and cupcakes. I was so stuffed, I didn’t even make it to dessert. In appreciation for the hospitality, my wife and I did most of the dishes. After that, we went outside for drinks and a bonfire while talking into the wee hours of the night. It was probably one of the best Thanksgivings my wife and I have ever had. It was just easy and a lot of fun!

    This weekend, my wife and I went to our local Cracker Barrel restaurant. I ordered some pecan pie with vanilla ice cream to make up for missing out on some of the Thanksgiving treats. It wasn’t sweet potato crunch, but I was still grateful for it!

  2. Highly recommended from my fellow foodies on the West coast:
    Szechun chain named “Brandy Ho’s” – spicy onion Cakes, BBQ Ham (not too spicy), dumplings. It is at Columbus Circle where Little Italy and ChinaTown meet.
    Around the corner is “Prik King”-only seats 10 people so be prepared for a line
    Yang Sing – pricy but worth it.
    Have fun!

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