Eclectic Eats 5.1.15

I like bacon (don’t eat it often though).

I also like Oreos (which I consume less frequently than bacon).

While I enjoy both Oreos and bacon, the idea of bacon-wrapped Oreos doesn’t appeal to me. You can probably guess where this is going.

If you find the prospect of an Oreo/bacon union intriguing, head on over to Oh, Bite It!

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Pizza for breakfast? Sure.

Bacon, eggs, and cheese for breakfast? Most definitely.

Pizza with bacon, eggs, and cheese for breakfast (or any meal for that matter)?

(h/t Sploid)

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While that pizza sounds a bit too far out there for me, Hawaiian poke bowls are right up my alley:

These days, it seems like everyone is out to Chipotle-fy everything—from build-your-own rice bowls to pizza. The new kid on the block is customizable Hawaiian poke bowls, a craze we can get behind.

Mainland Poke Shop opened its doors over the weekend on 3rd Street, just steps away from Joan’s On Third and Juice Served Here. The fast-casual restaurant is the brainchild of Ari Kahan and Executive Chef Kayson Chong (formerly of BOA Steakhouse).

You start by picking a size for your poke bowl: large or small. Each order comes with a base of white or brown rice, kale or baby greens. Then you select as many options as you want from their bar. You can choose from their raw fish section, which include chunks of fresh tuna, salmon, albacore and a chef’s choice that haven’t been marinated. When we visited Mainland Poke Shop on Friday, their chef’s choice that day was sliced raw octopus. Then you can select any and as many of their seven sauces, which go from your basic shoyu all the way to Peruvian citrus and coconut sauce. They have unlimited toppings for you to tack on as well—from furikake to mango and green onions.

Kahan says that Mainland Poke Shop is choosing to serve poke that hasn’t been pre-marinated because the emphasis is on fresh fish, like the kind he was served on trips to Hawaii. He explained in a release: “By using only the prime cuts of fish, and only the best fish available, we have created a product on par with some of the city’s top sushi restaurants, while maintaining authenticity of flavor.”

The poke bar at Mainland Poke Shop (Photo by Jean Trinh/LAist)

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Anyone up for a funnel cake ice cream sandwich?

This delicious looking treat is courtesy of Ice Que, a new restaurant in Los Angeles, CA:

For now the FuNELLE cake is available only as vanilla mascarpone filled with strawberries. Ice Que’s John Park told LAist, “We want it to taste exactly like what you would have at Magic Mountain and Knott’s Berry Farm—funnel cake topped with powdered sugar, whipped cream and berries.” But he added there could be more flavor combinations down the road.

And, yes, the funnel cakes are made fresh to order. It’s hard to top that delectable combination of warm, crispy fried batter with sweet, frozen ice cream. Of course it’s topped off with powdered sugar. Did you even have to ask?

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I’ll finish off this collection of eclectic eats by returning to bacon. But not just boring old bacon. This time we’re talking some of the most…ummm…interesting bacon concoctions I’ve ever heard of, courtesy of the 7th Annual Baconfest Chicago:

Bacon fans are a passionate bunch of pork lovers, traveling far and wide and dressing up in all things pig-related to celebrate their love of the sweet and salty meat. The 7th annual Baconfest Chicago was a testament to their love, with 170 Chicago chefs serving up over 4,500 people this past weekend at UIC Forum. The two day event had three sessions, all with different chefs serving up their bacon-inspired treats alongside cocktails and craft beer selections. The event also raised $75,000 for the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

Here is sample of the treats on display:

Bacon chiyawanmushi from Slurping Turtle and chef Takashi Yagihashi. The warm eggy custard was made to order so everything was fresh and piping hot. Perfect slabs of thick bacon mixed with shiitake mushrooms and a bacon-dashi glaze was comforting and just the right amount of richness- a play on breakfast that we’d gladly eat every day.

Bacon tarte flambe from David Burke’s Primehouse and chef Jove Hubbard. One of the most visually striking dishes, this little square tarte had wonderful layers of flavors and textures, from a rich, slightly sweet Vidalia-braised bacon to a peppery bright hollandaise sauce and some nice crunch from the crispy leeks and buttery crust.

Bacon parfait from Bacaro and chef Thad Morrow. The words bacon mousse had me a bit worried but Bacaro’s bacon parfait was all about balance. It was surprisingly light and the raspberry bacon crumble brought a wonderful tartness to a dish that found the perfect ratio of sweet and salty.

You can check out more images (as well as descriptions of some of the dishes) over at Chicagoist.

Eclectic Eats 5.1.15

Interesting Eats

San Franciscans are lining up to eat this sushi-burrito hybrid

“Mutant foods” appear to be all the rage right now, from Dominique Ansel’s cronut to Keizo Shimamoto’s Ramen Burger. San Francisco-based Sushirrito, which serves a “sushi burrito” is a natural evolution of that trend, one born from necessity.

Years ago, founder Peter Yen worked downtown in San Francisco and found himself craving sushi for lunch, but did not have time for a sit-down meal. Nagged by a growing concern about overfishing that was decimating the seafood population, Yen began to dream up a new way to consume sushi that was fast, fresh, affordable, portable, and environmentally conscious. The sushi burrito was born.

We stopped by Sushirrito’s Union Square and FiDi locations in San Francisco to try the latest culinary phenomenon.


Though it takes the shape of a burrito, the sushi burrito definitely tasted like a fresh sushi roll. It was served chilled, for one thing. And each bite offered a distinct flavor and texture. The oven-baked salmon fell apart in my mouth, the pickled cucumbers burst with juiciness, and the rice and avocado provided a welcomed blandness.

The sushi burrito wasn’t the easiest food to wolf down, however. “The seaweed wrapper started breaking down almost immediately,” my coworker Levy noted. “But it’s cool, that’s why forks are available.”

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This may look like a typical cinnamon roll found in the States, but don’t be fooled.

If you’re like me, your mouth salivates at the thought of a delicious cinnamon roll (fresh and warm out of the oven…cooled just enough for the glaze to not drip off…I really want one now). The above cinnamon roll, however, is not something many people in the U.S. are familiar with. That’s because it’s a Swedish cinnamon roll. And it has cardamom. And less sugar. And no frosting.

Wait. Hold up a sec.

No frosting?

Not as witty as “I’m sick of  these motherfucking pastries without the motherfucking glaze”, but it still works.

If you think Swedish cinnamon buns are the icing-covered monstrosities at Ann Sather’s, you’re sadly missing out. Sweden’s cinnamon buns, known as kanelbullar, are far more delicious in more complex and subtle ways completely missing from American imitations. The main differences are:

Cardamom– Yes, they are cinnamon buns, but most Swedish recipes call for an absurd amount of fragrant cardamom as well.
Less sugar– much of flavor in the kanelbullar comes from great butter and high-quality spices, so less sugar is needed
No icing– Too much sugar also drowns out the butter and spice flavors and in American buns this often comes from icing. Swedes opt for little crystals of what’s known as pearl sugar instead, which looks suspiciously like pretzel salt.

I’m not totally knocking the American buns, which are good in their own way if done right, but the Swedish kanelbullar are delicious on a whole different level.

The pearl sugar and cardamom can present an obstacle, as cardamom is often sold in pods here and pearl sugar simply doesn’t exist in most American grocery stores. I suggest heading to your local spice shop and pick up either high quality ground cardamom or the seeds to grind at home. I get mine at Epic Spices. It goes without saying that good-quality cinnamon will make a difference as well. The pearl sugar can be acquired online or at the Swedish-American Museum. The Lars’ Own one also has a simple recipe with cup measurements and only two rises if this one is too complicated for you.

The recipe for these blasphemous pastries can be found at the link.

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Chicagoist Cheese of the Month:  Rogue River Blue

The cheese comes from Rogue Creamery in Oregon. While inspired by the practices in Basque and Provencal, Rogue Creamery has made something entirely their own. Rogue River Blue is made only with summer milk, which many find superior in flavor and texture for certain cheeses because of the animals’ fresh diet. The cheese is decked out with local Oregon offerings, wrapped in Carpenter Hill Vineyard Syrah leaves that have been macerated in Clear Creek pear brandy, imparting a rich, boozy savor. After being lovingly hand-wrapped, the cheeses are aged in facilities built to simulate the Roquefort caves in France, but imparting molds local to Rogue River Valley’s terroir. This cheese isn’t kidding around. This cheese is here to party.

Because of its seasonal nature, Rogue River Blue makes its annual debut in early autumn. The festive leaves and bright paste of this beautiful cheese call for celebration and indulgence, as does the hefty price tag of $42.99 per pound and up. Take your jaw off the floor: this cheese is worth it. The aroma is boozy and fruity, while the paste is velvety and soft like set buttercream frosting but with crunchy granules within the pockets of blue. It tastes like lemony fudge, with secondary flavors of yeast, spices and mission figs. Serve it with something a little sweet, like local honey, fig jam and port or barley wine.

Photography by Erika Kubick

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An edible Santa Sandwich that may be a tad creepy

Pepper-HO-HO-HO-ni // Oscar Mayer Heritage Recipe Pepperoni with cheese, marinara, and cream cheese.

Dibs on the arms!

And will someone eat those nasty eyes? Olives. Blech!

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Avicenna ate durian fruit

On a recent trip to Malaysia, Avicenna (one of the many great bloggers at Freethought Blogs) set out to find and eat durian fruit.  

For those unfamiliar with this fruit (me me me), durian is a fruit native to Southeast Asia. Apparently it has a distinctive, strong, and (for many) highly unpleasant odor.  Le Wiki has this to say about the fruit:

Regarded by many people in southeast Asia as the “king of fruits”,[3] the durian is distinctive for its large size, strong odour, and formidable thorn-covered husk. The fruit can grow as large as 30 centimetres (12 in) long and 15 centimetres (6 in) in diameter, and it typically weighs one to three kilograms (2 to 7 lb). Its shape ranges from oblong to round, the colour of its husk green to brown, and its flesh pale yellow to red, depending on the species.

The edible flesh emits a distinctive odour that is strong and penetrating even when the husk is intact. Some people regard the durian as having a pleasantly sweet fragrance; others find the aroma overpowering and revolting. The smell evokes reactions from deep appreciation to intense disgust, and has been described variously as rotten onions, turpentine, and raw sewage. The persistence of its odour has led to the fruit’s banishment from certain hotels and public transportation in Southeast Asia.

After a bit of searching, Avicenna succeeded in finding and eating some of the fruit (it is currently out of season):

Yep. I ate Durian. And here is the thing?

It wasn’t that bad. Okay the smell was strong. It wasn’t nauseating but it smelt a bit like rotting vegetation. It was pervasive. Just having it in the car had me go “that’s a strong smell”. It managed to get everyone in the house realise we had bought a durian and indeed come down to eat it.

Let us just say Hera and her family REALLY like the fruit and I can see why.

So in this trip I ate a Durian Custard Pastry, Some Durian in a Roll and a fresh Durian.

The smell was strong in all of them. You could tell it was durian and I have a strange feeling Hera wanted me to try it so had told various people to get me anything durian to try.

But the taste. The smell is a little off putting but I had one advantage. I had smelt worse things. Much much worse things and we will look at those things on a later date. A little sweet and cloying and strong, but the taste.

It tastes amazing. It’s like a custard tart type of texture and sweet but not too sweet. There is a slight savoury taste to boot. I was sold on the prepared stuff and I am sold on the actual fruit. I would encourage everyone to try it, but I know the problem is the smell.

India’s various odours may have helped inured me to the fragrance and the taste may put people off. Maybe some people are sensitive to it.

IF you would like to reward my culinary foolhardiness then please do so by donating to ASTI. We are donating as open atheists and skeptics from FTB so if you wish to be seen and heard as atheists who do charity then pass the word. Sadly there are no videos of me eating Durian but if I do go in season? We can do that too!

If you have some spare cash, maybe you can donate.

Interesting Eats

The Great Big Pop Culture Link Round Up 11.13.14

The strangest looking pancakes I’ve ever seen. But hey, Nathan Shields sure is creative.

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 Bruce Campbell to headline Starz’s ‘Evil Dead’ tv series

Officially titled “Ash Vs. Evil Dead,” the 10-episode series will look in on Ash Williams, “stockboy, aging lothario and chainsaw-handed monster hunter who has spent the last 30 years avoiding responsibility, maturity and the terrors of the Evil Dead.” However, when a new Deadite plague is set to destroy humanity, Ash needs to get back into gear to take down the undead menace and vanquish his personal demons.

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Eminem raps about committing violence against Lana del 

Eminem dropped a new freestyle video on Vevo where he raps that he’ll punch Lana Del Rey “in the face twice, like Ray Rice.”

Yes, the rapper is talking about the Baltimore Ravens running back who was suspended after he was caught on a surveillance camera in an elevator punching his then-fiancée and now-wife Janay Rice earlier this year.

Eminem’s promoting his upcoming Shady Records compilation Shady XV with this track, which has these disturbing lyrics:

But I may fight for gay rights, especially if the dyke is more of a knockout than Janay Rice / Play nice? Bitch I’ll punch Lana Del Rey right in the face twice, like Ray Rice in broad daylight in the plain sight of the elevator surveillance / ’Til her head is banging on the railing, then celebrate with the Ravens.

Gendered and homophobic slurs, as well as talking about committing violence against women?  Fuck you Eminem!

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I found a really cool site called DC Women of Color. It’s a tumblr dedicated to Women of Color in DC Comics (whether it’s print, animation, or live-action).  I recommend visiting it (I’m going through the archives at the moment and there’s a lot of cool stuff as well as commentary from the blogger).

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You will believe a dog can fly hover

My Modern Metropolis has some humorous photos by German photographer Julia Christe.  The images are of various kinds of dogs as they leap in the air.  Have a look-see:

The Great Big Pop Culture Link Round Up 11.13.14

The Great Big Pop Culture Link Round Up

Guess who’s playing this ↓ guy?

This ↓ guy:

The long-discussed “Gambit” film starring Channing Tatum in the lead role is officially a go at 20th Century Fox, Deadline reports Friday.

Tatum will also be a producer on the film, along with Reid Carolin (his partner in production company Free Association) plus long-time X-Men movie producer Lauren Shuler Donner and genre veteran Simon Kinberg. Josh Zetumer, who wrote this year’s “Robocop” reboot, has been hired to write the screenplay. In an unexpected move, Zetumer’s script is reportedly based on a treatment by prolific X-Men writer Chris Claremont, the character’s co-creator.

As one of the most popular (and polarizing) X-Men characters, a solo “Gambit” movie has been a source of speculation for years. Tatum has long publicly expressed his appreciation of the character and desire to play Gambit on screen, and Donner discussed wanting to make the film happen on the promotional trail for this year’s “X-Men: Days of Future Past.” For months, reports have surfaced that Tatum as Gambit was virtually a done deal, but Friday’s report is the first that states the film is officially in motion at Fox.


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Carol Danvers is *the* Captain Marvel. Deal with it.

From Fawcett’s creation of the original Captain Marvel in 1939 to the various heroes who have held that name, Brett White lays out the reasons readers need to accept Carol Danvers as Captain Marvel.


I mentioned before that these attempts to lionize the male Captain Marvel while diminishing the female one are dangerous. Here’s why: it’s casual misogyny. I will givesome Cap Trolls the benefit of the doubt, because they could have just had a slip of the Twitter tongue, be genuinely confused, or have an old habit they’ve yet to break. But in other cases, yes, it’s casual — or straight up intentional — misogyny. It shows an unwillingness to progress past the era when all female heroes had to have gendered codenames. It shows a preference towards female heroes that are obvious analogues of male heroes. It completely overlooks the fact that a surprising number of female heroes already have a tenuous grasp on their codenames as it is.

In his excellent essay over at Comics Alliance, “Lady She-Woman: Female Superhero Codenames And Identity,” Andrew Wheeler broke down the facts behind female hero code names. Most women either have gendered codenames (Black Widow, Scarlet Witch, Huntress), codenames tied to male heroes (She-Hulk, Ms. Marvel, Batgirl, Supergirl), or don’t go by a codename at all (Kitty Pryde, Emma Frost, Danielle Moonstar, Misty Knight). Men, on the other hand, get to have gender-neutral codenames (Hawkeye, Quicksilver, Nightwing), they get to originate codenames (Hulk, Captain Marvel, Batman, Superman), and the majority of them have codenames.

When Cap Trolls argue that Captain Marvel will be reduced back to Ms. Marvel, they are touching on a very real — and dangerous — trend in comics that treats female hero codenames as interchangeable. The two previous female Captain Marvels, Monica Rambeau and Phyla-Vell, know this all too well. Rambeau debuted as Captain Marvel but lost the codename when Genis-Vell took it. That pattern repeated itself when Rambeau had her new codename, Photon, stolen by Genis-Vell. Phyla-Vell took on the codename Quasar after ditching the Marvel moniker, but she had to give it up just as soon as the original Quasar, Wendell Vaughn, returned from the dead. She then took on the name Martyr and, well, died. The same really can’t be said for male heroes; even when Peter Parker is no longer Spider-Man, there’s no uncertainty that he’s going to be back in the webs again. The same has also proven true for Thor and Captain America in the past, and will definitely prove true again when their current replacements — one of whom is a woman — run their course. Yes, there’s a history of women having their codenames taken away from them, but that doesn’t mean that history should keep repeating itself. The Captain Marvel codename needs to stop with Carol Danvers because this trend needs to be broken.

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 Lemony Snicket adaptation coming to Netflix

On the heels of picking up AwesomenessTV’s live-action comedy Richie Rich, the streaming company has acquired rights to the best-selling series of books A Series Of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket, with plans to adapt them as a live-action series. Search is underway for a director to help re-create Snicket’s visual world on TV. Netflix is producing the project, which is being fast-tracked, with Paramount Television. Paramount was behind the 2004 movie starring Jim Carrey, which grossed $209 million worldwide.

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 Portraits painted on film negatives by Nick Gentry

As part of an effort to repurpose obsolete media, London-based artist Nick Gentry paints on cut film negatives to create works of art.

Here is Gentry’s website.

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Just say no to Pepsi True?

I would have anyways because I think Pepsi is awful–it’s far too sweet (I love Coke though). Rebecca Fishbein tried Pepsi True and I’m not sure, but I think she didn’t like it:

Here’s a little food-related rage for your Friday. We were offered free samples of Pepsi True, a new stevia-sweetened soda from PepsiCo that purports to have “Real Cola Taste. True Pepsi Fun.” It’s made without artificial sweeteners and high fructose corn syrup, and it has only 16 grams of sugar. And guess what—it’s disgusting.

It is as lethally saccharine as the faux-stevia poison that killed a bad lady on that TV show I won’t name-drop for the sake of spoiler preservation. It tastes like food coloring that’s been soaked in a noxious chemical and the chalky caramel they use in calcium chews. It does not taste like Pepsi, and it does not taste like Diet Pepsi. It does not taste good.

She ought to stop beating around the bush and say how she truly feels.

The Great Big Pop Culture Link Round Up