Jenny Famewhore

Thursdays in the Heights: Orinoco

Posted in Boston by Jenny Famewhore on February 25, 2010

Orinoco’s Delicious Latin Flavor Is A Steal

By Jenny Liu

Published: Wednesday, February 24, 2010

There are some restaurants that I believe could easily charge a higher price for their food without customers complaining, and I suspect that Orinoco may be one of them.

The entrance is set back in a thick curtain, but once I fought my way through it, off of sunny Harvard Street, I was faced with a high-ceilinged room, cozy in its dimness, with wooden booths. Old black and white family photos, nostalgic and fading, stretch upwards, and indigenous masks in bright colors cluster against an exposed brick wall. A long family table situated in the center of the room, flanked by 10 robin-blue chairs, subliminally suggests a grand family gathering. I could imagine the yells of children fighting over fried, sweet plantains as the grownups sip cold, spicy mojitos. Lively melodies of salsa and merengue ebb and flow, becoming less noticable if there is food present in front of me, at that point in time.

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Be still my heart

Posted in Boston by Jenny Famewhore on February 23, 2010

On Eric’s visit last weekend, we ate up Boston. Ate it all up. The experience was akin to those multiple orgasms that leaves you dizzy from all the blood rushing away from the brain towards more sensual organs, like the stomach.

I want to go back to languishing at: Orinoco in Brookline (Venezuelan), Helmand in Cambridge (Afghan), Neptune Oyster in the North End (Oyster bar), Sibling Rivalry in Back Bay (New American), and Sel de la Terre on Newbury Street (American).

I’ll let these photos write my thousand words for me: (click an image for slide show & commentary)

Yeah. Just hold on a sec. Need to get these pants undid.

40 days and 40 nights

Posted in Boston by Jenny Famewhore on February 18, 2010

Not eating out in Boston

I am: a severe glutton, and attending a Catholic-affiliated university.

I am not: Catholic. Nor an industrious kitchen wench.

Sabrina and Jessica separately pointed me to  Not Eating Out In NY within the same day. I took this as a cosmic sign that maybe there was something a little excessive about ordering in and eating out about eight times within the first half of February. And I’m not talking about picking up a Boston Creme at Dunkin’ Donuts. I’m referring to blowout three courses, and tips in the double digits. In the spirit of Lent, I will give up eating out and ordering in. Maybe this will be the year I make it all the way to the end with better command of my self-control than years before (those were tough. You guys! I had to cut out cheese and baked goods. That’s like asking Kate Moss to give up cocaine. No one dares!)

The challenge:

No restaurant meals, no take-out, no prepared or frozen cuisine. Essentially, if someone else is cooking and I am relinquishing my dollar bills, mug me, gag me, give me stern spankings, whatever.

Inconveniently due to food column assignments, skiing trip in Maine, and Boston Restaurant Week— a gangbang of obstacles all rolling up in the next month, I will concede to several exceptions:

1. As long as the food is not paid for by myself (someone else is footing the bill).

2. Seven “cheat” meals for travel and restaurant week’s sake. Technically, it is 47 days between the start of Lent and Easter, because “Sundays don’t count,” so I am still doing 40 days.

45 days remaining  ’til April 04, 2010

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Thursday in the Heights: The Armaggedon Burger

Posted in Recipes by Jenny Famewhore on February 11, 2010

The Armageddon Burger

By Jenny Liu

Published: Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Originally Titled, "French Toast- Bacon Apple Turkey-Burger"

It is your last meal on earth. In these hours of armageddon, what will you eat?

I contemplated this for a while, and after toying with the concept of combining filet mignon, foie gras, and caviar into one expensive last stand, I instead determined that for a final meal, it would be more appropriate to salute America, the country whose fruitful bounty has sustained my past 20 years of existence. In keeping with the American spirit, this dish must be excessive. It should also include breakfast, lunch, and dinner, for the opportunity to experience all three, one last time.

Those who are faint of heart or morally opposed to carnivorous feeding frenzies, you may want to cover your eyes.

It is irrelevant where the burger was invented and who served it first. What matters is that a burger is synonymous with the American food identity. But instead of the usual beef patties, it was only natural to include turkey and apples, as food items entrenched in American folklore with the pilgrims and Johnny Appleseed. Remember him? Who knew that his legacy would one day include inspiring recipes for heart attacks?

Instead of buns, let’s be daring and replace them with French toast, smothered in eggs and bacon grease. Did I forget to mention that there is bacon? Yes, before anything, it should be sizzling on that stove with the noble purpose of seasoning the pan with its grease for the egg-soaked bread and applesauce-infused turkey patties that are waiting to leap into that bath of piggy essence.

When the bacon, French toast, and turkey patties are cooked, assemble them in the way that is most logical to you, adding the condiments and cheese, of the American variety of course. Sprinkle the confectioner’s sugar over the French toast buns and liberally douse it in maple syrup — “like the Niagara” would be a suitable simile in this context. It would be wise to eat this monster of a burger with utensils, but then again, caution is for survivors.

After that, maybe down a few antacid tablets to ensure that the acid heart reflux will not interfere with the final pleasure of such decadence. Just in case.

You know you’re curious about how this baby was formed, continue here: http://www.bcheights.com/arts/the-scene/the-armageddon-burger-1.1124573

Btdubs, I wanna know, what would y’all eat in the event of a zombie apocalypse?

I love my vajayjay

Posted in Boston by Jenny Famewhore on February 9, 2010

It can get me $5 Filet Mignon, Delmonico rib-eye, lobster orecchiette, and goat cheese mashed potatoes.

But…

Aw, now I gotta pay for a $3 water. Vie de merde.

A dessert a day

Posted in Boston by Jenny Famewhore on February 9, 2010

Iced Green tea with lychee jelly & Azuki Puff

It’s true what they say about sugar. It’s addictive, and your body craves more once you start. The trick is to never start, impossible!, or intake very limited amounts. I rarely drink sodas and juices (though not for this reason), sticking to teas (chai, jasmine, oolong), which normally tempers these terribly unhealthy pangs of want. But having access to an oven in the dorm room compels me to bake… carcasses of sugar and butter boxes pile up in the recycling bin at an alarming rate.

Some pastries however, are so worth it. This Azuki cream puff from Cafe Japonaise on Comm Ave, nr. Babcock St., is worth it. The outside is a crispy layer of croissant, with a dense buttery bottom holding in the smooth, silky custard and thick, sweet red bean paste. At $3.25, I could eat at least four more if I didn’t have an excess supply of recently baked lemon drop cupcakes. After this past weekend’s loaded “Armageddon Burger” (a recipe coming out in this week’s BC Heights, if all goes well) I should not have even looked its way to begin with. However, this little cream puff was so seductive and electrifying that after the first two bites, I was already sinisterly plotting on how to make it mine– replicating the recipe, and distributing it in the restaurant I may one day open.

Hm, maybe I shouldn’t state that in print.

Referenced Locations:

Cafe Japonaise
1032 Commonwealth Ave
Newton, MA 02459
www.japonaisebakery.com

Thursday in the Heights: Best Ramen in Boston

Posted in Boston by Jenny Famewhore on February 9, 2010

Who Prevails In The Japanese Ramen Battle?

By Jenny Liu

Men Tei: Tonkatsu Ramen

Ken's Ramen: "The Sapporo"

Published: Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The master sagely directs, “First, observe the whole bowl. Savor the aroma, jewels of fat glistening on the surface, shinachiku roots shining, seaweed slowly sinking, spring onions floating. Concentrate on the three pork slices. They play the key role but stay modestly hidden. Then poke the pork.”

“Eat the pork first?” the disciple asked, bewildered.

“No. Just touch it. Caress it with the chopstick tips. What’s important here is to apologize to the pork by saying, ‘See you soon.’”

That was the most famous bit of dialogue from the 1985 Japanese movie, Tampopo. Since its release, hundreds of new noodle shop owners have claimed to be deeply inspired by this classic film, and just as many have named their ramen joints after Tampopo. The ramen culture extends far beyond the packs of cardboard and powder that turn into a nutrition-less meal familiar to most college students. Like the discussion on where the best burger can be found, where the best ramen can be found is a passionately debated topic.

When I think about the criteria for a good ramen joint, I think about the many bowls of noodles I have consumed in ramen lover’s paradise, Tokyo. Ramen in Tokyo is available in many different styles, from Hokkaido in the north, to Kyushu in the south. However, despite the subtle and varied differences between the styles, there are essentially three components by which ramen can be judged: the texture of the noodle, the taste of the broth, and the quality of the toppings. Although, in the end, you do not need to be a professional food critic to instinctively know whether or not the ramen tastes good.

Unlike Tokyo, where ramen bars are as abundant as Starbucks is in America, Boston has less than a handful. I decided to eat at the two most talked about places in this ramen-deprived city — Ken’s Ramen House at Packard’s Corner on the B line, and Men Tei, near the Hynes Convention Center.

For more ramen imagery and the verdict, continue reading at: http://www.bcheights.com/arts/the-scene/bite-of-boston-1.1113196

P.S. Oh boy, this gets me geared up for some epic Tokyo ramen showcase entry.

Cheese log 1.0

Posted in cheese by Jenny Famewhore on February 5, 2010

Because I just wanna

Chaume

Chaumes

Cow’s milk; Southwest France

Mild, creamy, has a tangerine-orange soft rind with little speckles of white like dandruff. Chaumes is very squishy (texturally similar to epoisses), it is almost runny– the same sensation as spreading jam over your crackers or licking a frozen custard. The smell and taste is mild enough that it won’t even offend the sensitive olfactory of pregnant women, if that’s your crowd.

Jenny’s Cheese-o-meter: ★


Sottocenere with Truffles

Sottocenere al tartufo (with Truffles)

Cow’s milk; Venice Italy

Aged: 90 days. Barely legal.

Ever since I found out that truffle oil was fake, and not made from real truffles, I’ve been mighty wary of things that include these notorious ‘shrooms. Luckily, you can see the slivers of black truffles chilling in it. This semi-hard block of bovine by-product is rubbed in ashes (tricked out with spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, and a bit of licorice)– and the musky, earthy flavor is released into your mouth. No, my dirty brain couldn’t resist. Even at 20$ per pound, I’d still eat this over a crumpled Jackson any day. I’m going to cut this baby up and put it in my breakfast of scrambled eggs. Jealoussss?

Jenny’s Cheese-o-meter: ★★

★ Like it | ★★ Love it | ★★★ Jizz in my pants
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