Twenty-sixth Day of Lent

My good friends Missy & Beaudon – and their sons Alex & Chase – got in town today, visiting from Longwood for the weekend.  They met me, Susan, & Meredith at my favorite happy hour spot – Salt7 – for some cocktails and apps before headed to dinner after Casey, Roger, and Katelynne got there.

Today’s choice for dinner was Racks Fish House & Oyster Bar.  I honestly have never dined there for dinner – only for a stone crab claw at the bar once.  I was impressed by the menu and the extensive bar selection.

I started with the raw bar – in the steam kettles they make a daily preparation of mussels.  Today’s preparation was in a white wine, butter, & garlic sauce with jalepenos and andouille sausage.   Very tasty – I could have used more sausage though.  After all – I gave up bacon for Lent… ha!  (Missy got the same thing but without the sausage… I asked for her sausage)

mussels

For our entree, Susan and I split the seared scallops & pork belly – now that’s more like it.  This came in a vanilla puree, mushrooms, and a truffle shallot jus.  The scallops were huge!

scallops

I washed it down with a couple IPAs, Susan had a couple glasses of pinot grigio.  Nice evening with some good friends!

3rd Sunday of Lent

Ah, Sunday – another day we can eat sweet, sweet bacon.  But have you ever imagined bacon in a healthy meal?  Well boys and girls, I’ve been on sort of a health kick, running three times a week and working out in days between.  And with the new health kick, I’ve been trying to eat better.  You many not believe it from all the posts and pictures in this blog, but I’ve got a couple health(ier) recipes up my sleeve.

One of my favorites is a Bacon Raspberry Vinaigrette Salad.  As the base, I use spinach, bacon crumbles, and a raspberry vinaigrette dressing.  Then I start looking in the fridge to see what I can add to it – shrimp, for example, makes a nice protein.

Next comes the cheese.  Usually, I use gorgonzola, but feta or bleu cheese works too.

Today, I found some blackberries that were left over from National Margarita Day, so I threw some of those in along with some bleu cheese crumbles and topped with crushed peanuts.

Bacon Raspberry Vinaigrette Salad with Blackberries and Bleu Cheese

Bacon Raspberry Vinaigrette Salad with Blackberries and Bleu Cheese

Whaddya think?

Delray Beach Bacon & Bourbon Fest

from Flickr Creative Commons

from Flickr Creative Commons

Hey South Floridians!  My own city of Delray Beach – which was named 2012 Most Fun Town in America by Rand McNally & USA Today – is hosting its own bacon festival!  From the same people that bring you the Delray Beach Garlic Fest and the Wine & Seafood Festival comes the 1st Annual Delray Beach Bacon & Bourbon Fest, March 28 & 29th!  And because March 29th falls on a Sunday, all you people that gave up bacon for Lent need not worry – come and enjoy the bacon!

This event, 3 years in the making, will celebrate our most flavorful food and the quintessential American liquor.  Why bacon & bourbon?  “We just thought it would be a great hook to come up with some creative menus with bacon and bourbon,” said Nancy Stewart, executive director of the festival.

The Delray Beach Bacon & Bourbon Fest will be a little more upscale than the city’s other festivals.  No plastic cups here – bourbon will be served in glassware.  Also, there are only a limited number of tickets available.

From their website:

“We bring you a wide ranging menu of bacon and pork related dished from the sublime (Braised Pork Bellies with Tamari, Garlic, Ginger & Chili Peppers) to the insane (Bacon Ice Cream anyone?). Menu items developed by chefs exploring the boundaries of New American Cuisine and the Farm to Table movement to good old fashioned comfort foods, just like Mom used to make!”

“Completing the palate pleasing properties of bacon, we also bring to you an eclectic selection of bourbon and whiskeys. The distiller’s art and patient techniques are shared in a series of seminars and tastings. All intended to enhance your knowledge and pleasure of American made Bourbon and whiskey. Although, we may throw an Irish-made whiskey into the mix for historical purposes.”

For more info and to purchase tickets. visit http://www.delraybaconfest.com/, and check out their Facebook and Instagram pages too!

 

Second Sunday of Lent

Happy March everyone!  It’s the first day of March and the 2nd Sunday of Lent – and as I told you last Sunday, Sundays have never been included in Lent, so whatever you gave up on Ash Wednesday is fair game!  Bring on the bacon!

Now what to eat as a side to my main course of bacon?  Haha… well, I decided to make a “clean out the fridge” omelet, so I ended up with this beaut with spinach, Asiago cheese, onion, and tomato.

Building an omelet

Building an omelet

And I curled some scallions by cutting razor-thin slivers and soaking them in cold water – pretty, huh?

IMG_3754

Eighth Day of Lent

It’s Thursday, February 26th.  That means it’s Throwback Thursday.  While, “Throwback Thursday” is a hashtag for old photos on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram (#ThrowbackThursday, or #tbt for short), Throwback Thursdaze is a great deal at Tijuana Flats.

First of all, I like Tijuana Flats because of their vast hot sauce selection.  I’m a hot sauce addict, with around 20 bottles of varying types, flavors, and strengths in my cupboard and fridge at any given time.  Tijuana Flats has a hot sauce bar while dining in, and you can take little containers home with you when taking out:

Hot sauce bar at Tijuana Flats

Hot sauce bar at Tijuana Flats

On Throwback Thursdaze, Tijuana Flats offers a deal on burritos – get one of their hefty stuffed burritos, chips, and a drink for $5.99.  I went with the beef burrito, all-the-way:

Beef burrito to go

Beef burrito to go

Another great non-bacon choice during Lent 2015.  Viva las Throwback Thursdaze!

Seventh Day of Lent

Susan and I decided to catch up with our friend Danielle, who is one of my best friends, foodie, and 2013 (?) Broward/Palm Beach Yelper of the Year or something like that, so she is always suggesting new places to eat.  She asked me if The Gluttonous Goat will be too tempting.  I’m not sure what she meant by that – maybe that I would break down and order a bacon dish?  Well, I didn’t need to because everything was just as tempting.

She decided to order a few appetizers to get started.  I wasn’t able to document all of them because we ate them so fast, but I got a few shots.  First was the fried mashed potatoes, served with a jalapeno sour cream:

Fried baked potatoes

Fried baked potatoes

The next app were the braised beef brisket tacos.  The beef is made with a chili cilantro rub and is served on the taco with fire-roasted tomato & corn relish – I devoured these:

Braised beef tacos

Braised beef brisket tacos

After a couple more apps we were about to call it a night, but I couldn’t leave without trying the braised short rib.  This came with a caramelized agave glaze, potato aioli, smashed root vegetables, creamed corn, and tobacco onions.  It just fell apart with a fork and was melt-in-your mouth good.

Braised short rib

Braised short rib

Not bad for a meal without bacon!  Finally, the bartender Joe and the co-owner Mike couldn’t have been nicer.  Definitely visiting again soon!

Sixth Day of Lent

It’s February 24, 2015… also known as Taco Tuesday – that day of the week where restaurants try to draw in more customers with taco specials.  We see it as a time to get some great meat eats!

We decided to hit one of Delray Beach’s favorites for Taco Tuesday, a place called El Camino.  On Tuesdays, their entire taco offering is $2 each, and the place is packed all day.  And El Camino doesn’t serve your Americanized, “hard shell with tomato and lettuce and cheddar cheese” tacos.  These are built with house-made corn tortillas and love.

First we went with our favorite, the Barbacoa:  brisket, cilantro, queso fresco, onions, and salsa borracha:barbacoa

Now, because we’re craving bacon, we’ll have some pork… next is the Carnitas:  spicy braised pork, morita salsa, and queso fresco:

carnitas

Finally, the Pork Belly.  Now, some of you might say, “Well, bacon is pork belly!”  We reply, “Hey – it isn’t cured in sodium nitrite.”  This Pork Belly Al Pastor is made with annatto, N.M. red chile, onions, and pineapple-arbol salsa:

pork_belly

We could have kept on going down their taco menu, but had other places to be.  Plus, the cocktails at the bar are out of this world, so you gotta check El Camino out – Lent or no Lent.