Sunday, 31 March 2013

Living a Foodie Kind of Life: Boston, Thursday (3/21)

Greetings from Southfield! This week has been wicked hectic as of late, having just recently returned from my long anticipated trip to Boston for the Eastern Sociological Society's annual meeting. After an extremely short time this week in the office, I headed over to The Ohio State University for a fellowship nominee visit to campus and am now home for the Easter break. Before I get too far behind (or at least further behind than I already am as of this post) and write about this past week's Food and Culture Colloquium module, I wanted to be sure I transferred my food adventures throughout Boston into blog form. I've been debating on how I should structure this series of posts and have elected to break it up into five separate posts, one for each of my very packed days. And so, read on at your leisure for Thursday, March 21st.

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Restaurant Review: Vinsetta Garage

Vinsetta Garage on Urbanspoon

Late night greetings, dear Reader! I know I have a ton of blogging still to catch up on, but I did want to make sure I got this one written sooner rather than later. Opened in 2011 along Woodward Ave in Berkley, MI, Vinsetta Garage (not to be confused by nearby Vinsetta Grill) proclaims a byline on its neon signage which reads "Custom Detroit Eats". I had been prompted this weekend to check out the restaurant after I learned that one of my childhood friends, John, was working there. And since I do love food and happen to be home for Easter weekend, this evening was as perfect a time as any to see what this local dive (apparently site of the oldest garage east of the Mississippi) was all about.

Monday, 25 March 2013

FCC: Food and Communication

Greetings from CMH! For those of you who don’t know, I’ve been in Boston since this past Thursday, attending the Eastern SociologicalSociety’s annual meeting. I’ve definitely been enjoying the foodie scene and taking in Beantown, but before I get too ahead of myself, I must first catch you up on last Wednesday’s Food and Culture Colloquium. Last week, Communication Professor and Department Chair Amanda Gunn’s FCC presented on food communication, a timely module as we soon prepare to close out the Colloquium in about a month’s time. In retrospect, her presentation was especially helpful for me both personally and professionally as my participation in this week-end’s ESS meeting was geared most specifically to its Mini Conference on Food Studies.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Dining at Denison: Debut and (Another) Review of Mikey's Late Night Slice

Okay, so as many students noted, the PizzAssault truck of Mikey's Late Night Slice did not actually make a late night appearance. But neither the unintended "misnomer" nor the brisk, final day of winter stopped countless Denisonians and Granvillians alike from supporting LNS throughout its first visit to Denison's campus.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Onto Year Three: Continuing to Cook Up dat Cajun/Creole Cuisine in Columbus

Da Levee on Urbanspoon

Midway into my final semester at Albion College during the spring of 2010, a restaurant completely off my radar at the time had first opened its doors in the Short North District of Columbus. In looking back at my previous blog posts, it surprises me that it's been just over a year since I first began reviewing this restaurant with every dish that I tried. Well, I've definitely returned quite a few times within the last year or so to that local dive, Da Levee, and have witnessed a few reconfigurations and additions to both the space and its menu. Alongside its aesthetic updates, the Da Levee team steered by Midwestern Chef/Owner Justin Boehme has remained strong and I think has only gotten better with time, serving up some of the most satisfying and consistent food in Columbus. But apparently, change was still on the horizon. After checking out Da Levee's Facebook page this past Mardi Gras, I found out that Da Levee's doors were closed for a substantial renovation project (a bar installation); and as this post notes, even more exciting changes are in Da Levee's future. In the meantime, and with yesterday being its three-year anniversary and official grand reopening, and especially after reading this review, I was excited to check out the changes and to introduce my friends and Central Ohio foodies Susan, Marlaine and David to what is easily one of my favourite Columbus restaurants. In addition, Marlaine and David's friends Amy and David (who have much closer ties to Louisiana than I do-- originally from Arkansas, some of Amy's family is Cajun, and David's originally from New Orleans) joined in our Columbus food adventure, as well.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Dine Originals 10: Hubbard Grille and Another Unintended Taste of Argentina's Culinary Influence

Hubbard Grille on Urbanspoon

Of all the words I have come across in the last few years to describe food, I'm going to put it out there that my favourite to date is "unctuous." As of this post, I've never actually written the word, primarily because I wasn't really sure how to use it or if what I imagined being unctuous was actually that. To an extent, I've thought about using it to describe foods that lie somewhere along the spectrum of comfort food (despite or even because of the fact it's greasy) and especially anything with a prominent umami presence. At one point I went so far in my head as to equate anything that was essentially an attack to one's cardiovascular system as being unctuous, as suggested by the standard, dry dictionary definition. It wasn't until yesterday, however, that I think I finally found a dish that properly deserved to be described as unctuous, in terms of being mouthwateringly rich yet incredibly refined and clean. That dish, described in far greater detail than absolutely necessary, came courtesy via Hubbard Grille located at 793 N High St in Columbus's Short North District.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

A Stretch or Coincidence: Tequi... I Mean Agave Lime Yogurt and Pope Francis I

About six hours ago, I sat in my office reformatting documents, a part of my focus diverted to the goings on in Vatican City where white smoke was billowing out of the chimney of the Sistine Chapel; the 155 cardinals of the Papal Conclave had elected the Catholic Church's newest pope (#266). As I worked with anticipation of the announcement (in Latin, of course) of who had just been chosen, I had by my side a bowl of Snowville Creamery's 6% butterfat plain yogurt, with which I had earlier concocted an experimental flavour combination as explained below. My intent this evening was to focus on this flavour but as I began to work on this post, I received a text from Marlaine who asked if I would be blogging about Argentinian food in honour of the new pope, Pope Francis I (Jesuit Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio). Despite my initial reply back, I took on the challenge of trying to find some way to make a connection between Pope Francis and food. A lot of this may seem like a stretch. I think it's more a matter of strange coincidence.

Friday, 8 March 2013

FCC: Food and Southeast Asia

Last week, we focused our attention on lesser known (yet very much integral) aspects of Chinese and Japanese gastronomies, "lesser known" being relative to typical American sensibilities. This week, our Food and Culture Colloquium module further exemplified the intimate connection between food and cultural (and even personal) identity, and the relationship between national/regional food identity and personal preference and heritage. Further, as we looked to Malaysia and the Philippines as our southeast Asian "case studies," it became (or at least, it should have become) even clearer that the intimate relationship food and culture affects the identities of both the individual and the group.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

5+ Hours of Talking about Food (and Eating in the Process)?: I Plan on Getting Used to This

Lamb burger and local chèvre from TILL Dynamic Fare
With the first half of this spring semester nearly upon us, it's been a bit of a hectic ride (I think that's an understatement). Amidst all of that, I did want to take a brief moment and note for the first time on this blog that I officially accepted at the tail end of the week a Graduate Enrichment Fellowship and will be attending The Ohio State University (MA/PhD program in Anthropology) beginning this upcoming August. I have truly enjoyed working at Denison for as long as I have (and certainly look forward to my remaining time here), but am equally looking forward to transitioning into full time graduate work. With this in mind, I had the fortunate opportunity to get a bit of a break today from campus and head into both Newark and Columbus where I continued to gain more local knowledge and develop even more connections through stories and, of course, food.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

FCC: Food and Eastern Asia

Ever since we picked up our Food and Culture Colloquium this semester, I've begun to notice that when taking a step back each of our modules has rather unexpectedly built on top of the other. I suppose I can credit this to some planning, but there's something to be said of the reality that programming fate plus a bit of shuffling and rescheduling have begun to iron out what I am certain will continue to be a rewarding rest of the semester. Having said this, our intersection with food continued regionally this week with a focus on eastern Asia (specifically, China and Japan), with next week coincidentally heading southward toward Malaysia and the Philippines.