Welcome back to the weekly round-up of our food blog, Eating Our Words, where the beef isn't jerky but a couple of the maitre-d's are. Robb Walsh started us off this week with a very informative post regarding those herbs you sometimes see growing behind Mexican food stalls; skipping the obvious "herb" jokes, the plant is called chepil and is used in a Mexican squash soup formerly eaten with caterpillars. We here at Eating Our Words find Monarch caterpillars to be bitter and offensive to the palate, so we'd recommend using any Gulf Fritillary or Clouded Sulfur grubs you have handy. Protein! Sarah Rufka stopped by Rocks Off's favorite next door neighbor Tacos-A-Go-Go for some downright addictive salsa, and Nikki Metzgar sampled about a zillion different calories at Maureen's Gourmet Bakery.
If you're familiar with the literary device known as "foreshadowing," then Robb's recipe for squash-chepil soup came as no surprise to you. Speaking of anticipation, we are eagerly following Robb's posts about bargain bin wine - newest entries here and here - just waiting for him to get to Thunderbird. On a more serious note, Robb lamented the death of something called "the honor system" ... anybody ever heard of that? Is it like a slide rule or vacuum tubes or something like that?
J.C. Reid often has enviable assignments, and his first this week made us turn an even deeper than usual shade of jealousy-green: He got to sample some new burgers from the Hubcap Grill. Now that we know a Frito Pie burger exists, we will from this day forth consider every moment not spent eating one to be an utter waste. They probably go pretty well with Tony Mandola's Intaliantini, which is shaped like a boot. For another exercise in judging, Katharine Shilcutt joined the throng at Reliant Stadium for the Kolache Olympics, which was tainted only slightly when it was discovered the Russian team was using performance-enhancing jelly.
Robb chimed in with another entry on some more herbs out back behind Canino's. Don't miss his next article, "This Stuff I Found Under Canino's Porch That Looks Like Crabgrass That I'm Frankly Not Sure I Should Be Eating." To keep things at least vaguely sane, Fleming's Steakhouse chef-partner generously provided us with a recipe for some fine chipotle mac'n'cheese. E. Ting had an I. Nterview with chef John Watt of Prego, who reveals one of his favorite dishes to be blackberry tart with ice cream. It's hard not to like the guy after that. Robb spent 13 bucks at Edomae Sushi, and Sarah enjoyed a chat with Shon Kyto, the manager of Kata Robata. No, damn it, no: we skipped the weed jokes earlier, so we're definitely not going for a "domo arigato" joke here. It ain't happening. We'll tell you what is happening, though: a soon-to-be-open joint called Jeannine's Bistro, which just may be the second coming of the sorely missed Café Montrose. So we suppose that would make the upcoming opening some kind of Belgian/Montrosian Easter? Perhaps we should leave the religious allegories to C.S. Lewis.
Katharine had another of her wildly popular food battles, this time between the French fries of Five Guys Burgers and Fries and Jax Grill. Who wins in a war fought between French fries, you ask? Everybody.
To wrap up the week, J.C. went all nostalgic with a look at an old menu from Don's Seafood circa 1972, which brings us to this week's discussion question: Which restaurant that isn't around anymore do you miss the most? For us, it would have to be the Panama Grill. We've never had hot wings as good as the uniquely tangy delights served there; sadly, it later burned down and was never rebuilt. Discuss, and we'll see you next week.