Welcome back once again to the weekly round-up at Eating Our Words, where we've found a way to put gravy on pretty much everything (you just have to tell people it's "some kinda sauce"). We like to keep things nice and informal around here, like Mike Giglio did when he ate at Hank's and gushed all over it like he'd just eaten a bunch of really good ice cream or something.
Just to be silly, Robb Walsh went ahead and started his week by nearly blowing his foot off and then drinking some really, really old wine to numb the pain. Nikki Metzgar is still rehydrating after trying out the gooey, salty Batter Blaster, which is not nearly as sexy as it sounds. Olivia Flores Alvarez spent $13 at El Jardin, and also informed us of impending free burritos from Chipotle. Or free chimichangas, if you bring your own deep fryer.
Bad news for fellow carnivores: some Upton Sinclair wannabe has cobbled together a documentary that focuses on the American meatpacking industry in a negative light, even as meat-eating and home butchery climb in popularity. What to make of it? Well, when the economy finishes collapsing and we're all reduced to hunter-gatherers again, it's going to pay to know how to clean and prepare your own meat. Depressing? Not to worry, Nikki has a chocolate cake recipe to cheer you right back up again.
Robb explored some pointlessly irradiated hamburgers to reiterate what most of us already knew: lawyers are ruining everything. He then shined a light on something that isn't a hamburger, per se, but is pretty good anyway. J.C. Reid stopped in at the Acadian Bakery to see if they do, in fact, have the best burgers in Houston (nope, but they're not bad).
Katharine Shilcutt started a Frito Pie-off between James Coney Island and popular Houston hangout Onion Creek. Not to ruin the ending for you or anything, but JCI's chili sucks. Robb went back to the well (read: the bargain bin at Spec's) for some more wine, a cheap plebian variety called Nuragus. Not only did he tip us off about the cheap wine, but he then offered us a recipe for rib meat fajitas. Thanks, Robb! I've always said Houston summers are best spent drunk and full of red meat, and I don't give a damn what any fancy-pants documentary has to say about it, either.
Following some fantastic tapas from Tinto's, we had a couple of newcomers to the blog this week. Sarah Rufka interviewed waiter / bartender Scott Crosthwait on what it's like inside Houston's food 'n' booze industry, and E. Ting - E. Ting? Running with that, are we? No, no, it's great. Hilarious. Forget I said anything. - E. Ting took over the Health Department Roundup for this week. Speaking of the Eating Our Words regular columns: We had a teeny-tiny burger for this week's Snackshot, some sushi with the mouth-watering name "Spider Box" in this week's Café Bites, and for once, you bastards weren't able to guess Where We Were Eating! Moo hoo hahaha - I'm kidding, of course, y'all got it almost immediately (The Foundation Room).
Back to the meat of the blog: Robb let us know that Houston finally has a place that sells dry-aged beef, which is beef that has been left in the trunk of a car in an outdoor parking garage for a few weeks in the summer. Pungent! Nikki explored the many varieties of kimchee, and Katharine went to Schulenberg to answer the burning question: What Is a Pul-A-Pul? (Answer: it is a strong-man contest held once every eight years in Poland.)
And don't order Copper River salmon without asking "Sockeye or King?" -- which, by the way, could easily be the title of a Frank Zappa album.
We'd like to leave you this week with a question: How many of you are people (or know people) who swear the different colors of M&Ms are actually different flavors? I've known people who loved green M&Ms but would never touch a brown one. Discuss below, and have a great weekend.