Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Coolest T-Shirt en el Mundo

Almost Banana Banchee

Chocolate Pudding Snowball.

Years ago, we used to make our living off of freshly shaven ice and fruit-flavored syrups.

The front tires on my Sonoma have been oscillating lately and it's starting to get to me, causing me to make a stop at the local Good Year tire for a looksee. Seven minutes later, I'm back out the door with the knowledge that they can't re-balance the tires to eliminate the oscillation, but they can relieve me of $770 for a set of new tires. I'll wait.

To soothe my tire woes, I make a stop at the neighboring SnoAsis snowball stand - our old nemesis. Once the reigning King of snowballs in Timonium, we gave them a good run for their money ten years ago. Today, they're still the King, albeit with a smaller kingdom, and using the same ice and syrup supplier that we used.

My secret favorite snowball from them is the Banana Banchee. Banana syrup with evaporated milk. Simple, sweet and creamy, for me it's a must. However, as I'm standing in line, the lady in front of me is ordering a blitz of something called Chocolate Pudding. Chocolate syrup with evaporated milk - sounds enticing and after a few moments debate, I decide to give it a go.

It's not bad. The chocolate and the cream go together but the ice is still a bit crunchy. I'm not a crunchy ice fan. Give me smoothly shaven ice as fluffy as snow and that's perfection. This one is still short, but at least it's something and doesn't require me to go out, freeze ice, make syrups and pull out equipment just to satisfy a craving.

A Portent of Things To Come?

L'Addition de L'Arpege, Fevrier 2008.

Next week we return to Europe for the World Barista Championship in London, with stops in Amsterdam and France. To my pocket, Europe is wildly expensive. Research "the best" places to eat and invariably, they're expensive. Punch into Google something as simple as "best London fish and chips" and you get back reviews of places where they have tablecloths, silverware and the fish and chips cost US$50. How about those chippies where the commoners eat?

Luckily (for us, not them), the Euro has been falling lately. Today's exchange rate: €1,00 = US$1.26 - considering it was around US$1.89 the last time I went, I'm pretty happy about it. Of course, everything is wildly expensive to begin with, so it's a wash.

The plan:

The Fat Duck - waitlisted
St. John - pass
Gordon Ramsay - maybe
Miramar Marseille - does she even like fish?
Maison Antoine (Brussels) - oui!
Robert et Louise - of course
Pierre Gagnaire - table for two
Le Chateaubriand - can we just walk in?
Le Baratin - if we don't get lost
Stephane Secco - death if we don't
Rijstafel - sounds good
Pierre Herme - how could we not?