A WHOLE NEW BREED OF BEEF
Local restaurants can maximize their beef profits thanks to a training video for meat processors provided by the Washington State Beef Commission. The commission funded research to make new lean steak cuts out of would-be ground beef. These meat innovations allow restaurants to charge nearly steak prices for nearly hamburger, while customers enjoy a cheaper, lower-grade steak. Patti Brumbach, executive director of the commission, says "The research looked at new ways to process the carcass to give customers more of what they wanted." The Ram restaurant (located in University Village) offered a new cut, the "flat iron," last February, and it is planning to use the "shoulder tender" cut starting in late November or in December. Kathleen Deramo, chef at the Ram, said the marinated cut is an excellent value: "It's a fabulous piece of meat for what it is." Haggen and Top Foods grocers carry the new cuts with their fresh meats and Tyson Foods also offers a frozen line of the cuts at Fred Meyer and QFC. "Steaks are easy. They fit into people's lifestyles," Brumbach says.
RIVALRY MOVES TO FREEZER
On Nov. 22, the Huskies and Cougars will face each other in their annual grudge match, the Apple Cup. Other than the word "apple," this event hardly seems food related; leave it to Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream to change that. Apparently looking to boost post-summer sales, Dreyer's will sell "Dawg Bites" and "Cougar Crush" ice cream during the college football season, donating up to $1 per carton sold to the respective school's scholarship program. The flavors are the samevanilla ice cream with fudge swirls and caramel-filled chocolate footballsbut Dawg Bites and Cougar Crush are packaged in their respective school colors. Available at stores everywhere.
BELLTOWN PUB: R.I.P.
Slowly but surely, Belltown is being overcome by gloss. Sure, it's been happening for years, but a few standout denim-and-sneakers joints have remained, and Sunday's Belltown Pub closure marked yet another victory for übertrendy nightclubs and a distressing loss for meatloaf fans. "It's a sad thing," says Daniel Wren, a 10-year employee. Apparently, the pub's owners could not come to terms on a new lease with the building's landlord. Wren said the owners plan to focus their attention on their other restaurant, Queen Anne's Firefly. The closing allowed for one wild going-away party. (It just wouldn't be right to let all that surplus beer go to waste.) In addition to drinking like there was no tomorrow, the owners gave away pieces of memorabilia and a band played. "It was not a nightclub, it was not a hip place," Wren says. "It was a nice place to have a beer and a sandwich with nice people."
STOOL UP, GET SCHOOLED
Stop into Oliver's Lounge in the Mayflower Park Hotel this month for a classic mojito, and you'll get a history lesson, too. The Cuban mojito is the first drink to be featured in the lounge's tribute to historic cocktails. If you've never had the minty concoction, we can assure you that it, like the lounge's motto, is "quite simply, one of a kind."