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"It's the crispy fried chicken Oprah Winfrey called "the best." But it has brought out the worst among the friends and relatives who started up

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Greatest Hits and What You Missed: Stink Fruit, Naked Ladies, Cookie Crisp, Rachael Ray, And the Best Fried Chicken Ever

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"It's the crispy fried chicken Oprah Winfrey called "the best." But it has brought out the worst among the friends and relatives who started up Ezell's Famous Chicken (EFC) a quarter-century ago near Garfield High. They're fighting over the choice pieces--assets and trade secrets--of today's six-store chicken-to-go chain, with namesake founder Ezell Stephens accused by his corporate board of going rogue and misappropriating his own recipes."

Which is just the beginning of the chicken-based infighting described in "Ezell's Chicken: Feathers Fly as the Iconic Eatery's Owners Battle Over Brand, Recipes."

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"On the aisles sat bags of noodles and tofu, fruits from a spread of Asian countries, four varieties of yams, and sweet potatoes for 39 cents a pound. A man standing in front of me smiled over a thick packet of spareribs costing less than $10. Every six-pack of bottled beer was tagged $7.50--whether Vietnamese, Thai, or classic Corona.

But what I was really interested in were the bags and bags of international snack foods. I spent 15 minutes just trying to pick out a pork-rind flavor. And then I spotted the durian and coconut-flavored cookies."

Checking out the "Stink Fruit Cookies" as a Super Bowl Snack in Cafe Car.

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"According to a report by Agence France Presse, the state-run television system in Iran has just banned all foreign cooking shows for fear that they are spreading a Western influence in that country.

No, I'm not kidding. Apparently, our cheeseburgers, corn dogs, and nacho platters (in addition to Giada's puttanesca, Ramsay's kidney pies, and all that sneaky French cuisine) constitute a national security risk, and the deputy head of Iran's state TV recently said, "From now on teaching how to cook non-Iranian dishes is banned."

Because yeah, if we've learned anything from the bloody protests in Egypt, what the people of the Middle East are really hungry for are some of Rachael Ray's NASCAR tater-tot casserole."

From "No More Rachael Ray in Iran (And Why That's a Bad Thing)."

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"He rocks the fat-frame nerd glasses and flies the flannel. He's got a mustache that any '70s porn star would envy. He'll only cook at home if he can score locally sourced ingredients; lives in a sleek contemporary condo crammed in among the leftist bookstores, cafes, vegan co-ops, and yoga studios in the heart of the gentrifying Inner Southeast; and owns his own coffee company. He collects Olympia beer memorabilia and Zig Zag rolling-paper paraphernalia! He listens to heavy metal on vinyl! He's ex of Puyallup and used to hitch his way down to Portland to skateboard when he was a kid!

He is Duane Sorenson, owner of Portland's Stumptown Coffee, and dude couldn't be more of a caricature of his time and place if a thousand comedy writers sat in front of a thousand vintage typewriters and tried to create him."

And thus begins, "Duane Sorenson of Stumptown Coffee Out-Portlandias Portlandia in The Wall Street Journal," which only gets worse from there.

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"Oddly, for a cereal which is advertised as 'The great taste of chocolate-chip cookies and milk,' and which appears to contain nothing more than hundreds of tiny chocolate-chip cookies, Cookie Crisp doesn't really taste like cookies. Or at least not like any kind of cookies that a rational human being would eat willingly. The 'cookies' taste kind of muddy and sickeningly sweet, with a vaguely chemical aftertaste which is really disturbing.

Never a terribly popular cereal, apparently, the producer (currently General Mills) came to realize that somehow they'd managed to fuck up selling cookies to children for breakfast, and so in 2009 launched a secondary product.

Breakfast cookies with sprinkles.

Ugh."

From this week's edition of Cereal Philanderer, which was all about eating cookies for breakfast.

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"Canlis is the toughest restaurant in the city to get into on Valentine's Day. In fact, it is booked solid for the occasion an entire month in advance; an impressive but irrelevant bit of information for those of us with more sensitive checking accounts. There are already so many occasions--anniversaries, birthdays, etc.--that require us to make sacrifices and drop $250-plus on a single evening. Valentine's doesn't always make the cut when it comes to priority spending.

But that doesn't mean you need to choose between staying in or going broke. Several of Seattle's finest restaurants offer a memorable dining experience that cost as much as it would to grab a couple burgers at Red Robin. Here are five of the most affordable (but romantic!) dinner-date destinations to consider, come February 14. Disclaimer: None of these come with bottomless fries or sodas."

From "Top 5 Affordable Valentine's Dinner Dates in Seattle"--a list which did not contain any of the various barbecue joints, taquerias, or pho shops I consider romantic.

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"Apparently, model Flora Cheung and her producers had noticed how popular the naked news show already was in Hong Kong. And then they thought to themselves, "What else might people like to watch pretty girls doing naked?"

The answer, of course, was anything. But a cooking show, I guess, was the cheapest and easiest thing to produce, so that's what they're doing.

Cheung is not a chef. She has no professional training whatsoever (kinda like Rachael Ray). But that's not going to stop her from doffing her clothes, donning a custom-made, see-through apron, and cooking traditional Chinese and Hong Kong dishes for the crowds at home."

From "Naked Lady Cooking Show: Well, It's About Time . . ."

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"Whether you love, like, or hate Valentine's Day and chocolate, you've probably bitten down on a mystery cube a time or two in your life. What is the sick fascination we have with needing to not know what's in there before we chomp down? If you get a 'bad one,' do you eat it anyway? Do you eat just the half already in your mouth? Or do you spit it out in disgust, putting the unchewed half back, just in case you get really desperate later someone else (Your spouse? Roommate? Pet?) wants it. (It's cool to put back the half that did go in your mouth, as long as there's no teeth or spit marks, right?) We've got something less risky for you this week, as we let you guess what's in the seasonal flavor bombs from two prolific chocolatiers."

Just a sample from this week's holiday-themed quiz: "6 Chocolate Fillings: Can You Guess Them All?"

 
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