Thursday, January 20, 2011

Gastro Non Grata : Pre-Valentine Fricassee III, Feb 13th Triple Rock Social Club

Triple Rock Social Club 
Feb. 13, advance tix $8, day of $10
Doors at 6, Show starts promptly at 7

After weeks of old man winter dumping loads of cold,it’s about time for Gastro Non Grata to heat things up with our third nose-thumbing at Valentines Day. We’ve got the whole crew from Chowgirls Killer Catering coming by in western wear to serve up samples of Indian Curry with Cinnamon-Scented Basmati Rice and Marvel's Seven Spice Raita. Followed by Truman's Asian Pork Short Ribs with Kim Chee Slaw.

For your drinking pleasure, we’re happy to welcome our neighbors from the Eastern Seaboard, Southern Tier who have been brewing innovative, vigorously hopped ales and robust stouts since 2003 and are going to be pouring from their regular lineup and a seasonal as well..

To step in and stick it to your sweet tooth, Christian Aldrich, pastry chef extraordinaire from Haute Dish will be concocting the most delicious Southern Tier based cheesecake-type substance you will probably ever eat.

Sounds pretty good doesn’t it? Now let me blow your mind with music. We’re stoked to have the crazy bearded men of 4onthefloor headlining the show, but don’t count out Running Scared, they were built to rock you in places you didn’t know existed. We’ll be opening the evening with Whiskey Jeff and the Beer Back Band singing tunes that’ll make you want to drink some beer, wipe a tear away and then drink some more beer.

Luckily, Northern Brewer will be on hand to start the show with samples of something interesting and will be filling the bar with the sweet smell of boiling wort throughout the night.

As always, expect big plastic bags full of Clancey’s Meat and Fish provided frozen dead animals that you could call your very own just by showing up for our Dead Meat Door Prize.

Gastro Non Grata is a labor of love sponsored by Northern Brewer, Metro Magazine, Heavy Table and provided for independent thinking eaters, local music lovers and of course, booze hounds with a heart.

P.S. Be ready for Feb. 25 as well, we’re going to be doing a poster/photo/art type show at PINK HOBO with our friends from 128 Cafe food truck. More info to follow soon.

A few weeks ago, I sat down with the fine folks at Chowgirls catering to hork a free meal and tell them it was all in the name of research for our upcoming show on Feb. 13 at Triple Rock Social Club. Here's a photo journey of the day.

This was some of the art hanging inside,
I thought it appropriate

 Chef Truman Olson

 Queen of Hot Food, Marvel Devitt

 The spread

Indian Lamb Curry with Cinnamon-Scented Basmati Rice and Marvel's Seven Spice Raita

Truman's Asian Pork Short Ribs with Kim Chee Slaw

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Jeff goes to Paris

Does it seem like Craig's a little lonely lately? Crying in his beer more than usual? Listless? Distracted? Do you catch him staring toward the heavens, softly singing "Somewhere Out There" under his breath while he tips back a tallboy? Is he just playing the same Crow record over and over on his DJ Truckstache nights at the King & I?

It's my fault. In September I split town. It's a temporary move, but Gastro Non Grata emotions run deep. I see that Craig has found a temporary, less handsome replacement for me in Jim Grell of the Modern CafĂ©. Anything to get through the dark, cold nights, I guess. 

The news is that in September, my wife and I moved to Paris. She got a teaching gig for the academic year. We rented our house, dropped the dog with my folks and moved into an 18 square meter apartment in the 11th arrondissement. Bam. Paris.

A food and alcohol lover's dream. As we approach the halfway point of our French adventure, I think some reports are long overdue. I have a shitty camera and a working knowledge of written English so, between now and May 31, I'll be checking in with Gastro Non Grata news from Paris.

Let's start with something important.

The Number One Thing I Can Eat That You Can't:
Soft-ripened raw milk cheese.

"Au Lait Cru" are the magic words. This Mont d'Or was incredible. We would eat it in spoonfuls after letting it sit out to warm up for a few hours. The top grows a white mold peach fuzz so soft you want to gently rub your nose on it. The perimeter is wrapped in pine bark, adding a northwoods forest floor flavor. Weighing in at about a half kilo, at €28-something per kilo, the stuff ain't cheap, but it was totally worth it. I recently bought a generic Mont d'Or from the supermarket for €5 and it wasn't near as good as the artisan crafted stuff. Still, it's nice to live somewhere where there is store-brand raw milk AOC cheese. Below is a Saint-Marcellin. With this one you get a free ceramic dish, useful for coins or as a candle-holder.
The only raw milk cheese aged under 60 days I can think of in Minnesota comes from Lovetree Farmstead who famously sell it as "fishbait" at the St Paul Farmer's Market. With the recent legal activity surrounding the sale of raw milk in MN, I'm not anticipating a change in cheese legislation any time soon. It's unfortunate. Although I am not very well versed in food law, safety standards and whatnot, I've gotta believe there's a way to replicate the French habit of not dying after eating cheese.