Monday, October 26, 2009

Grindhouse Killer Burgers

Alex's dream of reviving the Sweet Auburn Curb Market, may have taken a detour, but its one that has benefited us all. I recently had a chance to chat with him a little about the restaurant and what led him to open a burger joint. It started with his desire to revitalize the crumbling market and led to his help getting a good sized grant to make that happen. His enthusiasm for what he is doing is contagious. You can't help but be charmed, even with the long waits to place your order and get your food, and the smell of past it's prime meat and seafood wafting towards you from the market stalls behind you. It's not the kind of wait that leaves you feeling annoyed and unwilling to return, there is kind of a party atmosphere. I ran into 3 people I knew, plus made new friends - Patti of fame and her husband Eric, just standing in line.

I ordered the turkey burger with cheese, avocado and bacon. It was maybe not the best combination ever, in part because the avocado was rather on the crunchy side, and in part because I didn't realize that the turkey patty would be heavily seasoned and include chunks of mango to help keep it moist. It was moist and had a nice brown crust, one of the better turkey burgers I have ever had, but just didn't quite "go" with what I had on it. Knowing what I do now, I would top it differently. I also had the sweet potato chips, which were good, but a little oily and didn't love the chipotle ranch dipping sauce. Luckily, Patricia T. had a bottle of Hot Squeeze, which was a way better condiment for them.

The much lauded shakes were a little bit of a disappointment for me, but I am an ice cream snob. I really don't think it's worth the calories unless it is super premium, ultra high milk fat. Unfortunately their ice cream was more Dairy Queen than Haagen Dazs, so I probably wouldn't order it again.

The Grindhouse Killer Burger experience ended up being a really fun experience and one that I would happily repeat, although not frequently, because seriously y'all, this is not in my 'hood.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I am hoo hoo for Halloween

Please forgive the Cocoa Puffs pun, I really couldn't help myself. So Halloween has always been my favorite holiday, not just because of trick or treating or candy, both of which I long since outgrew, and to be honest never enjoyed that much even when I was young enough (all that walking up hills for less than Callebaut or Scharffen-Berger quality candy? I think not). What I love best about Halloween is the decorating. I have boxes of amazing things picked up here, there and everywhere and can never pass up something cool. To that end I was delighted to find the Uber-Talented Jamie Lott at the Norcross Art Fest. I purchased a gorgeous hand crafted skeleton shaker, very similar to this one on her Etsy page. You can see more of her work here or if you would like to win a pumpkinhead ornament of your own, just check out her blog

Other treats in the Halloween round up include
painted gourds from
Haunted Swamp Designs,
you can win one here: A
fabulous addition to any collection.

How can you possibly top that? Well the talented Lisa Lecture is also giving away one of her hand-stitched pieces here
vintage-women-4-1-1-1-3-1.jpg I so have to have one of each for my collection. Good luck everyone!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Mill City Farmers Market

I was in Minnesota this past weekend, which coincided with the last Mill City Market of the season, something I discovered thanks to Sarah P. putting it up as an event on Yelp. Who knew the Twin Cities have such a thriving farmers market scene? This is one of several in Minneapolis, plus I heard tell of a couple of good ones in St. Paul, plus even one in Bloomington. I was greeted by the sound of live bluegrass and cloggers, what a great welcome to the market.

There was such a great selection of vendors, and sights of the season, pumpkins, gourds, winter squash, and dried flowers.

And of course, let's not forget the food. After all, what is a market without food? There were plenty of samples, I had the most amazing sheep cheeses, lamb merguez sausage, 6 different kinds of chocolate sauces, jams and jellies, plus about 3 apples worth of apple slices (it's hard to choose the right one, but i ended up with Apricot and Snowcrisp). As if I hadn't already gorged myself enough, around 10:00 I decided it was breakfast time. What to choose? Aunt Else's Aebleskivers? Why, yes, I believe I will try the apple ones and the sausage ones with maple syrup AND ginger pear jelly.

And wait! Is that Chef Shack I see? What better complements round balls of pancake than Indian spiced fried doughnuts? Oh and fries with bacon katjup (sic) and maybe a Thousand Hills Farm hotdog with 5 different pickles (kohlrabi, radish, 2 cucumber, plus relish)

The best way to enjoy all that food is sitting down and taking a break from all of that shopping. Luckily they have a great little central courtyard with a practically professional kitchen for chef demos provided by Target and Archer Farms. I enjoyed my little feast while learning how to make artisan bread in 5 minutes. After that, I made one more pass through the market, wishing I had brought more cash and several more hands, especially since mine were completely frozen and considered it a morning well spent. I can't wait to go back next summer and see how the market is when it isn't 35 degrees outside.