"Buy the Red Car"
More fortune cookies should be so precise and prescriptive!
Commentary on minimalist art, expensive food, and mid-limit poker.
The Zuni Cafe Cookbook has arrived to remind us all of the lessons that Alice Waters has been teaching for years at Chez Panisse, the best restaurant in the United States: the ingredient is king, good ingredients don't have to be exotic (just farmed organically, and used in season), and simple food cooked mindfully satisfies like nothing else. (Check out what Alice is cooking this week.) Zuni Cafe is one of my favorite places to eat in San Fransciso. Like Chez Panisse, the menu is full of sophisticated food with a few carefully chosen ingredients. Sometimes sophisticated in very sneaky ways: Zuni Cafe makes one hell of a great hamburger. The Zuni Cafe Cookbook is, like Alice Water's cookbooks, rich in narrative detail about ingredient selection, seasonality, and the reasoning behind recipe steps. Thankfully for those of us that don't have working relationships with ten or fifteen organic farmers, this cookbook is not as heavy as the Alice Waters cookbooks on two or three ingredient recipes that depend on having, for example, perfect Meyer Lemons or green garlic sprouts. Instead, there are great, simple recipies with enough explainations and substitutions that they can be reasonably accomplished.
Now, let's see...that hamburger recipe is on page 365...
Pecos offers shredded pork, shredded beef, sliced beef, and sliced ham sandwiches. I tend to be partial to the sliced beef, as I think it better balances the meat and smoke with the heat of the sauce. The shredded sandwiches are awfully good, and I have friends that go with these sandwiches every time.
The Pecos beans are a mandatory addition to any order. My fellow barbeque and chili fanatic Steve refers to them as "heaven beans" and always gets a double order. The beans are just spicy enough, and have a great molasses taste, but aren't so sugary as to distract from the smoke and bean flavors.
Pecos Barbeque is located at 2260 1st Ave S in Seattle. Just take 1st Avenue past Safeco, and it'll be the place with the long line a few blocks down on the left. They are only open M-F, 11 to 3.
Joe is working on a New Mexico style green chili, which is properly done as Hatch green chilis, pork, and potatoes. In New Mexico, this stuff is used to top everything but ice cream and breakfast cereal. (Thinking about really good chicken enchiladas topped with some really mean green chili makes me want to do the Snoopy "suppertime" dance!) Some crazy people think that green chili is about tomatillos, which results in an over-acidic tomatoey soup. Ack. If you go, tell Joe to get cracking on that New Mexico green...