I Want To Try These . . . . .

Five New Sandwiches from 'wichcraft

Meatloaf ($9.87)

Ordering meatloaf in any guise is an easy choice to make in cold weather. All too often, meatloaf and hockey pucks share similar compositions, but 'wichcraft avoids this result by adding a good dose of bacon to the freshly ground meat before the loaf is baked. The bacon renders its fat while the loaf cooks, assisting a soft, almost delicate result. Aged cheddar and tomato relish add sweet and savory depth.

Roasted Chicken ($9.64)

The chicken is the least flavorful ingredient in this Tuscan-inspired sandwich, but well-seasoned cannellini bean puree and hearty greens dressed with balsamic make up for any flavor shortage.

Daily Special

'wichcraft offers daily specials as well; on Tuesday it's lamb inside Hot Bread Kitchen's m'smen, a buttery Moroccan flatbread, and it proves to be the perfect vehicle for 'wichcraft's robust pulled lamb. Shredded carrots add a nice crunch and mild sweetness. Good for lamb lovers, but don't let it sit too long. The flatbread doesn't improve with age.

Complete list here (SeriousEats)

This Is An Interesting Creation . . . . .

Croque Madame at Trenchermen

Croque Madame ($11), but like every dish at Trenchermen, liberties are taken—lots of them.

Where shall I start? Thin slices of creamy and tender mortadella replace the standard ham, a move I wholeheartedly endorse. Gouda makes an appearance, though it's hidden under the meat. But the biggest coup is the chorizo mornay sauce, a concentrated blast of spice and salt, which oddly reminds me of the filling inside one of those cornmeal tamales you find in Chicago (in a great way, of course). And what better way to cap this all off than a fried egg?

The only reason this all works so well together is that nothing is over the top. The bread is thick, but not dense; the cheese is funky, but sparingly applied; the sauce is aggressive, but only drizzled on. Instead, all these flavorful ingredients manage to play surprisingly well together.


A PIece Of Heaven On A Bun . . . . .

Suadero Torta from El Tenampa


I Want To Try This . . . . .

Peanut Butter Banana Cake


Rollin' Hard - Japanese Edition . . . . .


Easier Said Than Done . . . . .

5 Make Your Own Coffee or Tea

10 Use the Same Razor For a Longer Period of Time

Complete list here (Guyism)

A Gallery Of Stephanie's Photos . . . . .

More pictures here (BustedCoverage)

It's Hard To Find A Good One Of These . . . . .

Subpocalypse at Costello's


A Gallery Of Babs' Photos . . . . .

More pictures here (Uncoached)

A Gallery Of Brionna's Photos . . . . .

More pictures here (COED)

An Interesting Perspective . . . . .


A Piece Of Heaven On A Plate . . . . .

Roast Goose Leg and Roast Pork from Yat Lok


The Next Great Party Appetizer . . . . .

Corn Muffins with Candied Bacon

Recipe link (SeriousEats)

Who Knew These Existed . . . . .

Sticky Rice Burgers

Recipe link (SeriousEats)

Now That's A Manwich With An Appropriate Name . . . . .

The 3XL Corned Beef at Vienna Beef


A Piece Of Heaven On Bread . . . . .

Pastrami at Artie's Delicatessen


Something For Your Next Dinner Party . . . . .

Coffee and Chipotle-Rubbed Steak Kabobs with Stout Molasses Pan Sauce

Useless Info - Cognac Edition . . . . .

The Serious Eats Guide to Cognac


Cognac, by decree, must be made using copper pot stills, sometimes called Charentais alembic stills. (Charentais derives from Charente, which is of course the river that runs through the Cognac producing region.) The brandy's double distilled, with both distillations occuring in such stills. The first distillation increases the alcohol content to about 28 to 32% ABV. The second distillation comes in at around 68–72%. By law, distillation in Cognac must be finished by March 31st in the year following the harvest. So, in other words, brandymakers in Cognac are, right now, distilling wine made from grapes harvested in October 2012.

Pot stills, incidentally, are less efficient than column stills, and they need to be cleaned out after each distillation. But they produce a spirit that contains more character of the grape than you'd get from column distillation. What this means is, pot distillation is one feature that makes cognac what it is, but it also makes the product more expensive than other brandies, which are generally column distilled.


After distillation, the brandy is transferred to oak barrels. Cognac uses French oak barrels, made of oak from the Tronçais and Limousin forests. Brandies that age 40 or 50 years will lose much of their alcohol during the aging phase. The sheer act of evaporation can reduce the ABV of cognac from around 70% to around 40% in that period. Younger brandies need to be diluted with water to reach bottling proof, but that dilutes the flavors as well.

Whiskies, on the other hand, never age long enough to lose that much alcohol to evaporation. Unless a whisk(e)y is released at barrel-proof (or cask-strength), it's always diluted with water before bottling.


Each cognac house employs a master blender, whose job it is to taste the brandies as they age. Master blenders are responsible for ensuring that the cognacs they produce are in keeping with the house style, and consistent from year to year. (Don't we all wish for a career like that?)

Each cognac house keeps very old stocks of brandy, some aged as much as 100 years, to use as benchmarks for determining the house style, and to add to high-end blends.

The blend is a mix of eaux-de-vie of different ages and different crus. Each eau-de-vie adds something unique to the blend, and by balancing the various qualities of each one, the master blender can achieve a final cognac that harmonizes smoothly and maintains the style of the brand.

Grades of Cognac:

  • *** (3-Star) or VS (Very Special): The youngest brandy in the blend must have aged at least two years in oak.
  • VSOP (Very Superior Old Pale): The youngest brandy must have aged at least four years, although in practice, most brandies at this class are usually much older.
  • Napoléon, XO (Extra Old), Extra, or Hors d'age: The youngest brandy has six years on oak, but on average, these brandies are 20 years old or more. In 2016, the minimum age will be raised to ten years.
  • Fine Champagne: must be made of brandies from the Petite Champagne and Grande Champagne districts, and must consist of at least 50% Grande Champagne.


It's Hard To Find A Good One Of These . . . . .

Bistec Torta at Taqueria Lower East Side


A Gallery Of Jordan's Photos . . . . .

More pictures here (GorillaMask)