Sunday, December 30, 2007

Kafe Leopold's: Sweet, Simple, Impeccable

I love Kafe Leopold's in Cady's Alley, Georgetown. It's so modern Vienna, with its sleek and smart contemporary decor, impeccable quality and attention to detail. Everything is served a la carte, making it feel even more European. We went there for a light breakfast this morning. They're known for their excellent beautifully-prepared pastries, which include everything from mini fruit tarts to Sacher tortes. But this morning I wanted just a little something and first asked for a warmed ham and cheese scone. My companion wanted the pastry basket. Our honest and helpful server said she could include the scone in the pastry basket, so that gave me an opportunity to also try the special of the day: truffle and parmesan grits. Oh. My. Gawd. The scone was warm and flavorful with flecks of succulant ham and green onion with a bit of Gruyere. The grits were the best I've ever had (and I lived in the deep south for a few years--so I know grits!). The truffle flavor was unctuous, the consistency beautifully creamy, and they added a rich and glorious topping of shitake mushrooms and lightly fried onion straws. Absolutely magnificent. The pastries in our basket included various croissants and a classic little madeleine--all were meticulously prepared. Again, the attention to detail was exhibited in the quality of the food and in the delivery. Coffee was served on a small platter, with a glass of water--just like in Austria. Tea service included a small pot of hot water and a choice of a very wide selection of Meinl teas. Unlike other cafes and eateries around town, there is nothing contrived or ersatz about this place. Like the artwork Leopold's displays, the place feels honest and original.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Office Christmas Potluck: A Study in Juxstaposition

There was a ton of food at the office potluck today: meatballs, veggies and dip, chips, cakes, cookies; even a brick of cream cheese topped with jelly and served with Ritz crackers no less, as well as different mysteriously mayonnaisey salads. So, I loaded up...on a plate full of home-made brioche and plum jam.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Thought of the Day: Food Associations

They say that the olfactory sense (of smell) is the most powerful conjurer of memory. For me, in a similar way, food evokes wonderfully poignant associations.

1. mushrooms = cool autumnal woods and morning dew on blades of grass
2. brioche = cherubic babies and mother’s milk
3. steamed crabs = warm summer days and flip flops
4. soft ripened cheese = provincial village-towns and lambs in green fields
5. chicken = white cars and Basics cigarettes
6. Kraft products = screaming children and coupons
7. cream cheese = theme parties and PBR
8. casseroles = your grandmother’s green shag carpet
9. iceberg lettuce = e-coli and drive-throughs
10. salmon = Ruby Tuesday’s and the new “town center” in your ex-urb.

What are your food associations?

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