Van Dyk’s Ice Cream, Ridgewood, NJ

I got a small, half cinnamon-caramel and half cappuccino-oreo. I will freely admit that the flavors are odd, but I will fight to the death for the right to eat them! great stuff. And as far as I can tell, locally owned, so it can’t be beat. The ice cream is fresh, creamy, screaming with flavor, and the smart-assed high school kids serving the stuff are amusing as hell, and deserve large tips. Perhaps my perspective is skewed by the large quantity of Edmeades Zinfandel that I consumed before adjourning to this ice cream palace, but damn, this stuff is good! And, there were five of us, and everyone was happy with his (or her) choice. So toss my opinion out and trust the teenagers who live and die by the ice cream they eat.

Update 9/1/2008

Because no study is valid with only one sample, I heaved my carcass off the couch and into the car for another trip to Van Dyk’s. All indications are good that there was no radical change in the quality of the ice cream, but the line was longer. And that is a good thing, because I want this place to stay in business for a very long time.

Time Flies When You Are Eating Too Much

It has been more than a week since I last posted, and my only excuse is that I have been eating far too much and couldn’t haul myself to the keyboard without stopping for a snack. The highlights were:  excellent heirloom tomatoes with mozzarella and basil, duck quesadillas with goat cheese and sautéed corn (best in show), and my always excellent barbecued pork ribs. The lows include the honey-Dijon chicken and bacon pizza that, while tasting quite good, is probably the most significant contributor to my impending demise from overeating. Oh, the three egg-bacon-cheese sandwiches (homemade, and delicious) didn’t help.

Le Pont Bleu — Saint-Pair Sur Mer, France

Less than 3 kilometers north of Jullouville, just off the coastal road, is this lovely little restaurant where we celebrated the birthday of the mayor’s granddaughter. Needless to say, we started with champagne. Perhaps that is France’s greatest gift to the world — the invention of champagne, and the wonderful idea that it should be drunk often. Americans see champagne as a festive drink, to be consumed on special occasions, and we are partly correct. But I am going to redefine what a special occasion is. From now on, it means dinner time. And lunch time if I can get away with it. Continue reading “Le Pont Bleu — Saint-Pair Sur Mer, France”

La Promenade — Jullouville, France

Where do you eat in a small town on the Normandy coast? Well, if your friends know the mayor, who is justifiably proud of this lovely beach resort 40 kilometers from Le Mont-Saint-Michel, let him make the decision. And that was a fine idea. My only regret is that we didn’t have more time to try some other restaurants, because the two we enjoyed were both excellent, charming and, most important, they served innovative and interesting food.

We began at La Promenade, a seaside restaurant in a building that was used as a hospital by the Nazis until it was liberated by American forces in 1944. We sat on the patio Continue reading “La Promenade — Jullouville, France”

Don’t Order The Halibut

They say that hope springs eternal. They also say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing every day and expecting a different result. Continental Airlines did an excellent job of transporting me to and from Europe. Everything worked well, including the security checks at both ends. But…the fish was overcooked. Impressively overcooked. The other food was tolerable, bordering on “not bad.” So on the flight back I did the only thing that made no sense and ordered the halibut again. My rationale was that it was a different preparation, so it would be cooked perfectly. It wasn’t. Maybe I should stick to the chicken.

In A Few Days…

I’ll be able to report breathlessly on some excellent food, and probably some not-so-excellent stuff. I expect both.

Grilling On The Patio

Actually, I grill on my Weber Gas Grill, not on the patio (I don’t think that the patio bricks are designed to have fires built upon them, and they would probably crack). And it is a pleasure. But for many reasons, not just hanging out on the patio during the summer. Almost by definition, grilled and barbecued foods are simpler to prepare for cooking, and once you get the hang of not torching the chicken or leaving most of the fish stuck to the grill grates, the cooking is easier too. Continue reading “Grilling On The Patio”

Bulleit Bourbon: Frontier Whiskey No Less!

My first experience with bourbon was less than pleasant. In fact, the smell of bourbon made me feel distinctly uncomfortable for about five years afterward. But as athletes push through the pain to a higher plateau, so did I. And it was worth it!

Bourbon is a distinctly American drink; no other country makes anything like it, and that is good. Because the tradition is wonderful and makes me think that America can compete on the world booze stage. In reality, we make some of the best wine in the world, so for all you Francophiles:  Bronx Cheer. And, come to think of it, Continue reading “Bulleit Bourbon: Frontier Whiskey No Less!”

Ox Restaurant In…Jersey City? [closed]

When I moved from sunny California back to the East Coast, I didn’t tell anyone that I was moving to New Jersey. I was just too embarrassed. But at least I live in a really nice part of the state, in an attractive little town. But, Jersey City? That’s about as bad as it gets, at least to those who have no idea. In reality, Jersey City has undergone a bit of a transformation, and if Ox Restaurant is any indication, it is far hipper than the Meatpacking District or Red Hook. Continue reading “Ox Restaurant In…Jersey City? [closed]”