Monday, November 19, 2012

chicken salad

chicken salad

update, september 2015: mile end's sandwiches now appear to be slipshod execution and heartbreak. look elsewhere for sandwich perfection.

the mile end sandwich shop on bond street presented this, the best and nearly the most expensive chicken salad sandwich i've ever had: a modest quantity of light-mayo white meat chicken salad, fresh dilled cucumber slices, pickled and fresh red peppers, and gribenes, on thick challah toasted only on the inside faces. normally, the crunch in a chicken salad sandwich comes from little pieces of celery in the salad. here, pillowy softness from the bread, crunch from the cucumbers and gribenes. cool salad, warm gribenes. a textural marvel demonstrating, again, that the quality of a sandwich lies in an architecture of contrast and an awareness of how it unfolds through time.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

la colmena

la colmena

the honey bee is a single-location, family-owned grocer in mexicantown, detroit. other than its jaunty logo of a perky bee in mexican garb holding a pepper, it is also virtuous for selling tamales made in-house: a dozen of the same stuffing (your choice of braised pork, chicken, or jalapeno cheese) for $7.99. while tamales freeze well and are a handy midnight snack, the tamale-buyer's perennial problem remains: how to get a variety of tamales without buying more dozens of them than is prudent? while i stood before the counter smelling the piercing orange flower fragrance of nixtamalized corn, surveying the offerings, and wishing for a bag of mixed tamales, a fellow-shopper mused aloud: "it'd be so nice to get a mixed dozen of the pork and the cheese." to which the counter-lady replied: "we can't break those dozens, sorry." turning to my crestfallen fellow-shopper, i said, "would you like to hear a great idea for tamale distribution that will likely result in a pareto improvement?"

useful notes: 1) putting the bag down on a case of canned beans makes it easier to count hot tamales, 2) when transferring a hot tamale from one bag to another, do not pick it up by the twisted end, and 3) tamales don't look like they ooze enough to merit double bagging, but they do.

Sunday, November 4, 2012


astro branches
astro bar

astro pulls ritual, sightglass, and handsome, and makes hot chocolate with askinosie in a long, high-ceilinged space in detroit's corktown. it felt like being back in san francisco but with friendlier people behind the bar.