BBQ, Oakland style: Everett and Jones, still strong after 43 years

One of the bonuses of visiting the San Francisco area is a chance to go across the bay to Oakland or Berkeley for some of the best barbecue in the United States. I know that’s a tall order, but Everett & Jones, with locations in Berkeley, Oakland and Hayward, stands out from the crowded barbecue field for many reasons.

I first discovered Everett & Jones in 1980, when I was in college at nearby UC Berkeley. My friends and I would walk down to San Pablo Avenue where the family’s Berkeley location had opened. The ribs, links, or chicken are served with a scoop of potato salad – and back then, a couple of slices of Wonder bread. And a choice of hot, mixed or mild sauce. When one of us would ask for hot, the kind people behind the counter would question whether we knew what we were doing. Times have changed and so have my taste buds. I go with the hot sauce all the way. And there’s no more white bread: it’s wheat bread all the way.

But look at this serving of barbecue link sausage that I had a few days ago.

EJBBQ-2

Everett and Jones is one of the only places that I know of that has their own sausage for barbecue. There’s nothing like the texture of fresh sausage made from all kinds of meat that I don’t want to think about.

The ribs, beef and chicken are also quite credible. Each location has a brick smoker with plenty of hardwood to fuel the slow cooking that makes this authentic barbecue.

Especially when you add the sauce.

Everett & Jones’ barbecue sauce is hearty, and peppery, and filling. It is a moderately sweet tomato-based sauce, with hints of fruit for sweetness and plenty of crushed hot red pepper to get your attention. And, it is absolutely reminiscent of barbecue sauces from Alabama, which happens to be where the Everett family comes from.

Probably good that I’m usually 3,000 miles away, but it’s great to enjoy this classic American barbecue place every now and then.

Everett & Jones Barbeque Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Harlem Eat Up makes a Big League debut among NYC food festivals

Chefs had fun, too.
Marcus Samuelsson, Scott Conant, Alex Guarnaschelli, and Aaron Sanchez pictured.
Charles' Country Fried Chicken
Charles' Country Fried Chicken served a traditional soul food sampler, with Charles' signature chicken.
Co-Founder and host Marcus Samuelsson
Chef Marcus Samuelsson greeted guests arriving for the Harlem Stroll.
Sylvia's
Chicken and waffle, appetizer style, from Sylvia's.
Spring pea soup
Sweet spring pea soup by the Sylvia Center was one of the most memorable bites.
Co-host Bill Clinton
President Clinton poses with workers on his way out from the Harlem Stroll.
The Stroll
Part of Morningside Park was converted into the Harlem Stroll for two days.
Jerk Chicken, British Virgin Islands Style
Jerk chicken with sweet potato puree, promoting Caribbean travel.
Shaved asparagus salad
The Grange served an asparagus and prosciutto salad.
Texas beer Shiner Bock
Apparently Shiner Bock is popular in Harlem.
Crowds around chefs
The stars were out, and accessible at the Harlem Stroll.
Chefs had fun, too.
Marcus Samuelsson, Scott Conant, Alex Guarnaschelli, and Aaron Sanchez pictured.
Chefs had fun, too.
Marcus Samuelsson, Scott Conant, Al...
Charles' Country Fried Chicken
Charles' Country Fried Chicken served a traditional soul food sampler, with Charles' signature chicken.
Charles' Country Frie
Charles' Country Fried Chicken serv...
Co-Founder and host Marcus Samuelsson
Chef Marcus Samuelsson greeted guests arriving for the Harlem Stroll.
Co-Founder and host M
Chef Marcus Samuelsson greeted gues...
Sylvia's
Chicken and waffle, appetizer style, from Sylvia's.
Sylvia's
Chicken and waffle, appetizer style...
Spring pea soup
Sweet spring pea soup by the Sylvia Center was one of the most memorable bites.
Spring pea soup
Sweet spring pea soup by the Sylvia...
Co-host Bill Clinton
President Clinton poses with workers on his way out from the Harlem Stroll.
Co-host Bill Clinton
President Clinton poses with worker...
The Stroll
Part of Morningside Park was converted into the Harlem Stroll for two days.
The Stroll
Part of Morningside Park was conver...
Jerk Chicken, British Virgin Islands Style
Jerk chicken with sweet potato puree, promoting Caribbean travel.
Jerk Chicken, British
Jerk chicken with sweet potato pure...
Shaved asparagus salad
The Grange served an asparagus and prosciutto salad.
Shaved asparagus sala
The Grange served an asparagus and ...
Texas beer Shiner Bock
Apparently Shiner Bock is popular in Harlem.
Texas beer Shiner Boc
Apparently Shiner Bock is popular i...
Crowds around chefs
The stars were out, and accessible at the Harlem Stroll.
Crowds around chefs
The stars were out, and accessible ...

First attempts to produce major festivals rarely go this well. The inaugural Harlem Eat Up proved what is possible when committed chefs and the community come together and invest professional resources — and lots of their own time to make a big event happen.

Harlem Eat Up is a four-day series of special meals, workshops, chef talks, and tastings celebrating the renaissance of culinary arts in Harlem. In the years since Marcus Samuelsson opened Red Rooster on Malcolm X Boulevard near 125th Street, a long list of restaurants have followed.

The centerpiece, called the Harlem Stroll, consisted of tasting events on both weekend afternoons. Some of Harlem’s top-rated restaurants offered samples, along with dozens of beer and wine samples.

On the demonstration stage, chef Aaron Sanchez joked that he learned about herbs in Morningside Park when he was a teenager in the neighborhood. A lot has changed In those 20 or so years, including that Sanchez is a Food Network star, co-owner with John Besh of Johnny Sanchez in New Orleans and Baltimore, and chef/partner of Paloma, in Stamford, Ct.

Marcus Samuelsson and Aaron Sanchez having fun at Harlem Eat Up.
Marcus Samuelsson and Aaron Sanchez having fun at Harlem Eat Up.

Fans of television food shows had plenty to satisfy their cravings. Throughout the afternoon, some of the most familiar faces from television kitchens were visible and accessible. Daniel Bouloud walked around, while Scott Conant and Alex Guarnaschelli were part of the peanut gallery as Sanchez performed a cooking demonstration emceed by Samuelsson.

“Why does it always have to be white beans,” declared Samuelsson as Sanchez pureed beans with fish to make a version of brandade. The two bantered back and forth with good-natured jokes about each other’s ethnic and culinary background, but they saved their biggest barbs for chefs who weren’t there. Clearly, it was all in good fun.

Next year likely will be even better, but this was a fabulous start.

 

Fun frying techniques shown by street vendor in Jordan

This Middle Eastern street food vendor demonstrates one of the most impressive frying techniques I have seen. Watch him in this video to see him craft perfect  little balls of fried dough (which a Jordanian friend of my calls “floats”) and flips them into the fryer from a distance. Fun to watch, and probably fun to eat.

 

بالفيديو: أسرع وأمهر صانع “عوامة” في الأردن

Posted by Alghad Newspaper on Monday, March 2, 2015

Thanks to my friend Primo for help translating and understanding the original post.

Directory: Where to find organic and healthy foods in Washington Heights and Inwood

After a neighbor complained that she could only find “five or six” organic foods in Washington Heights or Inwood, I started collecting data that shows otherwise. In fact, the selection of organic, local and natural items available in northern Manhattan has increased significantly just in the four months since started compiling this directory. Now, healthy and organic options continue to expand — throughout our diverse community. Please contribute to my list, below.

Update May 12, 2016: In addition to the stores on the list below, nearly every corner store or bodega in the area now has some organic items, and many have fresh fruits for sale.

Organic food and natural products in Washington Heights and Inwood

Fresh carrots and radishes by Hawthorne Valley Farm.

Fresh carrots and radishes by Hawthorne Valley Farm.

Hawthorne Valley Farms sells organics at Inwood Greenmarket.

Hawthorne Valley Farms sells organics at Inwood Greenmarket.

Organic canned goods.

Organic canned goods.

Organic goods at Frank's Market.

Organic goods at Frank's Market.

C-Town has a growing organic produce section.

C-Town has a growing organic produce section.

Organic beverages at Antillana.

Organic beverages at Antillana.

Shelves Filled With Organics At Fine Fare.

Shelves Filled With Organics At Fine Fare.

Fine Fare recently expanded organic produce.

Fine Fare recently expanded organic produce.

Inwood Greenmarket In Summer.

Inwood Greenmarket In Summer.

Natural Household Products At Dichter Pharmacy.

Natural Household Products At Dichter Pharmacy.

Purple Cauliflower At Inwood Greenmarket.

Purple Cauliflower At Inwood Greenmarket.

Organic Pasta Sauces At Pathmark.

Organic Pasta Sauces At Pathmark.

Organic Dairy Products At Pathmark.

Organic Dairy Products At Pathmark.

C-Town Has Signs That Guide To Healthier Choices.

C-Town Has Signs That Guide To Healthier Choices.

Organic Grains At Pathmark

Organic Grains At Pathmark

Organic Spices.

Organic Spices.

Frozen Organics At Pathmark.

Frozen Organics At Pathmark.


While much of the growth is spurred by customer requests, City Harvest’s Healthy Neighborhood Program works with corner stores and supermarkets in Washington Heights and Inwood to increase the availability of fresh fruits and vegetables. City Harvest aims to expand to more stores this year.

Here is a list of places that sell organic or natural products in our community. If you have information to add, please enter a comment, and the page will be updated periodically.

  • C-Town 4918 Broadway  sells a growing variety of organic fresh vegetables and fruits, Bob’s Red Mill grain products, household products by Seventh Generation, Mrs. Meyers, and others, and meats and poultry raised without antibiotics, including some organic meats (check the freezer case.) Carries large selection of organic spices and packaged foods, including multiple brands of organic beans and other staples. Very good about ordering items on request.
  • Bravo 4261 Broadway carries organic dairy products, frozen vegetables and some organic produce.
  • Food Universe (formerly Associated) 5069 Broadway has a selection of organic produce and multiple brands of dairy, natural and antibiotic-free meats, and environmentally sensitive household products. Has organic baby food, spices and both canned and frozen foods, and organic grains. Major brands carried include: Amy’s, Kashi, Bob’s Red Mill, Cascadian Farms, Stonyfield Farms, Spice Hunter.
  • Associated 592 Fort Washington Ave., has multiple brands of organic dairy products, some organic produce, and natural household items. Store is scheduled for renovation and upgrade in 2016.
  • Frank’s Market 807 W. 187th St.,  has an extensive selection of organic produce, canned and other packaged food items, organic meats and poultry, frozen foods, and dairy. Wide selection of organic groceries, including Bob’s Red Mill and other brands of grains and baking products.
  • Jin’s Superette, 804 W. 181st St., has organic produce, dairy, frozen foods and canned goods, plus an array of organic snacks.
  • Dichter Pharmacy, 4953 Broadway, , has variety of organic and natural health and beauty products and some household items, including cleaning products. Very good about ordering items on request. Also sells Ronnybrook dairy products, including milk and ice cream.
  • All About Green, Sherman Ave between 10th Ave. and Isham St., has hundreds of organic and natural cleaning and household products, primarily in large sizes for commercial use. Store hours seem somewhat unpredictable.
  • Saturdays: Most of the products sold at the Inwood Greenmarket are raised naturally and some are certified organic. All are local. See http://www.grownyc.org/greenmarket/manhattan/inwood for details and a list of the vendors. Hawthorne Valley Farm is a year-round vendor of vegetables, fruit, cheese, yogurt, pastries and sauerkraut that is certified organic. Bread Alone sells organic breads and pastries.
  • Tuesdays: Fort Washington Greenmarket on Fort Washington Ave., at 168th Street (Columbia University Medical Center) has several organic vendors. See  http://www.grownyc.org/greenmarket/manhattan/fort-washington. (Market closed during winter months.)
  • Thursdays: The 175th Street Greenmarket has natural products and farmers selling specialty produce of Mexican and other Latino origins, all from local growers. See http://www.grownyc.org/greenmarket/manhattan/175th-street
  • Park Terrace Deli, 510 W. 218th St., has more than 200 organic products, including frozen vegetables and prepared foods, canned groceries, snacks, multiple brands of organic dairy and beverages, and a limited selection of organic fresh fruits.
  • Fine Fare, 4776 Broadway near Dyckman, has over 300 organic grocery items, including spices, grains, cereals, multiple brands of organic dairy, and produce. No organic meats or chicken.

The following stores (supermarkets and “corner stores” or bodegas) participate in City Harvest’s Healthy Neighborhood Program to increase produce availability and offer healthy shopping tours and in-store cooking demonstrations:

  • Bravo supermarkets at 1331 St. Nicholas Ave., 4138 Broadway, and 4261 Broadway.
  • C-Town, 1016 St. Nicholas Ave.
  • C-Town, 4918 Broadway
  • La Mina Supermarket, 553 W. 157th St.
  • 119 AR Grocery Corp., 119 Ellwood St.
  • 128 P&L Grocery Corp., 128 Audubon Ave.
  • Bello Deli Food, 5009 Broadway.
  • Diaz Deli Grocery, 2143 Amsterdam Ave.
  • Frutera El Buen Camino, 3888 Broadway.
  • M.D.K. Grocery Corp., 100 Audubon Ave.
  • My Deli Grocery, 670 W. Academy St.
  • My Sweet Deli, 187 Sherman Ave.
  • Red Apple Deli Market Corp., 134 Hamilton Pl.
  • The New Generation, 242 Sherman Ave.

 

 

 

Spatchcock: It’s not just for chickens anymore

spatchcock turkey from Flickr via Wylio
© 2013 Brett Spangler, Flickr | CC-BY-SA | via Wylio

Half the fun of cooking poultry using the “spatchcock” method is being able to say that funny word. But it’s also a truly awesome method to cook chickens, and, as Mark Bittman has advocated since 2002, can be used to cut turkey roasting time from several hours to less than one. That can transform Thanksgiving as we know it.

Spatchcocking is simply a technique in which a chicken or turkey is butterflied by removing the back bone, so it can lay flat on a grill or roasting pan. Eliminating the bird’s cavity eliminates the biggest challenge when roasting a turkey or chicken, because it enables the heat to be more carefully controlled and not wasted on the vacant space. (Stuffing a turkey reduces the variability, too, but extends cooking time and also creates some food safety issues if the temperature isn’t monitored carefully.)

Here are a couple of resources to learn about spatchcocking turkey and how to do it:

From the Quartz.com article comes this interesting graph from Google, showing the frequency of searches for the term “spatchcock” over time:

A weekend of discovery at food blogger conference

Blogger Mike Wangbickler in action at IFBC 2014.
Blogger and wine pro Mike Wangbickler delights upon learning of a new gluten-free oat crisp from Raincoast Crisps.

This weekend is the International Food Bloggers Conference in Seattle. It’s hard to think of a more food-obsessed city, so this will be a weekend of discovery. New commercial products, inventive chef creations, and a chance to explore the food scene of the Northwest. Here are a couple of images from the first few hours.

In addition to tasting plenty of interesting food (it’s ok for you to be jealous,) there’s real work here, and real learning. One excellent session earlier today focused on food photography, specifically how to break out of the cliche pictures that so many of us take.

One of Seattle’s top chefs, Thierry Rautureau (thechefinthehat.com) of Loulay restaurant, demonstrated how to make a simple fresh tomato soup with just a few ingredients pureed in a blender. He suggests freezing the puree in bags, then defrost and puree again with olive oil right before serving.

An emerging theme of the conference is the promotion of vegetables to center stage instead of side dish. Food writer Karen Page told the bloggers that people around the world – and especially in industrialized countries like the United States – are catching on to the idea that vegetables hold the flavors that makes dishes exciting. Chef Thierry favors brining vegetables to add spice to Thanksgiving dinner, or lightly pickling celery sticks to make the crunchy bites a bit more interesting.

Advice from the French chef: Don’t freeze squash. “Zucchini is  great vegetable to shred and put it right on a grill, but if you freeze it, you have a mushy blah thing,” says Rautureau.

Beef slider
Duck confit sliders were passed around at the start of a cooking demo by Seattle Chef Thierry Rautureau.
Fresh cold tomato soup
Chef Thierry Rautureau demonstrated making fresh tomato soup.
Chef Thierry Rautureau
French-born Chef Thierry Rautureau led a colorful cooking demo at IFBC 2014.