[FHCx306] National Calzone Day/National Deep Fried Clams Day/National Vinegar Day

IT’S NATIONAL CALZONE DAY, NATIONAL DEEP FRIED CLAMS DAY, AND NATIONAL VINEGAR DAY!

Riffing on this Ben Wyatt from Parks n Rec thing… if we were to make a restaurant to celebrate folded pizza, it would be specifically diet-friendly and located in areas nearby Los Angeles or San Diego. It would be called the Local LoCal Low-Cal Calzone Zone.

But for reals. Calzone Day was just established recently. Specifically, it was petitioned by Minsky’s Pizza on their 40th anniversary. So hooray for them!

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Today also celebrates something we were worried about finding. There are always days like that. Sea Salt, which we visited for fried scallops, closed for the season at the end of October. Our next best bet was a place called Mucci’s, which is known for their deep fried – wait for it – pizza. Yeah. We were excited to see they also had clam fritti. But when we called at 4:45 to ensure they had our item, we were aghast to find they didn’t have any! As of November 1st, today was a menu change, and they don’t have ’em anymore.

We were in luck that a local joint by SP‘s old apartment had the goods for us. Here’s Mac’s Fish and Chips.

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The menu on a white board. Too quaint not to share.

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“We don’t have soda. We have POP!” Thanks, Minnesota. SP approves.

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SP got half clams and half cod. Mmmmm those clam strips were AMAZING.

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AK went full-blown Minnesotan and got Walleye. Probably was from Lake Wobegon.

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And what’s this? Malt vinegar to have with our fish n chips? Such that we can enjoy National Vinegar Day? Perfect!

Despite the troubles, today was a success. We could’ve clammed up, but we got out of our shell and had an adventure.

Tomorrow is National Deviled Egg Day.

-SPAK

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[FHCx56] National Clam Chowder Day/National Chili Day/National Chocolate Covered Nuts Day

Ch ch ch

IT’S NATIONAL CLAM CHOWDER DAY AND NATIONAL CHILI DAY AND ALSO NATIONAL CHOCOLATE COVERED NUTS DAY!

Oy that’s a mouthful. Don’t eat all of them at the same time. That would be gross. On days like today, we have a couple options: 1) Combine two or more food holidays into one by using some creative imagination, or 2) treat them all separately which may mean that some are not treated as especial. We opted this time for #2 (heh, #2) and tomorrow we’ll make up for it with an amazing feast!

First up – Clam Chowder. We know that recently we already celebrated National New England Clam Chowder Day, but the powers that be gave the “regular” clam chowder a day to itself. Probably for those of Manhattan who realized a month late, “Hey, wait a minute…” Our soup came in the form of a frozen food from Lund’s and Byerly’s.

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Chowda.

It was pretty good. It’s kind of molten when you have to nuke it. But like most things from LnB’s, it’s tasty enough. We shared this one bowl, and put away half of it for a leftover snack some other time.

Next up! Chocolate Covered Nuts. You know how you walk through a grocery store and spot that giant section of bulk nuts? (Yes, I giggle as I type this.) Most of the time, I am completely unfazed by the section because I usually don’t have enough reason to buy a few pounds of pepitas. This time, we got ourselves some chocolate covered peanuts and almonds. Wait a second! Peanuts and almonds aren’t even technically (botanically) nuts?! This is bogus!

Well in a quick google search, it seems like NONE of the things that our parents told us were nuts were actually nuts. Almonds, cashews, pistachios, walnuts, brazil nuts, peanuts, pine nuts… None of them are nuts!!! But they are considered “culinary nuts” and as our food blog is largely culinary, we accept almonds and peanuts as nuts for today.

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Here is an unrelated picture of some rabbit poop.

Lastly, there was a Chili Day to celebrate.

When we think chili, it’s one of two things: 1) Mom’s homemade chili – good lord – or 2) Fast Food chili. And when we think Fast Food chili, well… SP thinks Steak ‘n Shake while AK thinks Tommy’s (the chili burger that’s so messy that SP and his friends call it the diaper burger) or The Hat‘s chili cheese fries. But that’s beside the point. We both think Wendy’s. There are really no chain restaurant chilis in our current area (SnS was a St. Louis favorite and both Tommy’s and The Hat are Left Coast) that hit the spot like this rich and meaty treat. So after our Target run this evening, we stopped by our neighborhood Wendy’s to get some chili. AK got hers with a baked potato, and SP got his with a spicy chicken filet.

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Phew! Another 3-in-1 down.

Tomorrow is National Pistachio Day!

-SPAK

[FHCx21] National Granola Bar Day/New England Clam Chowder Day

We’re 21 days into our food holiday challenge!

IT’S NATIONAL GRANOLA BAR DAY AND NEW ENGLAND CLAM CHOWDER CHOWDA DAY!

Granola bars are the quintessential after-school snack. I think that a lot of granola bars have gone underrated for too long. Now, some are definitely more artsy and less fartsy, but even the most basic, kid-targeted granola bar can hit the spot.

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We couldn’t help picking these up on clearance.

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Chocolatey, peanut buttery, granola-y

The real treat for the day was heading up to Smack Shack for dinner to get some chowda. Smack Shack used to be just a food truck that was permanently parked at a bar in Minneapolis until it opened its own brick-and-mortar. And the homebase is a beautiful spot in the North Loop – because let’s face it, what restaurant isn’t in the North Loop now – serving awesome lobster day after day.

So here’s the rundown on the chowder.

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Le menu

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Here’s our bowl, waiting to be eaten with ferocity

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Each spoonful was super creamy and liked to drip slowly off of the spoon

New England style is milk-based. Basically, if it’s got any tomato in it, you’ll be stoned by angry Bostonians. Smack Shack hits the nail on the head, with delicious potatoes, onions, and clam bits floating around a sea of thick, gooey soup. When you see the bottom of that bowl, you feel a little twinge of sadness that the fun has come to an end.

Well, until you get the main course, that is.

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Smack Shack’s Lobster Roll with some lobster Mac & Cheese. We did the mac. We did the lobster mac.

Tomorrow is an interesting one: Blonde Brownie day!

-SPAK