[FHCx349] National Bouillabaisse Day

Say that three times fast.

IT’S NATIONAL BOUILLABAISSE DAY!

It’s even tough to spell it! It’s basically a portmanteau of the words “boil” and “simmer.” Kind of vague for what this thing is: a fish stew. A really tasty fish stew. But there’s all sorts of tradition surrounding this thing that you have to adhere to:

-The ingredients have to be added one by one rather than all at once. Talk about inefficiency for the sake of taste.

-You have to make a rouille, a garlic egg-yolk mayonnaise, and serve it on toast with the soup.

-Serve the soup really hot, with the fish on a separate platter.

Whew!

We went to one of the only remaining restaurants of the Twin Cities that still serves Bouillabaisse (now that Vincent is closed), Sea Change. It’s a pretty lovely restaurant connected to the historic Guthrie Theater.

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Needs no explanation on this menu. Only for the enlightened.

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The rouille is on the bottom of the left piece of toast because SP was clumsy and knocked it over.

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A view with the toast removed.

Really hearty and delicious. If you like seafood, this is definitely a winner.

Tomorrow is National Cupcake Day!

-SPAK

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[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

[FHCx293] National Seafood Bisque Day

Greetings from California!

TODAY IS NATIONAL SEAFOOD BISQUE DAY!

And we are actually by a body of water this time!

We are on a short fall vacation to Southern California, and our first stop from the airport was to get into some bisque. We achieved our goal thanks to Roy’s at the Anaheim Garden Walk (you know, right next to Disneyland).

Lobster Bisque that had some Thai curry flavors. Spicy and tasty!

Our crew for dinner! AKma and AKpa on the right, SPAK, SPuncle SPark, and SPark’s coworker/BFF Howie


Tomorrow is National Brandied Fruit Day. On towards vacation!

-SPAK

[FHCx218] National Oyster Day

IT’S NATIONAL OYSTER DAY!

We are among the population who do definitely like oysters. Some are grossed out by them like they are for many other shellfish. Something about slimy somethingorother. But they’re delicious! We revisited Oceanaire for oysters today, since they serve more than just Blue Points like every other restaurant… Here are some Dabob Bay oysters.

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We also got some oysters Rockefeller, since they’re really good:

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Tomorrow is National Mead Day, National Mustard Day, and National Root Beer Float Day!

-SPAK

[FHCx87] National Baked Ham with Pineapple Day/National Spanish Paella Day

No bunnies and eggs…

IT’S NATIONAL BAKED HAM WITH PINEAPPLE DAY AND NATIONAL SPANISH PAELLA DAY!

There’s something about the time of Easter that coincides with a spike in Ham sales. If there’s one dish that should celebrate the resurrection of one’s deity-person, wouldn’t you think that you would pick something that isn’t blatantly against that deity-person’s religion? Well the Christians are at it again, picking holidays to celebrate with seemingly randomly decided foods.

We got our baked ham from Honeybaked Ham. They have a storefront pretty close to our house, so SP waited in line patiently for a pound of meat. On Friday, that line was out the door with people gearing up for their Sunday holiday. And while it was just a Sunday for us, it was still tasty. AK peeled, cored, and chopped the pineapple for us and we had a quaint lunch.

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Nothing says sacred like this combo, am I right?

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Just look at how well this resembles the Easter holiday!

Well in another area where there’s a wealth of Christianity, there was another dish that was decided for March 27th completely unrelated to Easter. Spanish Paella, invented by the Valencians, is basically a Spanish Jambalaya. Or maybe Jambalaya is the Creole Paella. Rice, saffron, and some sort of meat. Apparently it takes you back to your childhood. It’s really hard to go wrong with that combination, especially when SPom offered to make it for today’s holiday.

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Recipe was courtesy of my cousin’s wife’s father.

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Look at this beautiful Paella pan!

It was just so good. AK pretty much melted. It’s got the multitude of textures between chicken and shrimp, creamy rice, peppers… Every bite you get a whole bunch of flavor and your mouth initially just POPS. As you chew down, your tastebuds start to decode what is going on. That saffron smell that floats into your nostrils and the heartiness of the Spanish rice… Man! We want more! Thanks, SPom.

Tomorrow is Something-on-a-Stick Day and Black Forest Cake Day!

-SPAK

[FHCx32] National Baked Alaska Day

Baked what?

IT’S NATIONAL BAKED ALASKA DAY!

If you can even believe it, SP has had Baked Alaska before today. That’s what led us to choose our restaurant of choice for the day, Oceanaire. Turns out that if we had just gone for dinner, we could have gotten a free Baked Alaska with purchase of an entree. But the way plans shook down, we ended up meeting up after work and driving to downtown Minneapolis for a happy hour dessert. Dessert before dinner! We’re grown-ass adults!

For those who don’t know, this delicious dessert is ice cream inside a thick meringue coating that is browned in the oven and served on top of a sponge cake, usually in a custardy sauce. Back up a sec. You read that right. Ice cream in the oven. And when it comes out, the meringue is fluffy and super toasty but the ice cream is still frozen – almost like a DQ Cake.

Oceanaire’s variant, some call it “Flame on the Iceberg,” includes pouring liquor (rum, mostly), on fire, over the Alaska. I’ll let these pictures tell you the rest of the story.

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I’d eat this like it is.

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Now we’re getting funky.

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A pyre capable of warming the Alaskan winter

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A cross-section of the BA.

It tastes like a toasty marshmallow, with a hint of boozeyness. That booze really soaks into the sponge cake, which normally we’d be all “meh” about, but it works so beautifully well. The ice cream is a chocolate with chocolate bits, really dense and delicious. So worth the trip.

Though Oceanaire can be pricey, we made this special trip during happy hour just for the dessert, which helped cut down on cost. But the cost is usually made up for with excellent service – this time from our server, Jon (not SP) – and excellent food. We’ve been known to go for SParents’ anniversary.

Tomorrow is both Heavenly Hash Day and Jour de Crepes!

-SPAK