Trouble With Toast

What to order at the Porter

June 18, 2009
Leave a Comment

First, sorry for the lapse in posting.  Triathlons, work, dog training, wedding planning, blah blah blah.

Second, I am oh so pleased with myself for coming up with a quasi-rhyming post title.  I may or may not have giggled out loud as I typed it.

Moving on…

Jason had been bugging me to try the Porter Beer Bar (in Little Five Points) for quite some time, but I kept looking at the food menu and having a “meh” kind of reaction.  Their beer selection is HUGE, though, and last Friday evening was one of those times when beer needs definitely trumped everything else.  We got there around 7:30 PM, and I anticipated a long wait, but the only part of the place that was packed was the patio.  We grabbed two seats at the large bar and were helped immediately by the bartenders (who were knowledgeable but not particularly friendly).  My first beer was a He’Brew Bittersweet Lenny’s R.I.P.A., a fantastically hoppy beer that was brewed in honor of the late Lenny Bruce.  Jason opted for a Moylan’s Hopsickle, which both of us found a little too sweet, particularly on the nose.

We were starving, so we ordered an appetizer right away–one of the specials, goat cheese fritters, with cracked black pepper and clover honey.  This really was a delicious dish, with a crisp, non-greasy coating over the soft cheese filling.  There was a wonderful flavor duel between the spice of the pepper and the sweetness of the honey.  They smelled and looked so good that our neighbors at the bar offered their assistance in cleaning the plate.  A clearly unnecessary gesture.

For our meals, I ordered the homemade black bean and quinoa burger, and Jason opted for the Reuben.  Both came with HUGE piles of herbed fries, which smelled more flavorful than they actually were.  They were fried beautifully, however, and they had a great non-greasy crunch.  My black bean burger had good flavor, but the texture was very soggy and the patty, bun, and toppings all sort of mushed together unappealingly.  The pickled red onions that came on the burger tasted great–but the sandwich needed crunch, so I feel like raw red onions would have been a better choice.  I could only finish half the burger and maybe a third of the fries before I was stuffed; I blame that partially on the obscenely large portions and partially on the Weyerbacher Double Simcoe IPA that I was guzzling while trying to eat.

All in all, I think we’ll go back to the Porter–after all, their beer selection is the best in the neighborhood.  If we’re hungry next time, I think we’ll just stick with appetizers and smaller noshes.

Old reliables

June 8, 2009

Sometimes, new recipes just don’t call out to me.  Instead, I find myself gravitating towards dishes that are tried and true, dishes that I know are tasty, simple to prepare, and imminently comforting.  Here are some of the recipes I’ve been excited about lately:

Fiery Fried Chicken

Jumbo Turkey Meatballs

Turkey Burgers

Honey Vanilla Pound Cake

Lemon Roasted Chicken

I know, I know, this post is totally cheating–but I can’t help it, I’ve been craving old favorites from my repertoire.  Hopefully, after going through my ever-growing stack of food magazines, I’ll come up with some new and exciting dishes to try.

In the meantime, enjoy these TWT classics.  Have a great one!

Recipe: Potato Salad with Herbs and Grilled Summer Squash

June 2, 2009

Sorry for the little blip in posts, folks–I had a touch of the plague.  Between my fiance’s broken shoulder (see my tri blog for the story) and my flu virus, there wasn’t a lot of cooking going on over the weekend.

Before I fell ill, though, I did throw together this summery potato salad (with red potatoes and squash purchased at local farmers markets).  While I’m a sucker for my grandmother’s mayo-heavy, old-fashioned potato salad, particularly when paired with burgers and dogs, this is a much lighter, more herbacious version.  Due to its citrusy kick and fresh flavors, it would compliment nearly any grilled meat.  I don’t have a photo, as my camera battery finally gave out, but trust me when I say that this is a colorful, healthy side dish to add to your warm-weather rotation.


  • 2  pounds small red potatoes
  • 3/4  pound yellow squash, cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch slices
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/4  teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8  teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Dressing:

  • 1/3  cup chopped fresh chives
  • 3  tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2  tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1  tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1/4  teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 3  tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2  tablespoons water
  • 2  tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2  tablespoons capers
  • 1/4  teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8  teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Preheat grill pan over medium-high heat.

    To prepare salad, place potatoes in a large saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 18 minutes or until tender. Drain; cut potatoes into quarters, and place in a large bowl. Set aside.

    Lightly coat squash with cooking spray. Sprinkle evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Place squash on grill pan; grill 2 minutes on each side or until browned and tender. Remove squash from heat, and add to potatoes.

    To prepare dressing, combine chives and remaining ingredients in a small bowl; stir with a whisk. Pour dressing over potato mixture, tossing gently to combine. Serve salad warm or chilled.

    Per serving (the recipe makes 6): Calories 160, Fat 5g, Protein 3.8g, Carbohydrate 27g, Fiber 3.4g, Cholesterol 0.0mg, Iron 1.5mg, Sodium 206mg, Calcium 33mg.