Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Culinary adventures in New England

Well, time to resurrect this little corner of the Internets. Your global correspondent here, reporting from Pisa, Tuscany, Italy. But since I just got here, not much to talk about yet (except that Caprese salad with good ingredients is amazingly delicious, and shrinkwrapped sandwiches everywhere taste awful).

So instead, I thought I'd talk about (the highlights of) my culinary adventures as I traveled through New England in the month of May. This actually is NOT going to include my Michelinesque tour through New Haven's fancier eating establishments (and let me tell you, it's an underrated food city), but instead going to focus on interesting food in occasionally strange places:

1. BBQ in Vermont: I wouldn't have believed this for a second, had my friend Steve Wang not alerted me to it. He had come up to New Haven and we were about to embark on a journey to the wilds of Middlebury, VT to play at Get Ho Get Leid. Doing some research about our route, he found information about Curtis's BBQ stand, off exit 4 on I-91, Putney, VT. Damn, were these good ribs. And talking to Curtis, as he minded rack after rack of delicious meat, is quite the experience. The sauce is a tangy, vinegary one, which I think is Carolina, but Curtis is from Georgia. Any info on Georgia BBQ, guys?

2. Cheddar Cheese in Vermont: A little less surprising, I suppose. While playing this tournament, we had several ocassions to sample the famous Cabot Cheddar. First, after games on Saturday, we swung over to Noonies Deli, where many of us enjoyed the Vermonter sandwich: ham, cheddar, apples, and spicy honey mustard on honey oat bread. Just an amazing combo of textures and flavors. It was so good that on Sunday, when we went back, I ordered one after eating a quite substantial (and also delicious) Rueben.

Oh, and Middlebury totally deserves it's Club Midd reputation. On Sunday morning, we had a first round bye, and so strolled into the dining halls (no one at the door), and helped ourselves to omelettes stuffed with, yup, Cabot Cheddar. Best pre-tourney breakfast ever (with the possible exception of poutin, which BK really should post about).

3. Ethnic food in Boston: After Middlebury, drove over to Boston with Steve for the Clay Math conference. On Sunday night, went to dinner with Sam, Steve, and Rohan, and had a nice Vietnamese meal. On Monday for lunch, went on Punjabi Dhaba in Inman Square (I think) for really good Indian highwayside food (Dhaba = food stand on the side of the highway). On Monday for dinner, Chinatown. On Tuesday for lunch, Bartley's burgers. Damn, those are good. On Tuesday for dinner, Ethiopian. As Drew would say, Injeralicious. I like cities with a wide variety of cuisines.

4. Big portions in Newport: On Monday of Memorial Day weekend, Nicole (the gf) and I went up to Newport, RI for a day of R&R. For lunch, we went to the Red Pirate (I think) and had the most enormous portions I've ever seen served to us. I had the Rasta Pasta, and Nicole the Steak Salad, and we ended up taking most of our stuff back to New Haven.

Other meals in Newport were more reasonably sized: a fantastic dinner (oysters, lobster spring rolls, Thai duck and shrimp curry) on Monday night, a nice breakfast at our B&B, and delicious ice cream after going sailing on Tuesday morning.

New Haven guide to follow.

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