Wednesday, December 2, 2009

It is all the talk. . . White Castle's Sweet Potato Fries are BACK

I am making a list -and as the saying goes- I am checking it twice.  (1)  Go to White Castle and try their much "talked about" sweet potato fries.  These days not much takes me to White Castle other than their extraordinary delicious piping hot coffee, but away I go. . . . .

Tis the season of sweet potato fries. . . . Well, actually it's the season of sweet potatoes, but certainly having them fried is a unique way to eat and serve the potatoes.

For all it is worth, I just never got the concept of deep frying sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are much denser than their counter partner the white potato. Every sweet potato fry that I have ever eaten has had a vague taste of sweet potato imploded with cooking oil. YUCK!

I would not quite say "YUCK" to White Castle's sweet potato fries, but I wouldn't say "YUM" either. I say, "Why?"

Why take something so healthy and turn it into an artery clogging digestive devil? I need to get off my "high horse" here, because who goes to White Castle for healthy eating?  I get that!

White Castle's sweet potato fries are probably some of the crispest fries that I have eaten, which is a plus. (Trust me on this!) I have eaten sweet potato fries that are limp, lame and quite tasteless. White Castle serves their fries with a side of cinnamon dipping sauce which is ordinary at best. A couple of fries dipped in this sauce and you will be on sugar overload and wishing you had a couple of "sliders" to go with those fries. 

For $2.19 you get a good portion of the fries and a small container of the dipping sauce. Are they worth a try? Of course they are.   I don't want to dampen your enthusiasm for these fries. To be fair, I haven't read one negative thing said about them, so it is probably just me.

There is no special skill or tools required to make your own delectable scrumptious (healthy) sweet potato fries. . . . click here for a complete set of instructions.

Have a happy Wednesday :-)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Captivating Cupcakes at the sugar cupcakery in Milford, Ohio

I was riding solo today, with no culinary cohort or partner in crime, when I found myself in downtown Milford. Downtown Milford conveys a kind of charming "old school" romantic vibe with a variety of shops and restaurants to suit all desires.
I fortunately found myself standing in front sugar cupcakery and obviously could not pass the chance to venture inside for a look at all the "treats." 

There is a cupcake "craze" going on and lucky for us sugar cupcakery joined the trend.

The sugar cupcakery is a quaint shop where you immediately feel right at home. You are greeted with the incredible fresh scent and sight of homemade baked cupcakes, which is sure to bring a smile to your face.  If you can't find yourself smiling here, I am thinking you aren't going to be smiling anywhere!

It is all about the details when it comes to baking, and sugar cupcakery demonstrates that quality, local, organic ingredients and a little extra care go a long way in creating delicious cupcakes. You can choose between regular size or a mini version cupcake. This is a concept that I really LIKE because in choosing the mini version, you can taste more of the wonderful flavors that are offered at sugar cupcakery

I chose one mini Coconut Lime, one mini Chocolate, one mini Vanilla and one mini Chocolate Truffle.

The only thing I regret is that I am dealing with a new camera and my camera skills/pictures just can not do these treats justice.  Flavor wise, these cupcakes are worth every bite.  Each cupcake is topped with a generous helping of sweet icing that practically melts in your mouth.

I brought my four cupcakes home and poured myself a big glass of milk.  What was my favorite flavor of the four that I brought home?  Oh my gosh, this is a hard decision because quite frankly one was better than the next. They were all luscious, delectable and YUMMY, but my favorite was the Coconut Lime.  This cupcake was sweet with a touch of tartness reminiscent of key lime pie.  I would like to eat one everyday!  Of course if I do that, I am going to need to keep adding miles to my daily run.  Before you know it, I might just find myself running all the way from Landen to Milford for my cupcake "fix."

So, when in Milford do what Gourmet Gin does!  Find yourself to 32 Main Street and satisfy your sweet tooth at the sugar cupcakery!  The end :-)

(NOTE:  sugar cupcakery will have a web site up and running in the near future.  Until then, you can follow them on Twitter @sugercupcakery)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Find your way to Cincinnati’s Mayberry and you find your way to a TERRIFIC LUNCH

Today I had the opportunity to have lunch in downtown Cincinnati at the new eatery, Mayberry and I can't wipe the smile off my face.  Why?  Lunch was muy bueno

I gathered my culinary cohort (sister) and away we went.

Mayberry is small but "warm" and inviting.  The seating capacity is 27.  Chef Josh Campbell (who by all accounts is an incredibly gifted Chef) has the most creative recipes and side dishes that a lunch menu has to offer.

I ordered "The Burger" which is destined to become a Cincinnati "cult classic."


"The Burger" is 12 ounces of Certified Angus Beef served with peppered bacon, onion marmalade topped off with a poached egg!  Without a doubt this is the most interesting, tasteful sandwich that I have ever eaten.  If you are a burger aficionado, you are going to want to try Chef Josh's creation.  My burger was perfectly cooked, terrifically seasoned, and full of texture and flavor with the bacon, onion marmalade and poached egg.

If you, like my sister, love rich flavor, then Mayberry's Slow Roasted Pot Roast should be just your thing. 

The Slow Roasted Pot Roast was served with Caramelized Onions, Root Vegetable Hash and Horseradish Demi Glace.  The Pot Roast was tender enough to cut with a fork and savory enough to melt in your mouth. The Horseradish Demi Glace does double duty, first as a succulent serving sauce and then as a spectacular tribute to Chef Josh's talent.  The only thing missing was a big piece of bread to soak up every last drop of the Glace! The Root Vegetable Hash was a mosaic of complementary color and irresistible fresh fall taste.

Is there anything more delicious or comforting than a steamy bowl of soup?  We were treated to a sample of the Soup of the Day which was Butternut Squash.  It was perfectly seasoned with fresh ground pepper. It was creamy with a  sweet-salty tang.

I will definitely be going back to Mayberry.  The prices are on par with the portions and it was most certainly an unique lunch experience.  It is important to me that I get my money's worth and Mayberry delivered on that criteria.   When I do go back, I have my sights set on the Truffled Caesar Salad with a side of the Tater Tot Casserole.  My Sister has her sights on the Sloppy Josh with a side of Mac n Cheese.

All that being said, I think I might need to add another mile to my run before I let Chef Josh feed me again!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Culinary Review of Jean-Robert's Table

I dined at Jean-Robert's Table last evening. It’s true! It was an enchanting dining experience that won’t soon be forgotten.

I walked passed a polished exterior in downtown Cincinnati on 713 Vine Street with such an infectious warm inviting vibe; I just had to go in.

I was greeted by a cheerful and fully engaging Maitre d’. His lively attitude was quite contagious which made the impending dining experience even more exciting. This was a sentiment that I knew would certainly carry over to the actual meal where I knew every bite would leave a lasting impression. He was already telling me about the specials that Jean-Robert had created with such culinary commitment that my taste buds were already anticipating my good fortune.

Jean-Robert has such a passion and skill for food that I began to question what the heck I was doing at one of his restaurants. I was in the company of “culinary royalty” and a defining moment in my dining glory.

At the center of Jean-Robert’s Table is still the same creative Chef genius who makes repeat guests savor every bite and newcomers amaze in fare that makes their taste buds dance.

Jean-Robert has approached his new restaurant with a new found inspiration. The food is influenced by French country cooking. The menu is adventurous and unpredictable in so much that his amazing talent is very versatile. I dare you to find one thing on the menu that you don’t LOVE?


“Who is there?” I say wondering if I am in foodie heaven.

“You haven’t actually eaten at Jean-Robert's Table. It isn’t even open yet!”

“Oh.” I say.

Well then, let this serve has notice that there is a new food critic in town. That is right!

Gourmet Gin is a brand spanking new Cincinnati Food Critic for all the people and all the establishments from diners to Jean-Robert's Table and hamburgers to elegant fare.

Let’s get started!