Category Archives: Restaurants

Places I’ve eaten in, worked in, or read about.

Dive bar or neighborhood tavern?: Iowa tavern sandwiches

You’ve just gotta listen to this week’s music video.  Blake Shelton Garth Brooks, Dive Bar I ate my first enchilada in the late 60s at the Half Moon Inn. The Half Moon, three dramas short of a dive bar, was a … Continue reading

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Sound Food, the beginning: Chocolate Mousse Pie

Crosby, Stills, Nash, Teach Your Children A girl can always use a little money of her own. It was 1973, I was bored, new to Vashon, and wanted a job. Choices were slim—my previous work history consisted of picking currants for … Continue reading

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1979, 1989, 2019: Remembering

Charles Aznavour, Ne Me Quitte Pas Seems as if friend-making years occur when we are the busiest: during college, on our first jobs, when we’re young couples, or as playdate Moms. The Sweetie and I are lucky to have friends we … Continue reading

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Japan and Gypsy’s: Inauthentic Fried rice

Eddie Raven, Bayou Boys  I assumed that my first food experience in Wichita Falls would be something Texan—barbecue, Mexican, Tex Mex, or Roadhouse. My Sunday plan was to take the downtown bus to the Gypsy Kit Cafe (eclectic Mexican/Asian/Cajun food, Cajun … Continue reading

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Make ‘em laugh: Caramel sauce

Bruce Springsteen, “I’m on Fire” Give a tribe of mostly twenty-something male misfits access to sharp knives, hot oil, and fire, add a healthy dose of cruel, X-rated humor and you have a restaurant kitchen—what could possibly go wrong. In … Continue reading

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Jon: Lebanese cabbage rolls

  My son Jon was born smiling. He seldom cried; he slept through the night and loved his big sister from the start. As a rambunctious three year old, he delighted in storming in to Ed and Sophie’s house see … Continue reading

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A Christmas Caper: Pumpkin Bars

 Henry Mancini, Pink Panther Dennis gave me a key to Stratton’s back door so I could go in early to prep for Sunday brunch—I hated brunch. You would be hard-pressed to find a restaurant cook who doesn’t hate brunch: the … Continue reading

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Over the River: Gene Stratton’s mother’s cranberry relish

“Cooking up something good,” Matt Demarco Dennis, the Chef at Stratton’s, worked hard to develop and execute a top-quality “Continental” menu, using the best ingredients and CIA-grade culinary techniques, but was not particularly interested in creating new dishes, securing a … Continue reading

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You can run, but you cannot hide: Hickory-smoked black bean soup

Light My Fire, The Doors It was late and I was tired. The dining room was empty, the servers were tipping out at the bar, the floor manager had been fed, the bussers were piling dirty dishes into plastic tubs, … Continue reading

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Living the good life: Lemon Panna Cotta

The Sweetie walks along Pacific Beach, I sit above on the palisades—our old Sunday morning routine. Cliffs crowded at 10:00, I join a French-speaking couple on their concrete banquette under a spiky patch of palm-tree shade.  Below on the white … Continue reading

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