An article from yesterday’s NY Times titled Comfort From the Cold Winds about the one and only McSorley’s brought a little tear to my eye. It also reminded me that I need to get back there soon. It has been way way too long, my old Irish friend.

Beyond the greatness of the bar, it’s beer, and it’s unrivaled atmosphere, McSorley’s great little secret has always been it’s food. After several lights or darks with your oldest drinking buddies (or the newest ones you just met after being thrust down at one of those scarred wooden tables), bellying up for the McSorley’s burger & steak fries would make the same meal at Five Guys or Smashburger seem downright partisan. I’m not saying it’s the greatest meal you will ever have, but paired with the atmosphere, it is tough to beat.

Whenever I knew there was a “McSorley’s Virgin” in the mix, I would always push the Mustard and Saltines hard. The presentation of the Mustard was always something to behold. It was just slopped into a extra beer mug, filled halfway, with a flat wooden spoon and crusted mustard on the lip of the mug. Hardly sanitary but it just fits so well sitting there in the middle of the ancient, spilled upon wooden table. Having the mustard for the first time was a true initiation into the wonder and old time history of the bar, as the article so eloquently puts it:

Go easy with that tub of yellow mustard. It’s full of Colman’s, and a heaping spoonful of this British staple can unleash a saloon brawl on your tongue.

One last McSorley’s memory to share: I was there many moons ago with several friends from my undergraduate days at Syracuse. I think that visit to McSorley’s was part of a bachelor party. As can only be done at McSorley’s, we ended up sharing a table with some intimidating looking, leather clad bikers. Several fists full of lights and darks later, one friend of mine was going toe to toe in a drinking contest with the biker dude introduced to us as “Porkchop”. It was just a beautiful scene.

Butterbeer Cupcakes

Amy over at AmyBites recently took a trip to the Orlando’s Universal Islands of Adventure Wizarding World of Harry Potter and took a taste of  a real life version of butterbeer, the nectar like beverage served up to the wizards by Madame Rosmerta at the Three Broomsticks.

And from that taste, she got motivated to create some Butterbeer Cupcakes. Click through to see more and grab the recipe.  Looks very yummy, even if a Muggle created it. :P

via amyBITES

A Burger and Seaweed Fries Please

Some interesting visuals and descriptions of different food offerings on McDonald’s menus from around the world.  I don’t think I’ll be going for the “Seaweed Flavored Fries” from Japan. I’m not sure what to make of the McSpaghetti – spaghetti soaked in sugar. And if you are in Hawaii, be sure to get the Spam, Eggs and Cheese McGriddles.  Spam, spam, spam, spam…wonderful spam!

I’m Into Nuggets Y’All

So about a year ago I was at the WOMMA (Word of Mouth Marketing Association) conference in San Francisco, and I heard about this hilarious video of two guys rapping about how “into Nuggets” they are while standing outside a McDonald’s (which I believe happens to be across the street from Wrigley Field).

Update: Guy on the right is Thomas Middleditch from Silicon Valley

Tonight, I was watching the MLB All-Star Homerun Derby and, low and behold, what shows up on the tube but a McDonald’s ad featuring the exact same video. Once again, it appears citizen marketers and user generated content has made it mainstream.

The Five Second Rule

Ah, the Five Second Rule. You know, the urban legend of college campuses and teenage basements, where its widely accepted that if you drop food on the floor, its OK to pick up and eat it if you do so within 5 seconds of it hitting the floor. Building on an initial analysis done at the University of Illinois in 2003, Clemson University has conducted a follow up analysis and it was discussed in the NY Times today. The key takeaways:

Quick retrieval does mean fewer bacteria, but it’s no guarantee of safety…the five-second rule, version 2.0: If you drop a piece of food, pick it up quickly, take five seconds to recall that just a few bacteria can make you sick, then take a few more to think about where you dropped it and whether or not it’s worth eating.

And there you have it.

Tea For Two

Here is a nice article in the NY Times about how the venerable tea bag is getting an industry makover. As part of the article, it notes that Lipton will be making over its tea bags to use nylon instead of the mesh/paper it currently uses, and it will also use longer leaf tea.

As an avid tea drinker (can’t stand coffee), I think that its about time! I regularly purchase teas like Yorkshire Tea, Twinings, and other brands from the U.K. because brands like Lipton are not as robust, strong, or tasty. Now if we can teach restaurants in this country how to serve tea properly (lose leaf, in a pot, instead of in a crusty mug with an unopened tea bag and lukewarm water. Hell, I’d take just a pot of hot water and tea bags), we’ll be making real progress.


I was teased. For a while now, I have seen ads for Sonic Drive-In on ESPN. Sonic is a fast food chain located everywhere but the northeast. So coming out to Phoenix, in the back of my mind, I was wondering if I may be able to sneak off and grab a bite to eat there. The food on the ads look good, but we shall see what its like in person. Alas, the great irony is that there is a Sonic about 2 miles from the hotel I am staying at and we actually drove right past it when we drove to the hotel.

Guess such a culinary indulgence will have to wait until next time.