SHORT RIBS AND RANDOM THOUGHTS- June 11 2018

HARRY BELAFONTE- remember him?  He turned up on CNN the other night looking like a 40-year old.  He’s 90!!! What is his secret? A clear conscience?  Amazing!

PUBLIX VS THE KIDS- Ever shop at a  Publix?  In Florida, Georgia and elsewhere in the Southeast, they’re the equivalent of Safeway.  Big company with 120,000 employees.  They made the mistake of endorsing a candidate who’s real cozy with the NRA and are now facing a boycott led by the brave students from Stoneman High.   Hopefully, they’ll come  to their senses.  If I had to bet, I’d take David Hogg over Publix.   In Jax, Publix is the best market, then it’s Winn-Dixie,  which is in bankruptcy, then at the bottom there’s Food Lion which is awful but has sweet employees who urge you to “have a blessed day’.   Publix has the best grab-n-go lunch I’ve ever seen,  a Cubano sandwich that is PERFECT.  Someone should be selling those here.  A shrink-wrapped Cubano stays fresh a long time.

FOOD NEWS-  Southside Mike and his truck will be at St Joe’s at the Harrison Street entrance,  from 1130 to 2pm on Tuesdays. Also Murphy’s in Cutten has started their “BBQ”  again, M-F from 11 to 4.  It is insane that they close so early, leaving  the 15,000 or so residents who go past everyday on their way home to pine for burgers and ribs which they would gladly purchase for dinner that night.  Go figure.

— SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-ARIZ.), (on Twitter): “To our allies: bipartisan majorities of Americans remain pro-free trade, pro-globalization & supportive of alliances based on 70 years of shared values. Americans stand with you, even if our president doesn’t.

HAVE YOU EVER NOTICED that Our Fake President runs away from dealmaking (hid out during the budget negotiations, hid during the Obamacare  negotiations, leaving everything to McConnell, blew the immigration negotiations. .  He wouldn’t know a deal if he hit one in the road.  And have you noticed that whenever he is faced with anyone who is more confident, more educated, more prepared , better spoken, better educated –  he pulls a cheap attack like finding “dandruff” on Macron and pretending to pick it off. How come no one else saw the “dandruff’? Now young Justin Trudeau is eating Trump’s lunch and reminding the world what a statement is SUPPOSED to sound like.

MORE RETAIL CLOSINGS-  Stonestown Mall,  having already lost its  Macy’s, is about to lose its Nordstrom’s, leaving the center with no anchor.  How times change!

I am very sad about the death of Anthony Bourdain.  I bought his “Kitchen Confidential ” book and encouraged my Job Club  members to read it, when I was doing that. He apparently did not give his closest friends the slightest hint that he was considering suicide which is sobering.  PLEASE pay attention to anyone who acts depressed or seems to need help. You could be saving a life.

SHORT RIBS AND RANDOM THOUGHTS- Sept 25 2017

In the short time I’ve been writing this column, the price of REAL short ribs at Safeway has gone from $3.99 to $5.99 per pound.  I don’t buy beef anymore!  With hamburger at $5/lb shrimp is more reasonable. How times change.

Has anyone else noticed that  Paul Manafort is the spittin’ image of L Ron Hubbard?  Did Hubbard have any lost children ?  Maybe we should go down to the Mattole and dig him  up to check.

The little shack that houses the Bless My Soul restaurant (used to be Kwan’s many moons ago) is listed on Loopnet as for sale for ONE MILLION BUCKS.  That’s JUST the  building, not the business, indicating the value of being in or near a cannabis zone.  BTW, Marie, the owner, told me last time I was in  that they were going thru hard times.  Support this local restaurant!  When they’re good, they hit it out of the park.

Family Dinners- we had relatives  in town recently and had a lot of good experiences, including:

GALLAGHER’S:   I’ve had good and bad experiences there before but  picked it for our opening dinner because some folks were coming from afar and they have a wide range of choices.  The fish and chips were MUCH better than I had remembered and the chowder was good too.  Everyone was happy.

BELLA ITALIA:  this is a wonderful restaurant.  It’s only drawback is its coffee-shop ambiance, which is comes by honestly, having been repurposed from Heuer’s only a couple of years ago.  The noise level, especially with eight chattering family members, is pretty high but the food is amazing.  I had my usual linguini with mixed seafood but I took a bite of my neighbor’s veal scallopini and  I will definitely order that next time. Another  good meal.

HUMBOLDT BAY BISTRO: Everything you have heard is true. It has been 60 years (!) since my family had dinner here at what was Aldo’s Italian Dinners but it’s still a wonderful  venue and the folks who are running it now know their stuff.  They didn’t have full liquor service but they made me a Bloody Mary with sake that was beyond reproach.  The menu has a vast range of prices from $15 for fish tacos to $40 and up for  XXXXXXach.   The service was exceptional.  Go there.

ALSO NOTED RECENTLY : The Kabob Cafe in Valley West continues to have the best, most reliable fast food in the County.  It’s not that fast but well worth the journey to Valley West. Also the Humboldt Smoke House’s taco trio is a VERY satisfying $10 lunch. l like the Burnt Ends.

SOUTHSIDE MIKE has moved from John’s Cigars to Vigo Street to the street between COSTCO and the old Honest Engine building. He sometimes, but not always, posts his location on FB.  He’s worth chasing down.  His chicken livers are outstanding, as is everything else.

QuOTE OF THE DAY;  “Still wondering how this guy is running the country”-Draymond Green

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Eureka’s Food Truck Pod

They call them pods in Portland, hubs in other places. They’re semi-legit places where your local food purveyors can offer their wares without interference. WE HAVE ONE!  It’s next to Mr Fish on Broadway (between Mr Fish and Les Schwab) and the current occupants are Taco El Pueblo,  Yo’Mamma’s Fish & Shrimp and our ninja BBQ maestro SOUTHSIDE MIKE  who keeps disappearing and reappearing.  Right now he’s doing T-F, 11-7 at the Mr FIsh site and Saturdays 12-7 in Old Town.  I had his Southsider,  a tri-tip san that comes with fries for $11.99. His fries are fabulous.

Drop by soon to support our local food truck culture, and our local entrepreneurs.

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Is The Fair Going To Suck This Year?

I spent several hours at the Humboldt County Fair on Monday and I was alarmed at how few people I saw there. Granted I was at a Humboldt Democrats’ booth which was WAY out of the main area, but I really expected to see more people, especially since it was Kids’ Day.  Maybe I was just in a bad mood,  but the usual array of hats and doodads for sale seemed more tacky than ever and when I went looking for lunch,  there didn’t seem to be any choices. I found a Mexican family doing decent street tacos, but not much else.  Where was the BBQ?  Where the gyros? There was one booth doing Chinese but the pickings were lean.

Why is the Fair food so awful? It seems the food vendors, like the handbag vendors, crawl around from Fair to Fair with their funnel cakes but in places like Humboldt, where the local food far outshines anything that could be trucked in, why not showcase our local foods? Where was Southside Mike? Where was Sammy’s? Where was Rita’s? There will be races today and hopefully the attendance will pick up.  If you go, tell us how you liked it. 

By the way, I took a poll of the few folks who stopped by the table.   I talked with 10 folks who were definitely voting for Hilary and one gentleman who said he just couldn’t bring himself to vote for her. I talked him into voting for Gary Johnson instead. It wasn’t hard. 

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The Chickens Are Growing

Our chickens are growing up. The three babies that we had in a bin on the dining room table are now outside full time. We finished clearing out the space on the side of the house and now we have a lovely chicken run. It has quite a few plants for shade and for snacks., and plenty of room to run around.  They definitely like greens and I’d get tired of the chicken food, too.  It looks like gravel and probably tastes like it too but they love it.  Southside Mike, who lives  over on Glenwood, warned me about hawks so Jon has rigged up netting over the space to deter them.

Their day begins at 7am when I go out to open their little enclosure. They don’t mind being penned up.  When the silky was the only one outside she’d go into the cat carrier we used as a chicken house of sorts, and wait for someone to lock her up.  Now that there are three others, they take longer to settle down but they’re the easiest animals to manage I’ve  ever seen. I feed them in the morning  and again around 6 or 7 so they’ll mosey back into their enclosure.  They seem to smell that dry feed; somehow they know when you’ve replenished  it.  There is a lot of chatter before they go to sleep.  Are they catching up on each others’ days?  They’ve been together  the whole time.  They spend their days poking around the space.  There are plants, a big table with more plants to afford them shelter, some higher points where they can perch, some shady spots, some sunny spots. They seem happy.

Now that they are teenagers, their appearance has changed .  The little yellow chick is becoming a beautiful white bird with black markings. The smallest, the brown one, has developed a gorgeous chestnut color with tiny golden chevrons and the big  black one is going to be HUGE. But I love the siiky best of all.  I love her white fluffy feathers, her dopey look with that topknot, the fluffy feathers all up and down her legs and between her toes as she steps so high and deliberately.

I don’t know if we’ll ever get any eggs and I don’t care.  We have chickens. Our house is complete.

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