Tag Archives: corned beef hash

Reader Questions and Feedback: Angry Vegans, Punked by a Reader, and More!

Gentle Readers, the questions just keep getting more interesting. First, I’ll address the most common question I get.

The Remains of the Day: Dessert Graveyard

The Remains of the Day: Dessert Graveyard

1. How do you eat all of that food and not die/have diabetes/weigh x pounds?

I do not consume every bite of every piece of food I photograph. This applies to whole cakes especially. Sometimes the people I’m eating with have prettier plates, or I spot something cool. I do my best to indicate whether I made it, ate it, or just admired it.

Pickled Beets, Walnuts, Sartori Cheese and Herb Salad Mix. Divine.

Pickled Beets, Walnuts, Sartori Cheese and Herb Salad Mix. Divine.

Also, I realize that I don’t photograph the endless amount of salad/oatmeal/carrot sticks that I eat, because it’s not as interesting. Perhaps I’ll do a blog dedicated to the oatmeals I’ve loved while on business trips.

Steel-Cut Oatmeal in a Bathtub-Sized Bowl

Steel-Cut Oatmeal in a Bathtub-Sized Bowl

However, in the interest of full disclosure, I eat a whole lot of healthy food in between bacon benders. I encourage people to make good food choices based on their particular dietary needs, and to strive to enjoy what they eat and to try new things. As long as they aren’t full of hazelnuts. I can’t advocate for that.

2. Punked by a reader.

My favorite photo received after tweeting about making corned beef hash comes from vTeen. Yes, you have all of the ingredients (double points for the Easter eggs), go forth and fire up your Easy Bake Oven.

Corned beef hash ingredients. Well played.

Corned beef hash ingredients. Well played.

3. “Want to go to dinner with us?” “Sure, I’m a vegan.” “We’re going to a BBQ place.” “I’ll make it work.”

The Smoking Pig: Someone please start a band called Angry Vegans and use this as the cover.

The Smoking Pig: Someone please start a band called Angry Vegans and use this as the cover.

It’s now a running joke that I won’t go try any restaurant without an Angry Vegan in the car with me. Courtesy of my amazing photographer friend Ashley, I got to eat real BBQ in San Jose, CA, on a recent business trip, and as happens at business conferences, we invited people along. Full review on the food later, major props to my new vegan friend for not only making it work but making it hilarious.

Chicken Lollipop from the Smoking Pig in San Jose.

Chicken Lollipop from the Smoking Pig in San Jose.

Moral of this story: nothing is impossible. Good BBQ exists everywhere if you look, and vegans are people too. Only snarkier.

Send me your questions. All material considered. Post a comment below, or Tweet my way.

Send your questions, snark, and good ideas to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today! Also, follow the food pictures on Instagram @amylewi.)

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Coming up Friday, Waffle Substitution, Cereal to the Rescue!

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Filed under Kitchen Philosophy

Restaurant Review: Sears Fine Food in San Francisco

Sometimes, in this crazy busy world, one wants to return to a slower time. Gentle Readers, The Practical Cook indulged in just such a moment by returning to a place she had been years ago, on her very first business trip, Sears Fine Food in San Francisco. Mind you, as a left-handed red-head, the good old days have limited appeal for me. If I look too far back in time, the good old days are more like “burn her at the stake as a witch.”

Make mine decaf: coffee in a proper cup.

Make mine decaf: coffee in a proper cup.

But I digress. In the middle of a modern day business trip, I simply wanted a nice cup of coffee and a quick trip down memory lane. Sears was unchanged since my last visit, and seemingly unchanged in 50 years. As for the food, I’m sure San Francisco natives could easily name a dozen places that go local, modern, better, but on a drizzly morning at the beginning of the second part of a long trip, this was perfection in pancakes.

The Menu at Sear's Fine Dining in San Francisco

The Menu at Sears Fine Dining in San Francisco

Sears is known for their small, Swedish pancakes. I ordered the “one of everything” type breakfast, which included eggs and a very respectable corned beef hash. (I miss NYC a whole lot in that regard: if you have recommendation for good corned beef hash, send ’em along. I’m listening.)

No, really, I'll take one of everything: Swedish pancakes, corned beef hash, hash browns, eggs, and coffee.

No, really, I'll take one of everything: Swedish pancakes, corned beef hash, hash browns, eggs, and coffee.

For those of you who have ever worked a large-scale trade show, you’ll appreciate that this is a “smoke ’em if you’ve got ’em” type situation. Yes, I ate all of that, slowly, sitting at the counter, only tipping my hand to modernity by Tweeting and photographing while I was doing it. Then I headed back into the crush of the Moscone Center, more able to face down the day’s work.

Time stops long enough for a large breakfast at Sear's.

Time stops long enough for a large breakfast at Sears.

There is a reason people used to eat like that, to fortify themselves on occasion before pulling a long shift. And the joy of coffee in a proper cup instead of the faux Italian sizes we’ve all grown accustomed to cannot be overstated. Thank you Sears, it was Fine Food.

Are you a fan of retro diners, places unchanged by time? Share your story in the comments section below!

Want to suggest a restaurant for review? Email practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

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Coming up tomorrow, it’s Tasting Tuesday: Bonnaroo Buzz by Request!

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Filed under Restaurant Reviews