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Family Meals: 47 – 42

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Tuesday: fried tofu, mushroom hearts, yellow carrots and peas with cashew curry. With some cauliflower.

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Wednesday: bowl of salad with a spicy rice noodle and egg soup. Very good but hard to eat because Jesus likes to punish us for making family meal by leaving the extra long rice noodles extra long and refusing to cut them. We all had to change our shirts afterwards. Not a date soup.

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Thursday: salad with cucumber and almonds and carrots. Next to it is broccoli with mushroom hearts (those again) and chickpeas.

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Friday: a salad with carrots. It’s Danielle’s Asian-inspired salad with lime juice, sesame oil, red pepper flakes and parmesan cheese. Tomato paste with fried tofu and mushroom hearts. We are all heartily sick of mushroom hearts but the celery salad is not leaving anytime soon so we will continue to have a near-limitless supply of them and eating them is cheaper than throwing them away.

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Saturday: greatest hits day! Fried eggs are back. Mushroom hearts! Broccoli stems!

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Big Broccoli is Watching You

And so it has been revealed. The liberal vegetable agenda to take over America.

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Now that their secret is out, there is nothing to stop vegetables from breaking cover and executing a full, leafy assault on this country. The zucchini told me that collaborators would not be executed and all of the Acephalas agreed, especially since, as a Canadian, I am already a traitor. So I expect to be allowed to survive. The rest of you will not be so lucky.

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Dirt Candy’s Holiday Schedule

This year, Dirt Candy will be closed on December 24 (Friday), December 25 (Saturday), December 28 (Tuesday), December 29 (Wednesday) and December 31 (Friday) for the holidays. We are also, as always, closed that Sunday (December 26) and Monday (December 27).

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That means that on the week of 12/27 we WILL be open on December 30 (Thursday) and January 1 (Saturday). The following week we’ll be back in business for our regular hours.

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There was a recent software error in the Open Table software and they were allowing reservations on some of the nights we will be closed. They should have contacted everyone who made a reservation by now to apologize and let you know.

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YoHoHo

Happy Holidays, from Dirt Candy’s back-of-house!

(me, Jesus in the back, and William)

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Happy Holidays, from Dirt Candy’s front-of-house!

(me and Diana)

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Happy Holiday, from Dirt Candy’s daytime crew!

(me and Danielle)

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GaryColeman

And most of all, Happy Holidays from

Gary Coleman!

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Family Meals: 57 – 47

Two weeks of family meal, all in one post. We’re in the home stretch now!

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Tuesday: this is the first day the molten beet cake went on the menu because there’s lots of leftover chocolate and mango sorbet from the fennel funnel cake at family meal. There’s also rice noodles with sesame seeds, mushrooms and zucchini and eggs and in the back, hiding, there’s a plate of it without eggs, because we have an intern who can’t eat eggs.

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Wednesday: for some reason that none of us can remember, we all decided that this was Taco Day! So there’s the taco kit from the store, with refried beans and cheese, and tempeh instead of ground beef. And, of course, salad. The key thing to know about this family meal is that my intern got the salt and the sugar mixed up and wound up giving us all sweet salsa. Which wasn’t that bad. What do I care, anyways? It’s Taco Day!

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Thursday: this is tofu skin and chickpeas and tofu all mixed together, a salad, vegan maple butter and habanero, gluten-free corn muffins. These were made by my intern, Madeline, and they were so spicy that William, my dishwasher, took one bite and then bolted to the basement to guzzle a bottle of water and cry. Thanks, Madeline!

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“No problem!”

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Friday: the usual broccoli and mushroom hearts with fried tofu on the side.

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Saturday: a smoothie with banana and leftover mano – maybe? Something like that is in that cambro bin. Then there’s white bean and fried tofu with zucchini and maybe with a mushroom cream sauce in the foreground.

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Diana receives birthday cupcakes.

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Tuesday: Diana, my other waiter, gets her birthday family meal. I think she just turned 21 or something ridiculous like that. She loves Thai food, so I got her a Thai feast, but more importantly she only likes mint chocolate and I got her a bunch of mint chocolate cupcakes. There she is in the first picture, blowing out her candles. Danielle is the presenter of the celebratory cupcakes.

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Wednesday: fried eggs, miso rice soup and salad (of course). What a comedown.

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Thursday: grits and mushroom hearts and a salad with fried eggs on the side.

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Friday: I have a prep person coming in days right now to assist Danielle and he brought in cranberry cake (on the left) and then there were fried tofu sticks with roasted vegetables. It all tasted better than it looked.

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Saturday: a waiter who thought she was going to replace Kristen, but then decided that the job wasn’t a good fit for her, gets this spectacular, bright red family meal. She’s gluten free so it’s a gluten free Italian feast. Tomato and noodles and tempeh in the big pan, then fried eggplant with balsamic and parmesan salad, garlic toast and gluten free banana cake and cupcakes for dessert.

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An Apology

If you ordered the cauliflower here last Thursday or Friday night, I just wanted to let you know that I’m really sorry. Some of the cauliflower that went out hadn’t been smoked long enough and, to me, the dish didn’t taste right. Every plate of food that is served here passes through my hands and I dropped the ball.

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ruhroh

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Dirt Candy has been slammed with business since September and it doesn’t show any signs of letting up, which is great. However, Kristen, my longtime waiter, has moved on and I’ve been trying to find her replacement and it’s a tough process. As a result, I’ve gotten a little overwhelmed and while I normally don’t let that affect the food or the dining experience here, last Thursday and Friday I wasn’t as on top of the cauliflower as I should have been and it just wasn’t as good as it normally is. The problem was noticed and corrected late on Friday night, and all cauliflower coming out of this kitchen is now certified delicious. But I do want to let people know that if they got one of those underwhelming plates, then I’m sorry. I want the food here to be consistently perfect, and for those two nights the cauliflower wasn’t.

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Jurassic Food

I was going through my cookbooks looking for inspiration recently and came across my copy of Elsa Michaels’s The Vegetarian Menu Cookbook from 1973. I flipped it open and this is the first thing I saw:

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Any recipe that starts with a “1 styrofoam disc, 2 inches thick” is a recipe for me, and I began to breathlessly page through the book. In the introduction, Elsa writes, “I have found over the years that many people can produce a vegetarian dish, but there are few who have the knowledge or experience to plan a meal that is nutritionally well balanced as well as being attractive and palatable.” Attractive and palatable is practically my nickname! Let’s take a look inside!

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Read the rest of this entry »


Dirt Candy on TV

Dirt Candy is on TV tonight and I’m kind of curious to watch. The Cooking Channel (VH1 to the Food Network’s MTV, or something like that) is airing a special tonight, Thursday, Dec. 9 @ 9pm EST called “The Veg Edge” that’ll feature several new vegetarian/vegetable chefs, including Dirt Candy. The show description seems to have been moved off the Cooking Channel webpage but from the tiny description I can find they’re describing me as an “East Village hipster.” Just to be clear, this is a hipster:

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And this is me:

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I’d like to think there’s some small difference. But all questions about “Who’s a hipster?” and “I’ll hipster you,” aside,  “The Veg Edge” is on The Cooking Channel tonight, Thursday, December 9 @ 9pm. And I’m kind of excited to see it. Mostly because I anticipate looking like a dork.

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(the Cooking Channel schedule grid where you can find the show listed)

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Animals are scary and cute but mostly scary

It’s no secret that I’m terrified of animals. A few tried to eat me as a child and then there was what the Cohen family refers to as the “Goldfish Stalking Amanda Through the Ventilation System Incident” in which a suicidal goldfish with death on its mind came for me. After that, I figured I’d give animals a wide berth: they’d go their way and I’d go mine. And, one day when they finally figure out how to open doors for themselves and take over the planet they won’t put me in their death camps because they’ll be all, “She never bothered us,” and I’ll get to run away into the woods and live off of roots and old juice boxes that I scavenge.

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kittenofdeath

“And I looked, and behold, a pale kitten!

And its rider’s name was Death,

and Hell followed after him”

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It’s not the fault of animals that I’m scared of them. They’re animals, after all. What do they know? And sometimes I’m even lulled into a state of complacency by pictures of cute panda babies. But then something comes up in the news about an animal trying to eat a human and I remember why I fear them. Something like this: the cat at McSorley’s is being sued for dropping some krav maga on a woman from New Jersey. She sustained no injuries…except on her soul! Suing a cat is a risky proposition, and is only recommended for people who don’t value their own lives. Even as you read this, neighborhood cats are circling that woman’s house and tonight, after she falls asleep, they will form a furry pile of death on her face.

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The McSorley’s cat looks cute, but it is clearly murder on four legs.

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Don’t be fooled by other Lambruscos

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A couple of customers who have had the Lambrusco at Dirt Candy and loved it have reported that they bought a Lambrusco somewhere else and weren’t happy with it. I don’t blame them. A fair amount of Lambrusco is, to my mind, more of a rose’. It’s paler, has less of the strong, bold taste of red wine taste and leans more towards sparkling wine rather than Lambrusco. So, for the record, here’s what I serve at Dirt Candy – it’s strong, tannic and definitely a red wine, not a rose’. Read more about it.

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Dirt Candy: trying to redeem Lambrusco for more than 120 days.

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Meet the Beast!

One of the newest white wines on the Dirt Candy wine list is this limited edition Beast – the Beast Sphinx Semillon 2009. I don’t have much room to store cases of wine, so rather than offering people the same old list of Syrahs, Cabernets, Chardonnays, Pinot Grigios and all the rest of the usual suspects I thought I’d make up a wine list of the strangest and most unusual wines I could find, sort of like a wine zoo for exotic animals. And this wine one of our most ferocious. Think of it as the Mr. Hyde of the Dirt Candy wine list.

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After the break, I’ll tell you why.

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londonafter

“Right this way…”

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Read the rest of this entry »



menu


Menu

Snack

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Jalapeno Hush Puppies $6
served with maple butter
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Appetizers

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Mushroom $13
portobello mousse, truffled toast
pear & fennel compote

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Cucumber $12
roasted cucumber hot and sour soup,
black sesame, garlic chili oil, wood ear
mushroom, cucumber jelly

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Tomato $13
tomato cake with smoked feta,
yellow tomato leather, herb puree

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Potato $12
warm potato salad, crispy Japanese
yams, grilled sweet potato, olives,
bitter greens, apples

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Entrees

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Beets $20
salt-roasted beets, thai green curry,
beet gnocchi, whipped coconut galangal cream

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Pepper $18
fennel & pepper tofu,
parsley spaetzle, grilled
yellow pepper broth,
mustard crumbs

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Broccoli $21
smoked broccoli dogs,
broccoli kraut, salt &
vinegar broccoli rabe

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Corn $19
stone ground grits, corn cream,
pickled shiitakes, huitlacoche,
tempura poached egg

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- everything on the menu can be made vegan on request.

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Dessert

Rosemary Eggplant Tiramisu $12
grilled eggplant, rosemary cotton
candy, mascarpone

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Ice Cream Nanaimo Bar$11
sweet pea, mint, chocolate

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Popcorn Pudding$11
salted caramel corn

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Celery Cheesecake Roll$10
celeriac ice cream, peanut filling,

& candied grapes

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- vegan dessert selection changes regularly, please ask your server.

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Our wine list (and other beverages)

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Gift Certificates

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