Thursday, March 13, 2003

Robb Walsh: Testing Emergency Gourmet Canned Food

The Department of Homeland Security has recommended that we all stockpile three days' worth of food and water for emergencies.

I went to Central Market, Whole Foods and Randalls and spent $100 on interesting canned and dried foods. Then I invited a friend over for lunch. To simulate the complete breakdown of the grid, the rules of our emergency food preparedness drill were as follows: no heating or chilling anything, and no tools except a can opener and plastic utensils.

Draft Guinness comes in a can, is extremely nutritious and tastes best at room temperature. So we elected it as our official emergency preparedness beverage.

After trying several samples of canned goods and recipes -

"The more Guinness I drink, the better it tastes," she allowed. We both agreed that in a crisis, beer is the most important canned good to have on hand.

Earlier he reviewed the hot cafe Farrago:

"Fusion cuisine can be great. But when it's not, it sounds like a bad ethnic joke."

According to Webster's, farrago means "a confused mixture," "a hodgepodge." The chef has done an impeccable job of sticking to the concept.

Farrago's Black Angus burger is one of the best in the city. Their herbed french fries are outstanding. The Caesar salad with shaved manchego cheese and fried capers is terrific, and you can turn it into an entrée with the addition of grilled chicken or shrimp. Even the fish and chips would be awesome if they broke down and served real french fries and regular slaw with the crunchy tempura mahimahi. (A few salt-and-vinegar potato chips sprinkled on top would even preserve the joke.)

Dining advice -stick to basics, listen to the waitstaff, and try to tone down the excesses.

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