Saturday, September 4, 2010

Gourmet Grilling Tips for Labor Day, a Philadelphia Hoagie-Eating Marathon, the Best Fish on the Planet Earth ... and More

Veggie banh mi from Ba Le Bakery in Philly
Crab Ravioli at Brewers Art in Baltimore

The "Best Fish on Planet Earth" at the downtown Baltimore Farmers Market
Welcome to another recap all of the crazy things I've been eating, doing, and writing about as online food editor for the Urbanite.  Looking back at all the writing I've been doing over the past 5 weeks or so makes me wonder how I've even managed to find the time to post here once a week, which is my self-imposed absolute, guilt-inducing minimum. Really! I think it's time to stop beating myself up about being a bad blogger.  And did I mention that culinary classes started again? I love my class this semester - more on that in future posts - but whew, it's all a lot of work.

Speaking of work ... people, eating as much food as I've been shoveling into my face, all in the name of doing my job, is not for amateurs or the faint of heart.  It really takes a lot of stamina, dedication, and sheer will power to maintain this level of gluttony. Thank goodness for my discount treadmill.

But let's get to it. One of my very favorite features that I've done so far is "Heroes, Just for Two Days," in which Poppa Trix and I spend the weekend in Philadelphia and eat every single thing you can imagine sticking between two slabs of carbohydrates, including the delectable banh mi at the top of this post.  Vegetarians may want to look away ... my whole eating-meat-for-work thing is in full effect. Here's a little taste:

Tuna and the Valentine at Campo's
The veggie and fried tomato hoagie at Chickie's
The panelle and tuna Italiano at Paesano's
Gourmet pork banh mi at trendy Sampan
That's not even all we ate! Check out the article, and be stunned.  In "Augustatory Pleasures," I wrote about some interesting summer menu items at local restaurants, including the crab ravioli (at the top of the post) and this heirloom tomato salad with compressed watermelon at one of my favorite local restaurants, B & O American Brasserie:
 In "True Grits," I shared my experience judging a regional chef competition, the Mason Dixon Master Chef Tournament, which served as practice for my judging stint at the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian.  I think I got some really good shots of the winner, Kenneth Plante of Red Star Bar in Baltimore:
Basking in the glow of victory
Prepping an awesome mussels dish with his sous chef, Jorge
He even spun sugar for the dessert!
Plante's pork entree, still smoking
If you're in the Baltimore area, you absolutely must head to the Sunday downtown farmers market and sample some of the best fish on planet Earth (it's pictured at the top of this post). I profile Ollie Collier, the awesome guy who makes this justified claim, in "Trout to Shout About." Poppa Trix took the fab photos:

Collier with his granddaughter, handing out free samples
Collier at the fish stand with his daughter, Malikah
And in anticipation of Labor Day, in "Last Bash" I enlisted the help of local chefs and gathered some tips to help readers turn their last big bash of the summer into a gourmet affair, including a recipe for caramelized onion and bacon jam:

Fancy dogs grilling at Baltimore's Haute Dog Carte
Bacon jam
So there you have it! And just think - you could get all this goodness in your inbox every Thursday for free! (Shameless self promotion alert.) Just enter your email below, and you're signed up. And don't worry,  you won't start getting spam:

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Thanks for reading my little wrap-up. Believe it or not, I've actually found some time to cook lately, so look for recipe posts over the next few weeks.

And to those in the U.S., Happy Labor Day!


  1. What a fabulous post! Not only are the pictures making me want to eat them but the idea of just have that ravioli and then some pork looks fantastic! What great fun this looks like quite the bash. That spun sugar is so creative so lucky to be able to just watch this talent! I can smell all the foods in my head, great article, great food, happy labor day sure looks grand!

  2. The eggplant sandwich looks to die for! And the bacon jam...

  3. What great fun! You are on my RSS feed :) My deliciousness is delivered to my doorstep

  4. Wow, I'm going to have lunch immediately!! Great photos.

  5. Trixy - you are FAR from a 'bad blogger' what you think you lack in quantitiy of posts you most certainly make up for it in the QUALITY of them! Never beat yourself up over your hobby, I'm assuming your blog is a hobby and you should never feel bad about what you do or don't do for it. Keep on keepin' on sister - I think your TOPS!
    ~ Mary

  6. A seafood worshipper, I feel I must try that best fish on planet Earth. It is too far away though! Too far, I tell you!

  7. I'm impressed by the quality and quantity of food you're consuming to get the story right for us readers:) Just a note, I had to go back to take another look at your field pea salad, I seriously am having a relationship with it, good thing it's one of the healthier items posted here!

  8. I am beginning to think you and me could tear up an eating competition ... :-)
    Love all your posts and articles, keep them interesting like you will and fun as you are and it will not matter how oftened you post, we will be here to devour every word and picture,,,

  9. Girl, you are an unstoppable whirlwind! I can't help but think you are loving this new life of yours and are so damn good at it. Bravo, Kudos Huzzah!!!!! I look forward to my new subscription to your articles!

  10. Brilliant post!! you are rolling and rocking girl! am happy for you...I someday wish to have a job like you do :) have a great great labor day!

  11. Wow, Trix-all of this wonderment and you have guilt about being a 'bad blogger'. Well, that's just weird (smile).
    I love banh mi by the way, but I love your photos of all the people here more. They all seem so wholesome and wonderful;-) Oh, that fish looks pretty wicked awesome...

  12. Awesome post. You've done some amazing work for sure. Good luck with school.

  13. Oh, the ravioli!! OH! The fried fish!!! Mercy!! No guilt please - you're an awesome blogger. Look how much you've given us in one post?!?!

    On the other hand, maybe a little bit of (your) guilt ain't so bad for us ;)

  14. Love all the different baguettes. That's a lot of fun there. Hope you have more fun and more to share with us.

  15. Fun foodie experiences! We'll be going to Philly soon and maybe will get to try that delicious banh mi!

  16. Okay, need I say this AGAIN? Wonderful, as usual, Trixie Girl! Okay, I am still jealous as all get out about your culinary school stuff coming up! (And I looked at the meat here and did not turn to stone!) Great post!

  17. Trix, take it easy, you have an awful lot on your plate! It's crazy starting a new job, there's so much pressure to do well. Growing up I always thought that being a professional eater/drinker/critic would be a dream. After a few consecutive fancy dinners, your palate and body just gets tired. I still think it's a GREAT job! I would love to try Ollie's trout someday.

  18. Everything looks delicious, what a wonderful post! I love that bacon jam!