Sugaring the Beignets

“Sometimes life is merely a matter of coffee and whatever intimacy a cup of coffee affords.”
― Richard Brautigan

Everyone I talk to about New Orleans says they went to Cafe du Monde for chicory coffee and beignets. That’s fine if you want to do the touristy thing, I suppose – but there is better coffee and there are much better beignets.

My favorite is the New Orleans Coffee and Beignet Company, in Uptown, off St. Charles, about halfway to Tulane. You’ll never eat beignets on Decatur again.

Take the streetcar.

New Orleans Beignet Company

New Orleans Beignet Company

Hamburger Fries & Drink

hamburger

I see so many cars parked around a big corporate fast food place – so many queued up at the window, waiting for their flavorless extruded hunk of scientifically engineered food-like substance. So much substance with so little sustenance. Offset printed plastic focus-group tested graphics, tied in with billion-dollar commercial campaigns carefully crafted to make you jump at the sight of their logo like baby birds at a squirming worm.

Meanwhile so many family owned greasy spoons go wanting with their hand-painted cracked stucco signs. The food might not be better, it might even be greasier, but at least it is real.

What I learned this week, July 25, 2014

Love People, Not Pleasure

ABD AL-RAHMAN III was an emir and caliph of Córdoba in 10th-century Spain. He was an absolute ruler who lived in complete luxury. Here’s how he assessed his life:

“I have now reigned above 50 years in victory or peace; beloved by my subjects, dreaded by my enemies, and respected by my allies. Riches and honors, power and pleasure, have waited on my call, nor does any earthly blessing appear to have been wanting to my felicity.”

Fame, riches and pleasure beyond imagination. Sound great? He went on to write:

“I have diligently numbered the days of pure and genuine happiness which have fallen to my lot: They amount to 14.”


Bike Lanes on Custer Road

Bike Lanes on Custer Road

Ashley Haire On Making Dallas Bike-Friendly

Bicycle Lanes on the Jefferson Viaduct from Oak Cliff into downtown, Dallas.

Bicycle Lanes on the Jefferson Viaduct from Oak Cliff into downtown, Dallas.

7 Big Ways Cities Have Transformed Themselves for Bikes

Bike lane on Yale, near my house.

Bike lane on Yale, near my house.


Deep Ellum Brewing Company's Lineup

Deep Ellum Brewing Company’s Lineup

Life as a Beer Geek: The Lessons I’ve Learned

The Bourbon Barrel Temptress, on a Bourbon Barrel

The Bourbon Barrel Temptress, on a Bourbon Barrel


Posing with an S. E. Hinton paperback.

Posing with an S. E. Hinton paperback.

10 CELEBS WHO BIKE IN STYLE

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Two Shark Tacos on the left, and two Mystery (Iguana) tacos on the right.

Two Shark Tacos on the left, and two Mystery (Iguana) tacos on the right.

One of the Dos Equis Taco Hotesses

One of the Dos Equis Taco Hotesses

The Best in DFW: Where the tacos are crazy-good

Professional competition Tacos

Professional competition Tacos


Here’s an interesting article about a little movie that I always thought was great. I didn’t realize it had reached cult status and was so hard to find – I’ve seen it on cable several times.

“Jesus Loves Winners”: How “Drop Dead Gorgeous” Found Cult Success As A Flop


13 Useful Tools You Should Only Buy on the Cheap

Elotes

Elotes, Farmer's Market, Dallas, Texas (click to enlarge)

Elotes, Farmer’s Market, Dallas, Texas
(click to enlarge)

I’ver written about elotes before. I don’t eat them very often – they must be about the most unhealthy thing in the world. They start with corn… which isn’t all that great – but then they add every thing that tastes good but is bad for you.

Then I get to add a bunch of hot sauce.

What I learned this week, May 9, 2014

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Why Myth Matters


Bicycle Lanes on the Jefferson Viaduct from Oak Cliff into downtown, Dallas.

Bicycle Lanes on the Jefferson Viaduct from Oak Cliff into downtown, Dallas.

Welcome to BikeableDallas.com, the City of Dallas blog about all things bicycle-related!

Dallas has a new bicycle coordinator who’s very eager to roll out the bike plan (from 2011)

Bike Texas group on the bridge, with the Dallas skyline in the background. (click for full size version on Flickr)

Bike Texas group on the bridge, with the Dallas skyline in the background.

Bike tour group in front of the Belmont Hotel murals. (click to enlarge)

Bike tour group in front of the Belmont Hotel murals.
(click to enlarge)


Dallashenge from the triple underpass in Dealey Plaza.

Dallashenge from the triple underpass in Dealey Plaza.

I have always been interested in places that are aligned with the rising and setting sun at certain times of the years – such as Dallashenge. Here’s one I didn’t know about.

The Secret of the Lincoln Memorial’s Equinox Sunrises…

Dallashenge

Dallashenge


Reflecting Pool, Arts District, Dallas, Texas (Click To Enlarge)

Reflecting Pool, Arts District, Dallas, Texas

10 best city art districts around the USA


This Japanese Girl Is Learning English By Writing Short Stories About Popular Memes


Who knew? Laser tag was invented in Dallas

I remember when Photon opened (1984) in a little industrial park on Northwest Highway at Shiloh – it was an amazing thing, given the technology of the day. The playing field was cool – darkened structures, fog machines, custom music. We used to get groups to go play – it was a blast. We would go play a few games then come back to my place and sit in the hot tub. I gave up on it when some obsessed kids became so skilled from playing every day it ruined the experience for everybody else.


I bought some of these - the broccoli and asparagus in the lower right.

I bought some of these – the broccoli and asparagus in the lower right.

Editorial: Farmers Market privatization looking like a win for city

One vendor features tomatoes. The back of his slot is filled with pallets of tomatoes. Lots and lots of tomatoes.

One vendor features tomatoes. The back of his slot is filled with pallets of tomatoes. Lots and lots of tomatoes.


blooms5

The hidden beauty of flowers: Microscopic images reveal the alien landscapes to be found on petals, pollen grains and leaves

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Zoli’s New York Style

Try driving across a city when you are hungry – you will notice that there is a pizza joint on every corner. There is pizza everywhere.

Plus, the simple word pizza means something different to different people – there are so many varieties. Most people have a favorite and will defend their choice of crust – from crackerlike to deep dish – to the death. Then there are toppings – from traditional Margherita to fried eggs or squid ink. The place can vary from a corner take-out dive all the way up to a sit-down formal experience with wines to match the toppings and everything in between. A family owned local hangout to a massive international corporate chain.

Whatever you like.

I’m not a very good judge. My opinion is that pizza is like sex – when it is good, it’s great and when it is bad – it’s still pretty good.

Everyone has to have their go-to pizza joint. Ours is Cane Rosso in Deep Ellum (Pizza Napoletana with its famous “tip sag”) – I like to sit at the bar and watch the pies go into the giant wood burning dome of an oven, where they cook for only a few seconds (a close second is Urban Crust in old downtown Plano).

I stumbled across a list of 16 Iconic Pizzerias Across the Metroplex. I’ve been to about half of these (Eno’s and Mama’s are two more favorites) – and probably won’t make too much of an attempt to add more. The city is simply too spread out and there are too many good ones too close. Cane Rosso did make the grade, which is not a surprise. Campisi’s Egyption Lounge is on the list more for its history than its food, IMHO.

We were in Bishop Arts this weekend, looking for something to eat in a place that wasn’t too smoky and I remembered that Cane Rosso had opened a branch up there in the old Bee Enchilada location (shame it closed) called Zoli’s. They promised “New York Style Pizza” and that sounded good.

Here’s a useful graphic that outlines the difference in the various styles of pizza sold at the two spots. Zoli’s uses metal ovens instead of the giant domed wood-burner at Cane Rosso, plus it offers three styles – New York, Grandma, and Sicilian.

(click to enlarge)

Photo Courtesy Cane Rosso and Zoli's (click to enlarge)

Photo Courtesy Cane Rosso and Zoli’s
(click to enlarge)

Good stuff.

Zoli's, Dallas, Texas

Zoli’s, Dallas, Texas

Lunch special at Zoli's - Ceaser Salad, Slice, Knot of Garlic Bread

Lunch special at Zoli’s – Ceaser Salad, Slice, Knot of Garlic Bread

So, was Zoli’s great or was it merely good. I liked it a lot, but I was very hungry. You’ll have to go try it for yourself.

What I learned this week, January 31, 2014

Bob Mankoff picks his 11 favorite New Yorker cartoons ever


Not from the New Yorker:

you-may-be-a-wiener

(Not Quite Their Sense of Humor)
This was from an ad (a blow-in card to be exact) for the National Lampoon, back in the mid-70′s. I’m not sure why, but at the time I thought it was the funniest thing I had ever seen. I still sorta think it is.


I was thrashing around late last night in a fit of mountain cedar allergy related insomnia and turned the television on for distraction. I caught the end credits for some movie and was reminded that there is an actress named Imogen Poots.

Imogen Poots! What a great name. It seems to be her real, given name, too. I wish she wasn’t real, beacuse I’d love to use that as a character name.

Now I can’t.


Paleo-Powered Breakfast: Eggs Baked in Avocado


Paste Magazine has been going state to state, listing up and coming bands. They finally get to Texas.

12 Texas Bands You Should Listen To Now

Now! Dammit!

Dallas bands Fox and the Bird, and Mystery Skulls (though they are now in LA) are listed, plus Metroplex Music Quaker City Night Hawks (Fort Worth), and Bonnie Whitmore (Denton).


This Is the Williamsburg of Your City: A Map of Hip America


Cleaning your DSLR Sensor: Tips and Advice


7 Things You Must Carry in Your Car This Winter
Every car should have an emergency kit that includes supplies such as jumper cables and first-aid supplies. But there are some essential winter items you need to carry once the temperature drops. Plus: Why you should buy those winter tires.


The Barber of Seville Simulcast at the Cowboys Stadium

Another opera at the Death Star. B there or B []


The opposite of Paranoia isn’t Sanity, it’s Ignorance.