Monday, February 16, 2009

Hey, You Got Your Bacon in my Chocolate!

OK, so I haven't exactly been Riffing up a storm here the last few months, but that's because I've been, well, if not busy, at least distracted. But, while enjoying a Valentine's Day lunch with Mrs. Riff at Bergdorf Goodman, something caught my attention: Mo's Bacon Bar from Vosges Haut Chocolat. That's right -- a chocolate bar using 45% cacao, crumbly bits of applewood smoked bacon and sprinkled with just the right amount of alderwood smoked salt.
The back of the $8 candy bar's box reads like Padma-worthy food porn: "From there it was just a matter of time .. and what began as a love of salt and sweet quickly unraveled into an obsession. No longer could I wait to unveil the royal coupling in solid bar form ... ." Well, you get the picture.
We bought the bar on Saturday but I didn't get a chance to snap into it last night -- and it was fantastic. The bacon flavor takes a back seat to the chocolate and the salt seems to draw the two major flavors together.
My only question is why did it take so long for someone to meld those flavors together?
Imagine how different the candy world would be if dairy farmer Harry Reese had looked at a couple of those pigs on his farm and said "to heck with the peanut butter, I'm putting some of THAT in my chocolate!"
Reese's Bacon Butter Cups?
A guy can dream.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Excerpts from E-mails We've Actually Sent

"I take all those pruned words and put them in a compost heap near my desk. So far I've grown three sonnets, a couple of haikus and a treatise on margarine." 1/18/09

Saturday, January 17, 2009

No Tiki Bars? We'll Always Have Frankie's!

As a recently baptized (in a rum-based holy water) tikiphile, I've made it my mission to hit as many tiki bars in as many places as possible. I was excited at the prospect of checking out how the Polynesian pops on this side of the Atlantic since I'm in Milan and Paris for business.
I shouldn't have been.
According to Critiki, both cities are a barren wasteland devoid of my preferred brand of kitsch, and Critiki's creator Humuhumu even asks "Where's the Tiki in France" in her blog -- two years ago.
Which means I'll need to cowboy up and live off the memories of my last great tiki experience -- a trip to Frankie's Tiki Room in Las Vegas.
What's not to like about an off-the-Strip, authentically outfitted tiki bar open 24 hours a day? Especially one that serves a drink called the Tiki Bandit in a mug (from Tiki Farm) in the shape of a one-armed bandit?
I actually opted out of that one on favor of a Thurston Howl -- described thusly: "a powerful explosion of rum, brandy, gin and Pernod. A couple of these and Lovely Howell will look like Ginger Grant." (Who doesn't love a booze-related "Gilligan's Island" reference?)
The mug it was served in was a tiki with red dice for eyes -- similar to the one gracing the entrance. It kind of reminds me of the way I feel after a night in Vegas. (My own Ginger Grant brought home the Bearded Clam mug, realizing only later the situation it depicted involving a decidedly NSFW hula girl).
But, until I get back "in country" I'll have have to live off those Sin City memories.
Frankie's Tiki Room, 712 W. Charleston, Las Vegas (702) 385-3110.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Adam Talks About New Year's Eve on the Radio

Shameless self-promotion of the day: In the waning hours of 2008 I was on ABC radio discussing my recent Los Angeles Times article about why so many people have a hard time having a good time on New Year's Eve.
I held off ripping the lid off, hopped on the phone in the middle of our raging house party and chatted with host Curtis Sliwa for about 12 minutes and change. Below is a link to mp3. Personally I think it's worth it for the Bernie Sanders impression alone.