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Friday, December 30, 2005

Oh Geez...2005 Top Ten Lists

Alas, it is that time of year when Me and You and Everyone We Know, without any provocation, assumes you need to read their top ten list, which matters most to no one but themselves, and which is really just a passive aggressive attempt at gaining acceptance, and half of the stuff they list they probably didn't hear, read, see, or do in the first place.

So, why the hell should Bruce and I be any different?

Well, we actually did read, see, or taste the stuff listed in our three categories; three categories that pretty much rounds out the daily routine in our lives: food, movies (almost always rentals), and books (Bruce's territory, not mine).

So now, I present to you (stagelights please!):


Top Ten Food Favorites or Finds
(In no particular order)

1. Vicolo's cornmeal pizza shells (link)
2. Fiscalini Farmstead San Joaquin Gold Cheddar Cheese (link)
3. Pimm's No. 1 (link)
4. Locally-made Chinese-Style Sausage (link)
5. In N Out Burger Secret Menu (link)
6. Aebelskivers (link)
7. Thomas Keller's Gougeres recipe (link)
8. Homemade Linguica (link)
9. Opening of Whole Foods Market 2 blocks From Where We Live
10. Memphis Minnies BBQ (link)

Top Ten Movies Seen This Year
(Not necessarily released in 2005, and in no particular order)

1. Brokeback Mountain
2. Crash (2005)
3. Me and You and Everyone We Know (link)
4. Kung Fu Hustle (link)
5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
6. Rock School (link)
7. The Gleaners and I (link)
8. Metallica: Some Kind of Monster
9. Sideways
10. Born Into Brothels (link)

Top Ten Books Read This Year
(In no particular order)

1. "The Line of Beauty" by Alan Hollinghurst
2. "Oscar and Lucinda" by Peter Carey (link)
3. "The Algebraist" by Iain M. Banks (link)
4. "Someone Comes To Town, Someone Leaves Town" by Cory Doctorow (link)
5. "The History of Love" by Nicole Krauss
6. "The Stones of Summer" by Dow Mossman (link)
7. "London Orbital" by Iain Sinclair (link)
8. "The Man Who Ate Everything" by Jeffrey Steingarten
9. "Thud" by Terry Pratchett (link)
10. "The Cacahuatl Eater – Ruminations of an Unabashed Chocolate Addict" by Jonathan Ott (link)

OK, now we can sleep better at night. Glad to be of service.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only meat I've enjoyed at Memphis Minnie's is the smoked pork (which was only so-so last night). I thought the brisket and the ribs were nothing special. What else is worth trying?

No cookbooks in the top 10 books? I remember Bruce scored some fine items this year. (Ok, maybe you guys haven't read them yet.)


10:34 AM  
Blogger drbiggles said...

Hey Bill,

Ya know, I think BBQ Joints could very well be the most wishy washy in day to day, if not hour to hour, variances in what you'll get.

Memphis Minnies is by far one of the best run places in this area. And yet? You'll still get mediocre meals.

While I could be shooting myself in the foot here (cause I want to do it), but what I think would be far more useful, is to visit the same Joint every two hours and see how the que varies. One might get an award winning chicken at 11am, while the brisket (takes about 10 hours to do right) won't be good till late afternoon.
When I did the Meathenge BBQ Crawl earlier this year, Bo's BBQ in Lafayette didn't have any chicken available for lunch and Bo gets great reviews from many.
So, Biggles says, "When visiting your local BBQ Joint, pretend you're going to the races and just place yer bets. If you win, great. If not, maybe next time."


2:58 PM  
Blogger Bacon Press said...

Bruce and I "discovered" Memphis Minnies about 6 months ago and have only been once. But while I was there, I felt really transported to a region/culture that doesn't exist in California.

Maybe it was the fact that they had sweet tea to drink there.

Or the fact that the place is so BBQ-centric. I don't know. But, I really liked it and the food.

From the sampler plate I tried, I actually liked the beef ribs. And I loved the sides. I would be more than willing to go back and try some more, especially if they have or will have a pulled pork sandwich, with slaw and all.

Compared to Big Nates, which is the other BBQ joint we most frequent, Memphis Minnies is a light at the end of the tunnel. I use to love Big Nates, but judging from what we had the other week, it's gone way down hill. The ribs were charcoal. At $30 charcoal dinner, to boot.

On cookbooks:

Bruce will have to weigh in with his top 10, but mine are as follows (note, some of these are old books):

"The French Laundry cookbook" & the "Bouchon cookbook" by Thomas Keller and Co.
"Italian: Slow and Savory" by Joyce Goldstein
"A Chef for all Seasons" by Gordon Ramsay
"On Food and Cooking" by Harold McGee (re-released copy)
"Appetite" by Nigel Slater
"Eurodelices: Europe's Master Chefs" published by Konemann (pure food porn)
"Baking Illustrated" by Cooks Illustrated
"Chez Panisse Vegetables" by Alice Waters (also old, but invaluable reference guide)
"Google" by Google (even though I rarely follow a single recipe, just the ability to access multiple recipes from typing in a search term allows me to culminate a variety of recipes and methods and lock it down into one I'll eventually use. OK, I know, It's not a book.)

And last but not least, I owe you Bill, a debt of gratitude for the Ferran Adria cooking DVDs you brought back from Spain for us!! Even though they are in Spanish, I still derive much pleasure from watching them!!

Thanks again and Happy New Year!!!


4:18 PM  
Blogger Bacon Press said...


One last important cookbook I forgot:

"Land of Plenty" by Fuchsia Dunlop

Totally necessary book on Sichuan cooking!!

You can substitute this for pick No. 10.


6:24 PM  
Anonymous bruce of bacon press said...

OK. I have one to add to the cookbooks - "Schott's Food & Drink Miscellany". This is not really a cook book but a collection of facts, myths and generaly interesting info about - you guessed it - food & drink.

I'd also like to add one to the book top ten ( or top eleven). M. John Harrison's book "Light".


6:40 PM  

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