Thursday, March 8, 2012

Goodbye and Hello.

Hello everyone!

Hot Mess has moved from blogger to WordPress. Check it out at:

Friday, February 24, 2012

Restaurant Review: The Tattooed Moose

Sorry for the lack of photos-- they've disappeared from my iPhone :(

Walking into the Tattooed Moose you half expect to see the Royal Tenenbaums engaging in a hair of the dog brunch. The vibe is a touch hipster, a touch pub-- it’s a nice combination. As the name suggests, there is, in fact, a moose. It will greet you as you saddle up the the bar for some beer or, like I did, for some duck fat fries. 

They make grilled cheese sandwiches ($5.50) with slices of yellow American here-- the kind I, away from my mother’s health conscious gaze, scarfed down with impunity during my high school lunches. As I am sure you’ll agree, these delightful, greasy pieces of Americana are best dunked in a lot of ketchup. My only issue with The Tattooed Moose’s grilled cheese sandwich was that it wasn’t hot; the American cheese had begun to cool and to congeal. In a perfect world, all grilled cheese sandwiches are cut on the diagonal and as you pull apart the halves, the melted cheese stretches to the thinness of yellow Saran Wrap before breaking into strands. I’m sure, when it’s hot, the grilled cheese sandwiches at the Tattooed Moose do.

Ideally, the Tattooed Moose’s “Lucky #1” Sub ($8.25) would have tasted like a well balanced banh mi sandwich. Oh how I was hoping for those kinds of flavors. My sandwich roll was soggy, the seared pork belly was barely discernible. The flavors of the house made kimchi, wasabi mayo and sweet red chili sauce were muddled not complimentary. The crispy shallots were fried many minutes before and were far past crisp. The Duck Fat Fries ($1.75) were all they were quacked up to be (sorry, I had to). I had to gingerly slap hands away from the heaping pile. 

All in all, the food here was decent. I wouldn’t recommend the Lucky #1 Sub, but the grilled cheese and duck fat fries were good enough I’d give you the thumbs up if that’s what you wanted to order. From all the rave reviews I've read I think I hit the Tattooed Moose on a bad day. I'll definitely be back, if just for the duck fat fries and to give this neighborhood favorite a second chance. 

Tattooed Moose on Urbanspoon

Sunday, February 19, 2012

How to Impress Your Lady: Moules Meurnière


Hot Mess here with a public service announcement: taking your lady friend(s) out to eat is sexy, but making food for us is sexier-- especially if it doesn't involve steak or pasta. That's why I'm going to help you out with a series of recipes that are simple, easy, and impressive. 

First up: Moules Meurnière or, rather, mussels steamed in white wine, garlic and shallots. 

Step 1: Prepare your mise en place. You'll need about 1-2 lbs of fresh mussels. Make sure to scrub and rid them of their beards. Next, chop 2 shallots and 2 cloves of garlic. You'll need 2 tablespoons of Italian parsley at the end. 

Mussels, Italian parsley, garlic, and shallots
2. Melt two tablespoons of unsalted butter. Make sure to use unsalted butter. The mussels will release their own salt. 

3. Add shallots. Stir. Add  just a touch of sea salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Cook until translucent. 

4. Add garlic. Once the garlic becomes fragrant and a bit brown add about 1/2 cup of white wine. 

5. Immediately add the mussels and cover the pot with a lid. You'll know the mussels are cooked when they open. Every few minutes hold the lid to the pot with both hands and shake. This will redistribute the mussels so the same bivalves aren't at the bottom during the entire cooking process. Mussels should take between 5 and 8 minutes. Check to see if they're open every couple of minutes. 

6. At this point you can do one of two things. You can dump the entire pot into a big glass bowl, slice up a French baguette and call it a day. Or, you can remove the mussels with a slotted spoon and reduce the broth a bit so it's a thicker consistency. Either way, you'll be in for a delicious meal.