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Amuse Bouché

by Brian Clarey

Don’t know if you folks have heard the news, but according to our government, eating cloned meat is perfectly… well, not natural exactly, but definitely safe. According to the Food and Drug Administration, anyway.

The problem is that when you buy commercial beef or chicken or goat (but definitely not sheep – not after what happened to poor Dolly) you will have no way of knowing whether the poor, doomed animal was birthed in a barn, like the baby Jesus, or conceived in some sterile laboratory atmosphere, like Tom Cruise.

Luckily for us here in the North Carolina, what we see in our culinary scene is what we get.

Or is it?

Three North Carolina K-Marts and a Wal-Mart were each fined up to $5,000 by the NC Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services for “excessive price-scanning errors,” which is government speak for “ripping you off.”

The most egregious offender was a Wal-Mart store in Monroe, which was charged the maximum fine of $5,000 after a November inspection fund nine overcharges on a 300-item lot.

Still…

My friends over at Bert’s Seafood Grille, where I has the pleasure of working from 2002 to 2004, would never plate up a cloned piece of salmon, which is one of the reasons for its enduring legacy as the Triad finest fish house. Bert’s celebrates 20 years in business with 20 percent off all shellfish dishes now through February. Look for more specials as Feb. 25, the official birthday, approaches.

In franchise news, Jamestown will get its first Starbucks on the 150-acre campus of Furnitureland South, the largest furniture store in the world. Related: As of Feb. 26, the day after Bert’s birthday, Starbucks will cease the use of organic milk in all its stores, switching instead to recombinant bovine growth hormone-free milk.

There’s more.

EarthFare in Greensboro holds a lesson in the Italian bean soup known as “pasta fagioli” on Wednesday at noon. On Thursday at 11 a.m., holistic nutritionist Sally Nays gives tips on getting your kids to eat their vegetables. Then Friday at 6 p.m. there will be a wine and beer tasting to benefit Seven Homes Family Foster Care of High Point.

Over in Winston-Salem, the Whole Foods Market hosts a chili cook-off on Saturday – the time is not posted so call 336.722.9233 for more details. Then, beginning on Sunday at 10 a.m., the market will begin serving Sunday brunch. The food line is reported to have an omelet station.

Room for one more?

The group of teenagers that ran the Dairy Queen in St. Johns, Newfoundland, made bitchin’ Facebook videos of themselves having snowball fights behind the grill and dropping trou at the drive-thru window. And then they were fired. But it was totally worth it, dude.

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