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Amuse Bouche

by Brian Clarey

The month of April has been batted around like a catnip-filled mouse over the years. It’s the one with showers, not flowers. Taxes are due in April. TS Eliot called it the cruelest. And the name itself has been co-opted by strippers who don’t have the guts to call themselves “Peaches.”

But April has always been my favorite month. Up until a few years ago this was because my birthday falls in April, but as the candles have been crowding the cake lately I’ve had to find new reasons to love it, as if the warmer weather, the advent of baseball season and the ready availability of jellybeans aren’t enough.

As it turns out, April is national soy month. Don’t you just love it? I love soy sauce. I love miso. Edamame is awesome. Soy cheese is tolerable. I can even choke down tempeh.

But I think I love soy milk – which in my house we just call “milk” – the best of all. Some irony: I started drinking it years ago when I became (sort of) serious about improving my diet, cutting down my intake of bleached sugar and flour and processed foods in general. But few things are more processed than commercial soy milk, which undergoes processes to enrich it with vitamins and minerals, add sweetness and remove the underlying taste of beans.

Also, according to WorldNetDaily crackpot Jim Rutz, it makes you gay.

Whatever.

Flemings Steakhouse & Wine Bar has introduced a new line of cocktails under the heading “Vinotini” – mixtures of booze, wine and juices that actually reaffirm your sexuality, whatever it may be. The Napa Sunset, according to a press release, is made with grape vodka, Chambord, sweet vermouth, a mellow merlot, a touch of port and sour mix, topped with a port-pomegranate froth.

Jibaro Latin Café is up and running on Tate Street, serving up modern twists on Cuban favorites that, incidentally, are loaded with machismo.

Chipotle, the new holistic burrito joint on Bridford Parkway, is offering free burritos on tax day, April 16. Buy a burrito during the weekend, save the receipt, fill out a couple of hilarious forms and then come back Monday for your free lunch.

If you want free food earlier in the week, hit Earth Fare on Wednesday: There’s a springtime chicken salad demo at noon as part of their culinary series. While you’re there, pick up a ticket for the four-course beer dinner on April 20 if there are any left.

Also on April 20, lovers of New Orleans and its culinary traditions will be pleased to hear, the Camellia Grill will reopen for the first time since Katrina. The Carrollton institution has been serving magnificent omelets, tasty freezes and the best cheeseburgers in New Orleans since 1946. It has won its way into the history of the city and spawned imitators everywhere (just ask the Morphis brothers over at Fincastle’s). Bidding for stool space on opening day starts at $100. Seriously.

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