Amuse Bouche

by Brian Clarey

Hamburgers, hot dogs and all manner of meat on the bone take center stage in food news this week of July 4th, and also we ask the question: If bald eagles are off the endangered species list, does that make it okay to eat them?

Probably not.

Eating goat, though, is still cool, provided you don’t slaughter them on-site like they did at the Captain’s Galley Seafood Restaurant in China Grove, NC. The butchery, which occurred some time in mid May, prefaced an outbreak of E. coli which was traced to the restaurant, which has since been shut down.

But at least the patrons of the Captain’s Galley had a choice. Not so for many US prisoners, including some in North Carolina, who were the recipients of free toothpaste (from China, of course) that contained diethylene glycol, an ingredient in brake fluid.

Moving on…

The Malt-O-Meal cereal company – which makes Coco-Roos, Cinnamon Toasters, Marshmallow Mateys and Apple zings in addition to other third-tier cold cereals and their signature line of hot breakfast gruel – will open a plant in Asheville after accepting about $5 million in corporate incentives. Yum!

Our neighbors to the east in Burlington recently acquired a new sports bar, Beef O’Brady’s, a national chain renowned for their wings, though I admit I’m more intrigued by the roast beef garlic melt.

Caribou Coffee has introduced to its North Carolina stores a new smoothie made from acai berries, which, according to a press release, are “reminiscent of sweet black grapes and ripe blackberries with hints of peaches, pears and plums.” They also claim to be the “most nutritious berries on the planet.”

But they’ll most likely not be a part of Berry Day at the Greensboro Farmers Curb Market, which takes place on Saturday and begins at 6 a.m. with a blueberry pancake breakfast prepared by Alex Amoroso of Cheesecakes by Alex fame.

And because I’m a sucker for honey-voiced PR reps who call me on the phone and say my name over and over, here’s one more: Perrier, the bottlers of naturally carbonated French mineral water which, if I remember correctly, was the height of popularity in the early ’80s, is trying their hand at user-generate content with a spate of websites that play on the product’s “-ier” suffix, as in “Crazier,”,”Sexier,” Riskier,” “Healthier.” I don’t entirely understand the concept, but at one of the sites,, I found a 30-second animated version of Brokeback Mountain cast entirely with bunnies and a dispatch from Onion columnist Smoove B that contains the passage: “Damn, girl. I want to get freaky with you right now on my desk. I want to ride you like a bronco.”