Amuse bouché 3.7.07

by Brian Clarey

Prince Charles – yes, that Prince Charles, the one with the ears – came out last week against that most American of sandwiches, the Big Mac. Say it with me kids: two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun. Do people still say that?

Bonnie Prince Charlie believes that banning McDonalds and their wanton distribution of the 540-calorie sandwich is “key” to curbing the obesity epidemic.

And if he thinks I’m just gonna sit here and let him talk smack about American food, he’s out of his bucktoothed melon.

Listen pal, we may be just a couple hundred years old, but we’ve established a culinary tradition that dominates the free world. You can get one of those dreadful Big Macs in Tiananmen freakin’ Square, my royal friend.

Greensboro’s own purveyor of proud American food, Ham’s Restaurants, has not quite reached across the pond yet, but there is a new one opening on what used to be the grounds of the St. John’s Theatre near Jacksonville, Fla. You see, Charlie? Over here a good burger trumps a stage soliloquy any day of the week.

Also, Hooter’s, America’s favorite owl-themed purveyor of chicken wings and beer intensifies its virtual stranglehold on the blue-collar lunch crowd with a new location opening in High Point in late May.

And that’s not all.

There are truffles growing in Tennessee. That’s right, genuine Périgord truffles growing on the underpinnings of a hazelnut tree orchard located just across the North Carolina border. Smell that.

And the signature Krispy Kreme doughnut now comes in a whole wheat version that is guaranteed to be no less delicious than the original sugar bomb.

And Marshmallow Peeps – you know, Peeps, those little marshmallow bird things you get for Easter – will be sold in green for the very first time this year! Green! For St. Patrick’s Day! But you wouldn’t know anything about that, would you, you orange bastard?

But seriously, folks….

We were saddened to hear of the demise of the Lager Haus on Tate Street. I thought the location was perfect for a straight-up pub and predicted that the place would thrive. Shows what I know.

I do know a small bit about New Orleans cooking – enough, anyway, never to start a recipe without celery, onion and bell pepper. So I look forward to visiting Lucky 32 this month to sample the New Orleans menu created by genuine New Orleanian Chef Jay Pierce, who’s spent time in some of the finest kitchens in the Crescent City. The menu is not up on the Lucky 32 website as of yet, but a press release reveals a few gems like bayou shrimp cakes and what looks like a version of cochon du lait. Jambalaya, gumbo, oysters and bananas Foster, of course, will also be represented.