a m u s e BOUCHE

by Brian Clarey

a m u s e BOUCHE Wow, is it slow out there in the culinary circles this week. How slow is it? those of you who remember Johnny Carson might ask. Well, my friends, it is so slow out there that Jimmy John’s is guaranteeing they can make your sandwich before you come in the door. It is so slow out there that Starbucks will pay you four bucks to drink one of their coffees. It is so slow out there I just saw the Hamburglar eating a hot dog. Zing! Seriously, though, it is so slow out there that I must resort to my favorite culinary whipping boy, the Dining & Wine section of the New York Times, to fill space with good-natured jabs. Last week the Gray Lady (actually food writer Melissa Clark) reported that the current economic downturn has an unintended — and tasty! — consequence. It seems lobsters have dropped in price about 20 percent, going for as little as $7.95 a pound, in Greenwich Village, no less. Then, just a week later, hired fork Frank Bruni wrote 2,000 words on finding dinner for two for less than $100 in Manhattan. Man, they really have their finger on the pulse of the nation, huh? Here in our own humble corner of the world, there are but a few things going on in the culinary scene… you know, because of visions of sugarplums and all that. On Wednesday, Earth Fare in Greensboro holds a vegan cooking class at 6:30 p.m., this one focusing on holiday side items. All weekend long Earth Fare continues its Taste of the Holidays series. Beginning at 1 p.m., shoppers can sample many of the seasonal dishes prepared by the grocery. Earth Fare is closed on Christmas Day. The Fresh Market is issuing five Foodie Bucks for every $50 spent between now and Dec. 21. Foodie Bucks can then be redeemed at the store between Dec 22-28. On Saturday, the Grove Winery releases its Ensemble label, a Bordeaux blend that retails for $29.99. See for more information. A Baskin-Robbins has opened at the corner of Elm Street and Pisgah Church Road in Greensboro just in time for… January. Lucky 32 restaurant in Greensboro has issued its early-winter menu with hearty Southern classics like holiday cocktail sausages, beef stew, house chili, roasted beet salad, chicken and dumplings, bourbon-barbecue pork chops, Carolina trout, scratch biscuits and sawmill gravy. Seer the website, www., for more information or to make a reservation. And if you don’t feel like cooking on Christmas Day, the Claddagh in High Point will be serving Christmas dinner all day. The menu includes spiral-sliced ham, braised roast beef, roasted turkey and red velvet cake. Call 336.841.0521 to reserve a table now, before you change your mind.