Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Monday, August 27, 2007

Good Morning Max: Bird & Prez

The great Max Roach is gone. When I lived in New York City, every morning I would listen to Birdflight. Birdflight is one of Phil Schaap's radio shows on WKCR. It plays from 8:20 to 9:30 am. Monday thru Friday. Without fail, every morning (or at least to the best of my recollection) Phil would shout out, "GOOD MORNING MAX".
Remembrances of Max are everywhere. For almost all of the music would be "Tommy Potter on bass, Bird on alto sax and Max Roach on drums, Miles on trumpet."
Thanks to the wonder that is the internet, I don't have to pine for Phil Schaap's broadcasts. Most importantly I don't have to pine for the birthday broadcasts.
In progress now is the Lester Young/Charlie Parker birthday broadcast. All Prez and all Bird all the time for several days.
Right now I am listening to Prez; it will stay on all night working its way into my subconscious and into the Bird broadcast.
Good night Max.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Duck Fat & Rabelais

There are no pictures of the paninis, there are no leftovers. Only the menu to remind me that I have to go back. I was in Maine over the weekend for a wonderful wedding. Late into the party we were all talking about food and wine (as we did almost all day) when we finally got around to talking about where we were going to eat the next day.
Someone mentioned a place in Portland named Duck Fat. The important point of the discussion was the fact that they fry their french fries in duckfat. That's right, duckfat. In spite of the fact that it was late and we had been drinking, I still remembered the name of the place.
The next morning we set out for Portland address in hand and with hunger as our impetus. We ordered the Meatloaf panini with was thinly sliced meatloaf with red onions which we soft. Definitely comfort food. The other sandwich we ordered was the special panini: Duck confit with Blueberry preserves and Goat cheese. This was absolutely delicious. I know you are thinking, how can this possibly go together. Of course it does. Just like foie gras and apples go together. The sweet and the savory are a wonderful match. The panini is big enough that you can eat one half and leave the other half for later.
The Duck Fat fries were also wonderful. They had skin on and they that a rich brown patina to them. An order of the large really is large and is plenty for two people. There are dipping sauces and we opted for the truffle ketchup. The truffle flavor is subtle, certainly not intrusive.
We were also in need of coffee which Duckfat also does a very good job of. Oh yeah and we ordered some beignets to go. They provided a delicious accompaniment to the coffee while we were driving out of Portland.
But we didn't drive out of Portland until we'd visited Rabelais. This wonderful bookstore on Middle Street (right down the street from Duckfat) is devoted to books on food, wine and certain arts. The couple used to live in Brooklyn, NY and are incredibly nice. It is spacious, carries books published both in the USA and abroad and they can find things for you.
All in all, I never thought of Portland as a destination but I think a little weekend trip up there is in order.