The Pork Cupcake and Other Food Stories

Bourbon Steak, a restaurant in Washington, D.C., serves what is known as the pork cupcake. This delicious looking slice of hog heaven isn’t on the menu, so if you go there remember to ask for it by name. The chefs take an over-sized cheddar and scallion biscuit and proceed to inject it with thin strips of smoked pulled pork.

It’s pork, it’s a cupcake, it’s a biscuit, it’s got cheese, it’s got scallion, it’s got my attention.

Here a  few other food stories that caught my attention yesterday.

1. I’ve always wondered why there aren’t more recipe websites that allow users to find recipes based upon the ingredients they have on hand. You’re about to cook dinner and look in the fridge and realize all you’ve got are some mismatched veggies and couple of pork chops, or whatever. But you want to cook something. Recipe Puppy is a good place to start. Well, that site has now rolled out Ingredient Pairings. It’s a recipe search site that tells you what ingredients go well together. For example: basiltamarind, or tomatillo.

2. Gwyneth Paltrow has a new cookbook out and by all accounts it’s equal parts useful and sweetly condescending. Like Paltrow herself (for some reason she is one of the few people I just want to punch in the face, don’t ask why).

Eater was nice enough to score a review copy and instead of reviewing the thing, which they say “is aspirational and sweet” but unfortunately the recipes are “not that different from the many other tomes out there,” they decided to run the best unintentionally funny lines from the book. Here are just a few:

  • “One year I was given a birthday present I’ll never forget — a cooking lesson from Jamie Oliver.”
  • “I grew up going to the island of Nantucket (off the coast of Massachusetts) at the end of every summer.”
  • “We’ve got a wood-burning pizza oven in the garden—a luxury, I know, but it’s one of the best investments I’ve ever made.”
  • “I basically love anything that comes in a hot dog bun… except hot dogs (sorry, Dad).”

Gwyneth and I have a complicated relationship.

3. The east coast Five Guys Hamburgers is invading Southern California and that has people speculating how their arrival will affect In-N-Out. There’s plenty of room in this world for mid-range fast food burger joints, so the impact should be minimal. The real question here should be why the fuck in In-N-Out still only in Southern Cali? Certainly they should have spread to other parts of the country. I just don’t get the business strategy.

4.   So this is pretty funny. Pultizer Prize-winning food critic Jonathan Gold reviewed Olive Garden for his April Fool’s Day column in the LA Weekly.

I had no intention of eating lunch at the Olive Garden. I was planning to intercept the grumpy photographer at the door and spirit her to the Derby, a track-fueled steak house less than a minute’s drive down the street. We’d have a Sidecar or two. We’d laugh at how she’d been fooled. There would be leftover meat for her bull terrier.

Except that I was caught in traffic and ended up at the restaurant 20 minutes after she got there. She had commandeered a big table upstairs, and was already into the bread sticks, long, doughy things slicked with grease and oil.


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • mrichmon April 12, 2011, 12:28 am

    The limiting factor for the expansion of In'n'Out is the distance to their meat processing facilities. Since they do not use freezers their stores only expand in a radius that is within a certain number of hours driving distance from their meat processing operation. Then, they build out a new meat processing plant in a new area and start building out retail locations.

  • meatpocolypse April 11, 2011, 7:12 pm

    I live in SoCal and have eaten MANY a In N Out burger. And, I finally got to try the Five Guys burger. Gotta say, they are two completely different types of burgers. In N Out is like fast food on steroids – it looks like your average fast food burger except EVERYTHING about it is fresh ( and mother fuckin deliscious). Five Guys if fresh and offers you a lot of different toppings at no charge – the burger itself tasted home made. The problem is Five Guys cost DOUBLE what In N Out does.

  • JoeD April 11, 2011, 4:23 pm

    I too sometimes wish for the chance to punch Gwyneth straight in her smarmy mug. Anyway, Five Guys Burgers are decent enough, but In-N-Out kicks their butt. As for the "Why" In-N-Out hasn't established 25,000 restaurants across the U.S. / World in 35 years – it's still a wholly privately owned business by the Snyder family, with no plans to take the company public or franchise any units.

    • jamesfurbush April 11, 2011, 6:14 pm

      Thanks for the lowdown on In-N-Out. I suppose it makes it more special that you can't get it everywhere. As for Gwyneth, I'm glad someone else out there feels that way. I often feel like an asshole for admitting that.

      Five Guys just ain't the same.

  • SwissSushi April 11, 2011, 1:53 pm

    Rumor has it that In-n-Out is coming to Texas

  • Biff April 11, 2011, 1:46 pm

    In-n-out sucks. They can keep it.

  • Ashlea April 11, 2011, 1:43 pm has an ingredient search. You can put ingredients you want, and/or ingredients you don't want… it also lets you narrow the search by category.

  • shtim April 11, 2011, 1:26 pm

    Why the fuck? Because the rest of the country doesn't deserve In-n-out. That's why the fuck.

    P.S. They're in Nevada, Arizona, and Northern CA too, so get off your high uninformed horse.

    • jamesfurbush April 11, 2011, 3:21 pm

      I knew they were in Vegas, at the very least, but glad to hear they've made it to Zona and Northern Cali. I'm just upset because I want them in Boston because the entire country deserves In-N-Out. I had a dream about the animal style the other night.