Tag Archives: Laura Taxel

Help Michael, Marika and Lucy’s Sweet Surrender

Carl Skalak of Blue Pike Farm wrote this:

   The picture of a barn raising,  a community effort to collectively help out a neighbor seems quaint and out of reach for those of us of a more urban persuasion.  Well, the local food community is a community too and one of our own suffered a calamity this weekend in the form of a assault and robbery.
      Michael & Marika Feigenbaum were robbed again this Memorial Day weekend at their bakery, “Lucy’s Sweet Surrender”  on Buckeye Rd. Fortunately, nobody was shot this time, but Michael got roughed up more than a little bit. I saw him Saturday morning about 4 hours after the assault and he was gamely trying to keep up with the orders but was visibly hurting. They lost several days worth of store receipts and the cash box for the day’s farmers markets. While he didn’t mention a figure I’m sure his loss was more than several thousand in cash alone. Money that will take months of effort to recoup. Theirs is not a business with large profit margins.
      Michael is a stubborn cuss, from Russian Jewish stock and will, I expect soldier on. Marika is still shaking and I think still not really yet recovered from being shot last year.  But this kind of calamity is not only a serious financial hit, but more so an emotional blow. Two violent robberies in 18 months is a bit much, even by Cleveland standards.
      “What’s political is also personal. If you believe in something, you should be willing to make sacrifices to support it, even if it’s expensive or inconvenient.” (Russ Parsons, L.A. Times food writer)
     What can you do?  Well, if you need a loaf of bread, food for a graduation party, office event, family get-together or just because you like quality baked goods consider making a purchase from them at the store on Buckeye or at one of the farmers markets (Shaker Sq. or Crocker Park on Saturdays). If you are already a customer, buy something extra. There is  little downside for you because “Lucy’s Sweet Surrender” makes quality stuff (I’m a fool for his poppy seed goodies) . And your support now can make a big difference in gritting them back on track.
      You won’t get any splinters in your fingers and you’ll help rebuild their business too.
     Bravo to  Carl. I couldn’t have said it better and I think what he’s trying to do by encouraging all of us to get involved in this small, simple way is brilliant… and right.   Please act on his suggestion and pass this call for help on to everyone you know. Thanks.

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Spice Things Up

An article in the Arizona Republic explains why hot weather and hot food are a cool combination. I’ve interviewed the chef, Randy Zweiban, who’s quoted in the story.

What is your go- to ethnic cuisine when you’re in the mood to spice things up? Where do you find it?

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Filed under Advice, In The Media, Trends

Raising Ethnic Eaters

If you don’t want your kids to be picky eaters, give the littlest chewers lots of different things to eat, not once but over and over again. Make sure the mix includes a variety of ethnic foods.  And be patient- it can take  many “exposures” for a child to accept a new taste. The approach definitely worked with my three boys- now adults and enthusiastic culinary adventurers (and great cooks too!)

From ProChef Smart Brief

Giving toddlers a variety of foods can prevent picky eaters
Parents who expose their toddlers to a wide variety of food tastes, including ethnic dishes, may reduce their dependence on less-healthy childhood staples such as pasta and pizza and prevent them from becoming a picky eater, nutrition experts say. While a pregnant woman’s diet may influence her child’s food preferences, nutritionists recommend having a toddler try a food 20 times before deciding it is something they really do not like. The Boston Globe

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Big Night

First there was the movie. Now there’s the dinner.  The cinematic story in 3-d with you as a character and real food to eat. Don’t miss it. 

                                               Michaelangelo’s Italian Restaurant and Wine Bar

                                                                     presents

                                                                   Big Night

Thursday April 28, 2011 6:00p.m. 

“In love and life, one big night can change everything.”

Chef Michael Annandono presents “BIG NIGHT“.  Based on the movie about two brothers who attempt to revive their restaurant by inviting a famous musician and putting together a menu for the ages. Chef Annandono recreates this menu for our friends and patrons.  Come join us for a fantastic evening.

 Passed hors d’oeuvres

Zuppa

Minestrone soup and broken pasta

Risotto

Tri-color risotto (tomato, basil pesto, seafood)

Timpano (Pasta pie)

Penne rigate, meatballs, cheese, hardboiled egg and pastry shell

Pollo

Roasted Cornish game hen and grilled asparagus

Pesce

Baked Alaskan halibut, red pepper polenta, lemon, and white wine

Suckling Pig

Roasted suckling pig, spinach, sausage and herbs carved tableside

 

Dolce

Tiramisu

$75.00 per person

Price does not include alcohol, tax or tip

 RSVP at www.mangelos.com or call 216-721-0300

Michaelangelo’s is located at 2198 Murray Hill Road Cleveland, OH 44106

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Bad News, Good News

Eating update. Garden Cafe, the Taiwanese restaurant in the little strip mall at 37th and Payne is gone. That’s the bad news. But a wonderful Thai place opened in the same spot two weeks ago, and after my first meal there last night I have to say this is very good news indeed.

It’s called Map of Thailand .  The remodeled space is lovely- handpainted images of branches and birds on white walls, modern lighting, and a decorative half wall hiding the kitchen door. Lined up along the top are big glass jars filled with signature drinks- lemongrass tea, non-alcoholic red and white sangria.  Upscale touches (without the accompanying prices) include cloth linens, fresh flowers on every table, and attractive contemporary looking dinnerware. It’s BYOB and I was pleasantly surprised when our server asked if we preferred white or red wine glasses.

But it’s the expertly prepared food that will ultimately earn this spot a devoted following.  Our foursome ordered seven dishes- two appetizers, soup, and four entrees- for sharing and each one prompted much oohing and aahing from all.  Here’s the play list with comments:   Golden Bags- stuffed tofu pouches tied with a bit of seawood and fried to a perfect, greaseless crispness;  Thai spring rolls- an unusual filling made with carrots, sweet potatoes, cabbage and taro which added a sweet note; Seafood coconut soup, creamy, rich with a brightness from kaffir lime leaf, lemon grass and galanga; spicy basil fried rice with ground chicken; lard nar- wide rice noodles, vegetables, chicken and shrimp in a really intriguing sauce; an outstanding execution of chili duck- half a boneless bird roasted, fried, glazed with spices; and a fine and out of the ordinary Massaman curry featuring roasted peanuts, sweet potatoes and chick peas.

There were no leftovers to take home.  And I’m already thinking about what I want to try next time. Thanks to my  friends, eating adventurers and dining companions extraordinaire Jb and Kristina, for bringing this great new place to my attention.

3710 Payne Avenue, Cleveland. 216-361-222o

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The Cleveland Connection

Something I posted in August, 2009 led to such a sweet story-told through comments- that I want to recap the thread.

I qorte a post about my discovery that Russian tea biscuits were a Cleveland thing and not Russian at all. One of the people that responded was a Clevelander living in Los Angeles. A fan of these pastires, she’d found one place there that made them. It was called Bea’s Bakery. They also had coconut bars, another beloved treat from home, and real corn rye bread. She wrote that it was rumored that a baker had once worked for our own Davis Bakery. I encourgaed her to do some investigating and report back.

It took her a year and a half but she got results. Retuning to the blog a couple of weeks ago she announced that Bea of Bea’s Bakery was from Cleveland and that her father had owned a bakery here, selling BOTH  Russian tea biscuits and coconut bars!  And indeed one of her bakers, now retired, had been employed by Davis   back in the ’50s. Ohiogirl, as she calls herself, ended her latest comment this way: “Now I know why her stuff tastes so right to me.”

Sweet, huh?

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A French Afternoon in Olmstead Falls

French wine tasting and light aps at Le Bistro du Beaujolais in Olmstead Falls on Saturday March 12 from 1-4 PM.  If you find a pour you like bottles are available for sale. You can also purchase photos on display by the restaurant’s owner, Georges d’Arras. $25 per person to eat, drink, and look. What a nice way to spend a weekend afternoon.

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