Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Kinky Friedman's story to be included in Bride of the Golem

Earlier this afternoon, I received the story Kinky Friedman said he would send to Bride of the Golem. I read it and thoroughly enjoyed it. It's funny and charming and a little scary, in other words, a perfect addition to the anthology.

Monday, August 22, 2011

On Kinky Friedman and the best salsa in Britain

I am very pleased to report that comedy-mystery writer and performer Kinky Friedman will be submitting a story to Bride of the Golem. That's right, the author of Road Kill and Armadillos and Old Lace is sending in a story! If you haven't read him yet, you should. He's very entertaining.

In honor of the occasion, and in line with my recent rants about the dearth of good Tex-Mex in London, I am sharing my salsa recipe (which is modeled largely on Wheatsville Food Co-op's Salsa Casera, the best in Austin, Texas). All the ingredients are available at London Waitrose supermarkets.

Needed: 4 large tomatoes, 1 red chilli pepper, 1 heaping spoonful of Mexican Discovery Chipotle Paste, a tablespoon of cumin powder, a teaspoon of salt, three cloves of garlic, 1.5 tablespoons of fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves, the fresh squeezed juice of half of a large orange and the juice of an entire juicy lime (add another half-lime's juice if the first one is dry). Cut the stem off the chilli, peel the garlic, then combine the above listed ingredients in a blender until smooth.

Although all the salsa ingredients are to be found at Waitrose, you'd best go elsewhere for the tortilla chips to accompany your salsa. Whole Foods and hippie health food stores are more apt to have palatable corn chips.

cheers, as they say here.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A few good eats in the London area

Having lived seven months in London, I can heartily endorse the following restaurants and cafes:

Mestizo. Mexican food. Just south of Camden Town. The mole brought tears of joy to our nostalgic eyes.

Sufi Restaurant (Persian) on Askew Road, south of Uxbridge Road, Shepherd's Bush. Their fresh-made bread, Persian rice and vegetarian appetizers were amazing.

Hell (pizzeria). Corner of Askew and Uxbridge, Shepherd's Bush. Reminded me of my favorite pizzeria in Austin, Texas--the Parlor, though this one is based on a pizzeria in Wellington, New Zealand. If you want great pizza, go to Hell.

Flamingo Restaurant (Ethiopian). Goldhawk Road, Shepherd's Bush. Had the vegetarian combo and it was delightful.

Punjab Restaurant on Neal near Shaftesbury Avenue, near Covent Garden. Recommended dishes: Granddad's dal (made with black lentils) and the curried pumpkin.

Cafe Blah Blah Blah. Goldhawk Road, Shepherd's Bush. Don't let the name put you off. This completely vegetarian cafe (byob) offers a wide range of delicious fare.

The Green Note, Camden Town. Great salads and appetizers, fantastic wines, and enjoyable live music.

A spectacularly bad restaurant in Ealing

As a former Austinite, I'm quite fond of Mexican and Tex-Mex food. During my seven-year sojourn in New York, I found that there was good Mexican food, but one had to travel far from where we lived to get it--a few places on the lower East side, Centrico, and Taco Chulo in Williamsburg. And in NYC, good Mexican food can be surprisingly expensive. I learned to make my own salsa (using Wheatsville Food Co-op's Salsa Casera recipe) and my own tortilla soup like Austin's Kerbey Lane Cafe. In London, most of the Mexican we've had was utterly forgettable--though Mestizo's south of Camden Town is a delightful exception to that rule.

Recently my wife and I experienced quite possibly the worst Mexican food in London, possibly the worst restaurant in London. We were initially excited to see a Mexican Restaurant near us in Ealing--Chico Mexico. So we went. The menu is peculiar--they offer Cajun lamb among other things--I've spent time in Louisiana and never saw it on the menu there. The music was the same four songs over and over--one of them the dreaded Macarena. They initially brought us an appetizer we didn't order--feta and olives--in addition to our ordered appetizer. Then after we had eaten a few olives and a little feta, they whisked it away and took it to the people who ordered it. I inquired whether the chimichanga could be ordered without onions, and the waitress informed me that they were made that morning (it was about 8:30 pm. at this point), and that it was impossible to unmake them. My mango margarita tasted as though it were mango Snapple tea with no tequila in it. My wife's lime margarita tasted like gatorade mixed with a little third rate tequila. My enchiladas were delivered with french fries (???) which tasted like they had been fried in oil which was well overdue for a changing. My beloved could not eat her fajitas. They could use some serious help, Gordon Ramsey or another of his ilk.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Bride of the Golem Update

I suppose it's time for an update on the status of the anthology.

I am presently soliciting stories from a group of superstars of Jewish comedy and literature to enhance the book's appeal to publishers and the reading public. I sent out a small group of invitations last month, and both Etgar Keret and Aimee Bender have agreed to submit stories to the project. Today, I am sending a much larger group of invitations to luminaries of literature, some Hollywood and New York giants of comedy, and a comedy-mystery writing Jewish cowboy in Central Texas who wears a big hat, sings country music and smokes good cigars.