What did we do last week? Not much, we just built a restaurant. You know, then we drank some beer and thought a little harder about what would be cool to eat while we were drinking it. Typically, salty stuff, carby stuff, baked stuff, cheap stuff, deep fried stuff, fresh fruit. You know what sucks? Paying a lot of money for food that tastes like crap. You know what rules? Getting really good food that tastes like nothing you’ve ever had for not that much money.
We just opened up a micro-restaurant inside 285 Kent Ave, home of a new music venue, art space, Babycastles arcade, and also, it’s in the old “Paris London West Nile” space. We pretty much serve the best snacks. It’s dirt cheap, why even bother eating at home, you can eat here everyday, and probably save money, you know what I mean?
Here’s a taste of what our menu looks like:
Grape Kool-Aid Fritters $3
Waffle Grilled Cheese $3
Pizza Waffle Sandwich $4 or $5 w/pepperoni
Black Bean and Queso Muffins $2
BBQ Tofu Summer Rolls $2 or 3/$5
Spicy Boiled Peanuts $3
Lime Coconut Bars $2
Fat Watermelon Slice $1
Fruit Flavored Ice Pops 2/$1
We add new stuff almost everyday, so no one gets bored.
AND we open DAILY 8PM-1AM!!!!!! Who knows how long we can keep this up for!
Yesterday was our dear friend’s Shawn Lovejoy’s birthday! Lauren Gregory and I were hanging out together that day anyway (she was painting my portrait!), so we wanted to do something special for our special friend. We decided to make him an edible platform for which he can blow out all his 69 candles.
I know that Shawn doesn’t particularly enjoy eating sweet things, but we wanted to make something for Shawn that highlighted one of his greatest assets: his handsomeness.
Rice Krispie treats seemed like a good way to go, because even the most savory tongue cannot resist this texture-overloaded marshmallow snack. Plus, in a bar setting, this sort of dessert is conducive to catering to a tipsy crowd, with no patience for plates and forks, and can act as a willing carb sponge for the liquid spirits swimming in our stomachs.
Rice Krispie treats proved to be a great sculpting material! When the marshmallow and cereal mixture is JUUUSST mixed together and the marshmallow glue is still warm, THIS is when it is the MOST MALLEABLE! Lauren was all over this. She grabbed the stick of butter like it was some chapstick, and smeared it all over her hands. This creates a resist, so that the goopy marshmallow rice cereal mix doesn’t stick to your hands as you’re sculpting it. I did the same, and we smooshed it around for a while until it looked like a handsome guy. The handsome guy shape we made kept slumping to look like a handsome FAT guy.
We used marshmallow/chocolate cereal mix for the hair. Also, confession, we did not use anything brand name. Real brand name Rice Krispies at the store was like $8.00?!?!? We found a great generic equivalent for $1.99. Also, we used generic marshmallows as well. We found some great strawberry-flavored marshmallows shaped like hearts for $0.99/bag! Mixed with the beige rice cereal, the pink strawberry marshmallows made quite a nice realistic flesh tone!
The eye cavity area was a little tricky to sculpt. He was not quite “handsome.” Finally we put some real fashion sunglasses on him, and he looked like the baddest motherfucker.
We brought it to the party and everyone ate it and looked happy.
first a bit of history: Iron cupcake is a fun time. It is headed up by Colleen of Beautiful Cakes who put the whole thing together. But there is a whole bunch of bakers and chefs who have been doing the “cupcake as a genre” thing for a while. The contest was actually started in Milwaukee by the Milwaukee Cupcake Queen and her pal when they decided to challenge each other to a bakers duel. The gauntlet was thrown by the pal then known as the Unknown Baker; as is covered here on the blog prehumously named No One Puts Cupcake In a Corner. Things started when said baker presented the Queen with a Marlboro Cowboy Coffee Cream Cupcake With Starbucks liquor chaser. So rowdy! This dude steeped tobacco and then made a batter with it. So then the heat was on, and iron Cupcake Milwaukee was born, then Iron Cupcake: Earth, then spin offs including Iron Cupcake :Chicago.
The challenges so far:
Iron cupcake Chicago has been ramping up. The first challenges were pretty tame, including citrus and something else. But the last two themes were actually interesting because of the open-end-ed-ness of them. Savory, which provided the obligatory bacon cupcakes. and most recently candy. This is the one i attended.
Ok! Let me start by saying all of the cupcakes were very tasty, but some were better than others, AND only two of the contestants were actual chefs, most of these ladies were just badass moms and grandmoms looking for kicks and bragging rights.
Entries included, M&M’s (which were sort of boring),
Mounds (which were definitely boring)
Candy corn which was good, but had a strange aftertaste not unlike eating actual candy corn.
there were two snickers entries… and like highlander their can be only one, and it was true!
actually the lady with the superior snickers called them SINkers, and they involved a hollow cupcake, filled with snickers filling, and topped with a ring of caramel creme. these ROCKED US.
One of Melissa’s entries was cany dots cupcakes, which were flat pieces of fondant topped with piped candy dots. I really enjoyed this. However, similar to the actual candy dots of yore, this was fun to eat, but not terribly tasty to eat. Mostly because of the fondant,because fondant tastes gross.
In the end, Melissa and the SINkers tied for best presentation, and the SINkers rightly won for best taste. It was really no contest on that front.