Saturday, April 23, 2011

Au Pied de Cochon

I ate a lot of pork at this restaurant.  When I say a lot of pork, I don't just mean a large volume of pork.  My entree contained no fewer than four preparations of pork served over mashed potatoes that were at least 50% cheese.  Did I mention this is sort of a fancy place?

We were inspired to go to Au Pied de Cochon after seeing the insanity that is Head Chef Martin Picard on Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations.  Seriously, this guy seems more than a little bit nuts.  His food, however, is amazing.

Our experience wasn't quite as overwhelming as the one shown in the video (and involved far less foie gras).  Half the people present were, more or less, able to finish their dinner.  Not without significant work mind you, and with no room at all for dessert, but still.  I finished my entree (eventually), but was literally not hungry for days afterwords.  Compared to Au Pied de Cochon, La Banquise was just a preview of coming attractions.

For an entree, I ordered the PDC Melting Pot.  I had read online that it included pork and mashed potatoes.  With this in mind, I was less than prepared when a pot of sausages, pork, potatoes, mushrooms, and duck fat arrived.  This isn't my photo, but someone on Flickr got a photo that sort of does this monstrosity justice.  From what I could tell, the contents included boudin noir (blood sausage), pork sausage, pork belly, and pork shoulder.  All of this was served over mashed potatoes that included a metric (this was Canada after all) ton of cheese, mushrooms, and duck fat.  It was incredible.

Objectively, potatoes with that much cheese and fat couldn't be anything less than amazing.  I'm normally not the biggest fan of boudin noir when served on its own, but even that was really good.  Combined with the potatoes, I could pretty much eat it all day, every day.  I'd be a million pounds and have a heart attack a week, but I could do it.  The rest of the pork products were equally good, with the pork belly being my favorite I think.

We had a (nearly) vegetarian lunch many hours before going to Au Pied de Cochon.  In retrospect, this was probably a good thing.  Aside from lunch being amazing (and it totally was), Au Pied de Cochon is not the place to go if you are looking for anything resembling plant-based nutrition.  I thought (and still think) that the food was basically the best thing ever.  If I'm ever in Montreal again, I'll be making a stop at Au Pied de Cochon.

Friday, April 22, 2011

How Research Works: XX

THE LAB: 3pm

I didn't see you in the lab yesterday

I was in Canada.  Vacation.  I told you, remember?


Did you do any work while you were there?  Talk to anyone at MNI?

I think your idea of a vacation is different than mine.

You don't spend your vacations doing work?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Game of Thrones

I watched the pilot episode of this after getting back from Canada.  Its... pretty decent I guess.  Nothing too special so far.  An expert on this sort of thing has informed me that the story will pick up as the season moves forward, and I'm hoping it becomes a bit less high fantasy by the numbers.  So far, I'm going to keep watching for Peter Dinklage.

I don't think I'm not going to run out and read the novels.  Mostly because I don't have that kind of time.  Though if this series becomes a success (and I think it will), maybe that'll force George R.R. Martin to actually finish the books in a timely manner.

On the subject of poutine

Turns out I forgot to take any pictures while in Montreal.  Anyway, the weather was pretty bad (Snow! In April!) and there wasn't a lot of sightseeing.  There was, however, a lot of eating.  I'll write up something about the ludicrous dinner at Au Pied de Cochon later, but first I wanted to talk a bit about something a bit less classy, but equally ludicrous.  Poutine.

Our first night in Montreal, we decided to get some poutine at La Banquise a 24 hour poutine restaurant.  Well known for its variety of poutines, La Banquise was featured on the Quebec episode of Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations and was the first stop of our unintentionally intentional tour of eateries featured in that episode.

As you can see, poutine isn't exactly for the faint of heart.  We actually ordered four varieties of poutine (one for each person present) which turned out to be a bit too much cheese curds, fries, and gravy.  I'm hard pressed to remember the exact varieties we ordered (to be fair, their names were in French), but there was a lot of meat products involved.  The original (just cheese curds, fries, and gravy) and the version with chunks of onions and sausage were my favorite, but all the varieties were good in their own evil sort of way.

I'm really surprised poutine hasn't immigrated south.  Seems like there would be quite a lot of people interested in something that is essentially cheese fries + gravy.  Hopefully this will happen sooner rather than later.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

How Research Works: XIX



er... Hi

What does everyone in the car do for work?

We're all grad students...

...So you don't work?

No.  We work a lot.

And what do you work a lot on exactly?


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Dinner Diner Dinner

There is a diner near my house that serves complementary beets. They also make a decent Rueben sandwich.  Thus they are vastly superior to the terribly kitchy diners that exist in literally every town on the island.  Turns out Long Island has some decent stuff, its just hidden and probably in a strip mall.

Monday, April 18, 2011

How Research Works: XVIII

THE BAR: 4am

My blog isn't making any money.

You think maybe its because you are talking in hyperlinks?