Six years ago, my friend Seth Zurer and some associates founded Baconfest, an annual salute to pork belly that draws thousands of enthusiasts and contributes thousands of dollars to the Chicago Food Depository.
At City Lights in San Francisco, I found a Bukowski reader and paged through it. Then I experienced one of those reading events I've had maybe three times in my life. The rush-hour street traffic outside seemed to go silent, the bright California sun dimmed, and every word I read rang hard in my heart. I felt, as with only a few other poets (Bill Knott, maybe Patti Smith) that here was a writer I immediately understood and appreciated.
In St. Croix in the United States Virgin Islands, I had what is to-date, in my experience, the gold standard of conch. Instead of pale and rubbery-verging-on-leathery strips, the spectacular conch I had on several occasions at different restaurants around Christiansted was unidentifiable as the same lower-grade seafood served in the States.
Chardonnay, a Burgundian grape, held strong sway for years, and Kendal-Jackson Chardonnay is still the top-selling wine in the world (2.2 million cases per annum). Now Pinot, also Burgundian, seems to rule. However, there are rumblings of a renaissance in California-made Italian wines.
I understand why fast food places can't have customers reaching over the sneeze screen, but as I am a gentleman of a certain age, being publicly chastised by a person probably one-third my years was rather embarrassing. I'm assuming the counter person's apparent dismissal was because I looked like a low-value customer.
Liver is tasty, liver is good for you (high in iron), and if you really like chicken liver, Chicago's Home of Chicken and Waffles is a good place to go for it. The chicken livers there are also a huge value.