18 March 2006

Reason #1 i miss ann arbor

Reason #1 i miss ann arbor
Originally uploaded by deepfry.
ann arbor, home of many sports bars (more, it seems, each time i go back), is also home to Red Hot Lovers, a cramped and greasy chicago-style hotdog joint down the street from campus. if there is a heaven, i can promise you that it provides an unending supply of cheese fries from Red Hot Lovers. RHL is modeled on the traditional Chicago hot dog stand, found on an almost block-by-block basis in that fair city; the place is covered with chicago paraphenalia, always has blues on the radio and even has red vinyl booths...though not many of them. but i honestly believe that the cheese fries raise Red Hots a notch above even some of the finest chicago hot dog establishments (i say this knowing that my mother may actually disown me for uttering such blasphemy...but thats what she gets for raising me in the suburbs instead of the city).

i've only been back to ann arbor a handfull of times since graduating, but each time i make sure to stop at RHLs at least once...usually more. this time, i got a polish (with ketchup, mustard, neon green relish, tomatoes, a pickle, peppers, pepper and salt on a poppyseed bun), cheese fries and a small diet coke...a typical selection unless i'm, ahem, going for the second time in two days, in which case i'll go for the tofu dog instead of the polish because that really cuts down on the calories! abbey, who joined me for my first trip, got, more or less, the same stuff, differing only in the toppings on her polish.

i love love love Red Hot Lovers. if the choice was forced, i might pick Red Hots over oxygen. just writing about it now and looking at that picture of the polish is making my mouth water. how could it not. let's consider:

Red Hots:
polish sausage(served in a soft, warm poppyseed bun and piled high with toppings): the polish is grilled to perfection, slightly charred and suggesting crispiness on the outside, moist and juicy on the inside. placed in a slightly sweet white bread bun, covered with the perfect combination of sweet, spicy and salty toppings. each bite is a little bit of heaven.

cheese fries: waffle-cut fries smothered in melted cheddar (none of that fake cheese junk here), best with a touch of ketchup. a large is just big enough that two people can barely finish it, thus guaranteeting that no fights erupt over the last fry.

small diet coke: served in a waxy blue and white cup, the coke ever-so-slightly cuts the grease from the polish and cheesefries, making it easier to power thru the entire meal. a small isn't really enough, but there's something about waiting for the ice to melt at the end and getting a few slurps of watered down, waxy soda that provides an excellent close to a meal.

odorless, tasteless, invisible.

...okay, and also that which gives us life. but whatever.

14 March 2006


Originally uploaded by deepfry.
trips to ann arbor and portland to report on but before that, Happy Purim! last night erin came over and we made hamantaschen...always a fun activity for the whole family! i used the New York Times Jewish Cookbook which seemed safe enough (New York? Jewish cooking? how can you go wrong??) but it was pretty disappointing. its a pretty little cookie pictured here (this one with fig preserves) but i'm more of a crunchy hamantaschen girl and these were a decidedly soft, flaky pastry dough kind of hamantaschen. that we didn't have the time to let the dough chill over night, as suggested, didn't help things either. in some (and by "some" i mean "most") cases, the dough poofed up in the middle, pushing the jam entirely out of the cookie and down the sides. the elderberry jelly and peach jam, both homemade and sold at farmers' markets, lacked, presumably, the pectin to hold themselves together at all. the fig, rasberry and apricot preserves were better suited to the bumpy ride that was the baking process. but even then, many of them looked more like fry dough than hamantaschen by the time they came out of the oven.

but we ended up with about thirty salvagable cookies, some even shaped like triangles! and tonight i attended the kick-off party for a Jewish Literature Book Club Series that featured delightfully cripsy massive hamantaschen, stuffed with poppy seeds and the whole bit. they were perfect. i might do Hamantaschen Round 2: Crispy on saturday night.