Monthly Archives: March 2013

Bring Back the Old Stirrer Dunkin! – PeanutPimpMama Food for Thought

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Okay, something has been on my mind. For a decade now I have been going to the Dunkin Donuts drive through to order my “french vanilla coffee light and sweet”. Let’s face it…No one likes getting out of the car first thing in the morning. For nearly ten years I’ve noticed a lot about Dunkin Donuts’s habits, their price inflation, change of logo campaigns, audacity to print foot-long receipts, aggressive promotion of seasonal products, and to never listen when you say “Can I have one”. If you asked for one of anything it automatically means you just asked for five.

When I was 22 my then boyfriend’s sister informed me that she drank tea and coffee (rarely) and always through a straw. She had an immaculate smile for it, so I figured she was doing something right. From that point on I always drank my coffee with a stirrer, one little red stirrer which functioned as a straw. The funny part was that you could never stop Dunkin Donuts from giving out multiple stirrers. It was like cops giving out traffic tickets or better yet parking tickets. They were unavoidable and would end up all over the car, in your hand bag and if you were lucky they made it into the tight crevice between your seat and the door where you could barely reach. (I don’t recommend letting the same thing happen with parking tickets.) The Dunkin Donut helpers showed no mercy. Even if you did not want a stirrer they would be sneaky and pass your tray of bevs out the window with your change, leaving you with no free hands while automatically shoving a fist of them out the door. Hence you the coffee sipper-rer left on-the-spot and forced to accept them.

So my question today is, has anyone noticed the stirrers have changed? Instead of the old ones that had holes (which I miss dearly) we now have these cross-shaped sticks. You can’t sip through them, and it appears as though they lack in versatility. They are meant for stirring and stirring only. Who was the fool that realized if you removed the hole no one would find a reason to take them anymore? Don’t tell me that anyone actually uses them to stir. We all know they are preferred as a sipping tool, and nothing more.

Now while I’m sure they’re saving thousands of dollars and saving the earth, we need to think about the people. What about all of the irresponsible drivers out there that come up to the drive-through and want to drink (sip) while they drive? Think about all of the potential law suits they may have to face when drivers get burns on their laps! We do not want to see the Liebeck case of 1994 all over again.

With the way Dunkin Donuts measures their milk and sugar ratio to coffee served at 300 degrees celsius, I see a lot of burns and brown teeth in our near future. Here’s to cleaner cars and lack of stirrer infringement…Dunkin Donuts forces us to acclimate to these conditions once more.

They know they’ve got us. After all, “America Runs on Dunkin.”

Until Next Time,

~PeanutPimpMama

Trullo- Highbury-Islington, London

peanutpimpmamaOnce upon a time, I lived in London. It was 2006 and I had moved there in pursuit of my dreams to study fashion and eat my way through Continental Europe. My experience there had gone pear-shaped (sadly) which eventually earned London the nickname “Soggy-town or Soggies” for short. The phrase was coined and is still used by my friends and family today. In spite of my bittersweet relationship with this city, I was lucky to come back multiple times realizing to my dismay, London was actually a magnificent place to visit.

During my last stint I was able to check out a couple of restaurants in Highbury-Islington. Staying in the area piqued my curiosity with its charm, old character, gourmet gastropubs, alluring candle-lit eateries and streets lined with boutiques and coffee shops by day. All of which a New Yorker can easily fall prey to. Not like Oxford street isn’t enough trouble only four direct tube stops away on the Victoria line…

TRULLO [troo-loh] NOT [truh-low]

“Trullo” a restaurant named after a dry stoned hut with a conical roof indigenous to the region of Apulia, is a resto that caught my eye first with its mysterious candle lit interior and a dining room appearing to only seat about 30 guests at maximum capacity.

You would never know (unless you’ve been to their informative website) that there is an entire downstairs dining room equipped with a very nice bar offering sophisticated cocktails tailored to their rustic Italian fare. That’s right, their cocktails are “tailored” using only the freshest of seasonal ingredients to accompany their seasonally changing menu.

The Experience:

It was a Wednesday evening and we arrived without a reservation since that would have required effort. No better way to freak out a New Yorker than to ask if they have reserved a table upon arrival. Us NY’ers are spoiled by a first come first serve culture and normally do not reserve unless it is for a special occasion or large parties. Reserving a table is just way too civilized. It requires thinking ahead and planning. (Major Cultural Difference)

After being told we had a fifteen minute wait (to hang out in the doorway) or the option to be seated immediately down stairs, we opted for the latter. We were seated right in front of the bar and were immediately given the menu.

Some Cerignola olives (also indigenous to the Apulia region) arrived at the table. They are  pretty neutral in flavor and generally served as an appetizer. Waving my warm crusty bread around the remnants of extra virgin olive oil after the olives had vanished wasn’t so bad.

Pictured Here: Cocktail @ Trullo

I was at a loss for decisions when they gave me their libations list. Offering an extensive Italian wine selection in addition to drinks, they were definitely enticing me. I asked for a suggestion and they mentioned their “Aperol Spritz” to start. Evidently, it’s their most popular cocktail. I failed to listen and ended up with something “Winter Inspired.” (sour)

My first course was a mixed green salad with a vinnaigrette. I needed something simple and clean keeping my post-holiday diet in mind. It is normally served as a side dish.

The second course was Pappardelle with a Beef Shin Ragu. I don’t actually eat beef, but I know a good dish when I see one. The scent from this sauce filled up the room with air so rich and decadent you could slice a knife through it. You need not be told this is one of their best sellers, since there is a plate sold to almost every table. It is truly something special, and a MUST HAVE. My date is still raving about it.

For the first main: I had the Charcoal Grilled Sea Bass with Castellucio Lentils and Salsa Rosa. The portion size was surprisingly small for this dish, but it was redeemed by the fact that the flavor was larger than life. YUM. Lentils are filling enough on their own, but the fish itself was a beautiful flawless cut, charcoaled to flaky perfection. I felt good about this meal.

After I saw the size of my main I decided to “go for the gold” and order a side of potatoes. As soon as we bit into these the topic of conversation was: “Butter, people really need to start using this more. It’s just so delicious and nothing can replace it. Why on earth are people so afraid of it?” These potatoes were drenched in creamy goodness and I was loving every buttery and chivey minute of it.

Pictured Here: Slow Cooked Swaledale Lamb Shoulder with Chick Peas, Spinach and Salsa Verde

My date selected the Slow Cooked Swaledale Lamb Shoulder with Chick Peas, Spinach and Salsa Verde. When asked his thoughts about this dish he responded: “I may have had that, but all I remember is the Pappardelle with Beef Shin Ragu. It’s in my top five dishes of the last year, easily. I can’t foget. (Don’t ever let go Jack)

Sadly we decided to skip on desserts in efforts to minimize the naughty factor. On the way out I decided to take two more shots of the upstairs dining room. I made sure to leave my PeanutPimpMama business card with “the bill”.

Pictured Here: The dining room

Looking to do things on the cheap? Trullo offers a four-course Sunday lunch for £30 per person using the freshest seasonal ingredients available. I would say this is the best way to get the full Trullo-Experience for half the dough. They try their best to accomodate vegetarians and food allergies while priding themselves on their fresh pasta and charcoal grill. For great food and great service you can’t beat it!

Trullo is Open for Dinner: Monday to Saturday and for Lunch: Monday to Sunday

~ 18:00 to 22:15 ~ 12:30 to 14:45 ~ 12:30 to 15:30

Prices include VAT. Optional service charge of 12.5% not included for tables of 6 or less.

For tables of more than six, email: enquiries@trullorestaurant.com

~PeanutPimpMama

The “Elvis” Cuppie~ Available for Orders (inquire within)

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Introducing: The Elvis Cuppie!

What is The Elvis? Where did it come from? Why is it the most fantastic invention on earth? How does it make a perfect cupcake?

There is just something about peanut butter that brings me right back to childhood, myself and every other American.

There is a place called The Arcade Restaurant (the oldest) in Memphis, TN. It was founded in 1919 and rebuilt as what you see today in 1925. The restaurant is “something out of a movie” and in fact has been featured in multiple films.

It seems to be a technicolored dream when you walk into this establishment with it’s brightly colored 1950’s motif.

I was there last February (road trip down south) when I saw “Fried Peanut Butter N’ Banana” sandwich on the menu. It was love at first sight. This is the place where the magic happened and PeanutPimpMama bought her very first Elvis! Their menu didn’t say “Elvis”, but this sandwich is referred to by name of “The King” since he loved them and is often falsely accused of the invention.

Graceland

It turns out he was just a dedicated enthusiast often enjoying them in the confines of his own home “Graceland”.

We had to take this meal on the run since there was a lot of sightseeing ahead. This sandwich weighed about five pounds alone and dared to come with a generous side order of fries. (Like that was necessary or even humanly possible to consume.) Instantly I remembered having a convo about this sandwich in gym class with my classmate in the 9th grade. There it was, finally after fifteen years staring me right in the face with it’s buttery crunchy toasted edges and chunky peanut butter and banana guts erupting from within. I needed rubber gloves to attack this. I felt dirty.

Next stop was the Lorraine Motel, where sadly America lost one of its greatest activists and leaders in the African-American Civil Rights Movement, Martin Luther King Jr.

The Lorraine Motel (Now a National Civil Rights Museum) offers tours to inform visitors about MLK’s life history, activism and sadly his parting with this earth in 1968 when he was assassinated on site.

 It was a gorgeous day out and the hotel offered a great spot to picnic on the lawn and last but not least, to enjoy my “Elvis” and watch the local passersby.

This fond memory became the inspiration of my Elvis Cuppies: Banana cake with chunky peanut butter centers and Fluffernuter icing garnished with a banana chip.

Not much lighter than the sandwich itself, these cupcakes have it all. The moist banana cake and decadent peanut butter centers with their ooey gooey frosting are sure to impress. The Elvis Cuppie guarantees a trip down to the deep dirty south with every bite. Need I say more? (Rubber Gloves Not Included)

If you are interested in having your very own batch of PeanutPimpMama’s Elvis Cuppies, please email your requests to: peanutpimpmama@aol.com.

~PeanutPimpMama