In the Garden of Eatin’

I haven’t done a food-related post in a while, so here’s…a food-related post.

:: Every summer, as we reach the final weeks of August, the sweet corn starts to get really good ’round these parts, and we have corn-on-the-cob with just about every meal. (Well, not quite. Never tried it with pancakes.) And our favorite item to feature alongside the corn is the good old BLT sandwich. But we take our BLTs fairly seriously; no thin-sliced bacon cooked to death served on boring white bread with iceberg lettuce here, nosiree! It’s whole grain bread, nicely toasted; lots of richly green leaf lettuce; thick slices of fresh (and local) tomato; nice-sized slices of red onion (technically making our sandwiches ‘BLOTs’); and, of course, slices of thick-cut bacon cooked just to the point where it’s starting to crisp.


We’ll serve this menu two or three times in just a couple of weeks. And then, we won’t have BLTs again until the waning days of next summer.

:: Picnics are another pleasure we like to indulge in the warmer months, pretty much like everyone else. Our picnic fare is similar to everyone else’s: sandwiches, chips, and some fresh fruit. We like to buy nice, crusty rolls, like Ciabatta, and put fine meats and more green leaf lettuce (or Romaine, depending on what we have) and some Provolone on the roll. Serve with chips, it’s an entire meal.

Picnic food

:: Chips with cheese dip:

Chips with cheese dip

No, we didn’t make these. This dish is from a local Mexican restaurant which we’ve tried a few times and have found…OK. The place is decent enough, and it has a great looking interior and the service is never a train wreck, but it hasn’t really wow‘d us of yet. In truth, we’re still looking for a place to fill the void in our lives left behind by the local departure of Don Pablo’s. Sigh….

:: This one, however, I did make. One weekend we were grocery shopping, and we realized we had no dinner plans for that Sunday evening. So I grabbed a fairly cheap roast of beef, and the next morning, I mixed up a batch of this barbecue sauce, dumped it in the crockpot, submerged the beef in the sauce, and let the thing simmer away on “low” for ten hours. When I removed the roast, it looked like this:

Shredded Beef I

Then I took a couple of forks and shredded the thing. It was so tender, this only took about a minute and very little effort; the meat was falling apart, which is exactly what we wanted.

Shredded Beef II

We served the meat on toasted rolls. Shredded meat sandwiches are awesome! On the side, roasted potatoes. Yum! Seriously, this was about as low-effort a meal as I’ve ever made. So easy.

:: I’ve mentioned this joint before, but I always like to repeat myself. Some of our favorite places to eat are “road food” joints, the places that are plunked on the side of the street, where you order and pick up at a window and eat at an outside window. Our favorite such place is Taffy’s, which is very well-known in the Buffalo Southtowns.


There actually is some indoor seating here, but that amounts to three or four tables and three spots at a very tightly cramped counter. The attraction here is the outside, the benches that rock back and forth, the oldies on the stereo, and watching the cars go by at one of the area’s busier intersections. The food is your typical fare at such a place: burgers, sausages, fries, and an enormous menu of milkshakes. (In the photo, see the lady with the backpack there? To her left is a white menuboard. That menu is nothing but milkshake flavors.) Taffy’s was actually in the news recently when a customer received a single curly fry that was several feet long. We’ve never been that lucky, but it’s still fun to eat there.

Here’s what I had last time, the “Western Philly Cheesesteak sandwich”:

Western Philly Steak Sandwich

The “Western” part is the barbecue sauce poured onto a standard cheesesteak. Still, this thing was Teh Awesome!

:: Let’s see, what else? Oh yeah, dessert. Which is usually ice cream. Hooray for ice cream!

Firstly, I was thrilled to see that a flavor The Wife and I dearly loved but which disappeared from the freezer cases across Western New York years ago, is finally back. Behold…Perry’s White Lightning!

White Lightning!

If you can’t read the label, it’s dark chocolate ice cream that has a white chocolate and mint swirl running through it. Oh man, is this stuff good.

Our favorite place to go out for ice cream is a little roadside joint called Route 20 Ice Cream, which is just down the road from us.

It’s done up in the style of a gas station from the 1940s or thereabouts, complete with a couple of antique cars nicely fixed up and parked there and antique pumps, like this one for “Sky Chief” gasoline:

Behold Sky Chief!

(Sky Chief was a premium gas blend put out by Texaco years ago. A friend told me this over on Flickr, and that’s indeed the case, according to Wikipedia. Cool!)

Of course, the ever-present danger in a place like this is choosing what to have. You spend a lot of time behind people staring at the menu, like these two ne’er-do-wells:

So whadda ya want???

Rapscallions, I say!

:: And of course, at the end of the day, you just want to ease into relaxation mode by quaffing a nice beverage.


I don’t remember what beer I was drinking when I took this, but I got that gorgeous mug at the Sterling RenFest this year. It’s now my favorite implement for the consumption of fine lagers and ales. Huzzah!!

And that’s the recent story in food here at Casa Jaquandor.

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1 Response to In the Garden of Eatin’

  1. Lynn says:

    Dammit! I thought my life was complete and then you had to go and tell me about Perry's White Lightning. We don't have that brand here and I've never seen any ice cream that's even remotely similar. It sounds really really good.

    Very nice mug. I have a bit of a thing for cups and mugs.

    By the way, did you do something to your site? Scrolling has been sort of wonky for the past few days.

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