Remember this place? Full disclosure again: I work for the agency that made all of Pecking Order’s print materials and web design stuff. For how often I bike past this incredible restaurant, I don’t stop in nearly often enough. Pecking Order gets all their chicken from Freebird, so everything’s humanely raised and responsibly fed, and hormone- and antiobiotic-free, and tastes amazing. And Kristine infuses everything with Filipino-inspired spices – arancini made with coconut rice and adobo chicken, rotisserie chicken basted with annatto and calamansi – and a carafe of boozy punch with floating slices of jackfruit really completes the meal.
Anyway, it’s a phenomenal restaurant and I enjoyed every minute of working on their logo and menu and website. I love it when my work-related duties and my off-the-clock passions intersect like this!
I’ve always been kind of miffed that there are so many different kinds of mushrooms in the world, and yet most grocery stories I’ve been to have maybe three varieties, if I’m lucky. When we were at the Dupont Circle farmers market in DC during SPX weekend, there was a booth that sold lots of different kinds of mushrooms, some pretty amazing, strange and alien looking ones, and I really wanted to try buying some, but I didn’t think there was any way I’d get past airport security with them, so I chickened out.
This is an abridged list of all of the mushrooms I know I’ve eaten. At most grocery stores by me, I can find Cremini/Portabella and white buttons. At Joong Boo and the other Asian groceries I know of, I can usually find shiitake and enokitake, and canned straw mushrooms. My farmers market has Portabella, shiitake and oyster, and I’m sure there are specialty stores in Chicago where I could find one or two other varieties, but… well, the options are depressingly limited.
I have a ton of freelance work to plow through this week, so I’ll keep this brief – but I did a painting for Yusho recently (I’ve been doing comics for their newsletter! You can sign up for it on their website, there’ll be new one going out this Friday) about matsutake mushrooms, and in researching it I learned so many amazing things, so I might have to do a Sauceome or two about them!
So, I’ve exhibited at SPX before, and it’s really and truly a great show, but it’s also really and truly in the heart of one of this nation’s abscesses, an ocean of strip malls and office parks, and almost nothing resembling culture. I learned years ago that if you want anything worth noshing, you gotta get on the Metro and go somewhere else. Saturday night, Lucy suggested Jaleo, the brainchild of Chef José Andrés, which was fortunately only a few stops away from the convention on the red line. We ate lots of delicious food and drank lots of Sangria that night. Sunday morning we got up early to hit the Dupont Circle farmers market, where I filled up on cheese samples and squirreled away some incredible seafood empanadas to munch on behind our booth at SPX. And Sunday night, Corinne’s brother Alex found us this amazing place, Pizzeria Orso. It was kind of ridiculous – the design of the place is truly awful, the identity and logo are a farce, and the website is almost a joke. But the food, my god, the food. It was surprisingly creative, impeccably prepared and plated, and it tasted as phenomenal as it looked. Someone needs to build these poor people a website that more accurately represents the quality of their food and service, because if Alex hadn’t done his research, I would absolutely have assumed it was a cruddy second-rate family pizza place. I was even looking around for a stand-up Ms. Pac-Man game.
Whaaaaat? I have to make all my own comics again??
Well, I’m back, guys! Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who made guest comics for me this time around!! I loved each and every one of them, and I’m pretty lucky to have so many talented people around me.
Anyway, I had a really, really great time at SPX this year, I got to hang out a lot with noted awesome people Lucy Knisley and (Ignatz winner!) Corinne Mucha, and I met some really amazing people and saw some really incredible work. Corinne was sweet enough to invite me to stay with her and her brother in Arlington, and if you have met her you might already know that she is never far away from a few squares of delicious dark chocolate. And as it turns out, pear slices and sun butter and yogurt and a square of dark chocolate make for a damn fine breakfast.
Here’s the last guest comic! It’s fitting that we’re ending with Corinne Mucha, because she and I are probably heading home from SPX as you’re reading this, where we had tables next to each other, and where Corinne won an Ignatz Award, due to her unrelenting awesomeness.
Corinne is one of my very favorite people ever, and this comic should give you at least some idea why. She sent me this comic, and I emailed her back professions of love and devotion. I think I need a print of this comic, hanging in my bathroom, forever and always.
Corinne’s got a lot of great books for sale here, which you should definitely check out, and she posts a lot of comics here on her blog, and you can also follow her on twitter, where she is routinely pretty hilarious.
And that’s it for guest comics! You’ve gotta put up with me and my dumb comics again from now on.
Today’s comic is from Allison Brown, who thoughtfully reminds us that you can fall just as much in love with cookbooks as with the food itself. In this Age of the Internet, I haven’t bought a new cookbook in a long, long while; most of the recipes I use come from websites. But every time someone sends me a cookbook, I spend hours poring over it, lingering on the photos, filing away notes-to-self on ingredients or presentation. I’ve been neglecting you, cookbooks!
So Dan lives down the street from me, and appears to go to the Small Bar as often as I do, but at completely different times. Also I went to college with his wife Laura! Dan brings us a delicious recipe for Stromboli, which I have never tried to make, but now I feel like I should, because you guys, you don’t argue with President Taft about FOOD.
I first met Barb at an indie convention in Minneapolis, which is one of my very favorite cities. She’s a fantastic artist and she has a really amazing winter coat that I absolutely covet.
And this is a comic after my own heart, because I love quiche. Niles hates eggs, so I don’t make it very often. Of course that means when I do make it, I get to eat the whole thing. I’d never thought to put sauteed carrots in a quiche, though, it sounds amazing! You know, there are carrots and parsnips in my fridge right now…
I met Stephanie Lantry at this year’s San Diego Comicon, because we had adjoining tables in the Small Press section. She makes some great comics, and she also shares my adoration of Kanji Tatsumi, which makes you a solid gold Awesome Person in my book. I love this comic, partially because it’s gorgeous, but also partially because I am largely unschooled in the proper ways of making coffee. We have a drip machine at home and an espresso machine in the office, but other than that I’m really no good at things like French press or even stovetop espresso, like this. I don’t normally put a lot of care or thought into how I get caffeinated, but this comic makes me think I should look into changing that.