Lots of food!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

It's snowing this morning in Saint Paul. When I got into bed last night, it was raining. I remember turning the corner onto our block, finishing up Harry's nighttime walk, and thinking about "Aprille with his shoures soote," feeling glad that, according to Chaucer, it was a very springlike night.

Now Father Winter is punishing me for my hubris.

But I actually came in here this morning to say something else. There are many, many phrases and words on the list of keywords that directed people (via Google, mostly) to this blog. Among them is "be patient and tough," tied with my own name, which I think is unfair because "be patient and tough" ought to send people to Peter Cameron's site, if an author's at all other than Ovid. At any rate, my favorite keyword is:

jewish rye loaves at cecil's, st. paul

I think that's wonderful! It really sums up the heart and soul of this blog: what can a Jew do in Minnesota when he needs to get down with his Jewish bad self and have some back-east love? (That and being a writer, obviously, but anyway.) Well, since that search, or a variation of it (involving the question of Jewish rye at Cecil's), has occurred twice since February 1st, I will answer the question.

Yes, Cecil's on Cleveland Avenue in the Highland Park neighborhood of Saint Paul, does have great Jewish rye, with seeds, and a nice dark Russian rye, not to mention a great marble rye, if you're into that sort of thing. They also have terrific matzo ball soup, and they make egg creams with real Fox's U-Bet chocolate syrup. So while they are (obviously) not kosher, if you're like 99% of the Jews I've ever known, you probably want kosher style, not the real thing, because otherwise you can't have an egg cream with your pastrami on rye. (Oh, ps for the hardcore: they also have Dr. Brown's Cel-Ray Soda!)

Oh, and the latkes are HUGE. Be warned. They are not for the faint of heart.

And since I'm here, why not ramble on about food? As mentioned previously, Beth, Sam, and I went out for supper on Friday night to El Meson in Minneapolis. Terrific! Although I was at first a bit stressed out, because it looked like a pretty adult place (ie, not entirely as baby friendly as I'd thought), everyone seemed okay with Sam's being there, and a few other patrons under the age of ten eventually showed up, putting me further at ease. (As it happens, Beth ate most of her meal with Sam on her knee, but she was okay with it.) My entree (a grilled pork chop; it was the special of the evening) was excellent. The last time I'd had a pork chop was over a year ago, and that one had not been so good. Pretty sure I was slightly ill from it. But the real winners at El Meson, from our experience, were the appetizers we got. We shared a ceviche that was amazing, something called peras, which were pears, stuffed with brie, and wrapped in Spanish prosciutto, and a fresh tomato, avocado, and queso fresco salad called a Dominicana. We could have gotten one more appetizer between us and been very happy with the meal, I think.

Maybe next time we'll just get tapas. You get to try more things that way.