Food News & Notes

Meat dresses, butcher shops, and bearded cream-puff consumers.

Three things in the world I don't care much about: pop singers, energy drinks, and competitive eating. So doesn't it just figure that all three became points of obsession on Voracious last week? First it was competitive eater Joey Chestnut powering down 47 burritos in 10 minutes at the New Mexico State Fair to set a new world's record. Then it was the Lady Gaga meat dress at MTV's Video Music Awards. And finally, there was the new energy-drink mixer that can be added to anything, thereby turning anything into an energy drink. I thought about using it as a glaze on a nice ham, and I think I might've accidentally invented the world's first caffeinated pork product. I'll be accepting the Nobel in December. All that aside, we did have some actual news happening. Alki's Spud Fish and Chips (2666 Alki Ave.) celebrated its 75th anniversary—no small achievement, considering that the average restaurant shrivels up and dies before it reaches its third birthday. What's more, Shane Sahr of Tini Bigs won the Tilth Producers of Washington's organic-cocktail contest with a white chocolate-and-jalapeno concoction called the "Lady Godiva," and the proprietor of Dante's Inferno hot-dog stand was kind enough to rattle off what traits he finds most annoying in his customers—while assuring us that he loves them all unconditionally. We also determined that Ballard's Jolly Roger Taproom (1111 N.W. Ballard Way) has the best onion rings in town. Looking for some real East Coast Italian food? If you live on First Hill, you're in luck, because the revamped Vito's just (re)opened its doors at 927 Ninth Ave., with new owner Greg Lundgren promising to bring red gravy back to the neighborhood. That neighborhood also scored a new Japanese crepe restaurant with Crêpan Crepe World opening at 1303 Madison. Granted, you might not want to hit both these places in the same night. Two local butchers got some love courtesy of MSNBC's business section, which tagged Seattle's own Bill the Butcher and new kid on the block Rain Shadow Meats as the harbingers of a coming trend: the re-emergence of neighborhood butcher shops. Also be sure to check out our new Monday feature on Voracious: Secrets of a Food Writer's Fridge, in which we examine the refrigerators of various Voracious contributors and use the contents to make snap judgments about their personalities and various psychological quirks. Because competitive eating has already been brought up, Voracious is throwing a little competition of our own: Beard Papa's Cream Puff Munch-Off. You're cordially invited to the big event, Thursday, Sept. 23 at 6:30 p.m. at Greenlake's Little Red Hen (7115 Woodlawn Ave. N.E.), which will feature hirsute rockers Matt Badger of Ravenna Woods and Andrew Chapman of The Keeper going at it to see who can eat the most cream puffs in three minutes—with the winner receiving free post-puff grooming at Gray's Barber Lounge and (of course) a $50 Beard Papa's gift certificate. It's gonna be something—a hot, white, sticky something. Don't miss it!

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