It’s the international day for box wine, or as I like to call it, “Cardboardeaux”

It’s September 9th: International Box Wine Day!

You may think of box wine — or as I like to call it, Cardboardeaux — as cheap, terrible and something you had at parties in your university years to feel more grown-up, but:

Food It Happened to Me Tampa Bay

Great Moroccan food at Le Casa Bistro

Frites, chicken tagine, bread, and lamb tagine.
Our meal at Le Casa Bistro, minus the appetizer. Tap to view at full size.

Last Friday, before going to the Tampa Theatre to see the film about Anthony Bourdain, Roadrunner, Anitra and I decided to do what Bourdain encouraged: We went to a newly-opened restaurant to try some food that we normally don’t get to eat. We went to Le Casa Bistro, located half a block away from the theatre at the corner of Franklin and Polk streets.

Chicken tagine
Chicken tagine. Tap to view at full size.

Le Casa’s specialty is Moroccan cuisine, and they have a very nice selection of tagines (pronounced “ta-ZHEEN”), which are slow-cooked stews that get their name from the traditional ceramic or clay dish in which they’re cooked. You typically serve them from the tagine they’re cooked in.

We started with zalouk, a cooked eggplant and tomato salad served with points of pita, which was an excellent appetizer. For our mains, we shared the chicken tagine, which is garnished with preserved lemons and olives, and the lamb tagine, whose garnish was hard-boiled eggs and prunes. These are rich, saucy dishes, and we scooped up the sauce with the frites and bread that they provided along with our dishes.

Lamb tagine
Lamb tagine. Tap to view at full size.

The service was incredibly friendly and helpful — one of the owners even came out to chat with us. We’re definitely coming back then next time we catch a film at the Tampa Theatre, a show at the Straz, or an event at one of the nearby museums.

We need to check it out on a Thursday, when they’ve got a live DJ and belly dancing, which should be pretty interesting.

Le Casa Bistro is located in the Element Tampa building at 802 N. Franklin St., at the corner of Franklin and Polk. Go check it out before everyone else “discovers” it!

In case you’re wondering: The folks at Le Casa Bistro have no idea who I am and most certainly didn’t pay for an endorsement. I’m just a fan who wants to see them stick around.

Food funny

Normal blood cells vs. Filipino blood cells

It’s also true for Hawai’ians.

Food funny

McDonald’s Brazil introduces a bowl of cheddar for dipping your burgers

Instagram photo by @ExperimentAAERJ.

I look forward to the day when the biggest threat to health and safety isn’t COVID-19, but instead is the melted cheddar dip that McDonald’s Brazil recently introduced.

Instagram photo by geekpublicitario. Tap to view the source.

The McDonald’s Brazil Instagram account asked a question that sounded more like a question one would ask in Wisconsin rather than Brazil: “E se a gente fizesse uma piscininha de Cheddar…?” — What if we made a pool of cheddar?

You don’t get a full pool with your order, but you do get 3.5 ounces of cheese. According to Delish:

That 3.5 ounces goes a long way, according to one Instagram account that showered their burger and fries in the cheese and still had half of the bowl left. Another account described the cheese pool as super creamy and yummy, and wrote that McDonald’s hit the nail on the head with this one.

Instagram photo by continuocomfome.

Thanks to David Janes for the find!

Food It Happened to Me The More You Know...

Last night’s side dish: “Layogenic” curried cauliflower

For the next five weeks, I’m teaching an online Python class from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays. That means that on those days, I eat dinner a little earlier, which in turn means that I’ve got to have it prepped earlier.

Luckily, I have all sorts of tricks for this sort of schedule, one of which is the mid-afternoon veggie roast: Cut up some vegetables, drizzle with oil and seasonings, roast in the oven or turbo broiler for 45 minutes. It doesn’t take long to put together, and it doesn’t need to be attended to while in the over, allowing me to continue working.

Last night’s vegetable was a whole head of cauliflower in curry powder (I used Badia’s “Jamaican style” curry), truffle salt, and ghee.

While tasty, it doesn’t look pretty close up. It’s layogenic (pronounced “LIE-o-jennic”), a Filipino/English hybrid term that was BBC’s “Word of the Day” back in January. It means “attractive from a distance, but not close up,” — the “layo” part comes from the Filipino word for “far” or “distance”.