What does Seattle Grace of Grey’s Anatomy fame have in common with my favorite new place to eat, LBR 614? The former is a teaching HOSPITAL and the latter is a teaching RESTAURANT. (Thanks to Jimmie for the clever and cute reference.)
I attended a class at LBR 614 last night, taught and hosted by Jeff and Jimmie (we’re on a first name basis now). The topic was “Restaurant Secrets,” and to my surprise, most of the discussion and questions centered on where the restaurant food is sourced. Jeff let the fifteen students attending in on a little trade secret—if you leave chemicals and processing out of the food the food tastes good. Who knew that red dye and other chemicals were added to super market ground “beef” so that it looks more appealing? I knew that, but many in the class didn’t. They were astonished. The class then wanted to know if they could buy meat from Jeff’s provider, and if not, where could they find meat that doesn’t include red dye? One lady admitted to adhering to “the redder the better” philosophy of ground beef buying, thinking that the redness of the meat indicated freshness. Another secret from Jeff—his ground beef only lasts three days in the refrigerator (because it’s unprocessed and fresh!); most super market meat has a much longer, chemical-induced shelf life. Jeff went on to touch on many other restaurant secrets, from food storage, to how to cook the perfect roast chicken (500 degree oven for the first half hour is the key to crispy skin! Oh, and buy yourself a meat thermometer. You must have a meat thermometer).
Attending the class made me realize that I need to get some local resources on here stat (to borrow a medical term). People want to know where they can buy wholesome, local food! And I’m so glad! I already have some sources for local produce, meat, and seafood and I promise to post those here in the next week or so. When spring and summer hit, I will have even more places for you to visit in your own search of local, seasonal food.
Okay, so let me jump down off my local food soap box for a moment and switch gears to tell you about two things: appetizers and lunch (both at LBR 614. I told you, it’s my new favorite). At the end of the class, Jeff and Jimmie presented a beautiful array of appetizers, including citrus marinated olives (done in house), country ham, crab dip, ham biscuits with cherry preserves, and ham salad. Let me take a moment to talk about this ham salad. Yes, ham salad is what I said. This ham salad (said it again) was served ice cold with toast points and it was…refreshing. Kind of an odd things to say, but it’s true, ham salad can be refreshing if Jeff makes it. I vote for a ham salad sandwich to be added to the menu.
Now on to lunch. I took my parents and my husband to lunch at LBR 614 today. Joe (the husband) ordered the Cuban sandwich. It comes with three different kinds of pork and house-made pickles. House-made pickles!!
I would explain in detail what everyone else ordered (and devoured), but I won’t because you need to go there yourself. You will not be disappointed in the Southern-inspired menu with a French flair, and you might even learn a little something about local food in the process. Oh, and if you see Jimmie (he’s the tall, welcoming one with the killer smile. Can you say, McDreamy?), tell him Rachel sent you!