5@5 - Set a nervous drinker at ease
January 31st, 2012
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

A nervous drinker walks into a bar...

OK, we got nothing - but what we lack in punch lines, we're about to make up for in advice.

Whether you're a bona fide professional bartender or just like to stir things up as the barkeep in the comfort of your own home, you're likely to encounter a guest who doesn't quite know what to make of modern cocktail culture.

As a bartender at a busy hotel bar, Jamie Sanford from Vesper Bar at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas regularly serves cocktail fetishists and booze neophytes alike – and manages to make both feel just as welcome.

Learn his tips to set an anxious drink orderer - and drink maker, for that matter - at ease.

Five Ways to Put a Nervous Drinker at Ease: Jamie Sanford
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Filed under: 5@5 • Cocktail Recipes • Sip • Spirits • Think


Blogger Spotlight: Taco Trail
January 31st, 2012
02:30 PM ET
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We're highlighting local and regional bloggers we think you ought to know about. We can’t be everywhere at once, so we look to these passionate eaters, cooks and writers to keep us tapped into every facet of the food world. Consider this a way to get to know a blog’s taste buds, because, well, you should.

Who: José Ralat-Maldonado, of Taco Trail
Where: Dallas, Texas
Twitter: @TacoTrail
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Filed under: Blog Spotlight • Blogs • Tacos • Think


Box lunch: Malodorous complaints and Doodle habits
January 31st, 2012
12:00 PM ET
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Sink your teeth into today's top stories from around the globe.

  • Everybody poops. Sometimes, they even do it in restaurants. Who is to blame? - Denver Westword



  • The rise and fall of the ladies who lunch. - Vanity Fair


  • Because he's just like us, Mitt Romney makes an unannounced lunch stop at McDonald's in Florida. - The Note


  • Mr. Potato Head is one heck of a mustachioed mixologist. - Serious Drinks
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Filed under: Box Lunch • News


Mehepyewpleez? A love letter to K&W Cafeteria
January 31st, 2012
09:05 AM ET
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If at some point my rapidly advancing decrepitude becomes just too much for me to bear, I'm not too fussed. I have a plan. I'm going to quit my job, my home, my life up North and seek employment at the first outpost of the K&W Cafeteria chain that will have me. By all reputable accounts, no one who works there has ever aged so much as a day since they opened in 1937.

I have no empirical proof that this is true. I've only been aware of the existence of the K&W for the past seven years, but I've been privy to enough anecdotal accounts to suggest that the "congeal" molecule in a K&W tomato aspic is the key to life eternal. This was, in fact, a discovery made by the owners - members of an alien race who came to Earth many decades ago to study us and keep us in their sway via the power of luscious gravy, sweet tea and reasonable prices on classic Southern cafeteria-style food. And, I'm cool with it.
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Filed under: Chain • Classic • Favorites • Obsessions • Restaurants • Southern


Breakfast buffet: National Brandy Alexander day
January 31st, 2012
09:00 AM ET
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While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday.

Brandy, you're a fine drink - January 31 is National Brandy Alexander Day!

Seriously, half the fun of this early 20th century cocktail is just saying the name with a ridiculous accent. But by all means, clink glasses and make sure you enjoy one today too.

The Brandy Alexander is a sweet cocktail made with cognac and crème de cacao. It is based on an earlier gin-based cocktail known as the Alexander. And while it was created in 1922, near the time of Princess Mary's marriage to Viscount Lascelles, most believe the drink is named after Alexander II, the Russian tsar.
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