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Thanks for visiting Sauce du Jour. Feel free to share a great recipe, leave a comment, or make me dinner. I'll bring hors d' oeuvres and the wine! To visit my website go to Thanks for visiting the Sauce ~Tammi

Aug 30, 2012

Justus Drugstore: Sadomaschism Dining At Its Finest

After my first dining experience at Justus Drugstore I was looking forward to going back to Smithville, MO, The Big Guy's hometown so we could eat there see all his relatives (love ya relatives!☺) and old high school buddies again. I kind of figure that dining at Justus is my payday for being such a sweet-natured-cutely-dressed-perfectly-coiffed-arm-candy-kind-of-wife, at least while we are there. Anyhow, you better believe I jumped at the chance to go to Smithville!

The first time we dined at Justus Drugstore every single bite was mind blowing! Perhaps even the best meal I had ever eaten. I mean EV-VER!
     This time I started out the evening with a cocktail called a Blackberry Pisco. It was stinkin' good and I would have liked to have sucked down about a dozen more but I wanted to be sober when I tasted my food, so I savored just one. (Loser, I know...)

That's a frothed egg white with some specks of Chai tea on top.
Next we were served what the hoity-toity joints call an Amuse Bouche. This was a small piece of crusted bass with radish sprouts, a jalapeno slice, some sort of weird gelee thing and then drizzled with a bit of citrus soy. IT DID NOT SUCK!!!!  I was properly amused.

The Amuse Bouche

For our first course we shared ricotta/roasted carrot dumplings which were kind of like little gnocchis and topped with goat cheese and a ginger pea cream. They were pretty dang good. Not out of this world good, but at least out of town good.

I love the color contrast of the pea cream and carrot dumplings!

We moved on to salads. Mine was a honey-rose petal dipped goat cheese fritter with a sesame-citrus vinaigrette, watermelon, cukes, pecans and black pepper caramel. Hold the phone! I call myself a foodie and here I didn't even know that you could dip food in rose petals.

The goat cheese fritter was lovely, even though I tasted no hint of rose petals.

Big hit the jackpot with his salad of Maytag blue cheese/black pepper ice cream (seriously, ice cream), pears, a funky little black walnut lace tuile thing and a maple-port vinaigrette. If I was one of those people who uses OMG, I would be OMG-ing all over the place right about now. But I'm not, so I won't.

See that little dab of blue cheese ice cream? Delish!

 Entrees: I always go with the fish, so I had the freshwater bass which was served with some butter beans and maitake mushrooms (Yum!) and a few tempura like battered and fried sunchokes. Unfortunately they didn't compliment the dish at all, in fact they dumbed it down, both in presentation and taste. Damn, I didn't love it. It was good, but not crazy good and I want crazy good at Justus.

The gorgeous sauce is ginger-citrus-saffron and it tastes as good as it looks.

Big's Pork Chop 2 Ways, Version 17 (Huh????) was pretty tasty. We loved the cured, shaved pork shoulder portion of it (more so than the actual chop itself). It was tender with just the right amount of saltiness and smokiness and was served on what was called "fried Brioche corn pudding" (read: cornbread) which turned out to be fairly boring, flavor wise. However, what Justus calls "corn essence" is out of this world. You could drape that crap over a turd and make a meal. I shit you not!

Pure art! The white sauce on the plate is the amazing corn essence.
Finally on to dessert...almost two and a half hours later we shared a chocolate hazel nut cake that was served with bacon-brittle which is exactly what it sounds like; peanut brittle with bacon instead of peanuts. Bacon and chocolate are great together, so this was a no brainer. Also, I love that they serve coffee in mini French presses ~ nice, nice touch!

Check out the bacon brittle on top of the cake.

So that's the good news. Want to know the bad?  Their staff!!!! The last time we were there (you can read about it here) it took forever, like about 20 minutes for the bartender to make two cocktails, pour one sangria and one lemonade AND our waitress server was a PMS-ing bully with a stick lodged firmly up her ass.
     On this visit the whole joint (except for the hostess) seemed to be staffed with a crew of aloof, impatient, cooler-than-everybody-else-because-I-work-at-Justus types.
     Service is SLOOOOOW, which for the most part I am OK with because I know that the food is being prepared fresh and is not mass produced and sitting around on warming trays. For what you pay I wouldn't want it any other way, but c'mon, somebody needs to crack the whip on the bartender and keep the drinks coming if you are going to have to chill for long intervals between courses. When your waitress server does appear at your table you can forget about asking any questions about the menu, or at least you best ask them fast because she clearly does not have time for imbeciles such as myself nor an ignoramus like The Big Guy. She is knowledgeable about the food/drinks/etc. but she is in a BIG hurry to blow you off and get away from the table. I get it, she's busy, but news flash lady...IT'S YOUR JOB to wait serve me! Your tip is riding on it. Or maybe apparently not because I think I can say with confidence that those bitches would chase you down and beat your ass with a frying pan if you even thought about tipping less than 20%. It's practically written all over their faces. 

The bottom line is if the food wasn't so wonderful I would write Justus Drugstore off for their haughtiness and bad attitude. But the truth is that I'm already looking forward to the next family reunion so I can go back and drop a couple of hundred bucks for another round of what I call Sadomasochism Fine Dining.
     It's really should go.

Aug 21, 2012

Bon Appetit ~ Round 8: What? No Freakin' Cover Recipe!

Are you shitting me Bon Appetit????? Have you forgotten that you are a food magazine and you should be putting food on your cover?
     What if the The Globe didn't put Oprah's alien babies on the cover? What if People didn't put Kate, Brittany, or J Lo on the cover? Or Playboy didn't put boobs on the cover? Who would buy and/or read that crap????  Answer me that!
Because I love nothing more than parking myself at a table at the latest/greatest/coolest hot spot, I'm all for reading about the top 10 restaurants in the country, but to just put the NUMBER 10 on the people SUCK!!!
     You may as well show an image of Gwyneth Paltrow eating spaghetti. Oh wait, you already did that, back when Adam Rapoport first took over as the new editor and Babs got kicked to the curb. (Adam was the former style editor at GQ, for those of you who are not in the know.) Come to think of it, I have a bone to pick with Adam. Since he has taken over as editor, BA is full of ads, the RSVP section got shortened to a few recipes, and even the last page got reduced from a celebrity mini-interview to a napkin with nothing more than a few scribbles. C'mon dude, give us some meat with the magazine! Enough with the fluff and foam.

Adam's first cover as new editor. I ask you, is this GQ or BA?

I'm done venting.  Deep breath ~ sucking air in through my teeth now, like I'm getting Botox ~ happy  face here ☺, because I still love Bon Appetit.  I mean I want to. I'm really trying to, but you are testing me here.
Since I can't exactly cook this months cover I just closed my eyes, opened the magazine and put my finger on what I hoped would be something yummy. That's not as easy as it sounds since BA has loaded this rag with more ads than recipes.
     My first pick was OPI nail polish, love the color by the way! On my second attempt my finger landed on the Bellagio. Lots of great restaurants there. Check out Sensi, if you go. Third times a charm, right? NOT EVEN. I will not be cooking up Juvederm anytime soon, although maybe I could use some because BA's BS is causing me to frown A LOT, which is surely causing some new wrinkles that will need some filler.
     So I decided the hell with it and just went straight to page 106 where I was all set to mix up the stiffest cocktail they had. Turns out I don't stock Cocchi Americano (Italian apertif wine), aquavit (a Swedish liquor, typically caraway flavored), dill pickle brine, Cynar (artichoke liqueur, seriously?) or Peychaud's bitters, in my bar. And I call myself a professional. Sheeeesh. Where's my wine opener?
So I say to you Bon Appetit...there better be some food on the next cover or I'm opening up a can a whup-ass.


Aug 14, 2012

I Still LOVE Not Camping

In a few days The Big Guy and I taking our "camper" and going on a little vacay.  Because I am what you would call NOT "campy", I am going to re-visit a blog that I wrote a couple of years ago. You will then understand exactly why I love NOT camping. 
     Usually wherever we go shenanigans are sure to follow so hopefully we will have some excitement on this trip and I will have something to write home about.  


Back in the early days of our married life The Big Guy and I lived in a Sheep Wagon. What’s a sheep wagon, you ask? (See picture above—shake head in disbelief then GASP!) Well, it’s kind of like an old time camper, only smaller…with fewer amenities…and less square footage.
    Inside this little house on the prairie was a bed (slightly larger than twin size), a table that slid out from underneath the bed, a small cast iron stove that had been retrofitted with propane, one small cabinet and one shelf. We also had a tea kettle, a dish pan and a bowl. Water was hauled in and stored in cream cans and rationed as if it was gasoline and WW2 was still going on.
This photo is of the actual sheep wagon that we lived in.
     The summer of ’82 we slept with the door thrown open and the one and only window propped up hoping for enough of a cross breeze to cool off this little easy bake oven that we were calling home. In the evenings we bathed in a nearby creek, and then afterwards had the romantic task of picking leeches off each other. We went to the bathroom anywhere we felt like it. Not having a pot to piss in took on a whole new meaning. In place of TV we watched nightly lightning storms and the rain was our radio. Life was simple. I needed my head examined.
     We spent one winter in the sheep wagon too, which was not so serendipitous. Baths were taken in a dishpan and we literally froze our butts off when having to go outside to use the “facilities”. I was stuck inside the 7' x 12' box, 24-7 and my days were spent painting ceramic mice, which would become Christmas ornaments once I stuck a metal hook through their heads. (This was after my lobotomy, by the way) The up side was that the sheep wagon was so small that it could be heated with the strike of one farmers match. Two matches and we didn’t need sock hats in bed. The propane stove was only used for heating water because when we fired it up the sheep wagon was turned into a sweat box in about thirty seconds.
     I know what you’re thinking…we don’t seem like the type of people who would live like that. Well, all I can say is that we were young and dumb and broke and actually liked being together in small spaces. Also, it was the furnished housing that came with the job. The Big Guy was operating a dozer and scraper and working for a guy who was paying him THE BIG BUCKS! We were practically rolling in dough! So much that we likely could have afforded an actual pot to piss in. Think of it like a year long camping trip—with fringe benefits.
     The job ended a year or so later but the repercussions have been life long. To this day I hate camping, I’m terrified of mice, I have an aversion to arts and crafts and, not surprisingly, I refuse to pee outside. However, this whole experience was a lesson in reliance and commitment. Most young couples develop a trust—meaning that the one in the bathtub isn’t worried that the one with the blow dryer is going to toss it in the tub with them. Ours was different. When one is picking leeches off of the other one’s backside and takes the extra time to double check, it brings a whole new meaning to knowing that your mate “has your back”. We have known that about each other for over thirty years now.
     Those days are now long behind us and no way in hell do I want to spend another night in a Sheep Wagon. Not even for old time sake. There are some things you just don’t have to do twice in your life to be sure that you don’t want to do them again, like poking a hibernating grizzly, juggling chainsaws or bathing with leeches.
     Big and I spent the next 25 years without pitching a tent or unrolling a sleeping bag. We kept the girls a safe distance from s’mores, hotdogs, campfires and any movie that glamorized camping, like The Parent Trap
     The thought of sleeping anywhere other than my own bed (or a hotel room) hadn't crossed my mind in years when The Big Guy got a wild hair and decided that we should buy an RV.  I reminded him that I'M NOT CAMPY!  "It won't really be camping," he said, sounding somewhat convincing.  "We'd have a bed and AC and a TV," he continued to sell me the idea. 
Our "camper" today....yeah, it's just a wee bit nicer than the sheep wagon of yesteryear.
Ok, so I may have softened a little when I saw the push-button flush toilet and the computer desk. For a moment I thought I heard the chorus of Kumbabya playing in my head, Kumbaya my Lord, kumbaya. The heated marble floors were a nice touch, someone’s singing Lord, kumbaya, but I still had my guard up. The two burner gas stove and convection oven made me think, "Yeah, maybe I COULD be campy!" Someone’s laughing Lord, kumbaya. Then I saw the dishwasher! Someone’s smiling Lord, kumbaya. Yeeesssss! THIS is my idea of roughing it!
     “Honey”, I said, “I’ll get the s’mores going while you go turn on that outside flat screen TV.” Kumbaya my Lord, kumbaya.
     I love NOT camping!  

 Sitting around the TV, which I gotta admit, kind of resembles a campfire. Is it just me or do you see the resemblance too? Kumbaya, my Lord....

 Here is a link for some gourmet S'more recipes. Break out your old sheep wagon, light up a camp fire and indulge in the goodness of camping!