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Title: Casing the Joint: Weblog from the Linkery Address: http://porterx.com/blog/ Author: Jay Porter From: North Park, Golden Heights, etc. Blogging since: September 2005

Post Date: June 19, 2007

Post Title: Today Is Reuben Tuesday

We're pretty sure we'll have enough Reubens for today; we're not sure how deep into the rest of the week we'll get. For those who don't know, we make our own corned beef from Brandt beef (Brawley, CA) brisket and serve the Reubens with house-braised sauerkraut, Winchester Gouda cheese, and housemade Russian dressing open-faced on onion-rye bread from Bread on Market.

Post date: June 19, 2007

Post title: Fresh (Pastured) Meat

We're beginning to have success in procuring sustainable raised, pastured meats from independent farms. Starting Thursday or so, we'll run the following items in more or less this sequence: Ossabaw Island breed pork chops from Cane Creek Farm in Mebane, North Carolina, with sweet corn and English pea succotash, and garnet yam salad all in a pork jus.

Pastured young lamb from Rinconada Dairy in Pozo, California (Rey is still working on the exact dish).

Open-faced Cuban sandwich, or a Linkery take thereon, with housemade ham and pulled pork, both from 100 percent Berkshire pigs, pasture-raised at Metzger Family Farm in Seneca, Kansas, with housemade pickles and artisan cheese, on bread from Bread on Market.

It'll be (at least) a great couple weeks for pastured meat! With any luck, we'll continue this roll indefinitely.

Post Date: June 19, 2007

Post Title: Summer of Stone (Fruit and Beer)

As the summer continues, we're getting more kinds of delicious stone fruit. We'll be offering the stone fruit salad and some kind of stone fruit salsa on our fish dish as long as we continue to get such great fruit. Coming this week (starting Thursday) you'll see: Mission Plums (Fitzgerald's farm, Reedley, CA)

Organic Wild Plums (Flora Bella Farms, Three Rivers CA)

Snow Princess White Peaches. Sweet and juicy like a great peach should be, with overtones of green apple, at least to my taste (Fitzgerald's).

Lovely Lolita White Nectarines (Fitzgerald's).

Sugar Lips Varietal Yellow Peaches (Fitzgerald's). These varietal names do get a little goofy, but I like them.

Organic Royal Blenheim Apricots (Flora Bella Farms).

And, in keeping with the series, we have Stone IPA on cask! And Stone Vertical Epic in bottles starting on Thursday.

Post Date: June 19, 2007

Post Title: New California Wines, Including Mixed Black

We got a bunch of new, premium California wines today. It seemed to me we hadn't been doing enough to showcase the wines of our state, so this is a step toward improving that. Here's the new adds, starting with the one that most excited my curiosity: York Creek MXB Zin Field Blend. When many of California's first wine fields were planted, often by Italian immigrants in the late 1800s and early 1900s, they would "blend" the wine in the field by mixing the grape varietals in the planting. So the harvest of a field would yield, most commonly, a mix of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, and Carignane, and/or other blending grapes. This kind of wine was called a "Mixed Black"; the "MXB" is York Creek's version.

Post Date: June 19, 2007

Post Title: Peter Giuliano on Oaxaca La Trinidad Coffee

As part of our new coffee program, Peter Giuliano of Counter Culture Coffee offered to explain a little bit about each of these four new coffees we're bringing on. Of course, I said, "Of course!" This installment describes Oaxaca La Trinidad coffee: "Because of the remote locale, they are still growing the coffee varietal that is the most direct descendant of the coffee plant first brought to Latin America, called Typica. Great Typicas have a chocolate-cherry-vanilla flavor that is intoxicating and transporting.

"Perhaps the most amazing thing about this coffee is its dominant flavor of spiced chocolate, almost exactly like the flavor of Oaxacan chocolate. It's perfect for pairing with Oaxacan Chocolate Ice Cream. Oaxacalicious."

Post Date: June 13, 2007

Post Title: CTJ Digest

I'm happy to say that we've now reached the point where we no longer serve any meat or fish at all from the commodity market. Now, absolutely all the meat we serve comes from independent farmers and co-ops, whose reputation and livelihood are bound to the quality and integrity of the animals they raise (until now, this described most but not all of the meat we served). Many of these independent farmers raise their animals outdoors according to traditional, sustainable methods considered by modern industry to be too expensive or inefficient. As we progress, we will work exclusively with farmers who use these traditional methods. As part of this step, all of our chicken sausages will now be made from free-range organic chicken from Fulton Valley Farm. And all of our fish will be wild and caught locally (usually off the coast of Mexico). On a related note, we're also getting close to eliminating from our restaurant any food with any processed ingredients or preservatives. We still have a handful of pantry items we're working on finding artisan replacements for. Our house-cured meats have been coming out really well. The cured meat plate right now includes our own landjager (German beef and pork sausage) and saucisson sec (French dry sausage with pork, wine, and garlic), and our vegetarian ravioli dish includes the less-vegetarian option of house-cured guanciale (dry-cured pork jowl).

Speaking of vegetarian ravioli, that's our new vegetarian market dish. The ravis are made with mushrooms and sun-dried tomato and served under a reduced balsamic basil pesto. With fresh herbs from Evan Ross's yard in University Heights (I prefer University Heights terroir for basil to Normal Heights'...no, just kidding).

Sausages in queue: Rock Cod (seafood sausage, for those who've requested it); Smoked Andouille; Tuscan Pork; Italian Chicken (with the Fulton Valley free-range organic chicken, it tastes amazing); English Bangers; Chicken Dijon Swiss; Iowa Farmhouse; Texas Smokey.

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