Foodie Underground: The Secret Diary of a Foodie

ColumnInside the intriguing world of a foodie.

Monday February 27, 2012, 8:55 p.m.

Dear Diary,

A serendipitous afternoon today. Having left my kale slaw with Meyer lemon vinaigrette at home, I was forced to buy lunch, so I went over to the food carts. Why the pickle cart is still in business is beyond me, but I went for three fish tacos next door. I started talking with the guy in front of me, who ordered the avocado and cactus burrito (his first point, given that the cactus burrito is my second go-to after the fish tacos). He told me he comes here a lot. He was cute, had a coffee thermos under his arm, looked like he had his life together. He told me the best taco he ever ate was in Austin. Second point for him – he loves the Austin food cart scene too! I think we had a good connection. We’ll see what happens.

Wednesday February 29, 2012, 10:26 p.m.

Dear Diary,

I left my lunch at home again. Food carts it is. But Mr. Cactus wasn’t there. The guy serving the wood-fired pizza asked me if I wanted an extra serving of arugula on my portobello and chevre pizza. I said yes, of course. Who passes up extra arugula? I did an Instagram photo series with the pizza. Greens are so beautiful and photogenic. Maybe I should start a blog focused just on greens. Yes, I should.

Friday March 2, 2012, 9:57 p.m.

Dear Diary,

Okay, so still haven’t been able to track down Mr. Cactus, but since I have been to the food carts every day this week, I’ve been trying out some new ones, which of course has led to the new obsession with the creme brulée cart. French dessert in a food cart? Yes, please. Why don’t they have one with cardamom in it, though? The chocolate one is so overrated.

I took more photos for the Greens Blog today. Had good wilted chard salad at & last night, but realized that I had forgotten my Moleskine so I couldn’t write down the exact name for the dish and when I checked their website this morning they had already changed their daily menu offerings. But it had to have been a combination of chard, ginger and anise. There had to have been anise. Why is anise on every menu these days?

Monday March 5, 2012, 8:32 p.m.

Dear Diary,

Forgetting Mr. Cactus. I’m sure he hasn’t even been to Austin. In better news, I did get a kitchen torch on Sunday. Thinking that I should try my hand at creme brulee this weekend for Supper Club. Just need to get some ramekins.

Thursday March 8, 2012, 6:26 p.m.

Dear Diary,

Did you know you can make creme brulée with purple sweet potatoes? I think I am going to do one with olive oil and sea salt. Keep things easy. I wonder if there is a site devoted to olive oil and sea salt? I should start one. Speaking of which, I haven’t had any time to work on the Greens Blog, but I did eat some good kale chips yesterday.

Saturday March 10, 2012, 7:45 p.m.

Dear Diary,

Epic disaster. I burned the creme brulée – blaming it on the caliber of the kitchen torch, must ask for a nicer one for my birthday – and of course there was no time to make a new batch. Obviously couldn’t show up to Supper Club with nothing in hand, so here I am on my couch instead, alone with a glass of wine working on the Greens Blog. It’s probably better to spend a Saturday night at home being productive anyway. And I get to enjoy this entire bottle of local, organic Pinot by myself.

Sunday March 11, 2012, 10:46 a.m.

Dear Diary,

I woke up and the kitchen was full of three kinds of kale chips. Apparently I went on a Pinot induced cooking rage. Molly wondered why I didn’t make it to Supper Club. I told her I had a family emergency.

Went on an afternoon walk to get some coffee, and the obnoxious barista had the audacity to glare at me. What? Sometimes I don’t want pour-over coffee made with a ceramic filter. Ugh. This city can be so snobby when it comes to food. Fortunately on my way home I came across a free box full of mason jars! Can’t wait to put those to use. Thinking I should make a fig cardamom whiskey. Maybe I could pitch that recipe to Saveur.

Tuesday March 13, 2012, 7:20 a.m.

Dear Diary,

Out of chia seeds for my green smoothie this morning. Flax oil had to suffice. Green smoothie is definitely going on the Greens Blog. I bought the domain today, which means it’s official. Now I just need to get a few Pinterest boards started.

Tuesday March 20, 2012, 7:18 p.m.

Dear Diary,

Ack! I haven’t written in a week. The Greens Blog has taken over my life. I took Friday off of work just to spend some time on the design. Fortunately the girls and I all went to Food & Drink on Friday for bottomless mussels and bubbly. I admitted that I didn’t really have a family emergency. Molly wanted the recipe for the cumin kale chips. I told them about Mr. Cactus. Why hasn’t he been at the food carts lately?

Saturday March 24, 2012, 9:20 a.m.

Dear Diary,

I think I am going to ditch the Greens Blog idea. It’s too narrow. I think I am going to focus on a coffee subject instead, inspired by the set of white porcelain mugs that I painted with chalkboard paint this morning. Now I can write the roast of coffee on the cup with chalk so I know what I’m drinking. I posted a photo of them on Facebook and everyone loved them. I should host a brunch with them tomorrow. Yes, brunch.  I could make some anise hazelnut scones.

Saturday March 24, 2012, 3:30 p.m.

Dear Diary,

Oh god, I ran into Mr. Cactus at the grocery store and he had a box of cupcakes from the bakery department. Oh god. Cupcakes!! What man buys cupcakes? I bet he doesn’t even know how to make his own salad dressing. Has he even read Omnivore’s Dilemma? I bet those cupcakes aren’t even made with real sugar as they’re probably full of high fructose corn syrup. He did ask me if I had eaten any good tacos lately, but I don’t know if I am interested anymore. People just have no taste.

At least I have this brunch to fall back on. Must go put the star anise in vodka now so that it has 12+ hours to sit and be infused enough to throw in the scones tomorrow. If only more people had an appreciation for what’s good in life.

Editor’s note: This is the latest installment of Anna Brones’s weekly column at EcoSalon, Foodie Underground, discovering what’s new and different in the underground food movement, from supper clubs to mini markets to the culinary avant garde.

Anna Brones

Anna Brones is a food + travel writer with a love for coffee and bikes. She is the author of The Culinary Cyclist and Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break. Catch her weekly column, Foodie Underground.