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Monday, September 17, 2012

Notes: USDA cowardice and dining in Grant Park

Here's an example of the way the food industry can terrorize even the government. The news is about six weeks old, but I just heard about it.

Your probably do know about the popular Meatless Monday campaign. It's an effort to reduce consumption of meat by 15 percent for well-known personal and environmental reasons. (I was kind of surprised to see Creative Loafing (and me in particular) listed as a supporter of the movement, but I'm cool with that.)

Among those committing to Meatless Monday was the US Department of Agriculture. It posted a newsletter that included the advice that employees make meatless selections in the agency cafeteria on Mondays.

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association basically went berserk, as Mark Bittman reported in the New York Times. Incredibly, the USDA ended up retracting the advice, making the lame claim that the advice had been posted "without proper clearance."

It's yet another example of how the administration of Mr. Hope and Change regularly buckles to the will of lobbying organizations.

Grant Park Coffee Houses tiramisu after a few spoonfuls
DINING IN THE HOOD: You'll never guess where I dined Wednesday. I went to the Shed at Glenwood for $3 slider night. After a month of getting the kitchen in order, new Chef Todd Richards debuted seven new sliders this week.

We sampled most of them: slab bacon with apple butter, a pulled-pork taco with guacamole, a spicy fried chicken liver with a stewed fig (my favorite), a turkey club, lamb sausage with cucumber and feta, Italian sausage with stewed zucchini, and a burger with pimento cheese and pickled jalapenos (Wayne's fave). Six regulars remain on the menu.

We also ate a stunning jumbo lump-crab salad with circles of shaved radishes....

New at Grant Park Coffee House: a mango-lemon scone ($2). Owner Rahel Belfield may be in danger of becoming the city's most creative scone-maker. Also new: tiramisu ($3) served in a portion large enough for two and still adequate to induce sugar mania.

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