Thursday, January 30, 2014

One more reason why I'm cheering for the Seahawks on Sunday

Because I for sure am. Obviously having lived in Seattle for five years, I'm a fan of all (well, now both) of the pro teams there. The only pro football games I've ever gotten to go to were at Seahawk Stadium Qwest Field Centurylink Field, and trust me that it's exactly as loud as you've heard. The noise on the away teams' third downs is like a physical force in your gut, and it's awesome. Granted this was when the Seahawks were relatively crappy, and you could actually get a seat in the stadium! $100+ for literally the last row in the house, but have you checked Eagles tickets lately? Insanity. Also the reaction to Richard Sherman's post-game interview the other week was ugly, and if you've written him off as...well, as embodying any of the insults people have hurled at him lately, you for sure need to learn more about him.

But then there's this story out of New York about a bunch of Broncos players eating everything in sight at a Manhattan sushi restaurant and then getting shirty that the restaurant didn't offer steak. And then required the restaurant staff to...go find steak. And cook it for them. That's pretty lame. Actually, that's amazingly lame. And entitled. And demonstrates a really ugly level of self-regard.

Listen, when you're deciding on a restaurant to eat at, you ready to eat the food that restaurant's offering. Go to a Mexican place because you want tacos al pastor. If you want pho you should go to a pho restaurant. (Luckily since we have Washington Avenue, you can have yourself a pretty good restaurant crawl and have tacos AND pho in the space of an hour or so, though you might find yourself waddling by the end.)

I remember going to a relatively high-end restaurant with a friend a few years ago. He was considering a shrimp dish that looked amazing, but at the time he was a picky eater and wasn't going to entertain shrimp. And he asked for it to be made with chicken breast instead. I was pretty mortified. The restaurant totally accommodated him and more power to them for it, but I made the argument to my friend that the chef had absolutely designed the dish with shrimp in mind, not the generally useless (at least I have little use for it) damp rag of protein that is the chicken breast. Eat the food the chef has in mind! It's kind of the point of the whole thing.

Anyway, now we know what kind of people the Broncos are--or at least a certain subset of them, since I'm not actually so vitriolic a sports fan as to paint the whole team with the whole broad brush. But I'm still looking forward to Beast Mode Beast Mode-ing all over some fools' heads this Sunday. Go Hawks!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Fun with knives

See, I don't get to cook much in my own house, though let's not worry too much about why. (Ok, one big reason is that my roommates are vegans, which, I mean. I do like meat a bit.) But I also enjoy cooking recreationally sort of a lot and get kind of bummed out that I don't get to do it more often.

So I'm one of those guys who takes his knives on vacation. Does that seem weird to you? I'm really asking--it seems like the most normal thing in the world to me, but maybe there are people out there who would find it disquieting that I travel with a selection of large, very sharp knives. But man, one of my favorite moments from my last vacation was...just making a salad the first evening. Looked roughly like this:

Ok actually it looked exactly like that, although large gin and tonics always look larger than they really are in pictures. And if you truly want to nerd out, that's a Wusthof 8 inch heavy chef's knife, which works well for those of us who tend toward "paws" more than "hands."

Where it really gets wonky is when I need to fly with my knives. Of course I don't think it's a good idea to have the airplane cabin full of folks with large knives (or any knives for that matter, really). And I don't think it's likely that I'm going to feel a sudden, forceful urge to chiffonade some basil at 30,000 feet. But if you're flying me down to Los Angeles to cook Thanksgiving dinner for you and your ragamuffin orphan-bachelor friends, I'm seriously not going to rely on your on-sale-at-Target-for-$6.99 weird semi-serrated "chef's knife." I'm bringing my own. (Alright fine, sometimes me traveling with my knives is out of sheer snobbery. But do you know how frustrating it is to chop down fifteen pounds of potato with what's effectively an over-sized butter knife?) So sure, I'll cheerfully check a bag with my knife roll in it, aware of all the attendant headaches that's going to cause. It's worth it. 

But then I read this NYTimes quickie travel piece by Alton Brown where he points out that some of his kitchen equipment was prima facie dangerous, a threat to the safety and well-being of everyone on board the plane, a clear and present danger embodied omelette pan. 

An omelette pan.

To be fair, this apparently went down a few months after the September 11th attacks, and maybe everyone had their danger meters a little skewed. But (and I think Mr. Brown is probably with me on this) I really just can't quite...I mean, how are you going to threaten someone with an omelette pan? Am I under-appreciating the chances of someone having two too many Mrs. Ts bloody marys and toddling around the cabin, whapping people in the head like Little Bunny Foo Foo omelette pan?

Having written all of that, it's actually only now that I've figured out my subconscious reason for it: I could use a vacation. And as much as I love seasons (and I do), my friend in LA pointed out yesterday that it was so cold there that he had to put on a sweater. It was in the low 60s. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Biscotti and other news

Hello, hello, everyone! Apologies for any inconvenience at 13th and 20th street locations this past week, we’ve had a bout of bad luck!! But bad things come in threes, so with the pipe break at Capo20, and the of the panini and gelato case's having their hiccups at Capo13, we figure we’ve used up all the bad luck that 2014 has to offer.

Now for some good news in the form of biscotti:


Capogiro 13 is now serving our very own, homemade, cappuccino-ready biscotti!!
We now have these flavors:

Chocolate Dipped Candied Ginger Biscotti
Pistacchio Spice Biscotti

Only 2 bucks each!!!

-Tori Styner

Thursday, January 16, 2014

So long, and thanks for all the fish...

You know how sometimes you close your eyes and when you open them, seconds later, five years have passed?

Me too.

Dear Capogiro,

Remember that time the van exploded outside of 13th Street?

Or the day we got our event license a mere moments before L&I closed, the day before PIFA's massive, wildly successful Street Fair?

That time National Geographic said we were the BEST ice cream in the WORLD!?

How about when everyone who worked Meatopia except me almost dropped dead from injury or heat exhaustion, yet we somehow came out of it as the most popular kids at the party?

The triumphant reopening of 13th Street after the gelato case caught fire?

I realize these things probably sound like bad things, but for near disasters, they ended up being some of my favorite moments. I could go on like this for pages, as I could go on with the names of the people I have come to know and love in my time here. But for now, I'll say that tomorrow is my last day. And tonight I am awash in memories and nostalgia and excitement and, above all, so, so grateful.

You guys have been my insides and my laughs and my tears and my saviors and my heros. Y'all have taught me everything - how to be better than I ever thought I could, and how to drive laps around the city in the middle of August over and over and over again to make sure everyone had what they needed in order to rockstar the hell out of a crazy Friday night.

Steph - for all the recipes, all the support, and all the pizza -
I'll sure never forget it.

I love you guys. Be good. Stay cool.

(Cool, get it? 'Cause gelato?)

All my idols eventually fall.

So Philly Mag has declared 2014 The Year of the Cheesesteak, and I'm on board and in full homer mode. The gross lack of a decent cheesesteak in all other areas of this country was probably the number two reason I moved back to this particular corner of the BosWash metroplex, right after my realization that a life without Wawa is not a life I want to live.

Philly Mag's climbing of the soapbox in defense of our local specialty was, I think, probably a response to this recipe posted on what has become my favorite food blog (fair warning, though: Deadspin generally and Foodspin particularly tend towards the profane, and not just in their mutilation of a cheesesteak recipe. Just as I stipulate on Facebook whenever I share an article from there so as to warn off any moms/grandmoms, the columns and ESPECIALLY the comment sections are not for the faint of heart).

No really, I really, really like Foodspin and you should check it out regularly, provided you don't mind the occasional (read: remarkably frequent) F-bomb. But the writer's idea of a cheesesteak is...bad. It's bad, it makes a sandwich bad, and he should feel bad. Mayonnaise on the roll?! LETTUCE?!?!?! Bad, bad, bad. And wrong.

We don't have to get into a discussion about how authentic or worthy or dumb ("no, YOU'RE dumb!") all of our various individual preferences for cheesesteaks may or may not be. (Me: whiz with from Pat's YES, PAT'S.) I think we can all agree--actually we should publicly and vehemently excoriate and harangue and shame the writer for suggesting it in the first place--that lettuce has no place on a cheesesteak. You want a cheesesteak sub? Sure, go for it. I mean, you're wrong and that's gross and the guys making your sandwich are quietly judging you and have decided you're probably from Harrisburg and just pretending to be local, but...actually, no. Cheesesteak subs are gross and you shouldn't order them, much less eat them.

Man. Lettuce on a cheesesteak. And this coming from one of my favorite writers, whom I'd thought actually had some credibility regarding ingredients. It's like I can't rely on anything any more.

Anyway yes, I'm totally on board with all of us eating more cheesesteaks in the coming year. Most of the good ones are scattered in odd, relatively hard to reach places in the city though, which is probably good for me in the long run. The number one reason I don't eat more Pat's (YES PAT'S, DAMMIT) is that I'd hop on my bike to get there, and the thought of having to ride anywhere after eating one of their steaks makes me want to gingerly rub my belly and have a lie-down alone while my digestive tract serenades me in a polyphonic, atonal symphony. But now I'm hungry and I might go ahead and do it anyway when I get done with work later today. But then again I'd have to ride all the way uphill into West Philadelphia. But then again again whiz with. Bah. I'm pretty torn.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Thawing out

Sadly, we are one Capogiro short these next few weeks due to an unfortunate pipe burst at Capo on 20th street.  Hang in there guys!! Apologies to all the confused customers that have been trying to pay a visit there.  Not to worry though, because Capo13 is just down the street, so come hang out with us so you don't have to go without your Capo fix while we get 20th St back into tip-top shape..

What’s new in town?  Well blood orange sorbetto is still here and is getting more and more delicious as the winter passes.  But what I really wanna mention are the Double Chocolate Sea Salt Shortbread cookies that our baker has been whipping up.  These are hands down, the best cookies I have ever consumed.  They have a real rich cocoa taste that isn’t too sweet and have chunks of sea salt hidden all over.  They are becoming an addiction of mine...

Also I want to give a shout out to the delicious Four Cheese Yukon Gold Potato soup we have been serving.  Talk about sweet and savory.

-Tori Styner

PS- Our new CapoBiscotti are on their way!!!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

They're just everywhere, man.

Y'know, I've tried. I have! I've tried to get behind the mushroom thing...and I just can't. I eat food! I like trying new food! I swear! But there's only been one meal wherein I've enjoyed mushrooms.

And we have really good soup. I've come around to soup! But Joe's the one who orders the soups every week, and he REALLY likes mushrooms. Then yesterday we put out the sweet crab chowder and I was pretty excited because I was reasonably sure it wouldn't have mushrooms in it. I mean, crab chowder, right? Anyway, long story short:

There were totally mushrooms in the soup.


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Warm Toasty Cookies and Hot Chocolate

What's better on a below freezing day then hot chocolate?  How about a traditional chocolate chip cookie to dip into that dark and steamy chocolate?  Not enough chocolate for you?  How about a double chocolate sea salted shortbread cookie?  No chocoholic could possibly turn down one of those babies.  They are the perfect amount of crunch, salt, and sweet. 

Here is a little peek at some of the goodies on our shelves: