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We Try Popeye's Mardi Gras Cheesecake

Though I don't eat a lot of dessert, I am one of the legions of fast eaters who will follow Popeye's into most any culinary battle, so I had no problem imagining a genre-redefining Mardi Gras Cheesecake experience. The reality? A bitter disappointment. More

Will Gordon's $20 Bourbon Battle: Wild Turkey 81 vs. Four Roses

Today is my wife's birthday, which would be my favorite day of the year if it fell during a more reasonable month. It's hard to be unabashedly enthusiastic about any day with a high temperature of 28 degrees, but it helps when the day in question is spent celebrating the existence of your favorite person. It helps further when the celebration is centered on eating and drinking and giving gifts of pickles and skirts. More

Drinking with Will Gordon: Guinness Generous Ale Is a Pleasant Winter Diversion

We did it, guys. We made it through all 50 days of January. The worst is over. We endured a full miserable month of cold and darkness and we have emerged onto the glorious other side where groundhogs promise sunshine and Beyonce sings during Sunday supper. It's not dark out at 4:00 in the afternoon anymore, and baseball sort of starts sort of soon. All is right with the world. Almost. More

Drinking with Will Gordon: New Beck's Sapphire Is Better Than the Original

Last week the city sent out census confirmation forms on which both my wife and I were listed as "students." This is incorrect. She has an actual job-job with health insurance and an employee cafeteria and unlimited Post-It access and the whole deal. I am less traditionally employed, but even though I conduct rigorous peer-reviewed pot pie studies, I am not affiliated with a formal academic institution. More

We Try Starbucks New Steel-Cut Oatmeal

Like all elite athletes and abject slobs, I understand the importance of staying well carbohydrated; fruits and vegetables are cute, but I stick mainly to the grains, and I take those mostly in the form of beer, whiskey, and pasta. But despite my gravitation toward the crummier end of the natural foods spectrum, I could still make a case for the humble (and rarely fermented) oat as king of grains. More

Best Frozen Chicken Wings?

I fired up the oven, strapped on my orangest sweatpants, and got down to business. It's a four-way battle between the "hot and spicy" wings from both Banquet and Tyson, and the Buffalo-style wings from T.G.I. Friday's grocery division and Perdue. More

Frozen Pizza: Annie's Rising Crust Organic Supreme

There's a lot of value to be found in ordering high-end versions of typically humble restaurant foods, and I suppose it's possible that the same rule could apply in the grocery store. Actually, I know it works in the condiment aisle, where the $4 mustard is leagues better than its half-price shelfmates. Why can't Annie's Rising Crust Organic Supreme Pizza be worth the ... wait? What? $10.99 for frozen pizza?* All right, let's investigate. More

Drinking with Will Gordon: Samuel Adams Recreates New Albion Ale

I like history in general, because it seems important to know what went down before I started paying attention, but I'm not a nostalgist. As pertains to beer, I have no interest in reliving the days before reliable carbonation and decent bar dishwashers. I don't want to go to a Prohibition reenactment fantasy camp any more than I want to bleed to death on an old-fashioned pull-tab. But I do wish I was on the scene at the beginning of the modern American craft brewing movement, which is why I was excited to learn that Samuel Adams has teamed up with Jack McAuliffe to recreate New Albion Ale. More

Drinking the Bottom Shelf: Is $10 Exclusiv Vodka As Good as Grey Goose?

I got a flu shot the other day, even though I am a paragon of health and I have very little contact with the short and sneezy subset of humanity that spreads disease via finger paint snot art and sociopathic disregard for personal space. I got flu-proofed the other day because Bottom Shelf research director Emily told me to, and I do what I'm told when all it requires is a 5-minute pit stop on the way to the ham store. More

Drinking with Will Gordon: 2 New Cocktails at T.G.I. Friday's

Either I was being a big, dumb snob or the chain restaurant cocktail game has improved dramatically in the past couple of years, because these days you can get a perfectly good mixed drink at some of the aggressively decorated quesadilleries that we all love to mock and the honest among us love to (very occasionally) gorge ourselves at. My wife works near Boston's sole T.G.I. Friday's, so we stopped in last week to investigate their two newest drinks, the Bee Sting and the Grey Goose Cooler. More

Taste Test: Diet Frozen Lasagna

From time to time I'll catch a smug Internet thug disparaging the very notion of single-serve frozen entrees. "Oh ho ho, how sad, you want beef stroganoff but don't feel like cooking all day, you have a pet and your pants fit weird." Phooey. It's perfectly reasonable for a happy, well-adjusted person to let the freezer do the prep work every now and then. With that in mind I tracked down lasagna with meat sauce from three leading purveyors of health-conscious (or at least health-marketed) frozen food: Healthy Choice, Lean Cuisine, and Weight Watchers' Smart Ones. More

Drinking the Bottom Shelf: Old Fitzgerald Bourbon

Now that the longest week of January is behind us—the annual seven-day period when we try in vain to recover false memories of hobbies that don't involve heavy cream or deficit spending—I finally have the courage to contemplate what is shaping up to be a mostly dry month. I've never spent January on (or even anywhere near) the wagon, but in a concession to the ravages of time and rum, I've decided that this year I need to do some serious physical restoration before the February mayhem rolls around. More

Bottom Shelf Resolutions for 2013

New Year's Day is my favorite holiday. I really like New Year's Eve, too, but by the last day of December I'm pretty well burnt out on bourbon and cheese and jeez, listen to me, I guess the will to live too? But you know what I'm saying. December's great but it can grind a body down. More

Best of the Bottom Shelf: Will Gordon's Top Cheap Booze 2012

It was a pretty fair year here on the Bottom Shelf. As I looked through the archives, I found far more (relative) hits than misses. This could be because I burned through most of the truly disgusting novelty stuff in 2011, and it could be because my tongue has been slapped so silly by this job that I can no longer tell right from wrong. But let's say it's because cheap liquor quality is trending upward. At any rate, these are some of my fondest memories of another year trolling the depths. More

Chain Reaction: We Try the New Chicken Waffle Tenders From Popeyes

Hi guys! I really miss you too. I work for Deadspin now and I got some other stuff lined up (if I don't mess it up), thanks for asking/caring. You guys were great to me, I will always love the SE commenting community (the Deadspin commenters are soooo mean, but whatever, they pay the bills, I roll with it).

Also: I had the pleasure of meeting Lee yesterday. He works at an awesome beer shop near my house (Craft Beer Cellar in Belmont, MA). He's a great guy, knows more about beer than I could ever hope to, and he writes about fast food for Serious Eats now. Because I don't, and haven't for a long time. Lee's the new sheriff in this town, and I think he's off to a great start.

Will Gordon

Oh for fuck's sake, Serious Eats, now I have to re-re-re-respond, as it's been pointed out to me that some selective comment-deletion in this thread has altered the context of my comment last night. I said some nice things about the Drinks editor to counteract some not-nice things another poster said about the Drinks editor (presumably said on my behalf). I did this because I'm a prince of a fellow and didn't want to see said Drinks editor--who I do not particularly care for, but who is not evil or lacking in merit--dragged through the mud. But due to the aforementioned selective editing on this thread, now all we have are me and Ed calling the Drinks editor just a fantastic bundle of fantasticness. Well no, I didn't mean to contribute to that self-congratulatory Serious Eats circle jerk about how wonderful all the editors are. That was a dirty trick, Serious Eats.

I lack both the cowardice and the good sense to avoid any debate with anybody, and I have nothing to hide and nothing invested in this place (you'd be shocked to learn that a man can live a happy and rewarding life w/o SE's blessing), BUT: can we please just but this crap and stop talking about each other? You're boring me, Serious Eats.

Will Gordon

Someone forwarded me this one after Ed's comment, so here I am with my half-a-cent. Not everyone fits in everywhere. Me and Ed are A) two good dudes who got along great till we ultimately just disagreed about how things should go around here. Well, Ed owns the site. We had a couple tense days of phone calls but I never once forgot that he's in charge. I don't care for his "reasons I am not comfortable going into here" phrasing, because I feel it passive-aggressively casts aspersions and hints at some dark fault of mine*, but fuck it: I still think Ed's a good guy and SE as a whole is whatever it is to you, the reader: It's completely transparent. The articles are what they are. Read them, don't read them, I don't know. I don't read it much anymore, partly due to PTSD and partly because it's just not my cup of tea. So what? We all have different cups of tea. I don't get along with Maggie, the drinks editor. HOWEVER, she's good at her job. She works hard, she came up with a lot of good ideas that you guys gave me credit for. I felt she didn't pay/respect me enough, she felt I didn't work hard enough or return her emails fast enough. I dunno, who cares who's right? Life goes on. My role in this party is over, but, you know, viva la rest of the party.

As for the Get Drunk Watching column: Look, I don't watch those shows, I don't play those games. But I think it's a really funny column and more important, it's written by the friend who introduced me to my wife. READ IT.

Only One Beer For Life: What Would You Pick?

Cisco Whale's Tale pale ale, I think. Fits whatever you need it to fit.

Let's Get Drunk Watching: The Bachelor

@Abbey anf @fritesandfries: Agreed.

So long Bottom Shelf Will

Thanks, guys. I enjoyed meeting all of you through the years. I never really felt like I fit in around here from a strictly editorial perspective*, but I did enjoy connecting with the readers.

*No slight to SE, no slight to me, just an apples and oranges scenario. Even when I disagreed with it, I never lost sight of the fact that the SE formula undoubtedly works ... just not for me. The Bottom Shelf will soon reappear in a more appropriate venue, and I'll be sure to insist that you all read it when it does. Farewell and keep in touch!

Where (oh where) has my fake BFF Will Gordon gone?

Yeah I just quit or got fired or whatever. Fundamental disagreement about what I'm worth. I might be wrong. They're cool, no hard feelings. Sometimes you just gotta do your thing, take your chances. See you all on the other side!

Where (oh where) has my fake BFF Will Gordon gone?

All good theories, all true.

In Our Community Corner: Meet Kimberly Pope (aka: 'PoorOldMama')

Hi, Poor Old Mama! Nice to meet you.

Maker's Marketing: How Bourbon Came Back Into Style

Let's Get Drunk Watching: Super Bowl XLVII

First off, fuck you for getting a Robyn blob drawing on your second post. I've been angling for one for 3 years. Second off, I love the "Super Bowl drinking game is the Super Bowl of drinking game" lines.

Drinking with Will Gordon: New Budweiser Black Crown Is a Success (Of Sorts)

@dazeofhaven: Yup, Jim-Bob and I engineered a trade of Old Style (which I can't get in Mass.) for 'Gansett (which he can't get in Ill.). I'm thinking about trying to launch a regional beer exchange program where I send a sixer of 'Gansett to anyone who will send me his/her city's signature old-man brew, then comparing them in a Bottom Shelf post. If fact, consider the program launched. Non-New Englanders, send me your cheap beers!

Drinking with Will Gordon: New Budweiser Black Crown Is a Success (Of Sorts)

@Jim-Bob: Sam Adams pumps out seasonal mix packs so relentlessly that they have to make room for the Spring Thaw mix (I got a sample last week--the only one I've tried is pretty good). But enough of that--how's your Gansett???

Drinking with Will Gordon: New Budweiser Black Crown Is a Success (Of Sorts)

@Lorenzo: This isn't half as flavorful as Sam Adams lager. I tasted it next to Killian's and Brooklyn Lager, trying to find a mainstream, nationally available point of stylistic comparison. I didn't bother mentioning the results in the article because my comparison was way off-base. Killian's is a shittiness unto itself and Brooklyn (like Sam Adams) has a much more ambitious, and better, flavor profile. My editor, Maggie, recommended Yeungling, but I can't get it in Massachusetts.

Drinking with Will Gordon: New Budweiser Black Crown Is a Success (Of Sorts)

@Rabanour: My hunch is that it's intentionally priced market by market to be a couple bucks less than the good local stuff. A good local sixer costs at least $10 in Boston, so AB figures they can get away with charging $8. If my theory's correct, it'll be $6 in your hood.

Drinking the Bottom Shelf: Is $10 Exclusiv Vodka As Good as Grey Goose?

@spicedham: Great name, by the way. I don't drink much vodka but I'm going to start doing more head-to-head comparison posts and when it's time for vodka I'll have to solicit suggestions. Tito's versus something? As for the $10 category, I imagine Exlusiv is among the best. I've had loads of shitty vodka in my day, and this is better than most that I remember.
@Willy: I've heard that works pretty well. I think Kenji might have tested it before? It seems so easy that if you drink a decent amount of vodka it makes total sense.

Where to Drink in the West Village: 10 Great Cocktails

I like that you address the problem of too St. Germaininess. I like the stuff, but I'm tired of drinks that taste too much like their 3rd-leading ingredient, and St. Germaine is a major offender.

Will Gordon's Whiskey Battle: Bulleit Rye vs. Rittenhouse Rye

@Phunnyfarm: I was just thinking the same thing! Another reason it's gratifying to write about quality products that people actually enjoy drinking and discussing (a distant second to the primary reason: expense-account rye).
@Bandol: I'm tempted to buy Whistlepig myself, but a bottle's about $75 here in Boston, where it seems booze costs far more than it does most civilized places. I need to try it in a bar first I guess.
@prixdc: Bulleit Rye's actually 90 proof but I agree that it lacks Rittenhouse's punch.
@MagicOatmealCookies: That's basically my theory as well. Rittenhouse seems a bit better suited to just sitting there and doing what it's supposed to, whereas Bulleit, though excellent, is a little more scattered and produces a drink that makes you say, "This is great, but it's not really what I had in mind."
@rabanour: Man you know a lot about whiskey for a young buck. I've seen Redemption and I'll try it based on your word.
@redfish: My ninja skills are very rusty, so thank goodness I don't pay enough attention to get aggressive with anyone. Twice a month a too-wasted kid won't want to leave so you'll have to kinda shove him toward the door to make your point, but it's very mild; I don't think I've ever been swung at, just grabbed a little and threatened and gestured at, which, who cares.

Guy Fieri's S'mores Indoors Pizza Is an Abomination

@monopod: I do intend to try some of Guy's more reasonable-sounding frozen food. I figure there's nothing preventing him from slapping his name on a serviceable frozen lasagna or whatever, you know?

Worst of the Bottom Shelf 2012: Cheap Booze To Avoid

@SmokedMeat: You're right, I need to try that soon.
@Ravenous! Thanks for reading! I had some unkind things to say about Genny a couple years ago: http://drinks.seriouseats.com/2011/04/drinking-the-bottom-shelf-american-regional-beer-genny-cream-ale-genesee-naragansett-pigs-eye-pilsner.html

Bottom Shelf Resolutions for 2013

@TeacherTalk: Thank you, and let me say I heartily endorse both of those plans.
@Jim-Bob: Let's trade! I can offer a sixer of any Massachusetts thing you'd like; I think the nearest thing to Old Style would be Narragansett, unless you can get that in the midwest now too. Wanna email me? My address can be found by clicking my name (we've talked before I think but I can't find it).
@Hungry Dan: I'm with you, man. My personal-life drinking resolution is to focus much more on quality than quantity this year, sticking mostly to the local guys, or at least starting there and then branching out. Happy new year!

What will YOU be cooking on Christmas Eve?

We're trying to come up with something that could be kinda special or tradition-able. So far I'm leaning toward lasagna, because i've never made it and it seems hard to totally f-up, even after a long afternoon of indulging in Tupper's meal. But also hard to think of ways to make it fancy or memorable, you know? Lakeloverhh and POM seem to have some good style on this one.

Book Review: Drink & Tell, A Boston Cocktail Book

How did I not know about this book? Good work, Dietsch. I'm very narrowly travelled and therefore under-qualified to rank cocktail scenes city by city, but I will say that Boston has more and better "good drink" bars than one might guess.

Does the McRib Still Matter?

@thingstea: Will do! That sandwich has a funny name, right? Like a something skinny, maybe? I need to try it.
@A Serial Cereal Eater: I don't recall trying any frozen ones, but in last year's version of this post I compared the McRib to the 7-Eleven rib-shaped-pork-thing sandwich. The Mc was far superior.
@Adam: Yeah, I'm with you. I just get so many people forwarding me McRib info that I know there's still some kind of interest out there.

Drinking the Bottom Shelf: Mike's Winter Grab Bag

@jim-bob: You're hired.
@redfish: True, far superior flavor diversity.
@ratbuddy: Take that back, man. You can skip anything you want for any reason you want, but trust that Mike's did not pay me to talk about myself for 10 paragraphs and then faintly praise their alcopop for 3. They sent me $8 worth of malt liquor, which means nothing to me since SE pays my expenses, and which I acknowledged because I take this shit very seriously.

Vegan: Smoky Charred Cauliflower and Potato Soup with Kale

The Portuguese soup of caldo verde (literally "green broth") is about as simple as it gets when it comes to vegetable soups, yet its simplicity is the key to its comforting success. At its most basic, starchy potatoes are simply simmered with onions and kale until the kale is tender and flavorful, the onions have melted into the broth, and the potatoes completely disintegrate, thickening the soup into a rich, thick stew. My goal here isn't to replicate the original but to riff off it and come up with something equally tasty (and more vegan). More

Does Ben the Bachelor's Wine Deserve a Rose?

I've seen every season of the Bachelor, from the first limo filled with squealing girls to the last sponsored diamond ring. But this year, I'm watching the show for all the right reasons. Because I think I could see myself falling for Ben. We're, you know, on a journey, and I know the process works, and I'm not here to make friends. So what's-her-butt can just back off. Why am I so sure of this connection, when we've only known each other, well, a minute or two less than he's known the other 16 girls he's dating? Because Ben The Bachelor is a winemaker. More

Chocoholic: No-Bake Chocolate Pumpkin Mousse Pie

In September I moved to tropical Singapore—about as far away from cornucopias and pilgrim hats as you can get. Without a gourd in sight, I sulked for a week from having missed a proper Halloween pumpkin carving, so I've been determined to not let pumpkin pie season pass me by too. After locating a grocery store that specializes in ingredients for displaced expats such as myself, I snatched up the last few cans of pumpkin puree and got to work. More

Hangover Helper: Caribbean Hash from Silly's in Portland, Maine

If Albert Einstein came back to life and found himself in Portland, Maine, he might enjoy sitting under a rainbow umbrella in Silly's backyard garden. "As far as we can discern, the universe is a very silly place," he once famously said. That quote inspired the name of this kitschy, chilled-out townhouse eatery. Inside there are pom-pom-covered light fixtures but the backyard is really where you should be on a bright day. More

Snapshots from Harvest in Washington State Wine Country

When I was invited by the Washington State Wine Commission to check out Eastern Washington's grape-growing areas in mid-October, I figured the grapes would be picked already, and we'd probably be looking at stripped-bare vines and smelling the sweet, bready aroma of juice fermenting into wine in the cellar. But it's been cool in the Northwest—so cool that harvest was just beginning when I arrived. More

Chicago: An Evening At Aviary

Never before has an evening at a cocktail bar been such a theatrical experience. My expectations were high after hearing the hype surrounding Aviary, the recently-opened hotspot of chef Grant Achatz and business partner Nick Kokonas (other projects include Alinea and Next). Visions of smoke, mirrors, and white-coats working in laboratories floated through my head...It turns out I wasn't that far off. More

Scooped: Beer Caramel Ice Cream

In the world of upscale ice cream, salted caramel is the new black. Every parlor with a pedigree has a version, and home ice cream makers practically write it love poems. I won't be the first to say that salted caramel is one of those perfect foods best left unmolested by other flavors. But I can't leave well enough alone. More

BraveTart: Meet the Fauxreo

I attended the Culinary Institute of America, studied classic French technique and graduated with a degree in, I kid you not, Baking and Pastry Arts. Up in Hyde Park, they don't teach what I'm about to share with you: the secrets of Culinary Time Travel. Leave the DeLorean in the garage, preheat your oven to one point twenty one gigawats, and rev that Kitchen Aid to eighty eight mph. We're going back to the Eighties. First stop, Oreos, circa 1981. More

A Sandwich A Day: The Pork Rabe Saturday Special From Cutty's in Brookline, MA

If you haven't noticed yet, we're big fans of Cutty's, husband and wife team Charles Kelsey and Rachel Toomey's sandwich shop in Brookline. It's the epitome of a neighborhood lunch spot: super friendly service, talented, smart, and hard working owners, staff that seem genuinely proud of their work, and of course, awesome food. My new favorite on the menu is their Saturday-only slow-roasted Pork Rabe ($8.95). Based on the Philadelphia classic, it starts with pork shoulder that's cured overnight in a salt and pepper rub before being slow-roasted. More

See You Tomorrow at Governors Island!

The day we've been waiting for—the Serious Eats All-Star Sandwich Festival—finally approaches. Tomorrow, July 23, we'll be out on Governors Island eating fine, fine sandwiches from some of New York's best chefs; washing it down with an awesome selection of beer and wine; and, most importantly, meeting all of you fine folks. Here's everything you'll need to know before we see you on the island. More

SE Staff Picks: Robyn's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sometimes I tell people that I like baking, but in reality I think I just like eating chocolate chip cookies, and the only way I can guarantee chocolate chip cookie-derived happiness is by baking them myself. Ad Hoc's chocolate chip cookie recipe is my go-to dessert for birthdays, parties, pot lucks, and the like—not to the point that I have it memorized, but it has the honor of being written on a small piece of paper taped to my refrigerator. More

9 Gin Cocktails For Royals and Muggles Alike

Sure, we all know what to do with a bottle of gin and a bottle of tonic, but there are many more delicious drinks to mix up with gin—and summer is the perfect time to try them. Here are nine more unusual gin concoctions, from Will and Kate's royal punch to a luscious savory cocktail with cream of coconut and curry powder (don't knock it till you've tried it.) More

5 Herb-Infused Cocktails from Craftbar (And How to Make Them At Home)

The cocktail menu at Craftbar features some of the best herb-infused cocktails we've ever tried; Skiba uses spirits and liquors to bring out the essential character of each herb, from sage (with bourbon and Benedictine) to cilantro with jalapeno and mezcal to rosemary and lavender with gin. Check out the drinks and get the recipes to make them at home » More

Must-Have Pizza Fashion

[Via: lolmart.com] It's incredible that no one has thought of this before! We have the genius (Tyrel) at terrodactyls.com to thank for subverting the iconography of the food pyramid. Viva la pizza! Buy one before the USDA shuts down this website.... More