America’s Classic: Mustache Bill’s Diner, Barnegat Light, NJ

These days, the food at diners is all too often of poor to middling quality. But not at Mustache Bill’s. For more than 35 years, owner Bill Smith has made everything on the diner’s menu from scratch—refusing to buy anything premade. It’s the homemade, straight-from-the-heart cooking that makes Mustache Bill’s a must-stop destination on the Jersey Shore for both the fishing community regulars and the summertime beachgoers. Fishermen reward their community diner with dayboat fluke and scallops, which Smith prepares with aplomb. But follow the lead of the locals and you’ll soon be tucking into platters of roasted-that-day turkey, ham, and beef. And legendary pancakes. It is no surprise that the crowds are huge at this seasonal spot: Mustache Bill’s does 1,000 covers on a typical summer day, and it’s only open 6:00 a.m. to

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Eye Candy: Beard House

Potato-Wrapped Octopus

Fried potato-wrapped octopus with avocado and chipotle, one of the many hors d'oeuvre prepared by Brendan McHale of Jack's Luxury Oyster Bar in New York. May 19, 2009, The Beard House, NYC (Photo by Lisa Ozag)

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Food Matters: Haute Dogs Revisited

Hot dogs

As we pointed out a month ago, last year we published an article that wondered if the humble hot dog—typically found between innings in baseball or bobbing in a city street cart—would ever get the gourmet treatment from chefs. After all, the hamburger managed to beat the odds and shed its low brow-status when Daniel Boulud introduced his DB Burger, a once unimaginable marriage of foie gras and truffles to beef and bun. Would the hot dog ever reach such heights?

It appears that it has. We've seen perfected traditional dogs like Akhtar Nawab's (he'll be serving them at the Beard House later this month) and dogs with Far East accents like the Fatty Dog at Fatty Crab UWS. Let's Be Frank, the popular... Read more >

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Q & A: Colman Andrews

Colman AndrewsHe's written thousands of articles, several fantastic cookbooks (and more on the way), and was one of the founders of Saveur magazine. We caught up with accomplished writer and editor Colman Andrews, who told us about working with Ruth Reichl early in their careers, what he really thinks about the changes in the American culinary scene in the 25 years since he was inducted into the Who's Who of Food and Beverage in America, and much more.

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Eye Candy: Beard House

Pistachio Crème Brûlée

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the founding of Tel Aviv, Israeli chef Meir Adoni prepared an elegant and complex menu teeming with Mediterranean and Middle Eastern influences; it ended with this pistachio crème brûlée with roasted apricots, spiced ice cream, and vanilla–cardamom crumble.

May 20, 2009, The Beard House, NYC

(Photo by Joan Garvin)

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On the Menu: Porkapalooza

Tomorrow night we're bringing pigging out to a whole new level. For a special Greens event—part of our ongoing programming for foodies under 40—Sara Jenkins, Anita Lo, Nick Morgenstern, and Ryan Skeen are preparing a dinner that will feature pork in every course. The menu includes such porcine morsels like tête de cochon sandwiches, a baby pig tasting, and apple pie with a pork lard crust—and there will be plenty of premium beer and wine pairings to wash it all down. See the complete Porkapalooza menu here.

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Tastebud: An Encore for the Intermezzo

Intermezzi make a comeback at the James Beard House

Italian for “interval,” an intermezzo is an icy interlude, a small dish to be consumed between courses, rejuvenating the palate and prepping it for the rest of the meal. Also known as palate cleansers, intermezzi tend to be sorbets, granitas, or other icy treats that are usually flavored with fruit, especially highly acidic citrus. While the fat and salt of previous courses deaden your taste buds, acidity perks them up; following a couple of savory dishes with a spoonful of lemon sorbet is like hitting a “reset” button on your tongue. Auguste Escoffier encouraged chefs to serve sorbets or other ices between courses, which helped popularize the intermezzo in 19th-century Europe. (The French legend himself was fond of Punch Romaine, an alcoholic lemon–orange ice that refreshed the tongues of diners aboard the Titanic.)

Over the past year intermezzi have popped up on an unusually high number of Beard House menus. We've seen a wide range of

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JBF Kitchen Cam