Fueling the Forces
"THE NAVY GETS THE GRAVY, and the Army gets the beans,” Martin and Lewis informed us musically some 50 years ago. But the United States Navy also has a thing for ice cream. Purloined strawberry ice cream topping caused Captain Queeg to turn his vessel into the ship from hell in The Caine Mutiny. Now comes word that despite the “healthy” menu tested on a recent four-and-a-half month deployment of the San Diego–based destroyer Halsey (swabbies were expected to eat precooked, baked French “fries,” for goodness sakes, and to give meatless “burger” patties a whirl), the demand for ice cream remained constant, and the galley wisely never ran out . . . Richard Walker’s Pancake House, housed in downtown’s soaring Pinnacle Museum Tower, claims to have sold 3,150,000 million pancakes in its first six months. The announcement poses questions: Do they number them, as is the custom with the ducks served at Tour d’Argent in Paris? And if a hotcake is one-third inch in height, how tall a stack could have been erected if all 3,150,000 had been neatly piled one by one?
PAT A CAKE, pat a cake, make me a cakeypie? Made by layering cake batter atop a pie base, the new Cakeypies devised by entrepreneur Kenn Cross evidently are flying off the shelves of restaurateur Jason Dean’s nice new Café One Three on Park Boulevard . . . A pig in a poke? Not quite. With 72 hours’ notice, the kitchen at Brett Miller’s new Cendio in La Jolla will prepare a succulent, Cuban-style roast suckling pig for a minimum of six guests.
THE SWEETEST HAPPY HOUR in town may be the new “Afternoon Delight” promotion at the aptly named Heaven Sent Desserts in North Park. From 3 to 6:30 p.m. daily, $6 buys one of three featured sweets, along with coffee or tea. The “Double Delight” prices the same refreshments at $10 per couple . . . A vast slab of liqueur-soaked Sicilian chocolate cake concludes the three-course Sunday night prime rib extravaganza offered at Joe Busalacchi’s jazzy Po Pazzo in Little Italy. For $24.95, guests can choose any salad or soup on the menu (the huge iceberg wedge is drenched with blue cheese and sided with sexy fried shallot rings), followed by a 1-pound cut of prime rib with horseradish sauce and natural juices, fresh vegetables and garlic-flavored mashed potatoes (okay, so no special is perfect). It’s so much, some duos share . . . One Saturday evening in the Gaslamp Quarter, a hostess beckoned to a couple necking on the sidewalk: “Excuse me, your shots are ready at the bar.” . . . He’s Broadway-bound: Chef Jonathan Pflueger stars behind the cooktop at Currant, the “American bistro” slated to open this month at boutique-style The Sofia Hotel. Formerly known as the Pickwick (and formerly down-at-the-heels), The Sofia should transform this stretch of Broadway. Pflueger, who revolutionized the kitchen at Star of the Sea in the mid-’90s (nothing lasts forever), promises to serve “hand-crafted” cuisine in his handsome new dining room.
HE GETS AROUND, gets around, he gets around. Peripatetic chef Bernard Guillas of the Marine Room, who works more or less 24/7 when in town, managed in 2006 to make celebrity chef appearances in Yosemite, Vermont, Seattle, Chicago and Cape Cod—as well as in two separate trips to Australia, an East Asia cruise and dinner parties in Mumbai, India and Singapore. He kicked off 2007 with a trip to France to visit family in Brittany and to cheer on fellow chef Gavin Kaysen at the Bocuse d’Or competition in Lyon. Who knows where his clog-clad feet will lead next? . . . On March 7, bring $35 to learn how to buy, serve, pair and store fine cheeses at Taste Artisan Cheese & Gourmet Shop on University Avenue . . . “Amusing” breakfasts at the Market Café at Loews Coronado Bay Resort open with complimentary amuse bouches (little appetizers) and close with a take-along cup of coffee, also on the house. Dessert for breakfast? Sure. Sweets include frozen “hot” chocolate and bearclaw bread pudding.