Gastro Non Grata 12: cheap eats and big hits at the Triple Rock

Categories: Events
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What usually comes to mind when you think of comfort food? Chances are it would be something like mac and cheese or rocky road ice cream, maybe with a bubble bath or an old movie. Then again, if you're Gastro Non Grata, hand-crafted beers and frozen turkey raffles set to live music apparently make just as much sense. In this spirit, the twelfth helping of the event - themed "A Salute to Comfort Foods and Cans" - helped usher in wintertime and the holidays last Sunday at the Triple Rock with gourmet tater tots and watermelon beer.

Who says self indulgence can't be edifying?

Case in point: local chef Landon Schoenefeld served up a preview of his new restaurant, named Haute Dish and due to open early next year, with samples of the menu's tater tots. These were no ordinary tots, though. Served with mushrooms over a sour cream sauce, his spuds were lightly breaded with deliciously creamy insides. While only intended as a side dish, it made for a tantalizing glimpse of what the former Weinery (and Bulldog NE, and Levain, and Sea Change, and on and on...) cook has in store.

Schoenfeld also served up his version of poutine, a Canadian dish (pronounced "peu-tin," though he was quick to point out it's not Russian for fear of "politicizing"), which consisted of chicken and gravy with French fries and cheese curds. "The cheese should be melted," Schoenefeld confessed, "but it's a lot different cooking up 120 of these things than it is one at a time, like they're supposed to be done."

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