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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Sunday, May 22

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Store Tue Mar 18 2008

Greasy Fingers, Good Belly

Truthfully, I can't begin to guess which mecca of meaty goods gets more play in this town, Hot Doug's or Paulina Meat Market. And, truthfully, it doesn't matter. They are both positively glorious...

Yes, I said: glorious. No, make that: Glorious.

I can scarcely write this entry right now for the greasy fingers slipping haphazardly over my keyboard. Greasy fingers are thanks to the handiwork of the iconoclastic meatmen of Paulina and their monumentally delicious corned beef brisket. I just ate a little sliver of leftovers from yesterday.

It's the most brash shade of pink, laden with whole spices, unctuously fatty and addictively salty. I came home rather spent from a long day at work Monday evening, was ready to hide in my room until I saw the big brazen slab of meat emerge from the oven and on to the cutting board. My Irish American room mate with her shamrock headband was throwing an impromptu St. Patrick's Day party at our apartment. Our house guest had made a trek out to Paulina Meat Market to procure three pounds of Corned Beef. I should have known how good this stuff was going to be, I should have begged her to procure just a few pounds more. I would love to profane to make a corned beef hash with this stuff and sop up some runny sunny side up eggs with it this weekend... Seriously, I would consider a life of crime just to ensure this beef comes back to my house. I sent a message to the guys at Paulina to find out of it's availability throughout the year, I'll let you know when I find out.

I tend to forget about things like corned beef until I find myself in moments with them. Like last night in my own kitchen, Guiness in hand, surrounded by the din of clinking glasses of Jameson, and there I am in a suspended moment making eyes at a big Irish brisket. It's kind of a brilliant thing, it combines curing and pickling and a slab of cow breast. Apparently it's called corned beef because they used to call grains of salt "corns" of salt. Salty, fatty: that's the key. And I can say that this one was the best I have ever had. Hands down. Fingers greased. Get it while you can.

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Roommate / March 19, 2008 12:59 AM

I'm so glad the corned beef saved the day. There's something about the Irish and our talent for curing all ills (and the Irish-Americans and curing beef). That and the whiskey will get you everywhere. So where did the leftovers go?

Amy / March 20, 2008 12:26 PM

St. Patrick's Day is like the spring Thanksgiving in our family. I would eat corned beef all year but really it just doesn't taste as delicious on March 17th. It's heavenly.

Clint / March 24, 2008 6:58 PM

Nice piece Rachel. Glad to see you pushing forward into food writing. I dabble a bit myself, writing mostly for a small and very disturbed audience (me). I'm looking for cooking work; let me know if you hear of any good openings in your neck of the woods.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

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