Minnow is in town and so I met up with her over the weekend for a quick brunch at Bar Boulud. If you haven’t familiarized yourself with her on my blog, she is my old college friend and fellow “adventurous” foodie. She loves to try new and different things and also enjoys her offal. Bar Boulud is perfect because we have definitely shared our love of pates and headcheeses together and Bar Boulud has an award winning headcheese.
We decided to share three different plates rather than do Bar Boulud’s excellent priced fix brunch menu. Normally I would have said that wouldn’t be enough food for me, but having done the Blue Print Cleanse, my stomach had shrunk and I didn’t want to gorge myself on all the rich food so I agreed.
We started with the award winning headcheese.
What is headcheese? Taken from Wikipedia: “Head cheese is not a cheese but a terrine or meat jelly made with flesh from the head of a calf or pig…and often set in aspic. While the parts used can vary, the brain, eyes and ears are often removed. The tongue, and sometimes even the feet and heart may be included. Head cheese may be flavored with onion, black pepper, all spice, bay leaf, salt and vinegar. It is usually eaten cold or at room temperature as a luchen meat. It can also be made from quality trimmings from pork and veal, adding gelatin to the stock as a binder.”
So basically it’s the head of an animal boiled down so the meat falls off, then it’s cut up and prepared as a terrine. It’s good. It actually tastes like ham but obviously with a different texture. There is some grain mustard served on the side to cut the rich meat flavor and to provide some acid.
We also got the shrimp salad with pickled ramps over butter lettuce with a buttermilk dressing:
For $14 the salad was pretty meager. If anyone ordered just this salad for lunch, they would probably walk away a little hungry. There were maybe like 8 pieces of bib lettuce, 4 small pickled ramps and the shrimp is even cut in half lengthwise so, in total you probably only got three whole shrimp. But for what it’s worth, the shrimp was perfectly cooked, the pickled ramps were delicious (I love ramps!) and the lettuce was tender.
I love Bar Boulud’s croque monsieur – it’s this ooey gooey cheesy ham sandwich that is just wonderful but this time not so much. (I borrowed the above photo from a previous post of mine.) When we got our croque monsieur the cheese was all dried out, there was no “gooey-ness” to the cheese. The bread at the bottom was hard. This poor sandwich had been sitting under the warming burners for awhile. It was still good, but not as good as a freshly made one. oh well.
Lunch was good for the most part and Bar Boulud is usually delicious, I think this past weekend was just a fluke. But most importantly I got to see my friend and catch up.
Bar Boulud, 1900 Broadway, New York, NY