November is a crapshoot and everybody knows it. That month is fraught with pitfalls and stumbling blocks and a third thing that slows you down. As such, I was unable to produce November’s Monthly Features feature and for that, I apologize. Or not. Nobody said anything to me, so maybe it wasn’t a big deal.
Wow. What a weight off my shoulders! Anyway, this is the feature I do every month called Monthly Features, which features features restaurants feature for this month. If you know of a monthly feature I need to add, send it to me telepathically. Then send a follow-up email to firstname.lastname@example.org to make sure your message didn’t accidentally end up in my junk brain.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, if you look at Christmas trees. Most everything else looks normal, with the exception of a few lights and the occasional pan-handling Santa. But the elves inside Pie Junkie have been working away on a treat that should not be put in anyone’s stockings, unless that person is your lover and it’s part of a mutually fulfilling activity between loving adults: Holiday Mint. With a base of crushed Oreos and a topping of crushed Andes Mints, there’s a lot of chocolatey-mint being crushed. Inside the pie, however, is a hot chocolate-flavored cream that fills me with a disturbing amount of Christmas spirit.
Generally, I feel like people ordering burgers know they’re going to get a lot of meat. It’s kind of part and parcel with burgers. But S&B’s went above and beyond this month with the Mele Kalikimaka, which stacks a half pound burger patty with thinly sliced ham, melted Swiss cheese and a slice of grilled pineapple.
Big props to the teriyaki aioli, which adds another layer of sweetness to this massive, salty, savory hamburger. Bonus! $1 from each sale goes to Positive Tomorrows.
If you need to give yourself a present this month, I don’t think you can do much better than Holiday Fries, which start with a basket of sweet potato and french fries covered in melted sharp cheddar and grilled kimchi. I suggest using a fork, because the fries will stick to the foil on the basket. Oh, and there’s also pulled pork, Korean barbecue sauce and a Sriracha aioli drizzled on top. These fries are stupid, by which I mean brilliant.
I’m not sure what I was expecting with the Mint Mocha at Clarity, but as usual, this little coffee shop put an interesting spin on things. The chocolate flavor in the mocha was subtle, giving way much more to the creaminess of the milk and the powerful espresso. The mint wasn’t a sweet burst, but a more floral, herbaceous flavor. It’s a mellow drink compared to the brash sugar bomb my brain initially imagined, and that’s a Christmas miracle I can get behind.
One thing I respect about Tokyo is they are utilitarian with their specials when it comes to naming. December special. The follow-up to November special. Which came right on the heels of October special.
But, yowza, December special really is special. You get a stacked roll with shrimp, asparagus and avocado on the inside and spicy crawfish, sesame seeds, roe, spicy mayo, green onions and eel sauce on top.
Some have complained it’s too spicy, but I got just the barest tingle. The crawfish flavor comes through clearly, which I love, and the roll has a nice balance of hot and cold temps. As sauce-heavy rolls go, this is one of my favorites. Don’t expect to pick out a lot of subtle notes, but it’s a tasty melange of flavors all mixed together. It’s also big enough that one roll should do you.