Have you ever tried a Szechuan peppercorn? They’re the seeds of the prickly ash tree, and a mainstay in Szechuan cooking. They’re not spicy. They have a wonderful, peppery, citrusy flavor. They also have another, very strange characteristic: they cause paresthesia, a numbing, prickly sensation in the mouth. It does this by getting tiny receptors in your tongue vibrating at 50 hertz. This is fun, and weird, and very handy if you’re eating spicy Szechuan food, because the numbing sensation allows you to eat more spicy chilis without overheating your mouth. Excellent! New employees of Geer Street Garden were always given one to try at the beginning of their employment as a sort of “cool” test and to see if they were the right kind of “wrong” to fit in with our crew. (Ah, the good old days, when we actually needed to hire people on occasion!)
Anyhoo – this weekend we’re serving the classic Szechuan dish, Kung Pao Chicken. This poor dish has been degraded for our dull American mouths over the years, so much so that at a lot of places now it’s just a standard meat & veggie stir-fry with a few peanuts sprinkled over the top. We make no claims at authenticity (there’s no such thing for us 21st century Americans, is there?), but we’ve found that in this case the old, traditional recipes are better than what we’re used to. So, it’s small chunks of chicken stir-fried with peppers, garlic, ginger, whole chili peppers, Szechuan peppercorns, scallions, and peanuts in a sauce perfectly balanced between sweet, sour, and salty. We’re serving it with steamed rice and a daikon radish cake (fluffy, mild, savory, and delicious). C’mon get you some.
Did you know? Geer Street Garden is more than just a place of commerce, more than a feeding station where you trade money for sustenance. We’re a gosh-darned cultural center, a place for conversation, art, music, books – all the things that elevate mere existence into actual living. At least we’d like it to be. Today Mark & Bryan have turned a section of our patio into an art studio as they brainstorm ideas for their magnificent mural. As the pandemic eases in the coming months, and we begin to emerge from our isolation, consider using Geer Street as a meeting place to plan and enact your artistic visions, or for your book club, or for after-band practice beer.
Oh also we’re a place of business so bring us money, we could really use some!
Is eating a big pile of veggies your idea of a good time? If so, you’ve got a screw loose, definitely. But we’re here for you. We got you. This here is a winter veggie plate with butternut squash risotto cakes (crispy!), braised white beans (savory!), roasted fennel (aromatic!), and rainbow chard (colorful!).
We’re continuing our sustainer drive! We’re still short of our goal of 100 new sustainers – sign up to make a recurring $50 donation soon and you get a $20 credit for Geer Street Garden every month you donate.
This here is the sweet crew that prepares the Free Lunch: Lupe, Jaime, and Lili. They’re super grateful for your support.
The Durham Neighbors Free Lunch Initiative is a program fiscally sponsored by a local non-profit, Don’t Waste Durham, which is a 501(c)3 charity organization (EIN: 82-1687711). Thanks so much!
These little beauties are called tortellini. They’re fresh pasta bundles filled with local, pasture raised pork, Parmesan & ricotta cheeses and a secret ingredient. (Oh heck with it- it’s nutmeg!)
We’re serving them in a rich & creamy bolognese sauce, warming & satisfying & perfect for the darkness & cold of winter.
This is the White Light of The Void, the potential nothingness that was you before you were born and the empty fullness that you’ll be after you die. Once all that you consider to be you has been erased- including the tortellini you’re about to order, your first kiss, the memory of your mother’s smile-once all that has fallen away, this beautiful emptiness will be all you are. We captured this image with the interdimensional camera on the new iPhone.
The difference in texture and flavor between regular old dry spaghetti and freshly made spaghetti is like the difference between a frozen, dried-up mammoth carcass you dug out of the melting Siberian tundra and a freshly cloned live wooly mammoth rampaging through the secret corporate lab that created it. There’s simply no comparison.
Tonight we’re serving our fresh, house-made spaghetti with a plate of cheesy, marinara-y chicken Parmesan. Some of you may remember this dish from the Boot restaurant, although like all memories of the Before-fore Times, it seems more like a beautiful hallucination, doesn’t it?
Ladies and gentlemen, may we not-so-humbly present: the best food you can get in Durham right now.
A Szechuan fried chicken sandwich on a homemade steamed bun with purple Napa cabbage, carrot, marinated cucumber, sesame seeds, scallions & srirachanaise.
GET. IT. ONNNNNN.
All of our employees have tested negative for COVID-19 and we’re set to reopen today, Friday December 4th. Thank you all for your support during this insane time, and we look forward to seeing you soon.
We regret to report that today, Wednesday November 25, one of our staff tested positive for COVID-19. Both our Free Lunch program and our regular business are suspended for now.
This employee hasn’t worked since last week, but we will nevertheless be closed until our staff can complete a full round of testing. If you have any questions or concerns, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We appreciate all your support during this very fraught period of time, and we look forward to seeing you when we return.
Remember food? Remember restaurants? Remember how we used to think nothing of going out in public to put food in our faces and ignore our rotten kids for 90 minutes? Remember? Remember when you used to start your servers tip at 15% in your head and then take points off for every tiny flub or perceived indignity? Remember when waiters treated you like a big man so consistently that you almost believed it for a second?
Tonight’s special is homemade ravioli filled with fresh local spinach, ricotta & Parmesan cheese, served with marinara & garlic bread. Come relive the glory days.
Delicious homemade pasta this weekend. This here is a chicken & ricotta filled tortellini with mushrooms, cream & Parmesan. Oooohh.
Tuesday & Wednesday special: Butternut squash & ricotta arancini with local frisée & walnut salad. Weather is nice, come eat it outside before things turn rainy!
This 91-pound pumpkin, so kindly donated to our Durham Free Lunch Initiative by Meadow Lane Farm, represents the US electorate. The seeds are unaffiliated voters and the skin represents mail-in ballots. Follow me so far? Good. Once it is chopped up, roasted, and made into soup, and that soup is consumed and excreted, we will have a full understanding of who won Michigan and why neither party can offer anything to the American people beyond pointless platitudes and dull propaganda.
Good. Let’s begin.