Lick the Plate: Glamping, asparagus, ‘beef on weck’ and more

Lick the Plate:  Glamping, asparagus, ‘beef on weck’ and more
Linda Brown and her vintage 1965 Airstream fully equipped for glamping. Photo by David Boylan

Lick the Plate has been busy bouncing between Detroit and San Diego, the two cities that I call home and that could not possibly be more different.

I thrive on those contrasts though and feel equally at home in both places. Those contrasts will provide great fodder for an upcoming column but for now we have highlights from my travels that have piqued my interest

Let’s start in Encinitas at the Moto Deli food truck that has been parking outside of the soon-to-open Moto Deli brick and mortar restaurant on Coast Highway 101 in Leucadia.

Good friend Andy Halvorsen is part of the culinary team there that includes Alex Carballo. Andy hails from the Buffalo, New York area, home of the regionally famous “Beef on Weck” that has become one of my new favorite indulgences.

A beef on weck (also known as beef on wick) is a sandwich found primarily in Western New York made with roast beef on a Kummelweck roll. The meat on the sandwich is traditionally served rare, thin cut, with the top bun getting a dip au jus and topped with horseradish. This is very similar to Italian beef in Chicago in that regard but not the full dip.

The Kummelweck roll gives the sandwich its name and a distinctive taste. A Kummelweck is topped with kosher salt and caraway seeds and Kümmel is the German word for caraway, and weck means “roll” in the southwestern German dialects, although the kind of weck used for this sandwich in America tends to be much softer and fluffier than a standard German Kümmelbrötchen or Kümmelweck.

Now that you are fully informed on beef on weck you will enjoy it even more. Follow the Moto Deli truck on Facebook or at motodeli.com and look for a full story on this highly anticipated deli as soon as they open.

I have two route options when commuting from Leucadia to my Carlsbad office and the preferred route by far is the one that takes me up the Coast Highway 101 through the Carlsbad campgrounds. The smell of campfires is one of my favorite things and the campers that range from 60-foot mega RV’s to VW Campervans to my favorite, the vintage Airstreams always make for great visuals. As it turns out there is a boutique movement sprouting up surrounding vintage Airstreams and similar campers called “glamping,” and a good friend of mine, Linda Brown, recently provided me with the full experience.

Linda has a beautiful 1965 Airstream parked on her expansive farm in Michigan and she also tows it around the Midwest providing glamping experiences that I would highly recommend. First off, these are visually stunning and have such a unique look that they are easily recognized by the distinctive shape of their rounded polished aluminum coachwork.

The body shape dates back to the 1930s and is based on designs created by Hawley Bawlus who had earlier overseen construction of Charles Lindbergh’s aircraft, the Spirit of St. Louis. They are still manufactured in Jackson Center, Ohio and the plant employs more than 500 people.

The interiors are equally cool and people have been customizing them to fit their unique personalities.

And finally it’s asparagus season, which is one of my favorite times of year in both Michigan and California. There is nothing better than fresh asparagus and here is one of my favorite ways to prepare it.

First a quick tip on how to know what part of the asparagus is edible. All you have to do is grab a few stalks and bend them towards the bottom until they snap. The top portion is the good part and you can either discard the bottom or utilize it in a soup that will be blended.  OK so on to the recipe.

Fry up some applewood bacon nice and crisp then chop it up. Keep some of the bacon grease in the pan and sauté the asparagus in the bacon fat until al dente. Next fry two free-range eggs (they really are better) to your liking. Arrange the asparagus on a plate; top it with the fried eggs, bacon bits and some shaved Parmesan or pecorino cheese. It’s not only a great looking dish, but you will love the combination of flavors and textures.

David Boylan is the founder of Artichoke Creative an Encinitas based integrated marketing firm. He also hosts Lick the Plate Radio that airs Monday through Friday at 7 p.m. on FM94/9, Easy 98.1, and KSON. Reach him at david@artichoke-creative.com or (858) 395-6905.

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