While not officially mentioned as a place for Conservatives to grab a bite to eat by Ticket Sarasota (c’mon guys, the Independent? Really? They’ll stick out like a welfare mom at a Mitt Romney fundraiser) Bamboozle Cafe is right in the neighborhood and hopefully gets some mad love from the deep pockets. My visit there introduced me to the Vegan Banh Xeo (read more about this torrid affair here). The Banh Xeo is traditionally a savory fried pancake made of rice flour, tumeric and water and stuffed with bean sprouts, green onion and fatty pieces of protein. Almost immediately (aka 48 hours later) I hightailed it to the local grocery store for some rice flour and bean sprouts, ready to bring the Banh Xeo home to momma.
I bucked tradition (again?!) and did not wrap the pancake in mustard leaf, lettuce or rice paper. I also filled the inside with an Asian Barbecue sauce because I was sick of J-Fur yelling at me for all the condiments in the fridge (killed two almost empty bottle of barbecue sauce in one fell Asian swoop). Here’s what happened:
Tofu Banh Xeo with Asian Barbecue Sauce
For the inside:
-1 block of tofu, cubed
-1/2 cup enoki mushrooms
-1/2 cup shiitake mushrooms
-3 Tbs. Barbecue Sauce
-3 Tbs. soy sauce
-1 Tbs. maple syrup
-1 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
-1 clove of garlic, minced
For the crepe:
-3/4 cup rice flour
-2/3 cup coconut milk
-1/4 tsp. salt
-1/8 tsp. tumeric
-1/4 cup water
-oil for frying
1. Place the tofu and mushrooms in a gallon sized ziplock bag. Mix the barbecue sauce, soy sauce, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar and garlic in a bowl. Pour into the bag. Seal and marinate for 2 hours.
2. Remove the tofu mixture from the refrigerator and place into a saute pan. Heat through.
3. In a large bowl mix the rice flour, coconut milk, salt, tumeric and water until well combined. Heat an oiled, cast iron skillet over medium heat. Pour half of the crepe batter into the pan and circulate until it covers the entire pan bottom. Heat for two to three minutes. Flip and give the other side a quick cook (45 seconds).
4. Place the crepe on a plate, top with some of the tofu and bean sprouts. Roll it, eat it flat, I don’t care. Just do it quick, these babies don’t take well to sitting around doing nothing.
It is easy to contemplate life and death, to think about all your past mistakes, while enjoying a Banh Xeo. The Demo’s latest single “Primitive” offers the same sort of self reflection. The song begins slowly and then builds into something a joyously triumphant while simultaneously pumping out thoughts like “I’m gonna die someday.” Think of it like a pair of sunglasses that is missing a lens. You can see the light and the dark at the same time.
Also exhibiting a bit of dirty nostalgia is Harts, a solo artist from Melbourne who plays all the instruments on his recordings in the only way he knows how: explosively. Supported by a contagious melody that will have your wife spanking her ass (true story).
Two band’s looking for help with their upcoming projects are The Rescues and Beat Radio. The Rescues are a rock band that has been there, done that with the big corporate label. Now they want to put out their own album, no middle man. In order to do that they are looking for help with financing for the mixing, producing, marketing, and all that come along with making a great record. To drum up support the band put out a new video for their song “Arrow” which ends with a link to their pledge music page. The band has already raised 136 percent of their target goal and still have a number of special items that can be purchased.
Beat Radio is close to finishing their full-length Hard Times Go and would like to press it in vinyl. In order to do so, some cash is needed. The band is running a kickstarter campaign in order to make this a reality. Here is their cover of “The House That Heaven Built” by the Japandroids: