Food Fit for the King: 7 Elvis Inspired Dishes + Drinks #ElvisWeek

Elvis Presley may have been the King of rock ‘n’ roll, but he was also the King of comfort food. Entire cookbooks are devoted to the extravagant meals and over-the-top snacks he enjoyed after shows, during recording sessions, or while taking a break from filming one of his many flicks. The Memphis Flash loved foods that were high calorie, high fat, and high sugar, which sounds like the holy trinity to us. August 16th marks the anniversary of Presley’s passing and the last day of #ElvisWeek, so we wanted to honor his legacy and his legendary appetite. Here are seven Elvis inspired dishes and drinks fit for the King.

Arcade Restaurant, Memphis, Tennessee
The King used to be a regular at this Memphis mainstay, which is just 15 minutes away from Graceland. In honor of their multi-platinum patron, the Fifties-style diner serves his favorite sandwich: fried peanut butter and banana on Texas toast. Bacon is optional, but why wouldn’t you get it?

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Restaurant Eve, Alexandria, Virginia
It’s a little-known fact that Elvis loved pound cake, but we’re guessing he never had one quite like this. Chef-owner Cathal Armstrong –whose birthday falls on the anniversary of Elvis’s passing – and his team put out a benne seed pound cake complemented with raspberry jam and a tangy, herbaceous lemon verbena ice cream. You can’t help falling in love with it after just one bite.

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Sweet Chick, New York, New York
Inspired by the King’s special sando, the bar team created the Black Velvet Elvis cocktail. Made with banana liqueur, dark rum, a couple of dashes of black walnut bitters and some caramel-y demerara sugar, it’s garnished with a lemon twist and a rasher of candied bacon. We’re certain Presley would approve heartily.

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Delicatessen, New York, New York
Only in New York. Executive chef-partner Michael Ferraro makes a creamy peanut butter cheesecake with a crust of crushed candied bacon and Wonder Bread, which he coronates with caramelized bananas and even more candied bacon. Wearing blue suede shoes while you eat it is entirely optional.

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Nine Boozy Milkshakes to Blow Your Mind (and Freeze Your Brain)

Staying breezy and buzzy in the summertime can be difficult. Luckily, someone had the frankly brilliant idea of combining ice cream and booze to create milkshakes and floats for the over-21 set. Whoever thought of that should be given a Nobel. Or at the very least a James Beard Award. Now you can cool down as you drink up these sweet, spirituous swigs. Without further ado, here are nine boozy milkshakes that are guaranteed to blow your mind and freeze your brain.

Ted’s Bulletin – 14th Street, Washington, D.C.
Choose from one of the classic combos – such as Irish Caramel (vanilla ice cream, freshly brewed coffee and Irish Cream) or grasshopper (vanilla ice cream, Kahlúa, and crème de menthe) – or mix and match your favorite flavors. We’re partial to a PB&J&JB (peanut butter and jelly and Jim Beam), though the Millionaire Malt made with 18-year-old Glenlivet is a worthy indulgence.

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Saltwood Charcuterie & Bar, Atlanta, Georgia
You might think you hear a banjo playing if you order this spiked sipper. A few orbs of vanilla moonshine ice cream are dropped into a mason jar mug full of frosty Coke. Consider it deliverance from the usual boring old floats.

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STK Midtown, New York, New York
We believe that doughnuts make everything better. Case in point is this milkshake forged out of cinnamon liqueur and dulce de leche ice cream, which comes with a petite pail brimming with cinnamon sugar-dusted churro bites.

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Heavy Seas Alehouse, Arlington, Virginia
Beer is awesome. So is ice cream. Therefore, a beer float is totally awesome. There are five options, but our favorite is the Peg Leg float featuring the alehouse’s own imperial stout, a couple of generous scoops of vanilla ice cream, and a splash of Coke to add a little sweetness. [Photo by Laura Hayes]

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CUT by Wolfgang Puck at The Beverly Wilshire, Los Angeles, California
Studies have shown that regularly eating dark chocolate can lower the risk of heart disease. But what if you consume that dark chocolate in the form of a milkshake amped up with Buffalo Trace bourbon and coronated with plenty of sweet cream? Who cares? We’re drinking it anyway.

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All-Star Week Cocktail + Dining Deals in Cincinnati

All-Star Week begins in Cincinnati on Saturday, July 11 and runs through July 14. The Great American Ballpark, home to the Cincinnati Reds, will play host to the 2015 Major League Baseball (MLB) All-Star Game on Tuesday, July 14, and the city’s restaurants are rolling out the red carpet with delicious offers for fans. Whether you’re a local or taking a road trip to catch the action, here are six All-Star Week cocktail + dining deals in Cincinnati to enjoy before you take yourself out to the year’s best ballgame!

Jag’s Steak & Seafood
Get on deck for the Jag’s “Double Play” special from chef Michelle Brown, “the best of both filet and seafood on one plate.” It features an 8-ounce filet mignon topped with a morel-encrusted diver scallop with a Madeira reduction and is served with wild mushroom risotto and sautéed spinach. It is $44 and is available Saturday through Tuesday.

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KaZe
These specially priced happy hour rolls at Kaze totally rock. Order the California (with crab, cucumber, guacamole, shiso, and tempura for $3.50 or $6.50), OTR (with tuna, avocado, cucumber, spicy scallion, and ponzu for $4 or $7.50), or blackened salmon (with cucumber, avocado, creme, and tobiko for $4 or $7.50) rolls in two portion sizes from 4-7PM daily in the bar as you enjoy one of Cincinnati’s best happy hours!

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The Mercer OTR
Talk about a steal! The Mercer OTR is offering a grand slam of a deal on their menu. The lavish three-course prix-fixe menu includes a starter, entrée, and dessert for just $39. Bonus: it’s available every day of the week!

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The Waldorf Salad: History, New Twists on a Classic + a Refresh Recipe Contest

The Waldorf salad has a history almost as storied as that of its namesake hotel, and it is an enduring item on the menus at Bull & Bear Steakhouse, Oscar’s, and Peacock Alley at the Waldorf Astoria in New YorkDive into the salad’s delicious past and learn about new dishes and drink inspired by this sublime salad. Then, get details on the “California Walnuts Waldorf Salad Refresh Recipe Contest” happening on Pinterest for a chance to win $5,000 and a trip to New York City — and to have your recipe featured on the legendary Waldorf Astoria menu!

When I was growing up, my maternal grandmother kept a framed illustration of a Waldorf salad recipe on the wall of her cozy Bronx kitchen. Even though her picture dated back to the seventies, my younger self was surprised to learn the dish predated it by many decades. My nana, as we called her, never made me the apple-celery-walnut-and-mayonnaise salad in the picture, but when I first sampled a forkful of its crisp, cool, and creamy goodness at a restaurant, I was hooked, just like other eaters have been for more than a century. It reminded me of a sweet-ish version of another culinary stalwart I adore: the savory Olivier salad with its diced potatoes, carrots, peas, and — yep! — mayonnaise. Olivier salad dates from the mid-nineteenth century, and it’s entirely plausible that it inspired the Waldorf salad thirty short years later.

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Just three years after the Waldorf Hotel opened its doors in 1893 in its original location, and a year prior to joining with the Astoria Hotel (connected then by Peacock Alley), maître d’hôtel Oscar Tschirsky (1866-1950), known as Oscar of the Waldorf, invented the namesake Waldorf salad for its first-ever banquet. The recipe was also included in his cookbook published in the same year. The original recipe, written in a very Escoffier-esque way (pictured above). called for diced apples and celery dressed with mayonnaise. It apparently proved popular with the famed French chef, as he created his own version that, according to current Waldorf Astoria executive chef David Garcelon, included walnuts.

Since the superfood that is walnuts first added their crunch to this beloved salad, the dish has undergone several iterations in the 100 years it has been continuously served on all of the hotel restaurant menus. Garcelon says, “I believe it was my predecessor, chef John Doherty, who added black truffle and used crème fraîche in the dressing, as well as the combination of red and green apples.” Garcelon revisited the recipe again in 2012 — with care and caution. “My foremost concern in refreshing the recipe is that it is, by far, our biggest selling dish in every outlet. So I wanted to update it but not make a drastic change. Also, I think it is important to keep the foundation of the dish rooted in the original version,” he says.

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