Have you ever looked carefully at a package of ground beef only to find out that it’s sourced from not one country but, like, six? Yes, it’s out there and this is one of the reasons Joe Heitzeberg and his partner Ethan Lowry of the Urbanspoon app started Crowd Cow. Through their company, we have the buying power to purchase quality beef and know exactly where it was raised and who raised it. It all started when Heitzeberg and Lowry discovered that many of their friends had purchased beef directly from local farms, and had bragged about how great the meat was. But the trouble of finding a good ranch, coordinating payment and pickup, and the idea of having to store up to a year’s worth of beef at once was just too much. They wanted to allow people to buy a manageable amount of meat—say, 10 pounds—and maintain fresh, ranch-sourced quality. So, they “crowdfund a cow,” enabling 50 people to each buy a tiny amount of beef directly from a local farm. After a couple of weekends visiting ranches and building a website, crowdcow.com was launched and the first cow was sold within 24 hours. Crowd Cow allows everyone to discover and enjoy the very best beef from local ranches and to make the experience convenient and fun, while celebrating the very best local farms who have dedicated their lives to producing healthy, high-quality, sustainable meat. And no matter how much (or how little) you purchase, once the entire cow has been sold, you become a proud “steak-holder.” Clever, right? Congratulations, you’ve officially “tipped the cow.”
It all started when a generation of Vietnamese immigrants settled on the Gulf Coast after the Vietnam War and a community of ex-pats found something familiar between the Cajun crawfish boil and their own seafood feasts back home. Born was the Asian Cajun phenomenon, a loose interpretation of Louisiana cuisine that has popped up around town with the newest one being Rockin’ Crawfish (4031 S. Maryland Pkwy., therockincrawfish.com). The key here is to leave formality at the door and, once seated, use bibs to catch the splatter, paper towels to wipe and wipe some more while you eat with your hands. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Rockin’ Crawfish offers main attractions such as crawfish, Dungeness crab, king crab legs, clams, mussels and oysters available at market prices in flavors that include lemon pepper, garlic butter and Rockin’ Combo. Spice levels can be selected from original and mild up to volcano. Other items on the menu include Cajun fries, deep-fried oysters, shrimp baskets, seafood gumbo and a chicken sandwich, and don’t forget the fried Oreo cookies for dessert. For the uninitiated, crawfish can be frustrating; there’s a lot of work for something so small, but the payoff is delicious. The most efficient way, according to general manager Mike Jones, is to hold the body while pulling the tail upwards, suck the body and eat the tail. Done. Next!
Gone are the days of prepared healthful meals consisting of the boring grilled chicken, brown rice and salad. We’re looking for something delicious, healthy and convenient and now Health Binge (6040 Badura Ave., tryhealthbinge.com) offers that. Former NFL captain Gerome Sapp teamed up with personal chef Jackie McMahan to create meals for health-conscious individuals who value nutritional convenience. Here, you’ll discover 60 gluten-free prepackaged menu options that are fresh and nutrient-rich ranging from breakfast, lunch and dinner to snacks and juices, which are made fresh daily. Try the dilled salmon with tomato cucumber relish, ancho chili bison enchiladas or one of my favorites, Sin City Eggs, which are deviled eggs with the yolk replaced by house-made jalapeño hummus. All the dishes have a least one G-BOMB element (that being greens, beans, onions, mushroom, berries and seeds), known to be the healthiest, anti-cancer foods on the planet. For breakfast, just grab-and-go with the Florentine breakfast muffins, made with eggs, roasted sweet potatoes, mushroom, cream cheese, spinach, red bell peppers and a side of house-made pumpkin seed salsa. This meal also happens to be one of the dishes that Chef Jackie has packed with those G-BOMBS. What a way to start the day!