Royal Bavarian Schnitzel Haus on the Kennedy Causeway (1085 NE 79th St., Miami) serves a tangy yet light German potato salad that makes a great dish to complement your Fourth of July barbecue.
I’ve included the recipe here, so you can try it at home if you can’t make it over to Schnitzel Haus’ tree-covered beer garden.
Start with the boiled-potato base, then add in optional ingredients like salty, savory bacon, tangy pickles, or refreshing cucumber slices.
“I Brake for Pie” should be my bumper sticker. One of my pastimes is to search out fabulous pies at roadside stands and diners and standalone bakeries. My favorite pie sign said “Ho’ made Pie” just outside Zion National Park in Utah, and my favorite bite was a warm peach pie with a cobbler-type top with fresh peach ice cream from an orchard off Interstate 81 in Georgia.
I’d rather eat pie than cake, and so my birthday wish is always for a peach pie. Or a blueberry pie. Or a chocolate pie. So I always approach pie cookbooks with enthusiasm. Two new ones stand out:
• The Nutella Pie recipe here is from “First Prize Pies” by Allison Kave ( $29.95, Stewart, Taboori & Chang). The author entered a pie contest in Brooklyn on a whim, stole the show, then founded a successful bakeshop. These pies are approachable, inventive and enticing — 85 recipes in all — and the photos alone will make you want pie.
• “Ms. American Pie” by Beth Howard ( $28, Race Point) is a little more kitschy with its subtitle: “Buttery Good Pie Recipes and Bold Tales from the American Gothic House,” referring to the iconic Grant Wood painting. Howard once baked pies for celebrities in Beverly Hills (Steven Spielberg liked coconut cream), but went back home to Iowa, where she runs the Pitchfork Pie Stand in the house that’s in the background of the painting. Her recipes are a fun mix of standbys like apple and Shaker lemon, but there’s also pie in a jar and slab pie plus intriguing anecdotes and name dropping.
Q: My brother remembers a roasted chicken from George Diamond’s that was so juicy. Is there any way to find this recipe? It would have been in the late 1950s or before 1964. We lived in Villa Park, Ill., and maybe once a year, as a special occasion, we would be able to join the adults at George Diamond’s, usually in Antioch. My cousin and I always ordered the Mister-size steak, and everyone couldn’t believe two little girls could eat it. But my brother loved the chicken and talks about it to this day. He turns 60 in September and I’d love to surprise him.
A: We can certainly hope someone out there can help, but it seems the George Diamond’s steakhouses — once scattered about the Midwest and in Las Vegas and California — have all closed. The founder died in 1982. The most famous George Diamond’s was the original on Wabash Avenue in Chicago, which burned down in 2006. It was known, according to a story I found in the Chicago Tribune’s archives, for its humongous salads as well as its steaks — and in your brother’s case, its chicken.
I found another online musing by a 1950s-era busboy who worked at the Antioch location. He recalled that George’s signature meal was a full charbroiled steak dinner with baked potato and salad for $1.95. The recipe here for the “French” dressing is from a December 2011 Tribune column by Bill Daley; he in turn credits the Chicago Sun-Times archives. It’s actually a lot better than the lurid orange stuff known as French dressing that was pooled over iceberg lettuce and lingers in nightmares from my college waitressing days.
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