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Special Sauce with Ed Levine

Serious Eats' podcast Special Sauce enables food lovers everywhere to eavesdrop on an intimate conversation about food and life between host and Serious Eats founder Ed Levine and his well-known/famous friends and acquaintances both in and out of the food culture.
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Now displaying: Page 1
Feb 7, 2019
I am constantly on the lookout for good neighborhood restaurants. The kind of restaurants that treat me like a regular even if I'm not; where the host greets me warmly even when it's really crowded; where the food is consistently serious and reasonably priced; and, most of all, where I feel well taken care of at all times.
 
So when I read <em>Kindness & Salt: Recipes for the Care and Feeding of Your Friends and Neighbors</a></em> by Doug Crowell and Ryan Angulo, who own Buttermilk Channel and French Louie, two terrific neighborhood restaurants in Brooklyn, I knew they'd be great guests to have on Special Sauce. And I wasn't disappointed. 
 
Both Doug and Ryan fell in love with restaurant work right away. For Ryan it was antidote to high school; he started washing dishes at a country club when he was sixteen. "I hated high school," Ryan says, "I wasn't into sports. I got into the kitchen, and I felt right at home."
 
On Doug's first day in a kitchen, he was asked to go through a crate of live lobsters and separate the bodies from the claws. "So I never had seen that done anywhere else before, but it's not easy to take a lobster's claws off while they're still alive and it's a pretty messed up thing to do," Doug recalls. "And they were flopping all over the place and snapping at me. That was a trial by fire...But I loved it."
 
When they decided to open a restaurant in the Carroll Gardens neighborhood of Brooklyn together, they had a specific kind of restaurant in mind. As Doug says, they wanted it to be "sort of a hub of the community as well as being one restaurant for all occasions. So a place where you can go with your kids and also come back for a fancy dinner. That's when I know we've really succeeded, is when see those same parents who came in with a high chair and they're back for their anniversary."
 
And while that may seem like the perfect definition of a neighborhood restaurant, I asked Doug to expand on the idea, and he said, "I think it's a place that if you live near the restaurant, that you can come back to multiple times in a week and have different experiences from the menu and from the service, and from the drinks and everything. You can come in and have dinner by yourself; you can come with your family, you can come with your kids. Because a neighborhood restaurants means that you get a lot of people from the neighborhood regularly, and they can't really do that if it's just a tasting menu restaurant or it's a steakhouse."
 
There's lots more to dive into in this week's episode of Special Sauce, like the secret (or non-secret) of Ryan and Doug's superb fried chicken, so I hope you tune in. 
 
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The full transcript for this episode can be found over here at Serious Eats: https://www.seriouseats.com/2019/02/special-sauce-doug-crowell-ryan-angulo-1-1.html
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