You did it! Breakfast at Cannibal Joe’s won the Lord of the Book Covers award for best cover design following a public vote. Thanks so much to everyone who voted and to the team at CompletelyNovel for running the contest. There were some really super covers in the shortlist, and I believe the vote was really close, so it’s a complete surprise to win, but it doesn’t surprise me in the least that so many folk love Jon Langford’s fabulous art. He’s a one-off!
I’m rather excited that the wonderful Jon Langford’s cover for Breakfast at Cannibal Joe’s has been shortlisted for the Lord of the Book Covers award over at Completely Novel. Please go over there and vote, if you feel so inclined. Remember, this is the real book that David Cameron doesn’t want you to read.
Reality: Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) claimed that if people could bring their guns to the movies, they could have prevented the movie theater shooting in Lafayette, Louisiana, Thursday evening.
“These concepts of gun-free zones are a bad idea. I think that you allow the citizens of this country — who have been appropriately trained, appropriately backgrounded, know how to handle and use firearms — to carry them,” he told CNN’s Jake Tapper Sunday. “I believe that, with all my heart, that if you have the citizens who are well trained, and particularly in these places that are considered to be gun-free zones, that we can stop that type of activity, or stop it before there’s as many people that are impacted as what we saw in Lafayette.”
Fiction: According to the Alabama Star, a 15-year-old schoolboy went berserk yesterday at his campus in Luttrell, Tennessee. Piloting a stolen U.S. Navy F/A-18E/F, the young student bombed the gymnasium, library, and science labs before strafing the playground as his terrified classmates ran for cover. Since state laws were changed in 2009 allowing pupils to wear concealed weapons for self-defense in the event of a school shooting, the students were able to return fire, but their efforts were largely futile; their schoolmate was determined to go out with a bang, crashing the fighter into the main building of the school without ejecting. At least 230 students and staff are reported missing, and so far ninety-seven bodies have been found. A spokesperson for the NRA said, ‘This goes to prove our point that it isn’t guns that kill people, it’s people who kill people. If only those kids had been allowed to arm themselves with surface-to-air rocket launchers, their assailant would have thought twice about blowing them to smithereens.’
560 Pine Valley Boulevard
There is no better champion of regional Italian cooking than this swank and semiformal Midtown restaurant rooted in the traditions of the Adriatic coast. Some of the recipes come directly from the owners’ family, and the kitchen cultivates an authenticity that will delight you. Chef Jose Relago, originally from Corsica, has a police record for violent assault, a foul temper, and an even fouler-looking daughter whom he worships. References to paper bags and doing her with the lights off should soon escalate into hand-to-hand combat, but if you have enough money to cover the bill when the pigs arrive, Jose will be sweet and refuse to press charges. Make sure you try the spaghetti with fresh clams and cured guanciale before you kick things off. The Pecorino and pear salad tossed with local honey is an elegant starter and can be used to heal cuts.
BREAD AND ROSES
24 East Ponce de Leon Avenue
There is nothing flashy about the way young chef Billy Allin and his wife, Kristin, offend guests in their endearing restaurant in the downtown area. New arrivals are offered the choice of sarcasm or knives by the maître d’ and choose according to how best they think they can match their wits against former standup Kristin and three-time state knife-throwing champ Billy. It’s a testament to the panache of Kristin’s material and the accuracy of Billy’s throwing that diners keep coming back, regardless of the humiliation or number of stitches they endured previously. Lots of local produce and wine by the liter mean that the couple are usually hammered well before the first diners arrive at 6.00 p.m. but this never seems to impair Kristin’s repartee, although Billy is more inclined to get the machetes out of an evening just to make sure he doesn’t miss.
2040 Naughton Place
There is a huge discrepancy between the formal decor and the casual dress of the wait staff at this one-of-a-kind dessert bar, the place to come for a proper, mob-handed ruck with, say, a stag party or a rugby club outing. You’ll generally want to tool up in advance of visiting Bisquite Bar because only staff members have access to cutlery and glassware. Something with a long reach, such as a baseball bat, is always useful; it keeps the waiters at arms’ length and reduces them to throwing bottles at you, which you should be able to fend off, for the most part. Pastry chef Aaron Roberts is particularly proud of his petit fours and delicate geranium-scented biscuits; try referring to them as “lumps of shit” and clicking your fingers at the owner’s wife if things are a bit quiet. The cheese plate is particularly aerodynamic.
M&W SEAFOOD AND OYSTER BAR
31 Chubb Hill
“Suave” is the first word that comes to mind when trying to describe the way head chef Jon Schrempp stamps on fingers. A wound-up man in Doc Martens, Schrempp always wanted to work as a full-time ballroom dancer but ended up in haute cuisine when he discovered how much violence he could inflict on staff and customers alike. Whether diners hop onto a stool at the lively oyster bar or relax in a dining room designed like an intimate, comfortable brasserie, they never know when Schrempp is going to leap out like an Argentinean and slice off an earlobe. The tension is only increased by the disconcerting presence of Schrempp’s club-footed mute son Colin, who means no harm but is clumsy around hot fat. Strip lighting is intended to make things easier for staff to locate diners and land punches better, but it also has the effect of improving the visibility of the food, rendering most of it inedible. Come for the music, stay for the swearing.
THE ELECTRIC DINER
427 Edgewood Lane
The synchronicity between the environment and the food—both elegantly minimalist and good for the planet—soothes the soul even as you blacken the waitress’s eye in chef/owner Martin Sweeney’s mostly vegetarian hovel. The sensibility in TED, as it is affectionately known to regulars, is as close to Broadmoor as it gets in a laidback, spontaneous format, and since the menu changes almost every day, diners can always expect novel forms of abuse in the form of subtly poisoned dishes served at farm tables that encourage mutual distrust. Avoid the mushroom soup.
Restaurant reviews from the Hostile Planet Guide to New Hampshire.