You will love the roasted mussels, the stuffed Georgia hushpuppies, and the crispy BLT sliders at Mimosa Grill in Charlotte. North Carolina. (I know. But it’s not inconceivable you will find yourself there one day.) They have entrees, too – here’s the full menu – but why would you bother? As at almost any restaurant, it’s better to have a second appetizer instead.

FOOD TIP: PINEAPPLE “Once the fresh pineapple is cut from the plant, it will not ripen any further, so forget about letting it ripen on the counter. Without any starch reserves to convert to sugar, it will simply begin to rot and ferment.” I did not know that.


Have you ever tried Walden Farms “zero calorie” salad dressing? Or mayonnaise? Or ketchup? (“Honey,” Charles moans affectionately from a better place, appalled as ever by my culinary direction.) Only a few of their products are available in most stores, and ordering on-line is anything but cheap (this source claims to be 30% cheaper). And there are other caveats, like . . . zero-calorie, no-fat, no-carbs peanut butter? Are serious? (“Honey!”)

I haven’t tried that one, but I have a few things to say about it anyway:

The first law of Newtonian physics is that nothing edible can have zero calories. (Fig-Newtonian physics, anyway.) Yes, celery may take more energy to chew than it provides – roughly the same problem as with today’s nuclear fusion reactors – but that doesn’t mean it has zero calories.

“Can you connect me with someone who handles consumer questions,” I asked the operator at Walden Farms, expecting to be passed on to public relations.

“Anything under 5 calories per serving is zero,” she shot back. With Finality.

And where someone else might have challenged her, or been confused by her math, I was satisfied. From some prior related experience I knew the FDA allows companies to round down, per serving, in various ways. My 12-ounce jar of chipotle mayonnaise (and my like-sized bottle of ketchup) contains 24 servings, so we may safely assume that’s just under 5 calories per half ounce – “zero,” as the operator explained – or 120 calories for the full jar. Yet it still compares favorably with the 300 calories in 12 ounces of my beloved Heinz ketchup – I put ketchup on everything (“Honey!!!”) – or 2,160 in 12 ounces of Hellman’s real mayonnaise (which, being more vain than suicidal, I have not eaten in 30 years).

To my tongue, the ketchup actually tastes good. The mayonnaise . . . well, it’s probably better than a heart attack. Dipping carrots into the chipotle-flavored variety has actually grown on me. The balsamic salad dressing is pretty good, too.

“He’ll eat anything,” Charles used to explain, apologetically, to guests.


Guru: “If you’re still holding, you should sell today or put a stop at 4 to make sure to sell if it goes below 4. The last event in their Phase III trial in colorectal cancer will occur in March and data will be out in March or April. I completed an analysis yesterday and finally saw why the Phase II data looked so good: they didn’t stratify for the status of metastases, number and location. Metastatic status is a major prognostic factor in CRC. Meanwhile, I also reaffirmed that Perifosine (their drug) and Capecitabine (the control drug, in both arms of the trial) are inactive in the kind of patients being recruited into this Phase III. In fact, nothing works for these patients – just that if you lined up all the things you think could work and ranked them, Perifosine and Capecitabine would be at the bottom based on published data. I have to admit I have not seen one quite like this, where there was an imbalance at baseline NOT reported in the published Phase II. I’ve seen quite a few cases where when you read the published paper you see immediately the imbalance that produced the result that favored the therapy. This one required a lot more investigation. The stock has been strong the last couple of days because of bullish articles in Seeking Alpha. If it is approved, the stock goes to 8 or 10. But I highly doubt it – in which case, it drops to under 1.”

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