Apr 12, 2010

Soule Restaurant: It is Easy Being Green

Being environmentally conscious is a multifaceted goal, especially with The United States’ consumption of 25% of the world’s natural resources and holds only 5% of the population; but being green doesn’t have to be difficult. The key is to incorporate an environmental awareness into your everyday lifestyle. Small modifications can have a tremendous impact.

WATER: The U.S. has one of the cleanest drinking water supplies in the world; however, it is vital that we preserve our lakes, rivers and streams so their natural ecosystems remain undisturbed.

CLIMATE: The Earth’s climate changes naturally, from ice ages to periods of warmth. We are currently experiencing a warming trend; however, this cycle is being exacerbated by the actions of man. The burning of fossil fuels and deforestation has caused a concentration of greenhouse gases to increase in our atmosphere, preventing heat from escaping into space. As a result, the polar caps are melting, causing rising sea levels and unusual rainfall patterns.

Alternative sources of energy, including solar, wind, and hydro energy can be found on www.epa.gov.

WASTE: Although it is important to dispose of waste currently polluting the environment, prevention is key. Recycling and using products with biodegradable containers helps reduce waste.

AIR: Our air quality has improved in the past 20 years largely due to government intervention. We can continue this trend by ensuring that our vehicle emissions are within an acceptable range, keeping tires inflated to maximize fuel efficiency, and planting trees.

Trees help to reduce air pollution by absorbing gaseous pollutants.

The Fulton Area Business Alliance (FAB Alliance) is doing their part to help New Yorkers go Green!

Come to the Putnam Triangle in Clinton Hill (at Grand) on Saturday and Sunday, April 17-18th from 10am-3pm and leave with a FREE TREE to plant! Local businesses will also offer coupons and discounts for those who join us in making our planet healthier.

Soule Restaurant: April's Highlights

* Ask about Soulé’s catering specials for graduates! Planning your graduation party doesn’t have to be an ordeal.

* Victor Torres is hosting his new monthly From the Mind of ILL at Soule, Monday, April 26th from 8pm!

Apr 11, 2010

Soule Restaurant's Spotlight on Tortola

Tortola is the largest and most populated island amongst the British Virgin Isles.

The people are of African, Caribbean and British influence, reflected in the island’s cuisine; from curry chicken roti to Johnny cakes.

Tortola natives are known to be very warm and friendly, and the relaxed atmosphere serves to provide a paradisiacal feel that is missing on some islands due to urbanization.

Mountains fraught with frangipani and ginger line Tortola’s southern coast, while the northern coast boasts beautiful white sand beaches with mango and banana groves amidst palm trees.

Sailing is a very popular pastime in Tortola, and Sage Mountain National Park is a must-see while visiting.

Picnic while overlooking its neighboring cays; explore traces of its primeval rainforest.

The classic Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson is said to have been set in Norman Isle, which lies directly across from Tortola. Once a haven for pirates, the island is now deserted, but you can row to the southernmost cave of the island where Stevenson’s Mr. Fleming stowed his precious treasure and explore.

Tortola is also home to beautiful coral reefs with spectacular tropical fish and other creatures.

Soule Restaurant: Earth Day!

Come to the Putnam Triangle in Clinton Hill (at Grand) on

Saturday and Sunday, April 17-18th from 10am-3pm

and leave with a FREE TREE to plant!

Courtesy of the FAB Alliance!

Soule Restaurant's Latest Menu Offering

Stewed Oxtail

This dish is a favorite throughout the Caribbean!!

Try with a side of peas and rice and fried plantain or mashed potatoes and broccoli for a lil’ bit of Soulé’s Caribbean- fusion!

Soule Restaurant: Bees... They're Our Friends

Early last month, New York City lifted its ban on urban beekeeping.


Well… the city’s health code had previously placed bees in the same category as about 100 other creatures found to be too dangerous to be kept in the city.

The honeybee cause has been on the forefront lately, with the decimation of much of their numbers in recent years endangering agriculture in the United States.

In order to grow fruits, vegetables or nuts, you need soil, sun, seeds, water, and honeybees. Honeybees are vital for our agricultural well-being; one out of every three bites of food we eat depend on bees.

Beekeepers throughout the United States routinely load their beehives onto flatbed trucks and travel all over the country, renting their bees to farmers who require the pollination of their crops.

In November 2006, David Hackenberg, who has been in the beekeeping business for over 50 years, went to a bee yard in Florida where he had left 400 hives, and all 400 hives, usually containing roughly 35-40,000 bees each, stood empty. He searched the fields, getting down on his hands and knees to find the deceased bees to no avail.

It has since been found that a particularly large portion of honeybees have been losing their sense of navigation and not returning home to their colonies. Three months after Hackenberg’s discovery, a third of the bees in the country were reported to have mysteriously disappeared as well.

The peculiar thing is, bees have an inherent navigation system that guides them home, even after flying up to two miles in search of food. Upon their return to the hive, they instinctively safeguard the well-being of their colony; performing an intricate dance that informs the others of the location of the food source, and they never abandon their young. Yet, when they disappear, they routinely leave behind a hive filled with larvae and eggs, as well as their queen. Also peculiar is the fact that no other bees will invade the abandoned hives to forage for the honey; it is as if they realize that the hives are somehow contaminated and its honey unsuitable for consumption.

Bee losses are estimated at 60 percent on the west coast and Texas, and 70 percent on the east coast, when the normal winter reduction averages at 20 percent.

“If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.”

…Albert Einstein

This revelation is alarming; especially in light of the fact that this is quickly becoming a world-wide pandemic, currently affecting 24 states within the United States, as well as areas in Germany, Poland, Switzerland, and Spain.

Autopsies of bees that remain in the abandoned hives show that these bees are typically afflicted with several viruses and ailments.

It appears that something is weakening the immune systems of honeybees, making them more susceptible to parasites, fungi, and viruses, while simultaneously causing memory loss and nervous system disorders. Scientists are referring to this phenomenon as Colony Collapse Disorder (CDD), the cause of which is still undetermined.

The importance of bees to our very existence is not universally recognized. Many have accepted their disappearance as positive.

It’s not.

Our first lady recently had a beehive installed on the south lawn of the White House.

Now that the beekeeping ban has been lifted in New York City, maybe some of our bravest residents will follow in her footsteps and assume a new hobby.

Soule Restaurant's Food Facts: Honey

Bacteria doesn’t survive in honey, so it never spoils. In fact, honey was found in ancient Egyptian tombs, approximately 2000 years old, and still edible!

As it ages, the crystallization process of honey puts it in a solid form that can be warmed and liquefied, retaining all of its properties.

Ancient Egyptian doctors used honey to treat open wounds, speeding up the healing process and saving countless lives that might have been lost due to infections from injuries during the construction of the pyramids.

Scientists today have found that honey contains hydrogen peroxide which

kills germs, but also has the remarkable ability to kill the most resilient bacterium such as Staphylococcus Aureus.

Another interesting property is that when honey is applied to burns or wounds, they often heal without leaving scars. Scientists are unsure why, but they suspect that the glucose in the honey combines chemically with collagen that makes up scar tissue in a way that prevents it from forming.

Honey is a natural sugar that is sweeter than granulated sugar. Both contain glucose and fructose; however, in sugar, the fructose and glucose bind together while in honey, they remain separate. Fructose does not convert to energy as efficiently as glucose and is often converted to fat stores. It’s bound to glucose in sugar, which inhibits absorption, making honey a better nutritional option. Honey also contains antioxidants that must be obtained through diet, as well as vitamins and minerals, although the type and amount varies based on the pollen collected.

Because of its pollen base, a tablespoon of honey a day is purported to build antibodies to allergens naturally.

Any reason to doubt why it was considered the Nectar of the Gods?

Soule Restaurant: April's Fools

This month, Google announced that they were changing their name to Topeka in response to Topeka’s Mayor Bill Bunten’s announcement that he was informally changing the name of his town to “Google” for one month. I don’t know… I wasn’t fooled. I’ll give Google a 4 on a scale of 1 to 10.

Meanwhile, YouTube announced that, in an effort to cut costs, they were converting videos to text-only mode. Okay… that one was pretty funny…

On the gourmet coffee front, Starbucks offered giant (128 fl oz) and micro (2 fl oz) sized coffee cups, aptly named Plenta™ and Micra™.

I’m going to need a Plenta Café Mocha, please. And new running shoes to run off that caffeine…

Soule Restaurant: From the Mind of ILL

You can love me or hate me, but the feeling is mutual.

How's everyone doin' this go 'round?


The month where Klowns such as myself have an entire 24-hour period dedicated to our insane ways.

Y'know... April 1st? April Fool's Day?

And what fool is better than the fool that is I?

No one! That is who! For example: The song Papa Was A Rolling Stone. At the end of the chorus, the phrase "When he died all he left us was alone" is sung... Sang... Songded...

Well, ask someone if the song means all he left us was "alone" or "a loan" as in "an unpaid debt." Either way, that's messed up! Damn you, Pops!

I wanna talk about Twitter. Why? Because I can. It’s my article...

I will admit, I follow a motley crew of characters.

From some rappers who are intelligent and sarcastic (@Jeangreasy, a great emcee by any standards) to um... adult entertainers... to comics I truly admire (@affioncrockett, @kevinhart4real, the Wayans family [waaaay too many to list] to some of my musical idols --@djscratch, who I had the privilege of meeting @ SOB's and laughing about Roscoe P. Coltrane from The Dukes Of Hazzard, @GeneralSteele 1/2 of the legendary duo Smif-Wessun—the other half? @teksmokeelah, to Brand Nubian's finest @Lordjamar and @Sadat X.).

Twitter has been a fun way to talk to people and keep in contact with some people you admire, and just so you know ahead of time, people with 2 million followers …ain't gonna answer you back.

No Diddy Tweets... No Ashton replies.


And if you follow people you actually know? It’s actually easier to pick up the phone and call. And text. Oh—follow @soulerestaurant (thanks for allowing me to spew my unorthodox opinions) and follow @ILLWayneGacey.

That's me.

But beware. You get a much tamer version of me in this newsletter. On Twitter, there are NO HOLDS BARRED! I even have my own trending topic: #DaKlownIsAJerk. Put THAT in your pipe and smoke it!

On Tuesday, March 30, Soule Restaurant had its inaugural "From The Mind Of ILL" Open Mic. Comics such as Pedro Lee, Luke Thayer and Talia performed and it was a variety of comic styles but nonetheless, a success.

Hosted by Yours Truly (bows, curtsey and two steps) for a first time, it was a success.

So thankfully (or regretfully depending on how you felt about the comedy) there will be another From The Mind Of ILL Open Mic Comedy Night on Monday, April 26th!

Well, I guess I should say Happy Easter, but I will leave you with this thought: Rabbits don't lay eggs.

They give birth like all other mammals. If a bunny walks up to you offering a chocolate egg, that ain't chocolate. And if you eat it? You nasty!

Till next time.

…Victor Torres

Soule Restaurant: The Buzz...

Zombies! Author Roger Ma and graphic artist Y.N. Heller (The Zombie Combat Manual: A Guide to Fighting the Living Dead) give a lecture on how to kick zombie ass, complete with a zombie dummy beat-down demonstration and zombie make up for those who want to join the undead, Friday, April 9th at 7:30pm at the Barnes and Noble in Park Slope… Cool… After a long winter, the Brooklyn Flea returns to Fort Greene’s Bishop Loughlin High School yard on Saturdays, remains at One Hanson Sundays for the remainder of the year… Brooklyn crime’s spiked this year, and Bloomberg blames the cuts to the police force. Only thing is, there is no clear correlation when other cities and number of law enforcement officials are studied. Could it be the economy pushing people to unscrupulous (and criminal) acts? Who knows...