Jordan Luff plays in the Asheville, NC band Old Flings.
What was the food highlight of your year?
Every summer, my fiancée and I take a week-long trip somewhere fun and full of delicious food. This year, we spent a week in New York City with our dear friend Meghan, and we ate our way through countless restaurants between Brooklyn and Manhattan. We ate at a pizza place in Greenpoint called Paulie Gee's that not only had a solid vegan selection, but the very best vegan pizza I've ever had in my life: the In Ricotta Da Vegan (I'm assuming/hoping that's an Iron Butterfly reference). The pie is topped with tomato sauce, house-made vegan sausage, and post-oven topped with house-made cashew ricotta dollops, baby arugula, and extra virgin olive oil. Sweet Jesus. Just typing that out makes my mouth water. Meeting the amiable and gracious Paulie Gee later really sealed the deal on how much I love that restaurant.
Additionally, if you're ever in Brooklyn, go to Champ's Diner for breakfast/lunch and Dun-Well Donuts for tasty confections, both located in Williamsburg. At Champ's, I had a vegan Eggs Benedict that ruined vegan breakfast for me--and by ruined, I mean that I can't eat vegan breakfast anywhere else because nowhere else I've been stands up to the greatness that is Champ's breakfast food. And Dun-Well Donuts basically did the same thing for me but with donuts. Going home to North Carolina where our options are Krispy Kreme and Dunkin Donuts (neither of which offer vegan donuts) was a sad, sad donut day for me.
What was the music highlight of your year?
I'll have to point to NYC, again. While we were there, we got to see one of favorite current hardcore bands, Incendiary. I've been wanting to see them since I bought their split with Suburban Scum a couple years ago, and lucky for me, they played my favorite song, "God's Country" from that split. Their full-length, "The Cost of Living", is a perfect record full of poignant New York hardcore and relevant political/social commentary. That set made me feel the same energy and excitement that I used to experience on the regular back in 2003-2008, when I used to go to hardcore shows pretty regularly. Also, I got to see Brand New perform in my own city last month, and they were absolutely incredible. "The Devil & God Are Raging Inside Me" has got to be one of the best post-hardcore/rock albums of the last decade. So much power and energy in that band, who continually evolve from record to record in ways that surprise and excite me.
Was there a moment when food and music came together in a memorable way?
Old Flings got to travel to Montréal on our last tour this summer, and let me tell you, I can't wait to go back. Of course, every tour we do, experiencing the food of the city we're in is a top priority. Getting to eat poutine for the first time was a major success for me, although vegan poutine is arguably not considered real poutine, but whatever. 10/10, would eat poutine and tour through Canada again.