Today is 4/20, the international day of celebrating pot and all its glory. Although there are a ton of myths about how April 20 became the day to embrace pot, the real answer is quite simple.
In the early 1970s, a group of friends in San Rafael, California, heard about an abandoned field where cannabis freely grew. The group, who called themselves the Waldos, went out in search of this field of dreams, meeting in front of a Louis Pasteur statue at the local high school at 4:20 p.m. Each day, they would search for this meadow of plenty, getting high along the way. The friends never found this mythical crop, but they did found their way into the history of pot culture.
Today, chef Giorgio Rapicavoli, a champion of stoner culture in Miami, will host his annual 4/20 dinner at his Coral Gables restaurant, Eating House, with the usual offerings replaced by food that you'd crave if you were stoned. Yes, that includes riffs on comfort food and college dorm staples like chicken wings, leftover pizza, and PB&J sandwiches — all made with the deft hand of a skilled toque.
The dinner, which costs $42.0 (excluding tax and gratuity), consists of seven courses of debauchery: cold pizza with local stracciatella, burnt tomato, and basil; quesadillas with short rib, corn truffle,and taquiza tortillas; PB&J poutine with sweet potato, pork belly, peanut butter, and jelly; a "foie-t dog," a proper sausage with mostarda and pear relish; take-out-style pork wings with cauliflower fried rice, red sauce, and sesame; Cap'n Crunch funnel cakes; and special brownies.
In addition to the meal, select drinks cost $4.20, and Eating House will play stoner movies and music. Expect a lot of Bob Marley and Jerry Garcia. Of course, you'll be wearing your best red, gold, and green or tie dye T-shirt, as will the staff.
The restaurant has sold out its evening seating, but because this is a celebration of stoner counterculture, we're thinking some people might be enjoying the afternoon so much, they never make it to dinner. With that said, a waiting list has been created. To get on the list, email email@example.com.
Eating House will be closed for lunch today to prepare for the festivities and will host a special 4:20 pop-up at (you, guessed it) 4:20 p.m.
Our advice, however, is don't just show up for dinner hoping for a seat. I tried that with a friend at the inaugural Eating House 4/20 dinner in 2012. Lines were out the door, and we waited patiently for 20 minutes, then not patiently for about another hour before our case of the munchies turned terminal. With still not an empty table in sight, we gave up and headed to the nearest diner for a limp pizzaburger. Let my experience be your 4:20 cautionary tale!
Of course, if you're starting early today, why not whip up a batch of Rapicavoli's famed Cap'n Crunch pancakes with the following recipe? It's the perfect breakfast. Even if breakfast is at 6 p.m.!
Mini Cap'n Crunch Pancakes by Giorgio Rapicavoli
For the Condensed Milk "Syrup"
1 cup condensed milk
¼ cup heavy cream
1 pinch salt
Combine ingredients and mix well. Shake or mix right before serving.
For the Vanilla Butter
1 stick butter
½ tsp vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla extract
Whip the vanilla and butter together until well mixed.
For the Pancakes
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1 cup flour
½ cup Cap'n Crunch cereal
1½ tbsp sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1½ eggs, lightly whisked
1¼ cups milk
6 tbsp Butter, melted
2 tbsp powdered sugar
Place cereal in a food processor and pulse until it's ground to a fine meal. In a medium bowl, mix flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. In a separate container, stir the milk, eggs, and melted butter. Mix the wet into the dry until just combined.
Pour one tablespoon of batter onto a griddle over medium-high heat. Repeat with remaining batter. Once bubbles form, flip pancake and cook on the second side until golden brown. Top with the vanilla butter and condensed milk syrup before sprinkling with extra Cap'n crunch pieces and powdered sugar.