Archive for February, 2009

Wiki the Mighty One

February 2009

Even my jaded self was pretty gobsmacked to click on a link to an actual food writer’s post on whether “frizzled” is actually a word. I know the internets bring out the narcissistic id in everyone, but why would anyone natter on like that for all the world to marvel without dragging out a dictionary? As Yogi Berra said, you could look it up. And not with mouse in hand. The only thing dumber, besides the dis of a hostess’s pie crust as “heartbreaking” (see above), was the straining at metaphorical stool for homeland prosciutto. Wouldn’t the blog be pork tartare? 

Barely. Legal.

February 2009

Count me among the many who question Andrew Cuomo’s judgment given his choice in food people. Consider her $55 budget pantry, as dictated to the Daily News on the occasion of the launch of “her” very own magazine (I guess if Rick Warren can get a publication, so can any faith-based fraud): Five pounds of sugar is No. 1; dried parsley is No. 10. In between are four sweet things, three potentially savory and one honking bottle of margarita mix (accounting for nearly half the budget). I assume you mix the soup with the ranch dressing and follow up with cookie dough and cocktail. Not to put too crude a point on it, but that sounds like a recipe for bulimia. What’s that old saying? Lie down with processed crap and wake up with Technicolor yawn? 

Sayonara, Domino

February 2009

By contrast, I kinda like the ads now running on the delivery boxes at Freddy & Pepper’s, home of the 5,000-calorie-a-slice spinach-tomato-bacon pizza. As you chew, you can consider some silly abs program. I suspect it works on two levels: No one is ever motivated mid-bite to lose weight. And despair might be one of the most compelling emotions ever. No pie goes unfinished; you just eat, dial and repeat. 

When the peanut butter goes really bad

February 2009

My truly cynical side constantly wonders if all the layoffs everywhere are really attributable to tough times rather than craven acts undertaken under cover of “everybody’s doing it.” Certainly the news is mixed on the food front, where restaurants should be folding like towels rather than warding off hordes of patrons (tried to get into the West Branch recently?) The other day two encounters reinforced both suspicions. The first was in a busy overpriced food market where the manager of a restaurant-related shop that would seem to be one of the first to bend over and grab its ankles in this economy is actually doing quite well (I’d name it, but even he said he was afraid he was jinxing a good run). Then I moved on to my lunch in a cozy little place that was packed just after 2. At the next table a 40-something guy was talk-talk-talking at a woman whom I presumed to be his mother; I tried to tune them out but could not overhearing: Tuition issues, teenagers’ weight issues, “I haven’t calculated how much the Cobra is going to cost but think have enough to get by for a year,” while older woman interrupts her silence only to complain that the filling in her taco is more fat than meat “and it’s never been like that before” and then to ask TTTer: “What about that story in the paper today, about people suing over being laid-off?” Yikes. They departed with him saying he was going home to curl up in a ball, her complaining that her soup was on the check as “special appetizer” and was “the most expensive thing on the bill.” Times are tough, but at least people can go out to eat rather than slurp soup in silence  at home. Special of the day? TMI. 

Tacos, Mr. Slim style

February 2009

For all the time I spend online, and for all the magazines and other newspapers we get, why is it that the one publication fading fastest is most compelling? Could it be for the chance to wonder why an item on a new restaurant did not have to mention it is opening in the tax-dodge Taj Mahal off Times Square? Or the laugh I got on realizing the latest food editor had erred just like his predecessors in dissing the Cafe Regret? (Wonder if he’s been backtracking because the prince in stocking feet dropped a sandwich on his desk to make clear just how far he had overstepped his bounds.) Oh, why am I even dithering? It has to be for the new painful treat I have just discovered: reading and pondering the index every Wednesday. In an A section designed to drive the reader batshit insane with international/national/metro stories jumping to hell and back, why do they waste space trying to lure readers to other sections with verbiage that a robot with dying batteries could have generated? As dull to annoying as the actual section is, the come-ons are like the 40-year-old virgin attempting foreplay. Salt: Like breasts of sand. Slog to D1.