Archive for September, 2011

Four out of nine are in possession of vaginas

September 2011

And now we come to the sorry end. Or, as I Tweeted it, the aspen falling in the dead-tree forest. I just wish Johnny Rotten were still in the baath and could weigh in on the lightweights taking the heavyweight jobs. My consort keeps saying stuff like “I don’t want to insult you, but food is just not serious news.” And he’s mostly right. JR was so wise in only dabbling in fud while swinging from the side of the heavyweights. Plus he was never empowered with opinions. Heading into a particularly contentious election, with the country on the skids, they picked a fine time to entrust a reviewer with oversight of unbiased news coverage. But if it gives the guy, and his readers, a break from a verbal form of what did in Elvis, I’m all for it.

No scanner surprise at DC Central Kitchen

September 2011

I tried to tune out all 9/11 necro-narcissism while hoping the 10th anniversary of the Iraq invasion inspires more, and real, introspection. But when I heard the Chimp showed up for the memorials I could only imagine what the reaction would have been if a notorious cook had turned up at her victims-of-negligence funerals. Typhoid Mary, though, probably had more shame.

Tried-but-true, too

September 2011

Speaking of infamous, I do not think that word is what was meant in the release for a new cookbook. Unless the author is a member of the Borgia “foodie family.”

No contagion cuisine?

September 2011

I’m pretty certain I will never write for one revamped food magazine, so I can laugh at the publisher for saying food 10 years ago was “stodgy, it was epicurean, it was about being a gourmet cook in your own home.” And today? Fashion designers are opening restaurants! Hate to break it to her, but I believe I saw Armani had restaurants in both Paris and Milan a decade ago. Plus how can stodgy and epicurean be either the same or disses? Someone please commission a poorly conceived and stupidly executed takedown of fresh peaches for not being uniform Fruit of the Loom.

Got cheap lobster?

September 2011

Speaking of processed crap, I get most of my serious food information from the coupons in the slingers in the weekend papers (and I’ll add that I will never get used to having them spill out of the Wall Street Journal — how bad is the economy if its readers need to save 30 cents on three cans of Goya?) So now I know that Minute Rice is just too fucking slow for fat Americans with teevee they need to be watching. The new and improved stuff comes “ready to serve.” Which is advertised, oddly enough, as helping to make “nutritious and delicious meals in minutes.” Do low-information consumers understand  that quantity of time is plural?

$695 Bordeaux chaser

September 2011

And speaking of WSJournal disconnects, WTF were the designers and editors thinking producing a full-page spread on pie with photos that looked as if a toddler had done the crusts with two left hands? If I were one of the top 400 who control most of the wealth in this country, I’d fire that pastry chef’s ass. The look of a pie directly affects the experience of a pie. Crappy crusts make for crappy eating, even if you have smoked the chocolate for the filling. Someone on Twitter speculated that they were merely trying to evoke a down-home feeling. If so, they shoulda used Pillsbury. That’s what the poor people are eating tonight.

What Frieda’s said

September 2011

Which leads me to the most ridiculous brouhaha since, well, the last time food idjits got taken. What fascinated me less than the fact that a bunch of dolts were duped with processed lasagne was how the story progressed, from blogs to the hometown paper and back to blogs again. You’d think no one knew how to get out and report these days. And everyone who jumped up to attack the flacks who did the duping seems to forget that old story, possibly apocryphal, about Winston Churchill asking a woman if she would sleep with him for a million dollars. When she said yes, he asked about doing so for five. She indignantly responded: “What do you think I am?” And he said: “Ma’am, we’ve already established what you are. Now we’re just negotiating the price.” Cynic that I am, I did a little noodling on the Google and turned up no end of bloghos who happily touted that garbage for nothing more than a free sample. The outraged should be glad they got a couple of drinks and a reason to put on their “rig” and get out and mingle. Besides, didn’t Panchito just say this kind of chemicals-and-additive carping is all about class? I’m sure ConAgra just wants to make sure the poors have fud.

Walk-ins

September 2011

Before Al Gore gave us access to all information all the time online, I used to keep a file of clippings on shootings in fast-food joints. I had editors who wanted features on the dangers of that processed crap, and I liked having documentation that some nut with genitalia issues can always do a lot more immediate damage by exercising his Second Amendment right to blast away with an imported Glock simply because his sauce wasn’t special enough. And so I’ll just reTweet myself from the latest slaughter and say the biggest reason for eating well is very basic: You do not want your last meal to be in an IHOP.

Pyrex made in China

September 2011

You have to give the Italians credit. They’re no happier with their corrupt government, but they always think food. And so they dumped mussel shells in Rome to protest politicians who are insisting on austerity while “clinging to their privileges like mussels cling to rocks.” Could you imagine the Teabaggers doing anything like that here? First they would have to know a mussel was not anything gay, despite its beard. Then they would have to know where their shellfish come from. Hint: Not Walmart.

Free meals, RT on the C train

September 2011

One reason I wait all week to process my thoughts before ranting: When I saw the Maroons touting rankings for fast food, I thought they looked like toothless crack whores before internet porn took over — making a last, desperate bid for attention. Really. This is one case where the market sets the ratings, and the “best” is what counts billions and billions sold. It’s certainly not about taste and service and ambiance. But then they managed to shake their moneymakers till they sold themselves and all I can think is: Did the new owners not do a search? Could they not find Menupages? Chowhound? A way to corral the Twitterverse? And I would have just let them rest in irrelevance if not for the very bizarre photo the hometown paper ran: The worst Look At Me in the food biz covering his face as if he didn’t expect to be VIPed up the wahoo (which is different from the wazoo)? Please don’t tell me the Bible stories are coming to the Kindle next. That will kill publishing for sure.

Beer, hold the pretzel

September 2011

Never thought I’d say this, but maybe Panchito was not so abysmal on the restaurant beat. By comparison, he’s not waving but drowning in the new gig. As my consort said, you have to bail at the first sentence. And as someone Tweeted: “I wasted one NYT click on this bullshit?” She linked, though, so maybe that’s the plan. People do like lookin’ at train wrecks. Code those Gucci ads even faster, ye who were left behind. . .

Pants down on the third rail

September 2011

But I’ll also confess I did something dumb, too: Tweeted a link to a Guardian photo of Jamie Savior that I thought was a spoof when it was actually from one of his televised stunts. I also got queasy when I had peaches and veal one night and thought about combining them, then went online for ideas. The first thing I turned up was SemiHo doing the same thing. Clearly, I should stay the heck away from anything having to do with fud teevee.

Think, tank

September 2011

Chipotle’s Willie Nelson video is “Our Daily Bread” condensed to mere minutes. But it’s funny how one short is worth a thousand Egopedist textings.

Vegan cane sugar

September 2011

Zabar’s “lobster salad” is becoming the $Palin of food stories. The hometown paper is keeping the fart-reported-as-typhoon alive, but you’d think everyone there would be a bit embarrassed to always be regurgitating others’ reporting. In the old days it would have been the jumping-off point for an investigation into what else might be passed off as luxury fare in tight times. Maybe some enterprising flack should fire off a release — instead of the most expensive omelet, the most un-short-ribbed burger?

Oh, that old Lancet study on obesity?

September 2011

Worse was the big story on how the storm hit farmers and farmers’ markets. Apparently Greenmarkets are a weekend indulgence for most New Yorkers, a daily thing only for restaurant chefs. And apparently there’s only one to worry about, the main one at Union Square. And there are no copy editors checking facts — not every farmer of note either can be or chooses to be at Designer-Dog Central. The guys (and women) who truck to the satellite markets stand to get killed. And there are 48 of those markets. Even some near where the new elite retreat, in Brooklyn.