Even before Muskmelon came in to blow up the Twitter, I’d been getting so many “what would you take for gastropoda.com?” emails from Nigerian princes and others that I (and my consort) decided I should dust this cranky old joint off and start posting like it’s the birdsite, where words also go for nothing. Waking up every morning since I last updated Bites and realizing the orange one was not dead yet defeated me. But I’m gonna to give it a shot. Everything is still broken. Might as well say it.
Butter Guzzler down Mar-a-Lago Way
Probably coulda monetized this silly site if I’d charged for decoder rings. So many of the evil ones shoulda been self-revealing but apparently weren’t. I will now say it clearly about the Sulzbergers, though: Punch became Pinch who, to me, has become Dash. And he’s the worst one yet. Sheet pan recipes or no.
“Feisty” as “small farting dog” 4evah
After Bob’s and my luxurious outing to the newest incarnation of Gage & Tollner, I would almost think I imagined writing about the gaslit joint after 9/11 for the NYT. The story doesn’t show up in search, but I still remember arguing with the copy desk over my description of the rice looking as if it had been molded in Madonna’s bra. Post-traumatic shock is still with us…
And “soufflés are simple”
Old pro tip: Beware the “sublicensing” clause in any contract that wants to reuse anything with only a can’t-even-pay-ConEd credit. Don’t look for “my” stew in their 2022 calendar. Which is also a reminder of the elation I saw/heard on the national desk when Saint Ronnie fired the air traffic controllers. And then they came for the Newspaper Guild…
Halloween senza white sheets, too
So the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is reduced to slightly less than zero because the con man in chief bungled the #trumpandemic response. Wait till it sinks in that there will be no Thanksgiving dinners this year, either — all these months on, it is still not safe to gather around a table cuz you can’t eat or drink while wearing a mask. Get ready for sheet pan turkey and trimmings. And sadness. Whatever you do, don’t think about Christmas…
Bacon queso at the health food store
Now that we’ve started eating outside at restaurants again, I keep flashing back on our last meal inside one before we went into lockdown for what was supposed to be two weeks and is now in the sixth month. We went to the Tang for lunch after the Sunday Greenmarket on March 15. It was slightly surreal — the few other patrons were spaced well apart, but this was weeks before everyone was warned to wear masks, and we were hoping the three cooks making our eggplant and dumplings in the open kitchen were okay, and it was impossible to enjoy the food without worrying we had made a big mistake risking it. As we walked home, we kept passing bodegas where I had tried to interview the Yemeni owners/managers three years earlier, when the nascent fascist’s travel ban was announced and shopkeepers were mobilizing against it. My story never went anywhere, but in retrospect I can see we were witless to believe he would only come for the Mexicans and then the Muslims. Eventually he would hurt us all because, as Adam Serwer perfectly put it: The cruelty is the point.
To think we were promised taco trucks on every corner and now can’t even eat inside a restaurant. Let alone in a foreign country.
10 percent solution
One thing about eating in the street outside NYC restaurants now: You really come to see cars as multi-ton killing machines barreling past. And those beautiful planters delineating the “dining room” start to look as if they were modeled on IED fortifications in Kabul.
To code, they learn?
Heard tonight, at a picnic in the park crashed by pissants, a squirrel, three unleashed terriers and two rats, that Keith McNally had the interior of his last great stage set jackhammered out so one could infringe on his signature style. So many eras ending thanx to the #trumpandemic…
Hillary. Cookies. Forever.
I don’t even want to think about how much that little punk Putin is gloating as he watches Americans with money line up to buy bread and Americans with no money line up at food pantries.
Panchito & the Spanish Steps
I spent nearly the entire Bushwhacking on here trying to crack wise as the situation got direr and direr and the bodies stacked up higher and higher and corporate media still pretended the dangerous dry drunk was just a harmless good ol’ boy you could have a beer with. Now my advice under “hashtag we’re all gonna die” is: “Preserve your memories; they’re all that’s left to you.” Too many Americans seem to forget what it was like to travel in Italy and be asked “Americana?” and have to respond, trying to save face: “No, New Yorkese!” Now the orange national nightmare has made that designation humiliating, too.
As soon as the “Fairway is falling” hysteria started, I knew exactly how the saga would unfold in all the news outlets. Instead of seeing it as Chapter EleventySeven of the Twinkie tale, they sold it as the usual “not adapting to online shopping and new competition.” When the reality is that vulture capitalists loaded the chain down with debilitating debt while mismanaging what they had bumbled into. Now the lawyers and other bankruptcy grifters will loot the last assets until there’s nothing in the cash register left for the 1,400 employees, either for their severance pay or, most definitely, for their pensions. Who coulda predicted?
$1,000 dip recipe or Green Goddess?
On one foray to Philadelphia, I came across the food world equivalent of the most famous six-word story ever. This was the sad sign in the window of a vacant space off Rittenhouse Square: “Restaurant equipment for sale. Bought brand-new. Used for seven months.” Of course, not even Hemingway would have opened a hummus joint so close to Dizengoff.
Bad bread always lasts longest
So old I’ve decided previous olds collected so many canned pineapple recipes cuz A) the main ingredient seemed so exotic B) it was about the only fruit available year-round before this 24/7/365 all-the-food-all-the-time world.
Unsecured servers spit
Maybe next time #GOP can install a loser who can have a drink instead of driving us all to it? #odoulsyearswerebadthisisworse
“What kind of restaurant is this?” “Massage.”
Our Goodwill Guide in Osaka was walking us down “the longest street in Japan” on the one cold and rainy day of our trip when we passed a pachinko parlor and my consort, Mr. Curious, asked if we could check it out. We stepped inside and my world was instantly rocked. After more than a week of living largely in real life, seeing and experiencing rather than compulsively clicking and reacting, I had just been transported into IRL Twitter. It was loud, a steady, rhythmic din of slot machines, like the firehose feel when everyone is responding to something either newsworthy or stupid (or, these days: both). It was too bright and too young and too neon-y but somehow still dark. It was smoky, very smoky, and even that felt right despite the fact that Japan has pretty much ostracized old-style nicotine addicts — assholes can always get through. It had everything but my keyboard and the instant notifications/gratification. I was almost vibrating.
Then I saw the writing on the wall:
This space overflows with dreams, hopes, stimulation and excitement
Dramatic developments await you
Please be released from everyday life and enjoy yourself free.
May the fortunate goddess smile at you.
@Jack could not have put it more insidiously better.
I was still scribbling that down when Bob reacted the way he did at Churchill Downs back in the early days of the consortium when I once won a few bucks on a horse. The same guy who insisted I get on Twitter (“if you do the cat book, you can drum up interest in it”) grabbed me by the arm and said: “We’re getting out of here.”
And here I sit, with the sound off.