Keeping your Chi-Chis

Late to this, but I have to say all the restaurant analogies for the rocky start to the exchanges have been pretty amusing. Either the site was as slammed as a Shake Shack or the whole program was hopelessly in the weeds. The reality is somewhere in between: The Health Department finally showed up to try to keep the cooks from spreading Hep A, and it might disrupt service a bit till the customers are covered, too. Too bad safely insured journamalists are all wannabe Yelpsters now.

Spain in allium

Apropos of nothing, or maybe everything, I just remembered a gracious friend who excused me and my consort (bad grammar because I caused the screwup) for showing up on the wrong night for a party. She recounted how she and her husband showed up on the wrong night at a hotel in Alaska, threw a fit to get a room and then, at the cook-your-own-breakfast buffet next morning, mistook the sausage and gravy for waffle batter. “I’m sure there’s a warrant out for us in Anchorage.”  At least we left before stinking up the joint. . . .

Tortillas, tacos and “cornmeal mush”

Also to be filed under remembrances of funnies past: I had to stop at one winery’s table at a food festival/gangbang the other weekend (more below) because I had such an amazing experience 15(!) years ago as its guest at the Trois Glorieuses in Beaune. Part of which involved sitting next to the new owner at lunch one day and having to make conversation across a divide that was clearly wider on my only-menu-French side. I forget what I asked him, but the answer was: “I am in the Champagne like the pickle in the vinegar.” Little did I realize he was offering inside information years out on the next big thing in food: fermentation.

Scraping out the diaper solids

The reaction to the kicking-a-cripple cuts in food stamps made me wish the Big O would indeed open his FEMA camps and start the impounding of the “patriots” already. So much ugliness is being spewed, even by people who would have you believe they believe “food is love.” I keep hammering away that fast food chains and Walmarts are mooching much more, letting taxpayers compensate for their shit wages, but resentment is the stone-soup du jour in this country. Jay Gould was on to something: “I could hire one half of the working class to kill the other half.” And his heirs sell Brawny paper towels and Dixie cups.

A day late & an anchovy short of Green Goddess

I also enjoyed hearing an EO12thStWinner™ nattering on about the best filling for pumpkin pie: butternut squash! Take her to the Morton, Ill., cinema and seat her outside the canneries. Not a pie pumpkin to be seen. Meanwhile, the elusive buttercup? Find it in any supermarket. Usually next to the watermelons this time of year.

Snow peas, stuffed

Mad Martha is increasingly looking like the Glenn Greenwald of fud: hopelessly polarizing. I have my issues but would like to remind every detractor: She went to prison, while Jamie Dimon will undoubtedly get a bonus. And the fine for his shenanigans amounted to about half what the Republican shutdown of the government for two weeks cost. Meantime, she at least she has now reminded people there are still bloggers. Blogging.

More microbiologists, fewer Bible bangers, SVP

As I keep saying, I am so glad I’m old and really hope there is no reincarnation. And I especially wanted to yell that the other Sunday when my consort and I were sitting at the window counter eating our Luke’s lobster rolls while watching a family with two little kids out at a sidewalk table. Partway through lunch the mom calmed the shrieking baby by giving her plastic tubular food, in the kind of unnecessary packaging that contributes to the garbage continents (no longer islands) clogging the oceans. I never understand how people can even bring kids into a doomed world to begin with, but seeing the obliviousness was as unsettling as reading this. Heckuva extinction you’re bequeathing her . . .

Gorging for hunger

As for my losing my food festival virginity, I wound up schlepping way the hell over to the Hudson after succumbing to curiosity about NoMad, a place I had avoided like $79 chicken but figured was worth a try if a car company was picking up the tab for a bunch o’ bloggers in a private room. My consort and I had to sit through a slideshow on the new models, none of which was honey-colored to fit this year’s food theme, but we were rewarded with tickets to the foodstraganza that weekend. Since he was traveling, I was going to toss them, but I went online and saw what they were worth and felt obligated to do my research. So I recruited a friend and we ate and drank our way through what I expected to be a gangbang but was actually rather civil compared with many “best new chef” awards parties. Regular peeps who paid were much more restrained than the professional locusts.

Julie, who has more of a track record with feeding frenzies, insisted we pick up the swag bags as we went in, and here’s what was jettisoned at the outset:

Here’s what I expected to see everywhere but what turned out to be, luckily, in the minority:

Here is the elixir someone actually thought people would want to drink in a cavern lined with wines good and bad (well, it was an event where people were lining up for “free” Chipotle just steps from Blue Smoke’s pulled pork):

And this is an image that only needed the Delta pedicabs outside to make more of a mockery of all the Tweets later on about what skinflints that airline’s operator are. Drinks up front, pretzels back by the toilet. . .

Finally, I didn’t snap no photo, but I did find it rather revealing to see the NYT booth flogging subscriptions with its fud issue of the magazine on that particular weekend. You’d almost think they planned it. . . .


Dissertating about pimento cheese is like architecting about Legos. // With rhubarb and baking, it’s all known unknowns. // Sad to realize some rock salt is so outsized a dingbat Scout leader would try to break it down. // Have yet to see a functioning water dispenser in a Chase bank. Either water or cups always missing. Saving for $13 billion fine? //  How could you tell if feta went bad? // Think I liked the good old days when Vitamix hid naked chefs better than the content-obscuring bullshit does today. // So where does Tuscan go to get its reputation back? Looking at you, Subway, and that “chicken melt.” // Times will never say boo about real ghostwriters. Chicken if not shit. // Someone should sell Thanksgiving Escape Packages. // Mia held that revenge until it could be served very cold. // Guess no one in NYTmag cover meeting stood up to say: This food looks like shit. Overwrought shit from behind a dated curtain at that. // If you’re promised an “exclusive,” it ain’t fucking news. // Starting to realize I liked the food world so much better when it was a backwater, not a mosh pit. // Saying it again: Who could ever have imagined food “journalism” would one day require costumes? // And how can anyone advocate eating a creature this amazing?