Sometimes, I know, I blog about the stupidest things. I am not ashamed to say that this is probably going to be one of them.
But I don’t care if I make your brain cells shrink or not, these sushi cat portraits are works of art. (Thanks, Raya, for finding them.)
Jump below for the history of sushi cats. It’ll make all you kitty-cat people happy.
Ah, it makes me happy that the whole country of Japan is rejecting McDonald’s. The fast food chain keeps failing over there, and it needs to give up. The Japanese aren’t into immortal cheeseburgers and preservatives, so you’d think McDonald’s would stop giving away silly things, like these French fry caddies, just to win over a nation full of healthy eaters who don’t cook or prepare their foods with a lot of oil. But no, it keeps chugging ahead. It’s like a terrible ex-boyfriend who doesn’t understand he’s not wanted anymore, and he keeps showing up with shampoo bottles and skin cream.
Coming soon to a grocery market near you: Whataburger will be selling its spicy ketchup and a new potato chip item called Whatafries. CultureMap has the story.4 Comments »
Last night, Urban Taco took its complaints to Twitter in a most amusing tweet:
Restaurant pet peeve… Tacos served on a metal Z tray…its just not right! I could name a few… How bout yall?
— Urban Taco (@UrbanTaco) February 18, 2013
I’m fairly certain my friend over at Taco Trail has said something similar about the zigzag trays, too. (Correct me if I’m wrong, Jose.) Anyhoo. I get it. There are certain things I can’t stand when I’m dining out. I’m not a huge fan of seeing napkins folded into weird ways. What a waste of time for those po’ napkin folders! They all end up crumpled on your lap, anyways.
I could name a few more, but I know you guys have oodles of more complaints. Share them, will ya? It’s cathartic if we do it together.
Really? Holy cow. I just flipped over to EaterDallas and saw the headline: Hofmann’s CEO Gets Sued for Using Company Money as His Personal Slush Fund.
Frank, I know you’re a tough guy but, dude, you don’t ever want to piss off Phil Romano. (Right Dotty?) Especially on his home court of Trinity Groves. Allegedly, Zaccanelli used $34,000 to pay for non-business expenses that include $1,ooo at a Dallas nightclub, a house and a job for his mistress, and other ditties for his wife. Romano and several other investors are suing Zaccanelli.
Excuse me for being naive but how do people think they are going to get away with crap like this? Really? A house lease is considered a “facility payment?” Oink.
The first Hofmann Hots opens tomorrow at 11AM in Trinity Groves. I bet it will be packed now.9 Comments »
In case you missed Tim’s announcement last month:
D Magazine Partners (the magazine’s parent company) and London Broadcasting have announced a partnership that should make the local television landscape look a little more interesting. London, a local firm, owns a unique property called KTXD. It is an independent, must-carry station in a major media market. That means it is not beholden to a network like CBS or NBC, and the FCC requires that local cable providers carry it. Right now, KTXD broadcasts a lot of old classics but it plans to transition to all local programming. That’s where we come in. The station will rebrand itself as D-TV one show at a time.
So far we have several shows in production and the staff is encouraged to submit ideas. I pitched a couple of food-related shows to our publisher, Wick Allison, and he refuses to listen to me. I have emailed, called, and left voice mails with ideas. I need your help convincing him SideDish deserves a show. The possibilities are endless. Get creative and we’ll put you on TV!30 Comments »
Our resident food truckologist, George Lewis, was attempting to drive over 10 mph on Lovers Lane last night when he noticed the lights were out at Mango Thai. Their website and a sign on the door say they are looking for another location. George talked to a neighboring non-restaurant business and they told him Mango Thai closed two days ago when they could not reach agreement with the landlord on a new lease.
Oh, this makes me wonder. Kathleen’s Sky Diner, a few doors down from Mango Thai, closed a little over two months ago . Several employees of Kathleen’s mentioned the huge rodent problem in the the buildings on the 4400 block of Lovers . So it seems likely that Mango Thai might have had a reason to move from Rat Row. Until they relocated, Mango Thai encouraged you to visit their mother ship, Chow Thai in Addison.
Thanks to all of you who participated in the two SideDish discussions (Bloggers v Journalists and Restaurants Beware of Food Writers who Expect Freebies). I thought the two posts brought up some great points and readers conducted an intelligent discussion. Apparently the restaurant industry and PR agencies took note. And I think we’re about to see some upgrades on how business is conducted.
Last night, someone forwarded me an email blast sent out by Nicki Patel at Strauss Marketing . She addresses “the people we normally deal with.”
Hope your week is off to a great start! In light of recent events and blogs, notably on D Side Dish at the end of last week, we are taking a step back and looking at how PR professionals and bloggers can better work together taking into account FTC guidelines. Several of our clients read the blog and comments, and have asked us to find a way to better evaluate their business decisions on offering complimentary products/dinners/experiences.
As a service to them we are asking that you please submit your most recent numbers on readership so that we may keep that on file. You are welcome to send over Google analytics, subscription numbers on feed burner (or other reliable sources), or any other tool you may use to track your readership, etc. Also, we know that some of you write not only for your blog, but occasionally for other publications as well. Please include that information so we are able to effectively pitch you on items that are appropriate and refrain from flooding your inboxes.
We know that is not a hard and fast number to base decisions on, but it is a start for us to be able to explain to our clients why offering up products/dinners/experiences is a smart idea. Thank you for your help on this and we hope to continue working with you in the future!
Kudos to Strauss Marketing for opening the door. “We felt your blog post addressed a situation that we deal with on an on going basis,”Patel said. “We saw this as an opportunity for us to address it as well.” Patel told me this morning she has already received “stats and information” from some on the list.
Hopefully the market will correct itself and restaurateurs won’t have to fear negative reviews from unaccredited bloggers and PR professionals won’t have to accommodate every person with a blog. There is a happy medium, or shall I say media, out there waiting to give you your money’s worth.15 Comments »
I just came back from Taiwan where, for 10 days, I ate things like pigs feet, fish heads (yes, including the eye balls), and other animal organ parts I probably shouldn’t mention this early in the morning. I’m no Andrew Zimmerman and there’s no way I could ever swallow the contents of a bile sac, but I consider myself a brave-ish eater with a high food tolerance, especially compared to a guy I knew in college who ate nothing but bread and cheese in all its various forms. No joke.
A bunch of you out there are savvy eaters who surely top me on my eating habits. Some of y’all have mentioned eating bizarre foods already on that Bazaar giveaway post back in July, which (btdubs) was highly entertaining to read. So, friends, let’s play a game to make this Wednesday spicier. Tell me about the scariest, hairiest, weirdest food you’ve ever eaten before Friday, August 24, at 5 p.m. Be detailed in your descriptions! The more cringe-worthy, the better. The winner will be declared “The Bravest Eater on SideDish” and win the following:
Thanks for all of your emails, texts, and voice mails. SideDish has contracted a wretched case of ETD. In the meantime, we invite you to sing along with us!3 Comments »
Poor Pink Slime. The frappéed beef scraps and connective tissues doused in ammonia used in food production has been called to the front of the class for being gross in a room full of politically correct food experts. What took you people so long to get all worked up about Pink Slime? Did you miss The Omnivore’s Dilemna? Fast Food Nation? Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle?
What’s next? Nasty Nitrates? According to the Food Chemical Codex, sodium nitrite, used to cure meat and prolong the shelf life of food, contains residual heavy metals, arsenic, and lead. Will you think about that the next time you bite into a Yu Dog at the Ballpark?
What is my point? I think Pink Slime got a raw deal. Anyone who pays attention to what they eat already knows about this crap. But somebody came up with a catchy name to grab the headlines and—BOOM—Pink Slime is public enemy number one.
My inbox is full of messages from burger joints now touting they are “Pink-Slime-free.” (Good news for marketing folks.) Locally, Elevation Burger has declared its 28 restaurants as “Pink Slime Free Zones.” Goody for them. They were smart enough to start by serving 100% USDA-certified organic and 100% grass-fed beef. Just be prepared to put your money where the pink slime was. (Check out City of Ate’s breakdown on the economics of a slime-free market.)
Carry on do-gooders. There are important battles to fight for healthy food. Just don’t get all high and mighty. Some of us still like to enjoy food in foreign countries that are lucky to have beef scraps to cook.
As I was writing the post about Michael Costa getting evicted from The Office Grill, Teresa Gubbins at PegasusNews received a press release from Costa. The Spin Doctor begins with: “In case you didn’t get the memo…” Oh my…jump.
UPDATE: I received a voice mail from Richard Chamberlain. “Michael Costa worked for us briefly 16 years ago,” he said. “In his release he insinuates he is associated with us and that is not the case.”14 Comments »
My editor and sometimes friend, Tim Rogers, talks like he’s a really tough guy. He so tough he doesn’t sit at his desk, he has his computer table elevated and he stands all day. Like I said, he’s tough. But I’ll let you in on a secret: Tim likes to cook fancy food. And he brings the leftovers in and eats them for lunch. Yesterday he told me he took his wife and another couple to Sushi Sake in Richardson. He raved about the sushi and the service. He doesn’t think there is a better sushi restaurant in Dallas. I told him I’d ask you guys what the best sushi spot is in Dallas. Tim wants to go there.
Yow. Zah. Bill Conrad of Star Local News, a content partner at Pegasus News, reports Morgan Wilson, the former head pastry chef at Dallas’ Ritz Carlton was indicted for transferring child porn across state lines. Wilson also appeared on the first season of Top Chef Just Desserts.
Dan Koller is one of my favorite people. Why? Because he scares me. He looks like a cuddly Teddy bear, but underneath that nice-guy veneer lies the heart (maybe) of a cold-blooded managing editor. Last night “The Captain,” as I call him, took his family to Rafa’s Cafe Mexicano on Lovers Lane. He files this report over on Park Cities People.
Last night, my family and I visited Rafa’s for the first time. I know this place is beloved by Park Cities families, as evidenced by the large number of them who were there when we were. But I judge a restaurant by how easy it makes my life as a parent, and Rafa’s failed in that regard.
He wants to know where you take your kids to eat.
Anthony Bourdain will be at The Majestic tonight. Tickets are still available. I understand there will be a Q&A segment in the show. Can’t go? Send me your questions. I’ll try to get them answered.
Oh, and Tony. Tonight is the sixth game of the World Series. Our Texas Rangers could be champions before your show is over. You’ve will have hard core Rangers fans in the audience with DVRs recording the game. Please do not give game updates. That goes for you fans in the audience. If I see one of you on your cell phone getting game results, I WILL CUT YOU.8 Comments »
D Magazine intern Jessica Melton was surfing the internet and came up with this doozie of a newsy story.
I was reading through Pegasus News when I ran across this incredible story: Morgan Wilson, who made it to the finals last year on Top Chef Just Desserts, has been indicted for possession of child pornography.
He is charged with not one, not two, but THREE second-degree felony charges of possession with intent to promote child pornography. His arrest was last December. Terms of his release included the monitoring of his internet activity and a $10,000 bond.
Wilson is still listed as the executive pastry chef at the Ritz-Carlton in Dallas, but is scheduled to appear in front of a Collin County judge on October 27. Nancy texted Dean Fearing, execuchef of Fearing’s at the Ritz, and he texted back “No comment!!!!”
On Top Chef, Wilson seemed like such a suave, collected, although short-tempered, guy. As a regular follower of all-things-food related on TV, I watched Wilson and was proud that he was representing Plano on national TV. Now it feels weird to think that when I was watching the show, he’d already been arrested for having images of child pornography on his computer.
I may never be able to eat another cannoli again.
18 Comments »
Last year, hundreds of restaurants in the U.S. were ripped off by a caller who placed a large catering order to be picked up by a delivery service. The caller instructed the restaurant to add a $500 to the credit card bill and give it to the delivery service. I know it sound ludicrous that anyone would fall for this, but obviously some folks did.
This morning comes word that a new scam is making the rounds. This time, it’s switched to an email:
How are you doing today? This Mr. John Morgan speaking, I will like to place an order to go, can i speak with the owner about the order? My Mom birthday is coming up on the 20th of October and i will like to place an order for 150 grill chicken sandwich with salad individual pack for the 150 guest, It will be pick up by 3pm on the given date, So can i know the price per person and the total cost for the order plus tax. Can i have your full restaurant address and your name so i can forward to the carrier that will be coming for the pick up of the order once the food is ready by 3pm on the given date and i want you to promise me and assure me you going to prepaire (sic) the food nice and delicious.
If you get this email and fall for it, I have no sympathy for you. If you get one, let me know.10 Comments »
Yesterday, I posted the news that Michael Costa of The Office Grill filed for bankruptcy. In the comments section, one of Costa’s former employees asked a great question.
Anybody have some suggestions for the former employees when it comes tax time? We never received check stubs or info on the taxes taken out of them, that is when we did get them and they didn’t bounce.
I contacted Gregory P. Williams, a CPA with Restaurant CFO Partners in Plano. He has a lot of answers. They are below. I’ve also included his contact information if you have more questions.18 Comments »
The Office Grill’s Michael Costa, Texas Bear and Bull, LLC, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on September 26, 2011, six days before he was to appear at hearing to determine if he’d breached his lease agreement. The next day, the Texas Comptroller revoked The Office Grill’s sales tax permit for lack of payment. Legally, The Office Grill can’t operate as a restaurant, yet, as of ten minutes ago, they were open for business.
On September 30, the landlord, 18020 N. Dallas Parkway, LTD filed a motion to convert the Chapter 11 filing to a Chapter 7. Chapter 11 means creditors are held off until reorganization or refinancing is obtained. Chapter 7 means there is no hope for reorganization and assets are to be distributed to creditors. A meeting of the creditors is scheduled for November 7.
The chef left right after Costa was arrested by the TABC on September 20 and Costa’s liquor license is suspended. He’s operating without a sales tax license, liquor license, and a chef? I’ll say this, the guy doesn’t go down easy.8 Comments »
Inspired by the first two episodes of Ken Burn’s Prohibition on KERA, Amy Severson and I did a little digging into some of the details of what was going on in Dallas before, during, and after prohibition. The third, and final, episode is tonight at 9PM. It’s been a fascinating documentary. Today, we scratch the surface of prohibition in Dallas.
Dripping Dry Dallas. That was the name earned by our city after the repeal of prohibition in 1933.
If you’ve watched the first two episodes of Ken Burn’s historical presentation, Prohibition, our country’s brief love affair with forced sobriety, you already know the national temperance movement came about as a reaction to the despair brought on families affected by alcoholism.
Jump.6 Comments »