A man gets stabbed while waiting in line for Chipotle. It’s hard to believe people care that much about burritos, but they do. The DCist covers this odd story.
Check this out: “What the World Eats” is a photo gallery of different countries and a week’s worth of groceries. Interesting how the USA compares to places like Turkey and Mongolia. The other countries eat a lot more fruit. We eat a ton more pizzas.
Pearl Cup is opening its second location in the Dallas Arts District, inside the AT&T PAC. Luke Darby from City of Ate caught a whiff of the coffee news, and writes that the “cafe will be open from 7:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and until one hour after any performance.”
One of our most loyal and lovely SideDish readers popped into Cindi’s Deli to buy a lemon meringue pie. When she got home, she tore off the Cindi’s wrapper and found another: Chef Pierre, a division of Sara Lee. The menu promotes “Fresh Baked Goods Daily” but it doesn’t claim the pie is homemade. A whole pie is $14. According to Sara Lee, the pie is made with “real imported lemon oil.”18 Comments »
I’ve known Wick Allison, the editor in chief and owner of D Magazine, since 1974AD. He’s an intelligent man in so many ways. However he doesn’t know bupkis about bagels, baba ganoush, or Bordeaux. He is a culinary ignoramus. Wick’s idea of a perfect meal is a tuna sandwich with extra mayonnaise on toast, served with fries. No wonder he’s been satisfied with my food writing for 16 years. It’s the only section in the magazine that is over his head.
Yesterday I wrote a post urging you to help me get SideDish on TV. We (I) have a great opportunity to create as many food-related shows on KTXD — soon to be D-TV – as we (I) can get developed. However, Wick claims he’s not interested and because he isn’t interested, you aren’t. I sent him a link to my post. He didn’t reply directly but he told his assistant to tell me that he “isn’t a foodie” and doesn’t know the first thing about “foodie talent.”
How could such a entrepreneurial thinker be so brainless about food programming? Food Channel? Food Network? Bobby Flay Eats Dry Toast? Wick would never miss a chance to cash in.
Suspicious, I snuck into Wick’s office last night to search for ammunition. And there between the version of The Bible he edited and the current issue of The American Conservative, I uncovered the mother lode. Tuna sandwich and fries, my sass. Wick is a freakin’ closet foodie, and I found the pictures to prove it. He travels the world and eats and drinks with all of the major players.
What do you say now, Wickster? Fried shrimp with Paula Deen and the Pope? Barbecued ribs with Ronald Reagan and Padma? How long before I find more evidence of your secret epicurean adventures? Give SideDish a show, or I’ll give you one you’ll never live down.6 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 »
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 was excited to try Max’s Wine Dine. I love Champagne and fried chicken. Been pairing them together since college. Monday night I unofficially dined at Max’s with some dear friends. Good News: The Henri Billiot Brut Rose Champagne was a lovely way to end a day. Bad News: The pan borracho (“drunk bread) is a disgusting mess of torn sourdough bread, prosciutto, and thyme soaked in a savory white wine custard and baked with Gruyere, provolone, and Parmigiano-Reggiano. It, unlike the fried chicken, is not meant to be paired with Champagne. This dish is a culinary crime and felony charges ought to be filed. Can I get a witness.
Hey, wanna play a guessing game? Go below.6 Comments »
A Disher with a lot of initials after his last name writes with a tale I’ve never been told. He wants to know if anyone else has had the same experience at other restaurants. He asked me to delete the name of the place but he doesn’t mind if you guess.
Dined at [redacted] yesterday. Ordered a decent bottle of wine and the server brought what could only be the cheapest restaurant-supply wine glasses for our red. Noticing proper stemware at the table next to us, I asked our server if we could have proper glassware for our wine. Here’s what floored me: he said that we had the only stemware “the owner” provides, and that most servers provide their own, better stemware, for their tables. Paid for by the servers! Our server said the owner wanted a “bistro” feel, and also cited the cost of breakage. I certainly understand the cost…but when many wines are well over $60/bottle (and several over $100), I would hope for a better wine experience. Have you run across this before?
No, I have not. But I did kill a skunk once.16 Comments »
Brian Marsters, Director of Operations for Matt’s Rancho Martinez, has saved 5,000 emails from customers asking when the new Lakewood location of this popular Tex-Mex restaurant will open. “I would like those 5,000 supporter to contact (Dallas City Councilmember) Angela Hunt and ask her the same question.” Marsters and co-owner Estella Martinez are befuddled by their situation. “We can’t open because we are caught in the crossfire of a feud between our landlord (Stonelake Investments), several area homeowners associations, and the City of Dallas.”
The saga started when Matt’s lease expired in February and the landlord chose to replace Matt’s with a Mi Cocina, which is already up and running. Matt’s relocated to the building vacated by Consignment Solutions at 1904 Skillman Ave. The opening has been delayed by a series of the usual suspects such as myriad permits, grease traps, and parking, but last Wednesday the plan for the restaurant and Stonelake Investments development projects clashed when Stonelake applied for a permit to close off a block of La Vista between Skillman and Live Oak and created a pedestrian mall.
Stay with me, now.38 Comments »
Our photographer Elizabeth Lavin just happened to be in the neighborhood on Saturday when she caught this fire at Villa-O on her iPhone. After trying to reach someone at Villa-O over the weekend, someone from corporate finally told us there was a (supposedly) teeny tiny fire over the weekend, and Villa-O will be closed for the rest of the week due to renovations. She didn’t tell us how the fire happened or how big it was, afraid that we’d leak a story that’d freak people out and have them wondering if it was the Second Coming. The restaurant is telling everyone it’s closed this week and will probably open this coming Monday.
Jump for a glimpse of this small fire.
We are about to be beset by restaurants, promoters, and the more credulous sections of the media bombarding us with the message that it is “Hatch Chile Time.” I hate to burst the bubble, but there is no such thing as a “Hatch Chile.” Sure, there are chilies from Hatch, New Mexico, and they host the famous festival, but the product they export is just a chilies, not Hatch chile pepper. Dave DeWitt explains it all very well in his “The Complete Chile Pepper Book.”
“There is no such thing as a Hatch chile, despite all the hype about them. It is not a chile variety, as many people think. Yes, there are chiles grown in Hatch, usually the varieties ‘Barker’ and ‘NuMex 6-4′. These grown-in-Hatch varieties are no better than those grown in the Mesilla Valley or in Deming. There are simply not enough chiles grown in Hatch to supply all of the sellers claiming to provide “Hatch chile.” A few years ago at the New Mexico Chile Conference, I spoke to two women who have a chile farm in eastern Arizona who confessed to me that they shipped their chiles to Hatch, where roadside vendors labeled them “Hatch chiles.” So, how did this mythology come about? Well, first, there is a Hatch brand of canned chiles, packed by Border Foods in Deming. This brand has been on the market for years, but probably most of these chiles are grown in Mexico, not Hatch. Then there is what Jimmy Buffet calls the “coconut telegraph,” but here it’s the Capsicum Telegraph–namely word of mouth and rumor from consumers who mistakenly spread the hype. Sorry to burst everyone’s Hatch bubble, but I always tell it like it is.”
This isn’t to say that chiles are not wonderful things, but don’t waste your time or money on somebody’s Hatch chiles or their “festival.” Better to go to one of the area restaurants that worships them through their food. For example, Komali, which never seems to have fewer than six different varieties somewhere on their menu, or Mesa which prepares them with deference to Veracruz culinary tradition.13 Comments »
I can’t believe anyone would fall for this, but I’m throwing it out there just in case someone is tempted to believe this is real. The email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m pretty sure those guys at Bolsa type better than this and they don’t know what Skype is.
Hello how are you doing today,My Name is Mrs Candy Moore , I will like to make an Order for Chicken Salad OR Sandwiches to feed 150 people is needed on the 15th JUNE is for my Mothers Birthday Party ,and it will be pick up 3pm on the event date Go ahead and get me the Total cost now..And also i want you to get back to me with your Information such as Full Name ,Restaurant Address and Phone Number or Cellphone Number so that i can text you as well …so that i can have it forward to the Private Carrier that will be coming with there Cold and Warmer Truck to pick up the Order …You can also talk to me on my Skpe … enrique.martinez310
Can anyone provide enlightenment on how this would ever work? I don’t get it.11 Comments »
Every once in a while, usually in a doctor’s office, I come across a magazine article that compels me to tear it out and save for future reference. Thankfully, this piece titled “The Truth Behind Food Labels” is not only in print, you can read it online. In the May-June issue of Audubon magazine, Gretel H. Schueller writes a straightforward guide, for lack of a better word, to the labels on food items that promote an array of feel-good, environment-friendly assertions. You see “cage free,” “hormone free,” “all natural,” “organic,” “fair trade,” and “biodynamic” in stores everywhere. Which designations are authentic? Schueller details the good, bad, and the ugly truths behind the label and the greenwashing of food items. Bullet points:
Free Range: When it comes to “free range” and “free roaming,” all a poultry farmer needs to show is “that the poultry has been allowed access to the outside,”… The animals may get only short periods outside in a cramped area—the USDA considers five minutes adequate to approve use of the claim. There are no restrictions regarding what the birds can be fed.
American Humane Certified: A program of the American Humane Association, this label permits both caged and cage-free options for egg-laying hens. A caged hen can be crammed into a space the size of a sheet of paper. Forced molting through starvation is prohibited, but beak cutting is allowed.
Dolphin Safe: This is a partially certified claim because the National Marine Fisheries Service verifies only tuna caught from a specific region—the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean—and not all tuna. Tuna from this designated area might bear a label that includes the additional phrase “US Department of Commerce.” Tuna caught outside this area and labeled “dolphin safe” has not been independently substantiated. To muddy the waters further, the dolphin-safe label is not licensed by any single organization, so there are no universal standards in place and most companies have developed their own logos.
The bottom line: If you see Cruelty Free, Cage free, Environmentally Friendly, Nature’s Friend, No Chemicals, Vegetarian Fed on a package, disregard it. The vague labels mean nothing and have no standards to back them. Anybody can say any of those things about anything. Trust is gone. (This post was written in a certified caged and toxic environment.) READ THIS NOW.7 Comments »
Getting paid to write anything is almost dead. Unless you consider composing a 140-character pithy news item as writing. I suppose it is: Steve Martin just released a book of his tweets. But he is Steve Martin. The odds of a writer of any kind hitting that kind of jackpot has always been low.
Publications are shrinking. There are fewer jobs in the publishing business, not just food writing. We hear from people everyday looking for work as editors, art designers, and free lancers. Interns taking journalism classes still spend time in our offices, but instead of gathering “clips” from the magazine, they turn in blog posts for college credit. The internet has offered opportunities to anyone who can text, tweet, or post Facebook updates to gather a following and be whatever authority they want to be. The chances of them making a dollar are slim. That progression seems to be the new face of food writing. Is that good or bad? Who has the time to argue? It’s reality. Instead of trying to change it, I attempt to embrace it.
Jump off the cliff with me. Continue reading "Food Writing Will Not Die an Easy Death at D Magazine"17 Comments »
FYI, Michael Costa and his sidekick Brian Luisi have resurfaced at Sneaky Pete’s in Lewisville. According to a nice gentleman who just answered the phone at Sneaky Pete’s, the duo has been hired as consultants.16 Comments »
We had to evacuate our offices three times today because of tornado warnings. I’m hunkered down in the parking garage reading Twitter for news and I run across this tweet by Leslie Brenner:
“Yes, I know a tornado’s headed our way, but I just got a broccoli recipe from Justin Yu at Oxheart in Houston!”
Well, Leslie. Could you whip it up and ship it over to those of us trapped in a parking garage downtown? Pair with appropriate wine, please.2 Comments »
This news breaks my heart. Nana Restaurant at the Hilton Anatole, led by the talented and innovative chef Anthony Bombaci, will close on June 9. The restaurant will undergo reconstructive surgery and emerge as an upscale steak house in late September.
Here are some of the details I’ve beat out the bushes. The new name has not been selected. (We can certainly help with that. Leave your suggestion below.) The interior, designed by a California firm, will be “contemporary with an LA-inspired design.” (The skyline view will remain Dallas’!) The menu will be “all about steaks and one-of-a-kind sides and desserts.” The executive chef of the steakhouse hasn’t been confirmed, but that person will work under Anthony Bombaci who has been promoted. I don’t know his position at this point.
Oh, Nana. You have been such a blessing to this city. We loved you when Doug Brown was the chef and Jason Foss was the pastry chef. We loved you during the fancy days when David McMillan sent entrees out of Versace and Rosenthal china and general manager and wine expert Paul Pinnell roamed the room. We love you for bringing Anthony Bombaci to Dallas. This news makes me appreciate my last meal at Nana even more.
Make a final visit and pay homage to Nana. You have a little over three months to get your Bombaci fix. Make a reservation now: 214-761-7470. And name the new restaurant below!
I once made my opinion of the (worthless) honeydew melon very clear. Today I bring up the yucky chicken wing. They have never appealed to me but apparently I am in the minority. This morning comes word from the National Chicken Council: “More than 1.25 billion wings will be consumed during Super Bowl weekend (100 million pounds!), and, if they were laid end-to-end they would circle the circumference of the Earth – more than twice – a distance that would reach approximately a quarter of the way to the moon.”
My initial response is: if you can circle the earth twice, why don’t you just drop off a few million pounds in places where one chicken for a village causes more excitement than the Super Bowl.
My secondary response is actually a question: How many chickens does it take to make 25 billion chicken wings. Hah! You say: do the math dummy; one chicken has only two wings. But your assumption would be wrong. I turned to the Wing-onomics department (true!) at The National Chicken Council for an answer.
You’ll have to jump because you, like chickens, cannot fly.6 Comments »
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 »