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My Five Cents: Food Criticism, F-Bombs, and Firing the Messenger

When John Tesar attacked Leslie Brenner in a public forum, he started a fire that still burns. For many of us who work in the restaurant business — I include food journalists, critics, and bloggers in this lot — the last week has been tumultuous. I’m going to try and make some sense out of it.

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Stupid or Genius? Two Dudes Open a Chinese-American Restaurant in Shanghai

Chinese-American food: not my thing. I didn’t grow up eating from white takeout boxes filled with sesame chicken, and I think fortune cookies are a terrible way to end a perfectly good meal. But this, I acknowledge, isn’t how a good chunk of Americans feel about General Tso’s chicken.

That being said, NPR did an interesting story about an 8-month-old restaurant in Shanghai called Fortune Cookie. Two Cornell University grads, David Rossi and Fung Lam, opened a restaurant serving Chinese-American food in one of the most international cities in the world. Shanghai, where my brother lives, has a bigger spread of ethnic cuisine (Uyghur cuisine, for instance, is popular there.) than any other city I’ve visited. You can also walk out the door of your apartment building, take five steps to a random street stand, and order 12 handmade soup dumplings for an astoundingly low price.

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SideDish By The Numbers: The Greatest Hits of 2013

Here are the most-popular posts on SideDish in 2013. It’s a surprising list.

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My Five Cents: Presenting the Check With Dessert

Servers who work in a fine dining restaurant have a hard job. Their task is especially difficult if they choose to perform their duties with poise. A seasoned server assesses each table of customers and controls the pace of the meal accordingly. There is not a one-size-fits-all formula for service. Some customers want detailed food […]

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My Five Cents: Let’s Talk About Leslie Brenner and Dallas

Yesterday, Leslie Brenner posted an item titled: “A Wasabi-Filled Dose of Revisionist History.” She writes about the just-released menu at Toko V, the new restaurant opening tomorrow in the upstairs section of what used to be Marquee Grill. The news release describes the restaurant at “Asian cuisine and crafted cocktails in a sleek, modern setting.” One […]

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The Wicked World of Food Blogs: Read This and Weep

If you write or read food blogs or food-news-driven sites, Josh Ozersky’s article “Blog-Tied: How a Hunger for Clicks Drives New York’s Brutally Fickle Food Scene” is a must read. Ozersky did time as a writer on Grub Street and he lived to write about it.  Here’s the money pull quote: “I was the first editor […]

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My Five Cents: How Many Times a Week Do You Eat Sushi in Dallas

I’ve been doing some work behind the scenes updating our restaurant directory. We have a bazillion Japanese/Sushi restaurants in our files. There are almost as many burger joints. I have to wonder: Do you people eat sushi every night? If not, give me an average of how many meals a week you eat sushi.

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