Dear every Chinese restaurant that serves those crunchy fortune cookies at the end of a meal,
I know you are just trying to be nice. It’s sweet of you, really, to leave us with dessert that comes with the paycheck – for free! I love free gifts as much as you love serving General Tso’s chicken and broccoli beef stir-fry. I’ll bite my tongue when it comes to your cheap, white-powdered chopsticks that break into lopsided halves, and the overabundant red lanterns hanging from your ceilings that scream CHINESE, but I gotta draw the line at fortune cookies.
First of all, the fortunes inside the fortune cookie suck. I might as well go to a five-year-old and ask her what my life is going to look like in ten years. Maybe she’ll tell me something less vague than “You will take a pleasant journey to a place far away.” And why would I want a stupid cookie telling me “Practice makes perfect” when parents and teachers have drilled those words into my noggin’ more than enough times? Thanks. Thanks for reminding me of all those days I sat inside, withering away in front of my baby grand piano, while all the lucky children got to play outside.
As for all the Dove chocolatey-messages those fortunes have now, heck to the no. I don’t need no ego-boosting slip of paper telling me I have a magnetic personality. Have you seen my personality? Uh, yeah. Maybe you should start running in the opposite direction.
Then there’s the issue with the cookie. It’s horrible. It’s way too crunchy. It’s like eating butt-shaped sandpaper, for goodness sakes. You’re lucky I still have all my teeth. If I were a granny with not-so-healthy gums, I’d curse the fortune cookie company to Kingdom Come and back.
So, why, Chinese restaurants, do you end a perfectly fine meal with a terrible dessert? (If you can even call it ‘dessert.’) Fortune cookies are not even environmentally friendly. One day, future generations will dig for artifacts in our dumps and find plastic-wrapped shriveled pieces of fortune cookies. Historians will ponder and write essays on why people in the past ate the junk that they did, like these cookies. It will all be your fault. Think about it.
—Carol12 Comments »
I have never understood the popularity of chicken wings. The majority of the ones I have tried are just masses of fried dough swimming in a hot or sweet sauce. Sometimes there is even a wad of what looks like chicken meat on the inside.
This Sunday, Super Bowl watchers will consume 1.25 BILLION chicken wings. PETA reports 600 million chickens are killed just to satiate football fans for one day. I’m not a card-carrying PETA member, but of all of the animals we consume, chickens get the shaft. And it makes me crazy when people refuse to eat red meat because they consider the action unethical, but have no problem eating chicken. Especially when you can do a little research and make better choices of the meats you do choose to consume. However, there is nothing good about chicken wings.2 Comments »
I spent an early lunch on the lovely patio at Ascension Coffee today. The weather was perfect for a good scooter ride to the Design District, so I partook in Ascension’s deliciously balanced chemex pour-over and caprese style sandwich. Both were fantastic and soothing. I like this place. I wrote some pretty words about it when it first opened. Yet I struggle with the customer service and strict coffee etiquette they follow. (i.e. You can’t get a cortado to go, because it’s not a cortado if it’s not in a glass). Either who, while I enjoyed the breeze and city sounds overlooking Oak Lawn, I noticed a young man bring a valet stand over to the parking lot.
What? Is Ascension getting ready to host some kind of grand opening, jam-packed lunch gala? Even though there are only ~15 spaces in the small lot and not many options beyond that, the coffee-swilling aristocrats and happy hipsters inside Ascension didn’t seem to mind. Why does it need valet?
Over the course of 30 minutes, from about 11:20 a.m. to 11:50 a.m., I watched three cars depart in frustration after they were told to park along Hi Line Dr. if they weren’t going to use valet. Most of the spots were empty in the lot (see photo). To be fair, some folks just handed over their cars and strolled inside without any problems. Even so, I have some issues and questions. Although I didn’t get off my a** to ask the valet why the hell he was claiming domain over the small lot for lunchtime, it seems completely unnecessary to force valet upon patrons at a place that’s supposed to include comfort and convenience.
I am addicted to Shark Tank. And because I am too lazy to jump through the hoops to get on the show and present my idea, I’m using the power of my pudgy fingers to reach you. Let’s pick and roll:
I walk on the set of Shark Tank. “Daymond John, you are so out,” I say. “Barbara, if I wanted to sell my cellulite-reducing sous-vide hot dog you’d be my best friend, but I’m keeping it to myself. You’re out.”
I watch the other sharks glance around, really scared at this point, and go for the kill. “Kevin, don’t even open that ugly mouth. You’re out. Robert, you can buy me dinner after the show but, for now, you are dead to me.”
Cameras swing: Close-up of Cuban. Music swells.
Mark. We live in the same city. We love the same teams. More importantly, we eat in the same restaurants. Last night, our city’s finest chef, Bruno Davaillon of the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, lost Best Chef in the Southwest at the James Beard Awards in New York City to a young chef in Austin who appeared on Top Chef. It has been 18 years since a Dallas chef won this title. We need a local version of Shark Tank geared towards Dallas restaurateurs. That way, you and I can work together to tighten up our game and turn it around. We have the talent, we need the exposure. And that exposure shouldn’t have to come from the Food Network or Bravo.
I propose we put together a panel of experts and ask restaurateurs to pitch their ideas BEFORE they decide to sink their life savings into an upscale seafood and sushi restaurant in a bad location. Let’s kick the steak house wannabes to Fort Worth. Mark, I’m asking you to invest whatever it takes to help us bring the talent of the Dallas restaurant community to the international scene. In exchange, I offer you fifty percent of my idea. Oh, and you can keep the Mavs.
Looking forward to hearing from you,
Nancy12 Comments »
I visited an Indian restaurant in Irving this past weekend with a couple friends, eager to consume mango lassi with a side of samosas since it was a place that I’d heard good things about. I walked in, and it was one of those confusing restaurants where you’re not sure what to do first. Seat yourself or wait to be seated? There wasn’t a sign, so the woman behind the cash register told us to order first after I’d asked.
Six samosas, three drinks, and four entrees later, I could tell that the employee was struggling with my large order. She didn’t have a fancy cash register to add up the bill, but possessed a calculator-looking thing that spat out the receipt at the top. That’s fine. I understand that not every restaurant has the means to buy the most modern technology. What boggles my mind is when the cashier woman finished adding up my bill, she told me she wasn’t sure if she did her math correctly.
Really? I wondered if she was serious, and when she gave me another confused look, I pulled out my calculator app and began adding up my own order. A lot of you will probably think I’m a snot for even mentioning this out loud, and I agree, yes, I probably am. But I’ve realized that all this time I’ve taken competent cashiers for granted.
Has this happened to you before? Do you carry around a big calculator everywhere you go so you can tally up your bill? If this happens again, I think I’ll bust out my TI-83 and at least look a bit more professional when I’m doing someone’s job for them.13 Comments »
A couple of weeks ago I gushed about my love for the burgers at Kenny’s Burger Joint. One of our Sidedishers, “Kirk,” commented that they offered “the closest facsimile of poutine in the DFW area.” When I heard this, it was not long until I found my way back to sample the Kenny’s version. As you likely know, “poutine” is a classic Canadian dish, traditionally composed of crispy French fries, cheese curds, and a brown gravy. The most successful variations of poutine are able to serve the fries thick and crisp, the cheese curd soft but not so completely melted that they lose all their texture, and the gravy incorporated into each bite, but not so much as to turn the whole thing into a soup or make the fries overly soggy. However, this dish is incredibly hard to find in Dallas. I don’t understand why this is so. Perhaps it’s our distance from our neighbors to the North? Perhaps there are not enough Canadians here in the Lone Star State? It really is a travesty.14 Comments »
Last night, after yet another painful waiter experience that started with, “Hello, beautiful lady,” and ended with “Would the lovely ladies like dessert?” I have decided that it’s time to say enough! Enough with the obsequiousness. Enough with the platitudes. Enough! Nancy called attention to the issue of false fawning in her recent review of Marquee, so perhaps we’re all more sensitive to it now. But no one likes to be shined-on. Do they?
Here are the facts: I am neither beautiful nor a lady. Don’t really aspire to be. So why lay it on so thick? (My late-grandmother, by the way, once threw a fork at a waiter who called her “young lady.” She was 92 at the time.)
I can tolerate waiter-interruptus, and I understand that service comes with a fair dose of insincerity, but it’s the bald-faced “lovely lady” lie that’s so grating. Give me a pro, a server I can admire for his gentility. Give me a server who knows his food, who’s willing to give an opinion and make a joke. But leave the buttering-up in the kitchen.
Is it just me? Or do other people long for a end of the pandering, too?21 Comments »
Earlier this morning, I received a link to a Seattle Weekly blog post written by former Dallas Observer “critic” Hanna “Sudafed” Raskin and planned to write a rebuttal. Eater “Up at Dawn” Dallas beat me to the punch. However, I would like to throw a few more. Her post– “Professional Food Critics Not Needed in Portland”– is embarrassingly amateur. Read it, I’ll wait.
This quick assessment from a professional food critic who reviewed Dallas restaurants while taking copious amounts of sinus medication? After my ENT doctor read about Raskin’s sinus problems, he called me and said: “She had no business reviewing restaurants. Her palate was dead.” If I were a restaurateur who was reviewed during her reign, I’d be demanding a redo. No wonder she called Dallas a “dining nowhereville.” She wasn’t able to taste anything. She blathers on:
I shouldn’t be surprised that the imagined relationship between rigorous professional criticism and good food doesn’t hold up. I moved here from Dallas, a city that’s covered ruthlessly by established food critics, including the Dallas Morning News‘ Leslie Brenner, D Magazine‘s Nancy Nichols, and Texas Monthly‘s Pat Sharpe. The food there isn’t any better for it.
Hanna, you take one trip to Portland and declare “Portland appears to have entered the post-professional critic era, and the food scene hasn’t suffered.” Oh my. I need a Xanax. Writers in Portland were sadly laid off by print publications. Raskin should be next.21 Comments »
‘Scuse me while I saddle up my high horse. Am I the only woman who is concerned about the sudden surge in Breastaurants. I mean really 35 additional Twin Peaks? A bar opening in downtown called The Spread Eagle? Seriously boys? How would you like to take your daughter into one of the restaurant’s the gals in our office just conceptualized. We call them Peteries.
Hunky Town, Twin Pricks, Tooter’s, Pecker’s Hot Italian Sausage, Tube Steak Junction, Cake Balls to the Walls, Nuts and Butts, Quickies, Long Dong Silver, Tally Whacker’s, Love Mussels, Wee Willie’s, Twig and Berries.
Ladies, the floor is open.53 Comments »
Beginning today, July 15, 2011, I am banning the use of the word YUM from any post on SideDish. You can YUM away all you want in the comments, but I will do my best to keep it from appearing in an official report. I do my best to stay away from “foodie,” but have yet to find the perfect replacement. YUM, however, has many. HOWEVER, I reserve the right to use “yummers” or “yum” when I am being sarcastic or quoting a person.
If you spot the word YUM in a post after today, you will win a prize. Carry on.9 Comments »
Lots of chinwagging taking place in the webosphere. Fine dining restaurants, such as this place in Pennsylvania, are banning children under six years of age. I tend to dine early and have witnessed children who squeal and squirm while their parents sip wine and attempt to enjoy a fine meal. I believe it is a good practice to take children into fine dining restaurant. It’s important to learn manners at an early age. The only time it chaps my sass is when the parents don’t reprimand their misbehaving offspring or take charge of the situation. Take this recent example from a loyal Disher.
Jump for the shrilling report.33 Comments »
So I’m reading through a zillion press releases and I come across an older one from the new restaurant in Renaissance Hotel, the building near the Dallas Market Center that, to me, resembles an aerosol air freshner. It’s swanky looking place, and its “farm to fire” cuisine may be the best farm to fire cuisine ever trucked from a farm to a fire, the name of the place does not make me hungry.
I know, now, it’s Spanish for grill but still, come on. Really? Anybody else unhappy with the name of a restaurant?29 Comments »
I hate rain-delayed baseball games. Especially those with 11:20PM starting times, torrential rain and hail, and tornado warnings. I like my sleep and I like the Rangers to win.
With a crabby demeanor, I begin today by tossing a rock at what I call “cute food.” I’m talking sliders, $5 cupcakes, cupcakes in a jar, mac and cheese in little iron skillets, cake balls (pops), lamb called lollipops, pickles on top of gourmet burgers, ad nauseum. These are a few of my least favorite things. Oh, and I’ll add chicken wings because they have no purpose on this earth. Your turn. Go.39 Comments »
Everyday I get bizarre misguided press releases. So far this morning I’ve already received an invitation to a ribbon cutting for a new health care facility, a request to interview a Girl Scout leader, and a plug for a cookbook which “conjures up spellbinding recipes from the Harry Potter Series.” I generally delete them and go about my day. However, every once in a while something catches my eye and ticks me off. Like this one:
Jump and growl. Continue reading "Wolfgang Puck Offers Cinco de Mayo Tip"3 Comments »
The other night a friend of mine and I stood in line waiting for our cars at a valet stand. The charge to valet a car—in this case, a huge parking lot–was $5. This really chaps my sass. If a restaurant is going to offer the service of making parking easier for you, they should absorb the cost. Anywhoo, my friend notices the $7 in my hand and says, “You’re not going to tip him are you?” I said I was because I figured the guy running around all night is mainly working for tips while the parking service is sitting on a safe full of cash. She thought I was insane to pay over the charge.
So I ask you, dear Dishers. How do you handle tipping valet?42 Comments »
The 28th Amendment: The Right To Stand In Line.
That was the story at Savor Dallas’ Friday Arts District Wine Stroll. Lines everywhere. It looked like the organizers sold more tickets this year but didn’t increase the number of food stations. Whatever happened, it made for a frustrating evening. What should have been a stroll through the Arts District turned into a rugby match to get a glass of wine and a plate of food. The shortest wait for wine was 15 minutes. Getting a bite to eat took at least that long and then only 3 minutes to finish it. For most people scoring became a not-so-fun game: they’d get a glass of wine and get straight back in line. It was such a pain that many people, including me, left early.
I think they should have already had the wine poured. Instead, they handed you a glass when you came in so you had to wait for each person to get it filled. I know the intent is for the wine folks to get to talk about their wine, but they didn’t have time to anything but fill, fill, fill, repeat. I’m sure this method would require more glasses but increase the ticket price and eliminate the long waits.11 Comments »
I was all prepared to use bb641′s app, You Owe, at dinner Friday night. But I didn’t have to. Wanna know why? Because the server at Komali read my mind and split up my group’s check without even being asked. That, my friends, is service. (I was so excited, I sent the photo to several people who have complained with me about this issue.)