I collapsed, my will broken, my hunger undiminished. For an interminable month, I had wearily trudged through the desert of downtown food, searching for a glimmer of relief, a refuge from the stinging tyranny of tastelessness. Everywhere I turned, I encountered the same stale sandwiches and the grease-pool pizzas from which I sought escape. Could there ever be hope amidst such desolation? I cried, piteous and, now, fallen.
Then, it appeared. Sand-plunged, heavy-headed, I trained my squinting eyes on the miraculous vision in the distance. I espied a tawny form, a mustachioed stoicism, a sombrero of solace. I found Señor Bean.
J. Pepes on Greenville is closed for renovations. A loyal SideDisher and J. Pepes fan writes in:
J Pepes is closing for “renovations” after Sunday (2/3). Don’t know anything else about what they’re doing, when they’re reopening, etc., but the many regulars are despondent at the loss of their local.
Eater National calls Pizza Hut’s new pizza sliders a “monstrosity.” I call them fancy bagel bites.
Winning the “Grossest Super Bowl Foods” category, these chicken wings cupcakes from a New York bakery are truly, deeply nasty. ABC News says that “the cupcake itself is made of cornbread then topped with blue cheese frosting and accented by an actual chicken wing on top.”
Bonus: It’s National Pancake Day at IHOP tomorrow (Feb. 5). FREE pancakes, my friends. Free pancakes.
This morning I woke up, drank a glass of water, and immediately began craving katsudon (a dish of steamed rice covered with a fried pork cutlet and egg). どのようにおいしい !! This is what always happens as soon as you try being healthy. You start itching for donuts, fried chicken, and chocolate cake. Since I will probably not make katsudon anytime soon, you guys go ahead and watch “Cooking with Dog.” Feast with your eyes. And, yes, the dog talks. I know it’s a little weird, but you get used to it. Francis is pretty kawaii, don’t you think?
Attention, all you TJ’s fans: Trader Joe’s peanut butter might have possible salmonella contamination. The grocery chain is recalling its peanut butter and will, according to the Associated Press, provide refunds.
The Twitterverse is buzzing over Amanda Hesser’s thoughtful blog post, titled ”Advice for Future Food Writers,” posted yesterday. The former New York Times food writer and editor proclaims that our concept of professional food writing, as we know it, has come to an end. If you want to write about food as a professional full-time writer, Hesser says, you better try a non-traditional route.
I can no longer responsibly recommend that you drop everything to try to become a food writer. Except for a very small group of people (some of whom are clinging to jobs at magazines that pay more than the magazines’ business models can actually afford), it’s nearly impossible to make a living as a food writer, and I think it’s only going to get worse.
Food writing pays little and there are fewer positions available these days, so why not find another job in the food industry and write on the side? I must admit that Hesser’s argument is hard to disagree with, and I would’ve followed her advice had the editors at D decided to pick someone else for my position. For all I know, I could’ve been on a farm in North Carolina right now, planting strawberries. But if I were actually a farm help, I’d still be dirt poor and not any closer to becoming a food writer. John Birdsell from CHOW has a great post on “What Amanda Hesser Got Wrong.”
Do you guys think she’s right about this being a golden age for bloggers now that food writers are becoming a rare breed?1 Comment »
The cutest old lady from Grand Forks, North Dakota is putting me and Nancy to shame. Columnist Marilyn Hagerty of the Grand Forks Herald wrote a touching review of a new Olive Garden that opened up in her city this past week, and the article has attracted over 100,000 page views since its publication on Monday. Daaaaamn.
For her meal, Hagerty ate a chicken Alfredo pasta and drank a cup of water. She writes of the server: “She first brought me the familiar Olive Garden salad bowl with crisp greens, peppers, onion rings and yes — several black olives. Along with it came a plate with two long, warm breadsticks.”
She goes on to earnestly praise the Olive Garden for being “the largest and most beautiful restaurant now operating in Grand Forks. It attracts visitors from out of town as well as people who live here.” (Marilyn, honey, maybe it’s time to move….)
In response to her popularity, Hagerty told the Village Voice, “I don’t get it. I don’t have time to sit here and twit over whether some self-styled food expert likes, or does not like, my column.”
This article, for some mysterious reason, has 1) increased my desire to eat those remarkable breadsticks at Olive Garden and 2) kowtow to Marilyn’s genius writing. There’s no way you can’t fawn over a lady who simply finds joy in having black olives in her salad!24 Comments »
D Magazine intern Michelle Saunders is a vegan who enjoys healthy eating. Now I feel bad for stuffing my face with a cream cheese puff pastry as I was editing this post for her.
Okay, I’ll admit it. When I first heard about Genghis Grill’s Health Kwest, a 60-day weight loss contest centered on daily meals at the chain, I was more than a little bit skeptical. After all, this is the restaurant inspired by the legendary thirteenth-century Mongol warrior whose nomad diet purportedly consisted of large quantities of meat and dairy products – not exactly commonly recognized diet foods. I wasn’t sure how many (if any!) options they’d have for a no meat, dairy, or gluten enthusiast like myself, but I was reassured to discover the menu is not all meat. There are, in fact, lots of vegetables as well as healthier starch options such as steamed brown rice. They even have tofu if you’re looking for a meat-less protein substitute, so vegetarians, fear not – the Khan has not forgotten you.
I met 26-year-old “Khantestant” Michelle Gamradt at the Arlington location she represents with hopes that she could shed some light on the second annual Health Kwest. Since this was my first time eating at GG, I had her walk me through the process she goes through every day. Upon arrival we were seated and each given a surprisingly small bowl then encouraged to go through the cafeteria-style line and “build our bowls.” Michelle and I discussed the khantest over her mango bbq shrimp and sausage bowl (under 500 calories!) and my spicy veggie bowl.
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We sent editorial intern James Williford to attend the Tate Lecture Series with Michael Pollan, the best-selling author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto. Here’s what he learned from the Pollanator:
Last night, after toting bagfuls of Tom Thumb groceries onstage at SMU’s McFarlin Auditorium, Michael Pollan opened this year’s Oncor Lecture with a familiar pronouncement: Americans have a disastrous relationship with food. Aside from an apple, the locally-bought foodstuffs—which, one after another, he pulled out of the bags and joked wryly about—were over-processed junk with appallingly misleading label copy. Holding up an almost neon-yellow tube, he said: “No one has ever confused Pringles with health food, right? But now you can get Pringles Multigrain. ‘Cheesy Cheddar,’ artificially flavored, but multigrain. So that’s a real winner. You put ‘multigrain’ on everything, because we’ve read that it’s good for you.” The audience laughed.
Pollan has his shtick down, but his message is serious and not quite as uncontroversial as it might at first seem. It’s not just the quality of the food that we eat, he says, but the way that we think about food in general that, over the last 30 years or so, has swelled our guts, impoverished our culinary culture, and left us increasingly susceptible to coronary disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. And how do we think about food? As nutrition.4 Comments »
[Ed. Note: Thanks to Carol for this report. Plus, she took all of the photos. She says: " Big cameramen were blocking me so I had to crawl under people and touched a lot of legs]
First Lady Michelle Obama made a pit stop in Dallas this morning to promote her project, Let’s Move! inside the basketball court of Kleberg-Rylie Recreation Center. Her three-day national tour celebrates the second anniversary of her initiative designed to combat America’s growing obesity problem.
“Healthy food can be good and delicious too,” said Mrs. Obama to a room filled with Nancy Moseley Elementary students, “And that’s what we’re going to learn today.”
As 110 kids cheered, BRAVO’s Top Chefs Paul Qui, Grayson Schmitz, Richard Blais, Fabio Viviani, Jenn Carroll, and Spike Mendelssohn cooked healthy and nutritional meals within a 30 minute time limit under the watchful eyes of judges Tom Colicchio, Sam Kass (White House chef), and the First Lady.
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Last week, the chefs realized that one of the losing contestants (either Bev or Grayson) would be returning through Last Chance Kitchen, which would increase their numero to cinco. Sarah (who looks like Austin Eater editor Andrea Grimes, don’t you think?) is noticeably disappointed when Bev walks through the doors to compete with the other four in this elimination challenge because tiny Bev is a fierce competitor. She is a beast.
Now three out of the five contestants are repping the Asian continent. I would just like to point that out. #minoritypride
Jump for more shenanigans. Continue reading "Top Chef: Texas, Episode 14 Recap"7 Comments »
We’re suckers for any press release that contains the following sentences:
It seems a couple well-intentioned entrepreneurs have teamed up with J&D’s Foods to create a little something they’re calling baconlube—the world’s first bacon-flavored, water-based, American-made, personal lubricant.
Billing itself as the “gold standard of meat-flavored massage oils” (natch) baconlube, they say, is like the McRib of sex: it’s delicious, makes men crazy, is here for a limited time, and is in short supply.
If you’re thinking “stocking stuffer!” (let’s stay on track here), we’re right behind you. But the boys only made 3,000 bottles of this pork-flavored nectar. It hit the interwebs yesterday at www.baconlube.com. How much, you ask, for a product that promises such a satisfying holiday season? Only $11.99.
you know you want more. jump for it… Continue reading "This Little Piggy Went Downtown"13 Comments »