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eGullet Society staff emeritus
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Everything posted by TAPrice

  1. Today I stopped into Octavia books in New Orleans, which handled book sales at last year's Tales. They had 3 or 4 copies of Rogue Cocktails on display. I'm pretty certain they would ship a copy. I did a short item for the Times-Picayune, the daily here, on Beta Cocktails' trends for the new year. It include a few notes about their plans for a Beta Cocktail book.
  2. Raising this thread from the dead to ask if anyone has an update on Akron dining? This spring my wife will be there for a month on business. Where should she (and I when I visit) seek sustenance?
  3. That's what everyone keeps reporting, but I find that really hard to believe.
  4. Check out Slow Cocktails, the new blog by the Atlantic magazine's cocktail writer Wayne Curtis. He has a couple of recent reviews of London bars.
  5. So what is everyone eating for Thanksgiving? I'll go first: Starters Crudités with romesco sauce Boiled shrimp with remoullade sauce (Creole style) Grilled oysters with champagne cream sauce Main course Turkey (letting grocery store make it, because I hate turkey) Sweet potatoes and apples (tradition of my wife's family) Brussels sprouts Dressing (a chef friend is making it, so I don't know what kind) Mashed potatoes (also by chef friend) Green salad (another friend is making) Desserts Pumpkin pie French silk pie Lemon bars Sweet potato tarte tatin And on Friday there will be turkey gumbo.
  6. Why does that bread (I'm assuming it's parbaked) smell so bad in the oven? That foul odor can stink up an airport terminal quickly. Even worse than the scent of Cinnabun.
  7. My wife has thrown a few of these recently. She always opts for the English tea party theme. Finger sandwiches, homemade scones, fancy jams and lemon curd. Perhaps a chicken salad.
  8. There is a pretty active chapter here in New Orleans. I don't know much about what they do, but I'd be happy to put you in contact with them.
  9. What's up with that pizza place that opened across from Huevos in the old Shaggy's spot?
  10. Russ Parsons at the L.A. Times takes another stab at the "why Gourmet is gone" genre. At this rate, we will soon has enough material for a thick anthology. I'll have to admit that I can't really follow his argument. He says that Gourmet was not failing, because it had plenty of readers and in a company other than Conde Nast it would have been seen as strong and kept alive. And then he says that the reason it failed was that its reach was too broad and its demise signals the era of narrowly focused food magazines. Those seem like contradictory positions to me. Parsons, like most writers on this subject, dances around the question of why advertisers were fleeing from Gourmet. Failure might be too strong a word, but clearly Gourmet was attracting a lot less advertising than Conde Nast's other food title. What I've never seen explained is why this is the case. A) Either Gourmet made a bad bet on luxury advertisers and in the down economy they trimmed advertising so sharply that the magazine couldn't stay alive. or B) Something about Gourmet made the advertisers (not the readers) turn away from the food market (my understanding is that most of Conde Nast's other titles also rely on advertisers selling primarily to the luxury market). If the answer is (a), then it was just an unfortunate business decision. If the answer is (b), then maybe Gourmet's end says something larger about trends in the food world.
  11. Yes, the R month rule has to do with spawning cycles. It's not relevant in Gulf Coast, because the warmer waters mean that oysters spawn continuously year-round. Despite this, many believe (and I would agree) that even Gulf oysters task better in colder months. On the other hand, the bacteria vibrio vulnificus has been shown to increase when water temperature rises in the summer. That is the danger that the FDA (rightly or wrongly) is concerned about.
  12. Come now, chefs aren't cattle. They should just be treated like cattle.
  13. The website says it's at 2200 Magazine St. Pretty sure this is where Vera died. So are these the guys who couldn't get the restaurant opened there?
  14. Sure, but shows, movies and concerts are all, relatively speaking, fleeting products. Restaurants stick around a lot longer and there is value, as a consumer, in having a quick way to rank them. When I'm thinking about going to an art exhibit or concert, I don't need to consider three years worth of critical output from a publication. If I'm deciding where to go out to eat, then I very well might want that range of opinion and in that situation the stars serve as a useful shorthand.
  15. Mitch was proposing one score based on adding up the individual scores. IIRC Zagat doesn't give one accumulated score; they list scores by food, decor, and service, right? I haven't used a Zagat guide for years.... That's correct. People score restaurants in three categories (Food, Decor and Service) on a 1-3 scale. Those scores are averaged and then multiplied by 10 (i.e. a 2.7 average becomes a 27 score). [Full disclosure: I've worked as a local editor for Zagat, but I am in no one speaking on behalf of them.] In my day job, I'm a lecturer in Spanish. It's amazing how these debates over rating restaurants mirror the arguments we have about how to grade student composition in basic level classes. I agree with Chris that simply aggregating several categories often gives you results that just don't make intuitive sense. I'd rather have the subjective overall judgment a good critic.
  16. Good point. How do bartenders expect to get tipped if they don't make change?
  17. In his blog, the big man confirms my impression of Michael V.:
  18. I continued to think Michael V. just doesn't understand that food should taste good. His disparaging comment about Kevin's dish pretty much confirmed that. He scoffed that he could have pulled that off in 20 minutes. Well, maybe, but it seemed pretty clear Kevin's dish tasted better and was actually filling. Can someone remind Michael V. that food is made to be eaten? It does seem like Michael V. (and probably his brother) is a chef's chef. That might ultimately be his downfall.
  19. Yeah, the writing (or more likely the editing) was much stronger this week. I enjoyed it.
  20. I agree. Fresh candy corn is excellent.
  21. They are available here in NYC year-round. I wondered if distribution varied regionally. Then again, I suppose everything is available all the time in New York. It's truly a place of wonders.
  22. Will the judges complain when the chefs fail to produce a savory dish?
  23. Seasonality is not just part of the farmers market. This weekend I picked up four bags of candy, one being a pound of miniature 100 Grand bars. I really like these. It's one of the few (ok many) mass market candies I secretly enjoy. Except I can't find these in any stores. Are 100 Grand bars produced only during Halloween? I know they used to be widely available. What pushed them aside? And what other candies now appear just once a year? As a bonus, here is the excellent description of the candy from Nestle's official site
  24. I really disagree with this. First, every craft has it's own aesthetics and no one has a monopoly on the term. Secondly, I believe there is a lot in common between craft brewing and craft cocktails (alcohol for one ) Other commonalities include quality ingredients, a striving for balance, a focus on delivering maximal flavor and experience to the customer along with the requisite drug-dose... I would argue that association with craft brewing would actually help explain these drinks to a general audience. From the drinkers perspective, we're talking about people demanding more from what's in their glasses. And in both case, the move to both better beers and cocktails follows a pretty crappy version of both. The fact that the craft beer movement is far better established in the US, makes the association a useful way to attract more widespread interest in well made cocktails.
  25. That's funny. When I hear "culinary cocktail" I think of those Cyrus fancy juice and vodka cocktails (totally unfair characterization of those drinks, I admit). I guess that's because I think of those drinks as driven from the larders of the kitchen (interesting juices and garnishes, exotic syrups whipped up by the pastry chefs). And culinary makes me think of the kitchen. The drinks we're talking about (whatever they're called) are more driven by the spirits.
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