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Osnav

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Posts posted by Osnav

  1. I love the winese/whinese where poeticism is more important than describing the wine. I had a friend who worked for the Coppola vineyards who, at the least provocation, would go into the most inane winese descriptions:

    "The ____ pinot, although delicate, has the rounded firmness and sweet cherry finish similar to the breasts of the women of the Swedish gymnastics team."

    or...

    "The _____ chianti starts with a surge to the back of the palate then continues with the staying power of a three Viagra Sat. nite."

    And although I know no members of the Swedish gymnastics team, nor do I have any knowledge of a three viagra Sat nite; the imagery does seem to work. And it is far more interesting than: "Good juice/Bad juice".

  2. We will be spending some time in Alabama in the near future. Mostly in Birmingham and Montgomery. We are looking for restaurants that will give us the best of what alabama can produce. Cost (either way) is not important. Whether it's cheap & good or expensive & good, it is the food that we are seeking.

    Since we will be working in the day, we are looking for nighttime dining.

    Thanks,

    ri

  3. Just to reiterate Fat Guy's point,

    IT IS A MARKETING THING!!!

    I've been in the mag. pub. business for 30+ years and in almost every editorial meeting of every magazine client I have had I beg for LISTS (the 10 best shortstops, the 5 most popular cars, the 100 best album covers, etc.). 

    And evertime I get one, I sell more copies than prior issues w/o lists.

    To illustrate this further:  the only issue of Food & Wine I buy on the newsstand each year is the "best new chefs issue;  my favorite issue of ANY mag each year is the Saveur 100 issue. 

    The reality is no matter what 50 restos were listed, people are going to disagree with the list(but they are going to read the list).  That's when we magazine folk say:

    "Gotcha"

    So have some fun with it, but don't take it too seriously(there'll be another list in 5 years).

    Historical question: Can we pinpoint when this phenomenon began?

    I do know that the annual "Best of Philly" issue of Philadelphia magazine just produced its 34th iteration last August. It started as a total lark on the part of the magazine's staff, and it included a list of "worsts" that allowed the writers to throw well-deserved darts at notorious local figures and institutions.

    By the time it turned 10 in 1984, the judging process had already acquired an air of High Seriousness about it, and the magazine's publisher, in his front-of-every-issue rantspace "Off the Cuff," went to great pains to state that it was impossible to buy one's way into the list.

    And yet places that just about any Philadelphian will tell you remain among the best today (Taconnelli's for pizza, Tony Luke's for their roast pork sandwich) do not consistently appear in their respective categories. That's in part because some of them have been "retired", but "distributive justice" must have something to do with it too.

    On a national scale, this is a big country with lots of large cities that would be centers of national culture in their own right in many smaller nations. It sort of follows, then, that an editor of a national magazine, no matter where it is based, would risk alienating a large slice of his potential readership if he selected a "best of" list that was lacking in geographical diversity, even if it was more accurate in terms of true quality.

  4. Just to reiterate Fat Guy's point,

    IT IS A MARKETING THING!!!

    I've been in the mag. pub. business for 30+ years and in almost every editorial meeting of every magazine client I have had I beg for LISTS (the 10 best shortstops, the 5 most popular cars, the 100 best album covers, etc.).

    And evertime I get one, I sell more copies than prior issues w/o lists.

    To illustrate this further: the only issue of Food & Wine I buy on the newsstand each year is the "best new chefs issue; my favorite issue of ANY mag each year is the Saveur 100 issue.

    The reality is no matter what 50 restos were listed, people are going to disagree with the list(but they are going to read the list). That's when we magazine folk say:

    "Gotcha"

    So have some fun with it, but don't take it too seriously(there'll be another list in 5 years).

  5. I have always liked AB, but thought the idea of another on-the-backroads finding the "hidden treasure" restaurants is not needed. I'm waiting for the day when Jane and Michael Stern, Bourdain, the Dean Bros. & Alton all converge on the same hot dog stand in bum-f*ck Iowa.

    Did anyone else have a problem with understand Alton as he talked while riding his motorcycle. It annoyed the hell out of me.

    But then again, look at Food Networks new line up:

    AB on motorcycle

    The Dean Bros. (enouch daid)

    Bobby takin on the "locals"

    &

    Rachel being Rachel.

    Sheez!

    ri

  6. I hope Coleman does more than just write for Gourmet. It has been in need of help for some time. Although RR has always been a great writer, she doesn't seem to have the "vision" of a great editor (to use a sports analogy: great players don't necessarily make great managers).

    As to Saveur, let's hope the "suits" at World Publishing give James some latitude and time to put his mark on the mag. It is still one of the better food mag. products out there.

    ri

  7. I tend to agree w/you Ronnie. I doubt many of these will make it past a year or so. However, I have always thought there was a lack of mid-range, Italian restos in Chicago. I like the high-ends, but there are days when you just want a reasonably priced, mid-range place w/ a red checkered tablecloth and a raspy bottle of chianti.

    When I was spending more time in NYC, I was always amazed at the number of Italian restos. Seemed like there were more of them than Chinese restos. Most of them would serve a decent bowl of pasta and get you on your way w/o you having to hit an ATM for more cash on you way out.

    I'm sure that within the next month or so I'll have tried a coupleof thsese.

  8. Chris, is it okay if the stuff in the scrambled eggs is eggs? I've recently noticed a few dishes in different books -- most recently Jose Andres's tapas book, and also in some books of Mideastern recipes -- that are variants on this theme: you cook some scrambled eggs and then towards the end of cooking you crack some whole eggs over them. This creates not only a dramatic presentation but also you get the curdy scrambled eggs and the gooey texture of a fried/poached/soft-boiled egg at the same time as the yolks run all over the scrambled eggs.

    God this sounds good. I don't care if this qualifies or not. I'm heading for the kitchen NOW!

  9. Z. I've just reread thru this thread and as i did I thought I should rephrase my M. Twain paraphrase to: it's differences in people, times and situations; that make BBQ.

    Here is my current take on KC BBQ:

    Being a 'coot' I was around KC BBQ when it was defined by Gates, Bryant, Boyd, Rodsade and Quicks. Each one a dive in a odd part of town. And none of them, at that time, relocated to Overland Park.

    I left town and the next thing I know there is a KC BBQ Society, Doc R. Davis is producing some glop called KC Masterpiece, and the Amer. Royal BBQ has banned Queing in old stoves, loud bands, and excessive drinking. They have gentrified and codified BBQ into a Johnson-County state of mind.

    To me, they have fallen at the alter of Pat Boone singing Tutti Frutti (when everyone knows that the only true Tutti Frutti is sung by Little Richard).

    But people, times and situations change. So if BBQ in KC has evolved, more power to it. But if it takes a $50,000 rig to create 10 briskets, of which, only one is worth presenting to a judge; then I say give me a wonderbread, brisket sandwich with two thumb holes in it from Bryants and let me be the Judge.

  10. Just a note to add to the raves. We dined at Schwa Friday night and were completely Schwa-ed by the experience. It was everything mentioned in the above reviews.

    Two points not previously noted:

    1. No one mentioned how cool the electric palm trees were across the street. We parked a a side street on the east side of Ashland and had to walk right by them on our way to the restaurant. It was pretty surreal.

    2. Brittanie mentioned that Chef Carlson is working on a new menu. Let's hope that he incorporates some of our current favorites into the new menu.

  11. Is it just me being a cynic?

    If everyone goes to all the judging classes and learns what the judges want, carried to to the ultimate conclusion, won't everyone create exactlly the same BBQ?

    To paraphrase an old M. Twain saying: it's differences in BBQ that makes a horse race.

    Why not make BBQ so good that it changes the judges' minds as to what great BBQ is, rather than trying to make your BBQ adjust to the judges?

    I'm sure you will win less trophies this way, but we don't eat trophies.

    I would love to see a BBQ gathering that had no judging; just everyone making BBQ and sharing the food and the techniques of how they cooked there's. And if the good ole boys with the $50,000 rigs don't show up because there's no 6 ft trophies; then it's is there loss.

  12. I wonder if the decline in German-related restaurants is more a function of immigration. As mentioned above there is a preponderance of Mexican and a lot of Polish restaurants around. A good part of that may be due to the increase in the number of Latins and Poles into our communities.

    When was the last time you heard of anyone emigrating from German to the US?

  13. One other area that I haven't seen mentioned in this thread is people's basic fear of the unkown. They know what they are going to get at the chains. But driving down the road and seeing a sign for Fred Restaurant scares them. They probably have no idea if Fred's is good or bad, expensive or cheap, or what Fred serves or doesn't serve. It's is too easy to drive another mile to "road in every town" that has the line of Red Lobsters, Olive Gardens, Macaroni Grills, etc. There they know what they will find.

    Some of us prefer the hunt of finding a new place and are willing to eat several mediocre to bad meals to find a new gem. Most people are not this way.

  14. I've lived here 11 years and everytime I want BBQ I get on a plane and fly to Kansas City (as it's closer than TX, Memphis, and S. Carolina--love that mustard BBQ sauce).

    Another thing lacking in Chicago that I love is pan-fried chicken (like Stroud's in KC, or Chicken Annies or Chicken Mary's in Pittsburg, KS.)

    The only other type of food I found lacking in Chicago was pizza (I'm not into "Chicago-style, deep dish pizza); then I found Pizza DOCs. I make it there a couple of time a month and the rest of the time it's home-made onion, artichoke and goat cheese on a crunch Saveur crust.

  15. Arrived in KC around 1PM last Friday. As all our friends were working and we were starving, I called moosnsqrl for a lunch recommendation as we were driving into the city.

    We ended up at 1924 (located at 1924 Main St.).

    It was a delightful place. There was a three course lunch offered w/ wine parings for $5/course and $4/$6 for the wine parings (small pour & large pour). You also could choose as many or few courses and you wanted.

    I went for the 2 course (appetizer and entree) with the large wine parings. I had a wonderful bowl of mussels and califlower in a light curry concoction and a one person pizza of pears, walnuts, & gorgonzola. Both were small portions but filled with flavor and perfect for a sunny Fall afternoon.

    St. Celia had the same two course option with the small wine parings. She had a terrific celaric puree soup and an open-faced broccoli rabe sandwich topped with feta and a fried egg (spectacular).

    The wines were drinkable but nondescript.

    I would recommend this place to anyone who finds thereselves near downtown KC at lunchtime.

    I was told the menu changes weekly, so there is always something new to try.

  16. Pre dinner I'll start with a Capitol City "Autumnal Fire"(Madison, WI.) because it's the best beer I've had all Fall and I'm drinking it until I run out of it.

    I'll probably finish with a pumpkin beer(Thanksgiving and all), I tasted a good one the other day from somewhere in Missouri, but I have forgotten the name. I'll have to make another trip to my local liquor store whre I tasted it and check with the "beer guy".

    As the evening sets in and I lay back I'm sure I'll wind down the day with one of the Bell's Stouts.

    Happy eating and drinking this Holiday Season!

  17. Interesting topic. There has been a lot of local press here in Chicago about a restaurant(I can't remember the name) that has put a sign in it's window that states children have to behave and speak in "quiet" voices. The press has been beating the restaurant owner up over this. So far, he has held to his position.

    As to when children are old enough to be included in these situations, I do not think there is a certain age when they are ready. Children vary in maturity levels and in many cases there are 8-10 year olds perfectly capable of dealing with fine dining and there are probably 14-15 year old not ready. I really think the problem is the parents. The parents have to make these decisions. And unfortunately, many parents are incapble of making the decision.

    It is too bad the the one who suffers is the restauranteur who is damned if he does something about aggravating children and damned if he doesn't. All I can do is find out the name of the place in Chicago and patronize it and let the resturanteur know why I am there.

  18. Thanks for reopening the thread.

    This thread as been as interesting as Tony's, Michael's, Doug's and Steven's books. Tony has been great being Tony. Michael's posts were not quite his best nor most interesting(get some caffine in your system Michael and get back into the fray), Doug (he's opeing a restaurant so we have to cut him a little slack), and Steven has amply filled in as Doug's apologist (although a little whiny).

    The supporting cast has been insightful (Bux, in particular).

    This is why I love eGullet!

    The bell has sounded, it's Round 2.

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