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Sevilla / Seville Restaurants


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And the anemones were definitely not espadenyes or goose barnacles. There was a specific word used to describe them that we had to look up later. It was a regional name. Argh, I wish I could remember.

Anyway, we were pretty amused at the description of them being frightened off the rocks (and baffled). We finally got our barman to describe them and he came out with the comparison to flowers. We were never quite sure what they were until we looked them up.

They tasted somewhat like fried oysters . . . A bright shot of brine. A friend eating with us described them as deep fried bird shit (she didn't like them much) . . . unfortuantely that is exactly their texture, unpleasant as t is to imagine :biggrin: But really! they were good!

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Galicia was interesting. Seafood was good, but not inexpensive. I love Albarino wines and they're inexpensive as a rule. We were there in January and the weather was quite nice. There's no tourisim in January, but we heard it was not the best time for seafood as the fisherman don't go out as much in mid winter. We found it surprisingly warm. I have a level of interest in regional Spanish food, but on the whole I'm still clueless about most of it. I recall eating sea urchins in Galica, in a sauce. I seem to recall the waiter mentioning that they weren't eaten at all in neighboring Asturias. There is little local market for avant garde food. The restaurants that had dishes influenced by what Adria, Arzak or Berasategui were doing, were rare. At one place they offered a sashimi like or fish carpaccio dish of thinly sliced raw fish. The waiter said it had been on the menu for years, but only lately has it attracted interest from locals. What was probably the best restaurant in the area, in Santiago, was closed for vacation unfortunately. We ate well, but not like in Catalunya.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

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  • 2 weeks later...

My wife and I spent a little over two weeks in Spain in the summer of 1991. We spent the first 1/2 of the trip in Northern Spain (Barcelona, San Sebastian, and some places in between) and the second 1/2 in Southern Spain (Sevilla, Grenada, and Marbella).

Generally speaking, the tapas were excellent and fun everywhere. And, they varied region to region. Tapas in San Sebastian bear little resemblance to tapas in Seville. For restaurants and fine dining, we found that the restaurants in Southern Spain couldn't really compare with the ones in Northern Spain. Of course, for my palate, that is a tough standard to have to meet. We ate at Akelare and Arzak on consecutive nights, and they were two of the most memorable meals I have eaten. Our Barcelona meals were also outstanding.

My wife and I keep a journal when we travel. It can be hard to read because we take turns writing in it and often write while drinking. Plus, our audience is our family, so we try not to overwhelm them with food descriptions (they aren't really into food unless it is cheap and voluminous)But, below are two portions of the journal related to dinners we had in Seville:

1. "Dinner was at Egana-Oriza, on the edge of the Murrillo Gardens. Thank god, there was no choice for a multi-course dinner here. Instead, we got langoustines, gazpacho, hake and scallops. We got scorned when we drizzled olive oil on our plates for our bread (what else are you supposed to do with it?), but had a good bottle of wine and a good time. They say that Seville parties until dawn and we can vouch for that by the street noise we heard until about 6:00 a.m."

2. "We headed out to Poncio for dinner. I had seen this restaurant in one of my cooking magazines and the author of the article said when he told the taxi driver where he wanted to go, the place was so new the taxi driver did not where it was. We had the exact same experience, but arrived at the small restaurant tucked in a neighborhood on the other side of the river with little problem.

The chef came out and explained the menu to us, which was helpful because the whole thing was in Spanish. This explanation was also good as it prevented Zeb from ordering what he interpreted to be "pasta," but which was, the chef explained, pig's trotters. The chef suggested a couple of tapas, some pastry dough type things with onions and cheese. I got pigeon and Zeb got a special pork dish - both of which were yummy. Desserts were a napoleon of some sort of chocolate ganache and coffee-flavored cream between crisp layers and a kind of vanilla cream soup with dumplings."

Thinking back on the meals, we enjoyed the newer and less famous Poncio much more than the more renowned Egana-Oriza. But, both were very good. I wouldn't put either in the "you must eat there" category, and, in fact, we found no such restaurant in Southern Spain. But, don't let that discourage you about the food. Our last night in Seville was spent roaming from tapas joint to tapas joint, sampling many little taste treats (including inumerable servings of jamon and manchengo), different wines, and, of course, the ever-present San Miguel.

Have fun on your trip!

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My wife and I spent a little over two weeks in Spain in the summer of 1991.  We spent the first 1/2 of the trip in Northern Spain (Barcelona, San Sebastian, and some places in between) and the second 1/2 in Southern Spain (Sevilla, Grenada, and Marbella).

More recently, I was discussing food with a Spanish food journalist. I mentioned that France was losing it's edge in terms influence and that the center of gravity seemed to be leaving France. He replied that it was now south of the border halfway between Barcelona and San Sebastian. It was hard to disagree. The food in both the Basque region and Catalonia has even getten better and I've had a few excellent meals in between.

My wife and I keep a journal when we travel.

Welcome to the club. I think you'll find you belong here on eGullet.

It can be hard to read because we take turns writing in it and often write while drinking. Plus, our audience is our family, so we try not to overwhelm them with food descriptions (they aren't really into food unless it is cheap and voluminous)

We recommend not driving while drinking and not taking notes while driving.

:biggrin:

Welcome to a more demanding audience for your notes. We're not likely to be bored by the details and descriptions. Anyway, all browsers come with a built in scroll bar.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

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  • 1 month later...

I'm not sure if this thread is still alive or not but I wanted to add my two cents worth.

There are some really nice and also very expensive restaurants in and near Sevilla. Oriza is an example. I've eaten there often but mostly when it was being covered by an expense report. The quality is good and so is the quantity but the menu is not typical of the area.

This is a problem with many of the upper echelon of restaurants. They want to change the food to something artsy-fartsy to justify their prices. As an example, the simple dish of Almejas is lovely but places like Oriza want to use bigger clams or change it somehow so it doesn't resemble what's available in the rest of Sevilla.

The manner of eating in Sevilla is also somewhat different than many people are accustomed to do. The dishes are placed on the table and everyone eats some of everything. You don't order your own specific plate but order a group of plates from which everyone partakes.

If I had only one chance to eat in Sevilla again, it would be at the restaurant called "Los Cuevas" on Virgin de la Huerte in Los Remedios. This is near Triana but not quite there. The chef-well, I think she's the owners wife. The owner Antonio and his sons run this place. You have to get there early because it's always crowded. The type of food is typical Spanish dishes from Andalucia. If you arrive very late, they'll usually make sure you leave there fed.

The choice of wines is large. They have a good selection of top Spanish wines. There are of course moderately priced wines too.

They take reservations and will fill at lunch time too. Most of the clients are Spanish-very few tourists. The biggest attraction to this place is the ambiance. This is all important in Spain and something that wasn't mentioned in any of the earlier posts. If the restaurant is empty, it doesn't matter how good the food is there-you have to have ambiance.

Tapas are good but if you want to eat well in Sevilla, make sure you give this place a visit.

BlackDuff

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I'm not sure if this thread is still alive

Old threads rarely die here. Even those without new posts are useful as reasearch. the search engine is excellent and should be even better as this software develops. Your contribution to our database of information is well appreciated even if no one is contemplating an immediate trip. Thanks for your input. Spain is undeservedly under reported and discussed on this site and I'd like to see that rectified.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

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  • 5 months later...

My husband will be travelling to Sevilla for the UEFA cup final in May, in the company of his father and three other food-loving gentlemen.

They'll be staying right in the centre and will have a couple of days there before the match.

Is the Taberna del Alabardero truly excellent? Exceptionally expensive? It would be curious for them to go there, since one of the group is himself a restaurant-owner priest.

I dare say they'll be eating a lot of tapas - any particular recommendations?

All gastronomic suggestions welcome!

Chloe

north Portugal

(any Celtic fans out there?)

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Adria's(el Bulli) ex chef de cuisine Morales is cooking at Hacienda Monasterio 10 km. or so outside.  Ferran Adria is a partner. The rest. already gathered a Michelin star.

Hmmm, I'm not sure that the El Bulli style is quite what they'd be looking for!

But don't go to Sevilla if you do not want Porto beat Celtic 2 to 0 :smile:

2-0, 4-0, the more the merrier! And a goal from Vitor Baia :wub: would be the (unlikely) icing on the cake, or the caviar on the blini, or the ...

(1-0 will do fine thank you!)

Chloe

north Portugal

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Exceptionally expensive is a relative thing. As a New Yorker who's dined in Paris and began our trip by eating in two of Madrid's most expensive restaurants, I did not fine it expensive in the abstract. La Taberna Del Albardero was an exceptionally lovely place and I could not really fault the service, except to say that courses arrived far too quickly one after the other as we've found all over Spain, but we were quite underwhelmed by the food. It came highly recommended to us by a group paid to recommend places to stay and eat in Spain, and plan itineraries for Americans traveling on upscale budgets. It made us think of old fashioned hotel dining. Perhaps that's what most free spending tourists want. I don't know if there's a better place to try, but there were a few recommendations on an earlier thread. BlackDuff recommended Egaña Oriza and Los Cuevas in Andalusian Treats. Elsewhere on the site, I recall vserna mentioning Poncio. His recommendations have served me well online over the years in Spain and even in France. We planned on having tapas rather than dining and changed our minds at the last minute. Poncio was completely reserved by the time we thought to call and we tried La Taberna Del Albardero, as it was near us at the time we decided to have dinner.

A fritura pescadito was 12.90 euros and composed largely of chunks of fried cuttle fish unceremoniously placed on top of salad. A consomme of jamon with two small ravioli was good, but not that interesting at 12.50. A stew of jabali (boar) for 21.20 was rather dry, dull and not at all the work of a kitchen that really cared. My lamb chops at 22.00 were not as good as others I'd had along the trip. When asked if I'd like them "pink," I replied "red -- rosa," then correcting myself in Spanish with "rojo." I can't imagine which of that indicated well done. A Beronia Reserva from Rioja was 25.80. Prices do not include the 7% tax and there's a 3.30 cover charge for two. I may be over reacting -- places that focus on ambience, decor and service with less regard for the food are a bane to me. Clearly I am in a minority -- a Usenet restaurant group thread once showed that a majority of American diners choose a restaurant on the basis of ambience and service with food playing but a very minor role down the list of reasons to choose one restaurant over the other. My fantasy is that the priorities of most who post and lurk here are closer to my own.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

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Living here in Seville and having dined at many local restaurants I would first start out by saying that Seville is a much more rewarding city for tapas then for more conventional sit-down meals. That said, the two restaurants which I have enjoyed eating at most over the last year or so are Salvador Rojo and Poncio. Both are chef-owned restaurants which give a modern interpretation of Andalusian cuisine with some outside influences. La Taberna del Albardero which Bux mentioned is a catering school as well as a restaurant and hotel. At lunchtime during the week there is a 'menu del día', with a choice of around 6 starters, 6 main dishes and 3 or 4 desserts. Everything is prepared and served by students at the catering school. For around 10 euros per person it´s a worthwhile experience.

As far as tapas bars are concerned there is an abundance of them to choose from. Where you go depends on what you are looking for. For traditional tapas such as spinach and chick peas, El Rinconillo, Seville´s oldest bar. For good ham there are quite a few places, one of my favourite´s being La Flor de Toranzo. For fish and other seafood, El Espigón or Bodegas Góngora. For great tapas with a bit more sofistication to them Casablanca or Eslava. I could go on and on. If you want some more indepth information, then e-mail me and I´ll get back to you

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Seville is a much more rewarding city for tapas then for more conventional sit-down meals.

I think I've posted Penelope Casas' words to that effect in another thread and it was on my mind when we arrived in Sevilla. Out intent was to focus on tapas and skip formal meals in Sevilla, especially after enjoying tapas so much in Jerez earlier. In spite of the fact that several of the tapas bars we visited in Sevilla had rather wide selections, my enjoyment of tapas is heightened when I can visit several different bars. After a day of walking to see the sights and a few visits to tapas bars in the afternoon, we were looking to just sit in one place and rest our feet for a few hours. I think Poncio also serves tapas, but I'm not sure if there are tables or if you have to stand at the bar and if there are tables, I'm not sure if they can be reserved.

While we had pretty good luck picking bars at random, as well as using the Michelin guide, your specific recommendations should be valuable the next time I'm in Seville.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

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Thank you all for your suggestions. Threads elsewhere have reminded me of another question I was going to ask. I'd love him to bring me back a few bottles of jerez, manzanilla or anything drinkable/edible that I am unlikely to get hold of in my local part of Spain - Galicia. Any suggestions of brands/types/shops most welcome.

Chloe

north Portugal

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The best wine shop in Seville is Tierra Nuestra situated in Calle Constancia, 41, tel: 95442119. If you are looking for manzanillas then my favourites that are readily available in Seville are Solear, San Leon, La Gitana and La Goya. Classic finos include Tio Pepe, Fino Quinta and La Ina. These wines can normally be purchased in decent supermarkets. In the department store El Corte Inglés they have a gourmet part called El Club del Gourmet which has sherry wines of high quality from a number of bodegas (wineries) including Lustau, Gonzalez Byass, Sánchez Romate, Domecq and Osborne.

Seville is a good place to buy good Iberian ham and other derivatives from the Iberian pig such as caña de lomo. Also, high-end brandies and vinagers from Jerez are worth checking out as well as good olive oil. There is a shop called la Delicia del Barrio on Calle Mateos Gagos which has good Andalusian olive oil. It´s very close to the cathedral

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If I may suggest bringing coals to Newcastle, or fortified sweet wines to the country that gives us port, There are some wonderful Pedro Ximenez wines made in Andalucia. Unfortunately, I have just discovered them and have little to offer in the way of recommendation. Most are dark and heavy and would served in a meal as a replacement for Port or a French wine such as Banyuls or Maury, or so I think, based on our enjoyment of a PX Reserva Especiale from Romate. I have no idea of the price as glasses were comped by a small restaurant after we ordered an unusual bottle of wine and got into long conversations with the waiter about local specialties on a slow night. My recommendation would be to trust the shop Roger recommends based on his recommendation of it.

We were also impressed by what I think is an unusual PX that comes not from Jerez, but from the province of Cordoba to the east of Sevilla. Here's what I said in another thread.

in Madrid, we were introduced to a PX (Pedro Ximenez) -- vino ducle de postre -- not from Jerez, but from Aguilar De La Frontera. The D.O. is Montilla-Morilles and producer is Bodegas Toro Albalá. It was a vintage wine (2001) with 17% alcohol and, I'm told, unfortified. It was dark amber in color and tasted of figs, raisins and honey.
I think it ran about 10 euros a bottle in a wine shop. That seemed a bargain.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

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  • 4 weeks later...

One happy, but hoarse husband (who now has lots of new Scottish friends), 3 bottles of manzanilla (Solear, La Goya and Gaspar Florido), 1 oloroso (Sanchez Romate - Don José) and 1 PX (Lustau San Emilio).

Happy all around, I'd say :smile:

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Maybe a bit too late for this thread but something to always remember about dining in Spain is that when you eat early, you're going to have waiters tripping over themselves to serve you.

You'll be in and out before you know what happened. It's much better to go when the crowds have filled up the restuarant and then sit back and enjoy the meal. Things will be much more relaxed and you'll find you enjoy yourself much more. You'll be able to enjoy another bottle of wine while you wait even.

One more important reason is that the food will be fresher. Many dishes could have been prepped and waiting since lunch was served. If the restuarant is full when you arrive, you'll have fresh ingredients.

Maybe Roger will have a different take on this but I really wouldn't go to the Barrio Santa Cruz in Sevilla for eating tapas. Of course there are some good places but the ratio of good to bad is too great to chance. Calle Betis is another area listed in many guide books but I find it (the bars there) serve poor quality food and at elevated prices.

After 11 pm, you're in the right time frame. I've stood in line at midnight trying to get into Madrid restaurants. It was worth the wait.

Blackduff

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I've stood in line at midnight trying to get into Madrid restaurants. It was worth the wait.

Must've been a long time ago... These days, people have dinner much earlier than that in Madrid.

Victor de la Serna

elmundovino

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  • 2 weeks later...

VSERNA

I revlieved in my in the very from 1988-1994 and then later I started to work again mostly in Sevilla. So maybe thing did was better in later. I started again in 1997-1999 and still did the same time.

Our restaurants always in Sevilla, Madrid, Cadiz, Jerez, Puerto Real, Toledo and other places.

But I did ask a friend on what they find for getting into lesting restaurants. Here's what he said.

"Anyway, before I forget, dinner is still eaten at the same time, and

if anything, later than ever. Dont forget, that shops dont close till

9.00 or 10.00 p.m. so that has a huge effect on when restaurants open.

You are dead right. You might be able to reserve a table for 9.00 but

you might arrive before the waiters and the earliest your first course

would be on the table would be 10.00 p.m. Having said that, when you

leave at midnight, it is common for others to be arriving. Are you

sure this person wasnt mixing up the merienda (5.00 - 6.00 p.m.) with

dinner? Cant think of any other explanation.

"

I guess that I always managed to eat later more than later. I have eaten at a taxi place where they let restuarants being at later than 2 pm.

I've never had better choices for a fun even. Maybe the fun isn't the best the way.

(please had me for a problem from the doctor tonight the last through days. I'm sorry it doesn't have everything I could so please me what I may. I cannot make way better later. Sorry that I couldn't )

Blackduff

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  • 1 month later...

Will be in Southern Spain the 1st week of Oct. and I am looking for guidance.

I am in the hospitality business and enjoy "4 star" establishments as well as local restaurants that serve food that represents the area.....any help?

If you don't eat your meat, you can't have any pudding. How could you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat!??

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Click on the link for a discussion on Sevilla recommendations posted earlier in the year. For us, tapas were the gastronomic highlights of our stay in Sevilla. May I ask what part of the hospitality business you are in, and how it affects your interest in food? Sevilla offered us a perfect example of a restaurant whose charms were everywhere but in the food. It was however highly regarded by many and enthusiastically recommended by someone who plans upmarket itineraries for sophisticated visitors to Spain and who is highly respected for her abilities to know and satisfy her audience. That I could not recommend it for the food, does not seem to stop most people from loving the place.

In Rhonda, someone hot on the trail of creative cooking in Spain should not miss Tragabuches, but it may not be everyone's cup of tea. On the other hand, I heartily recommend El Churrasco in Cordoba for its very traditional food and grilled meats as well as for its ambience.

A real find, was Hacienda El Roselejo, off the main highway near Arcos de la Frontera, somewhere between Rhonda and Sevilla. Should you get near Sanlucar de Barrmeda, you should have lunch at one of the seafood restaurants on the quai. Mirador de Doñana served us well.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

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Thanks for the info Bux.....I am a chef at a golf club up in Greenwich CT. On my last trip to Spain we were in Barcelona and Madrid. I am curious to see the difference in the food in the southern part of the country....if you have any more info please pass it on.

If you don't eat your meat, you can't have any pudding. How could you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat!??

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Thanks for the feedback. I know it's unfair to make assumptions, but I assume a chef will have more of an intellectual interest in the food itself, or at least a professional curiosity, than say, hotel managers,l who are also in the hospitality industry, but might be less likely to share the intensity of interest. In the end, it's a personal thing. Some people are obsessed with the food, while others regard it as a small part of the dining experience.

I am far more likely to urge a chef to try Tragabuches in Rhonda, than I am the casual tourist looking for local food. El Churrasco in Cordoba is a universal recommendation. While at El Churrasco, try to speak to Rafael. Actually there are two Rafaels. One is the owner and the other either a captain or sommelier. Either will do and you are likely to be asked which Rafael you want if you ask for him. They have a second historic building near the restaurant, which houses their cave, mini wine museum (a small room with a couple of display cases just over the cave entrance) and private party rooms. It's all worth the short time it takes to see and either Rafael should be able set you up with someone to take you on a tour of the premises. I'm not sure if they speak English, as my wife's first langauge is Spanish.

I've found another post of mine on eating in that area in the short Costa del Sol thread. Hacienda el Rosalejo (tel 956 231 000) near Arcos De La Frontera, is listed under Villamartín in the Michelin Guide. Michelin doesn't award it a star, but I think it's well worth a bit of a detour if you're driving from Ronda to Jerez or Sevilla.This place was recommended to us, but I suspect it actually changed hands since and it was our good fortune that it was taken over by able hands.

Most of Andalucia is excellent for tapas, but Sevilla is exceptional. We were taken by the range of tastes available. I should note that chickpeas and spinach is evidently a traditional tapas of the area. The most unusal tapas we found at a bar in the market on the Triana side of the Puente de Triana (also known as the Puente Isabel II) was sangre, which we mistook for morcilla. It is also made from blood and quite a bit like duck's blood found in Chinatown. The market itself was not very interesting when compared with the markets in Barcelona.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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