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SobaAddict70

NYT Articles on Food, Drink, Cooking, and Culinary Culture (2005–2011)

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What... Bux was not being satirical? He was making a joke, dry humor, no? C'mon Bux, tell us, I thought you were being witty, . . .

Let's split the difference and say you were half right.

If bigboy's guys were the Provincials, I assumed my team was the Sophisticates. I"m prepared to play on either side. Martinis in crystal stemware, beer in a paper cup, I've been comfortable with both--and equally uncomfortable in the company of those who are not.

In retrospect, I guess I should have just said that a lot of people I know, and don't know, seem to read and be influenced by restaurant reviews. I also meant to say "movie reviews," not "moving reviews" and I'm kind of surprised no one's asked if I meant reviews of moving companies (I have seen articles on what to look for when you hire a company to move your household belongings) or reviews that touched the heart.

Whenever I've bought or read a copy of the NY Times outside of NYC, it seems as if parts are missing. I've also read on eGullet that we Manhattanites don't get to see the restaurant reviews that appear in the editions circulated in suburban NJ or Long Island. Thus I had reason to suspect "provincials" might not get to read Bruni's reviews.


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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i thought grimes comment was laughable were i not disturbed by the mention

a professional critic criticizing an amateur critic

what gives

stalking to me means coming over and being threatening

i am hard pressed to find satire as an objectionable discourse

but dont take my word for it

the interesting thing to me is that this developed with bruni is more of an indication of the role of the journalist in todays food culture

the critic has become the focal part of the review

and therefore is the bigger fish to fry

the public has to make the choice

and cooks have to deal with it

seacrest out

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Does anyone still have Suzanne Goin short rib with horseradish cream recipe from the NYT a few weeks or month ago?

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Does anyone still have Suzanne Goin short rib with horseradish cream recipe from the NYT a few weeks or month ago?

I don't have access with my subscription online (need to upgrade), but it was from the NY Times Magazine from Nov. 13, 2005. Hope that helps.


"If the divine creator has taken pains to give us delicious and exquisite things to eat, the least we can do is prepare them well and serve them with ceremony."

~ Fernand Point

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Steven Shaw, one of the founders of eGullet, a popular food Web site, this year began broadcasting eG Radio. The shows, which are largely interviews with chefs and restaurant profiles, are possible only because equipment that can take sound from someone's dining room to a Web site became cheap and easy to use.

"With $1,500 of equipment and a few hours of training we can do something that to an amateur listener is the equivalent of NPR," Mr. Shaw said.

So, how are things going, Steven?

With this kind of press I hope steps have been taken to elevate the quality of this audio endeavor to at least amateur level - never mind NPR. But speaking of NPR, there are some useful guidelines that may be helpful. see pages -5-6-7-8-


"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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Sunday's New York Times had an artitcle by Steven Kurutz, When a Good Ribeye Is Not a Bull's-Eye. It was prompted by a thread on chowhound.com (and eGullet has had the identical discussion) concerning whether the quality at Peter Luger has gone down. Kurutz says:

In recent years, the number of new steakhouses in the city has exploded. Newcomers include Peter Luger imitators like Wolfgang's and Ben & Jack's, as well as BLT Steak and Robert's Steakhouse. Two steakhouses have opened in the past two weeks in Manhattan, A.J. Maxwell's and Craftsteak, and a second branch of Wolfgang's is soon to open. Add stalwarts like Sparks and Bobby Van's, and that's a lot of people vying for U.S.D.A. Prime, a designation given to only about 2 percent of all meat sold.

The result is, if not a meat shortage, a constant hustle among the city's top steakhouses to secure the best cuts.

The article goes on to quote Mister Cutlets (Josh Ozersky) as saying, "There's not enough great meat to go around." Master Purveyors in Hunts Point, one of the major suppliers, is now buying 75,000 pounds per week more than it did six years ago.

Marilyn Spiera, part owner of Luger, and one of its buyers, concedes it's a "struggle...to get the best meat," but (somewhat contradictorily) insists that the restaurant is as good as ever.

If there's a saturation point for steakhouses in New York, we clearly haven't reached it yet. The format seems to be indestructible, even though almost every entree is $35 or more, side dishes are extra, and appetizers are usually quite expensive to boot. It's pretty hard to get out of a Manhattan steakhouse for much less than $70 a head, and of course it can go much higher than that after you order wine. Yet, the supply of customers willing to shell out big bucks for a steak dinner seems to be nearly inexhaustible.

Try opening any other restaurant at that price point without a "name" chef behind it, and your odds of success are at best 50-50. But the steakhouses just keep coming and coming and coming, often with nothing to recommend them except for the word "steak" in the restaurant's name.


Edited by oakapple (log)

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Although I do think steakhouses in New York are kind of a fad right now. Obviously, steakhouses will always be an important part of the New York dining scene, and there will always be several successful ones. But I don't think it will always be as many as are opening now.

(I think the fad is part of the same thing that has caused the martini fad and the cocktail revival.)


Edited by Sneakeater (log)

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Although I do think steakhouses in New York are kind of a fad right now.  Obviously, steakhouses will always be an important part of the New York dining scene, and there will always be several successful ones.  But I don't think it will always be as many as are opening now.

(I think the fad is part of the same thing that has caused the martini fad and the cocktail revival.)

how long do you think it will last?

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Here in Syracuse we had one casual but good local steakhouse that aged and cut its own USDA prime beef on premises for years. But the rising costs prompted them to switch to Choice about five years ago. Rumor has it that there's a new higher end steakhouse openign here soon but I'll be very surprised if they have prime - not just because of pricepoint but due to lack of availability.

As a matter of fact - our local Wegman's stopped carryign Prime in the meat department last year but still stock it in some more affluent markets. I'll guess that they had adequate demand here bur could more easily support higher prices elsewhere (e.g. the Princeton NJ store).

But how about the quality of the average Choice steak sold in restaurants that are not upper tier steakhouses? Have any of you noticed a decline in quality there?

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I can't believe that there will be a substantial shortage of top-quality prime beef in New York City so long as restaurants and customers remain willing to pay. It's fairly well known that a substantial amount of top-quality prime beef goes to Japan, and there's really no reason that couldn't be sold in the US so long as the profitability is the same.


--

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I don't think steakhouses are a fad in the usual sense of that term. New York has a long-standing reputation as a steakhouse town, and it is likely to remain so for the foreseeable future.

It is easy to see why so many new steakhouses are opening. They hardly ever fail, and the check size is large. Hardly any creativity is required, since the majority of steakhouses have nearly identical menus, and very nearly the same price structure.

So, what are the possibilities for the future? At some point, Manhattan will over-saturate. There must be a limit to the number of people willing to spend $40 for steaks of diminishing average quality. We don't seem to have reached the limit yet, but it will happen. There will be a correction, and a few steakhouses will fail. Establishments at the margin of survivability will innovate, in an effort to differentiate themselves. Inevitably, some of those innovations will be a bust, but the effort might produce some welcome new ideas.

One must also wonder what the increased demand will do to prices. The vast majority of top steakhouses are charging in the $35-40 range for most cuts of beef. Scarcity of the best prime beef might push the price of most steaks above $40, which might be above the resistance level for many of today's steakhouse patrons. Conversely, some second-tier establishments might just give up on prime altogether, and serve choice at a lower price point.

A recent trend is what I'd call the super-luxury steakhouse, of which BLT Steak, BLT Prime, and Craftsteak are the leading examples. These establishments get several dollars more per item than the typical steakhouses by offering the best ingredients in a slightly fancier setting than usual for the format. It will be interesting to see of there are more attempts to break out of the cliché.

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It is easy to see why so many new steakhouses are opening. They hardly ever fail, and the check size is large

I am given to understand that the percent profit, on the steak at least, is the smallest in the business.


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Nebraska ranchers are just tired of losing money. So we're counterfeiting 20 dollar bills instead of producing beef anymore.

At least if we do that, we get cable, and 3 hot meals a day, and a roof over our heads. That's more than we can say for ranching.


I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

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It is easy to see why so many new steakhouses are opening. They hardly ever fail, and the check size is large

I am given to understand that the percent profit, on the steak at least, is the smallest in the business.

However, they more than make it up (or I'm presuming they do) on side dishes, appetizers, and liquor.

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I'm not so sure they "more than make it up" -- although there is clearly some making up at play.

But look at it this way: If you get a typical meal at Peter Luger (let's say 1/3 of a tomato and onion salad, a strip of bacon, 1/2 of a German potatoes, 1/2 of a creamed spinach and 1/2 of a steak for two) it will run you about 60 bucks. Let's compare that to a 60 dollar order at Babbo, which would get you something like "warm tripe alla Parmigiana," "fettuccine with house-made pancetta, artichokes, lemon and hot chiles," and "fennel dusted sweetbreads with sweet and sour onions, duck bacon and membrillo vinegar." I have not included cocktails and wine, but anyone who has been to both restaurants will tell you that the markup is likely to be higher at Babbo on booze. Peter Luger's food cost on the steak alone is likely to be more than Babbo's food cost for the entire meal.


--

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I'm not so sure they "more than make it up" -- although there is clearly some making up at play.
Perhaps I'm presuming too much, but I doubt that so many restauranteurs would be falling over each other to open new steakhouses if it weren't a profitable business model.
Peter Luger's food cost on the steak alone is likely to be more than Babbo's food cost for the entire meal.

No doubt, although Babbo's dishes may be more labor-intensive to produce. What helps the steakhouses, I think, is the high probability of success. I mean, if 10 investors open Babbo clones, most will fail. If the same 10 investors open steakhouses, most will succeed. At least, those seem to be the odds these days in Manhattan.
Edited by oakapple (log)

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I can't believe that there will be a substantial shortage of top-quality prime beef in New York City so long as restaurants and customers remain willing to pay.  It's fairly well known that a substantial amount of top-quality prime beef goes to Japan, and there's really no reason that couldn't be sold in the US so long as the profitability is the same.

Then wouldn't the ban on US Beef imports in Japan due to BSE cause a windfall of prime?

And on the subject of import/xport, is the cattle lobby so strong that we are unable to import beef from places like South American and Australia?

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speaking of import/export, can somebody chime in on what the current status is with regard to japan? are we importing kobe beef from them? do they have a ban on american beef being imported to japan?

i'm curious because there's a steakhouse near me (norCal) that claims to serve "real" japanese kobe steaks..."we're one of the only restaurants around here that serves real kobe beef"...

sorry to go off topic.

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i did a piece several months ago on american-style kobe beef (for wont of a better term), and everyone i talked to said there was a shortage of that meat because of all the steakhouses in vegas. craftsteak was blowing through a pretty amazing amount of it.

to answer the last question: there is no export of american beef to japan and (therefore, quid pro quo, etc.), there is no import of japanese beef to the us. anyplace advertising "real kobe beef" is stretching the definition of two of the three terms.


Edited by russ parsons (log)

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thanks russ.

please see their website and check out the "about" section. they claim to have imported kobe beef. i wonder what that means.

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when i was doing that story, i found people who claimed the same thing. even told me who their meat supplier was. meat supplier denied it --of course. the generous side of my nature wants to believe they are just idiots who don't know the difference.

there's a chance that some small, very high-end places are "suitcase importing" real kobe, but you can count on that running more than $100 a pound, easy.

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i did a piece several months ago on american-style kobe beef (for wont of a better term), and everyone i talked to said there was a shortage of that meat because of all the steakhouses in vegas. craftsteak was blowing through a pretty amazing amount of it.

to answer the last question: there is no export of american beef to japan and (therefore, quid pro quo, etc.), there is no import of japanese beef to the us. anyplace advertising "real kobe beef" is stretching the definition of two of the three terms.

That's what I said in the first place!

Ban started with the whole mad cow scare, was lifted just recently, and then they tested some and some that came from the Meat Market right here in NYC had some spinal fragments in it and, BANNED again!

To whit, I often have friends from Japan visiting me, and Yoshinoya, the beef-bowl fastfood from Japan, is nearly bellyup in Japan because their recipe depends on thinly sliced american beef, so they only have pork. So they beg me to take them to the Yoshinoya on 42nd @ 8th avenue so they can get the gyudon they can't get at home. So funny...

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i did a piece several months ago on american-style kobe beef (for wont of a better term), and everyone i talked to said there was a shortage of that meat because of all the steakhouses in vegas. craftsteak was blowing through a pretty amazing amount of it.

to answer the last question: there is no export of american beef to japan and (therefore, quid pro quo, etc.), there is no import of japanese beef to the us. anyplace advertising "real kobe beef" is stretching the definition of two of the three terms.

There was after the initial BSE scare, but then this past January, a shipment of veal contained a bone in it, and Japan began another embargo on American Beef. Talks about importing Kobe and authentic wagyu beef from Japan then stopped also.

Whatever secretary Mike Johanns is (don't give me the answer, I don't like him) is working on restarting exports of American beef to Japan. The talks are working rather better than planned.

Source, tokyo.embassy.gov

Edit to add link to source information.


Edited by jsolomon (log)

I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

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