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Posts from the ‘Textual Selfie’ Category

Me, Elsewhere


If you like cheap little sandwiches and cola mixed with red wine, 100 Montaditos, the Spanish chain that recently opened in the West Village might be for you. Read more on Serious Eats.

Not related to food, but while self-promoting it’s worth mentioning that I was also quoted this week in The New York Times about Christmas shipping fiascos and in Reuters about Reddit experimenting with ecommerce.

Hello and Goodbye

You may (or may have not) noticed that this blog has been revamped. I call this out because it’s still a little messy. I’m aware that images are missing and I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some strange formatting and bad links, but let me know if there’s anything egregious.

The content is more or less the same but with the integration of one of my Tumblrs (I’ve attempted using Tumblr like four different times and can’t really stand it for anything that’s not photo-centric–the reblogging, following culture freaks me out because I don’t need my social networks to be that social) so if you find my current obsession with middle-aged drinking not to your liking…well, we can’t have it all.

I’m about to head to Dubai, a land where Benihana serves turkey temaki and gyoza to celebrate the friendship of pilgrims and Indians, just like in a story book. It should be fun.  See you in December.

From Tortas to Chicken-Fried Steak

The first time I went to Chicago Mo Rocca sat directly in front of me on the plane.

Mo rocca's head

On my recent visit to Oklahoma City I was routed through Chicago, and once again trailed Mo Rocca. While still at La Guardia I spied his location via a flirtatious Rick Bayless retweet.


Tortas fronteraSoon enough, I, too, had a torta (choriqueso) for the road. Tortas Frontera is a great idea at O'Hare. It's too bad my plane was already boarding when I arrived for my return flight–even though the restaurant was right next the gate, it takes a chunk of time (15 minutes for the original sandwich) for the food to get made because there's usually a line and everything's prepped on demand. Actually, I ran over (I'm one of those freaks who pays to check my bag, so I don't need to rush the gate to snag precious storage bin space) in search of anything readymade and was able to score a poblano chile and Chihuahua cheese mollete boxed up rapido. They call them open-faced sandwiches.  I've always thought of them as Mexican French bread pizzas.


Even McDonald's in Mexico has a version.

I have the suspicion that no one's clamoring for a slew of posts on Oklahoma City dining unless you greatly enjoy variations on meat and potatoes: steak and baked potato, chicken-fried steak and mashed potatoes, and ribs and fries–there were even potatoes in the Okla-Mex fajitas.  It's not one of those regions that may be third-tier but still has plenty of food lore, like say, Charlotte and environs, with North Carolinian barbecue culture as a backdrop. (Chowhound had  almost nothing in the way of OKC advice and Serious Eats had no more than a mention or two. The craziest thing I read about online but didn't have a chance to check out was a weekend-only honey-dipped fried chicken truck in the "bad" part of town that a pair of local, Native American, dwarf, Christian rappers had written a song about.) But here are some photos untill those posts arrive, like them or not.

McMollete photo via Brand Eating where there is currently a must-see series on all of the Mc items at McDonald's around the world.

Foreign Affairs

I haven’t had to time write much (non-day-job stuff–I won't assume anyone cares about CPG ecommerce) lately, but I did manage to scrawl an article for Zagat about how foreign restaurants have been adapting for NYC.

I didn't have the chance to talk with Aamanns, but I'm looking forward to the Danish smørrebrød chain's arrival, which has been pushed to January. I was this close to booking a trip to Copenhagen last week, but got freaked out by how expensive everything was–and after much hemming and hawing–opted for Berlin instead. Not exactly an equivlent culinary destination, but I'm still excited. Did you know that Germany is the only country in the world where the McRib is a standard menu item?


Bowled Over

Me bread bowl

When I mock/obsess over bread bowls, I’m speaking from experience. Yes, I’m showing my age…age 14 to be exact. While recently pawing through a tiny box of old photos, I discovered this gem capturing a Christmas Eve dinner from 1986. Ignore my hair (and dad and grandpa–I always want to type grandfather because it sounds better but that word has never come out of my mouth) and focus on the hollowed-out sourdough loaf abutting a red Jello salad. This delicacy filled with spinach dip made from one of those dressing packets mixed with mayonnaise was my aunt Kim’s specialty. The bread guts, meant to be dipped back into their former host, appear to be sitting on a metal baking dish in the background.

So, can I pen one of those ubiquitous getting in touch with my culinary roots essays now? If I only had another pic showing taco salad in a fried shell.

Mugaritz bread bowll

Sadly, I’ve come down off of my San Sebastián high, but I pepped right back up after seeing this artichoke and bone marrow course at Mugaritz served to the author of the blog, blank palate. I would’ve literally (no metaphors here) shit myself if presented with a bread bowl during my lunch there.

Mugaritz bread bowl photo from blank palate

Food Blogs…Blah, Blah

Bloggers Yes, I already posted about the ELLE food blogger article when it came out in print. No, I’m not trying to milk my fleeting minutes of fame (well, a bit maybe) but now that they’ve put it online I feel like it is my duty to link to the new format.

Print Is Not Dead

Ok, so it appears that I’ve been featured in ELLE magazine (no, not L Magazine, the first assumption from the few New Yorkers I’ve offhandedly mentioned this to). I’m as surprised as anyone.
What warms my heart the most is—no, not being referred to as “the best in the Gen X slacker”—that food totally takes a backseat to Henry freaking Thomas, a.k.a The Hankster, my raison d’etre of the ‘90s. Of course it’s now firmly 2011, but my life’s work is done. Dead serious.
Second best is seeing my favorite grocery store, the Western Beef in Ridgewood, Queens, in the background of my photos.
My mom is going to kill me for divulging her ‘80s penchant for eggs and bacon and taco salads for dinner. Thank god I didn’t tattle about her infamous peanut butter and margarine sandwiches.
No, it’s not online (oh, traditional print) so I’ve scanned the full article for visual proof, which is likely copyright-infringing (but, you know, anti-authority Gen Xer that I am...). Click images to see full-sized.

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Chains For Fun…and Profit

Report_cover_emarketer_2000769 Most of my chain restaurant blathering here is decidedly light, as it should be. I’ve finally been able to translate my mania into a more serious channel, though, and have written a report, “Digital Dining: Chain Restaurants Add Social Media, Mobile to the Menu” for eMarketer (my day job, if anyone has wondered). Unfortunately, it’s subscription-only so I can’t post the whole thing.

I’m ok with the constraints of business writing, though I’m a little bummed that my use of the word stalking (to describe that Eleven Madison Park Twitter incident last year) was edited into “overdoing it.” I will use this in the future, as in, that guy who looks like House MD has really been overdoing it with Anna Kournikova.

Let the Good Times Roll

I'm off to New Orleans for a long weekend because, you know, it's just not disgustingly hot and humid enough here for my taste. I'm going sort of to attend some Tales of the Cocktail events, sort of to eat (will there be edible oysters and shrimp) and sort of to celbrate my birthday even though I'm coming back Sunday, the day of.

In the interim, check out my latest International Fast Food column about Nooi, a new French pasta chain. Vapiano, the new German pasta chain, is also in my sights. I don't even like pasta that much, but I've got to see what these foreigners are up to.

My Week In Fried Chicken, Ice Cream and Beer

Pollocampero food

I declare Friday to be horn-tooting time. This week I had three pieces published by someone other than myself.

The first missive in my new international chain restaurant column for Serious Eats focuses on Pollo Campero. Too bad I ate all the yuca fries before taking this photo.

Yeah, so, Time Out New York put out an ice cream sandwich round-up this week. Well, me too, for Metromix. We only listed three examples in common.

Loreley, the LES biergarten opened a Williamsburg branch. I talked to the chef and owner for Metromix. Loved the käsespätzle