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Posts tagged ‘Small Tragedies’

They Really Did Close All the Dunkin’ Donuts in Oregon

Approximately 17 years ago my dad shared a story about how they ran out of cheese at a Pizza Hut in Tigard, Oregon. That makes me think of this. The Pizza Hut’s probably still in business, though.

Inexcusably Unpalatable

Even though I don’t know many who are as crazed about Asian food and chain restaurants as I am. And despite my traveling 70 miles to Cherry Hill, NJ to make a frakking video (which I just deleted from YouTube, so don’t even bother) about Pei Wei for their Blog Asia contest, I didn’t genuinely think I would make it to the final five (oh my, another BSG reference). Perkiness and enthusiasm will always triumph and I have neither.

I so wanted 2011 to be about understanding rather than judging. For a while I’ve been pondering what makes a person American-Idol-contestant confident in their average abilities? Were they loved too much as a baby? Was the part of their hypothalamus that regulates self-awareness damaged? Maybe they’re just really positive and try hard. There’s something to be said for that. I’m also grappling with stereotypes/archetypes, some represented by these contest finalists. It’s too easy to make fun of stay-at-home mommies, do-gooder Christians, tiny Asian girls who eat like pigs,  mavericks and Yelpers, so I won’t.

But I am still going to have to put Pei Wei and their parent company P.F. Chang’s on my shit list. It’s not that I  have a problem with crimes against Chinese food. In fact, I openly embrace them—crab rangoon, sweet and sour pork, even egg foo young—I will eat you all.

But crimes against the English language?! No, never. I cannot patronize a company that lets contest-winners use the phrase, “sophisticated foodie palette.” Fuck understanding; 2011 is going to have to be about tough love. From now on I will be on palette patrol (what that entails, I’m not sure yet).  If you’ve made it to adulthood without mastering middle-school grammar, then someone needs to help you. Ignorance is not bliss for the public subjected to palate abuse.


This is a palate. Technically, it’s the roof of your mouth not your tongue, but we associate the word with taste. Someone with a discriminating one would hopefully know how to spell it.


This is a palette. It can mean a few things, but commonly designates a wooden board where an artist places and mixes paint. It can also be used to describe a range of colors–or even flavors. A chef may employ a palette of spices but you’ll taste them with your so-called palate.


This is a pallet and has little reason to show up in anything written about food unless you’re talking about Sysco or Costco.

I don’t mind running the risk of becoming a crotchety fuddy-duddy clinging to outmoded concepts (such as eighth-grade reading levels) like an old-guard food writer who won’t leave Manhattan (or one of those Twitter scolds). You can keep your copious exclamation points, yummies, to die fors, nom noms, melts in your mouths and best-I’ve-ever-eaten hyperbole, but you must get your homophones in check. It’s no longer optional. And when $10,000 and a trip to Asia are at stake–or should I say steak–it’s no longer harmless.

Photos from bohone and Getty Images


Some Things Never Change

Kraft diverticolors one year later We seem to have resolved the McDonald’s burgers don’t rot mystery. Now I’m wondering if American cheese slices ever go bad. These red, green and blue Kraft “Diverticolors” still look as bright and plastic-y as they did when I bought them in Oaxaca over Thanksgiving last year.

Granted, I’ve kept them refrigerated for the past 13 months (the beauty of owning two fridges is that neglected food– jars of halo halo toppings, shrimp-pastey sambals, half-decade-old Smucker’s butterscotch sauce –can be kept apart from good food) but that’s a good amount of time past their April 2010 expiration date. I suspect they won’t ever mold. As to a change in flavor? I’m just not adventurous enough to find out.

Kindred Spirits


Oh dear…I’ve lived this scenario, but it was Olive Garden and Belle and Sebastian.

Chains Never Sleep

I spend the day, you know, actually working–and so much happens! The internet is a machine that never stops. Last night I found out that Eatocracy had reported on Tony Luke’s bringing cheesesteaks to Bahrain (I’m not embarrassed to admit that I ate two Pat’s cheesesteaks last weekend), Eater had mentioned that 24 IHOPs are coming to NYC and Grub Street had tracked down Nate Appleman making burritos at a Chelsea Chipotle.

This morning I awoke to see Slate’s article about the opening of Hooters in Japan and just felt empty and distraught and wanting to partake in my office’s bagel Friday, which I normally avoid because I try not to eat bread for breakfast. I will never let my RSS feeds get the better of me again.

I Wasn’t Going to Mention Thanksgiving, but…


Reason #98 why I’ll always feel weird about living in Brooklyn: Standing in line at the crack of dawn to hand over $38 for something you could’ve made yourself.

Photo: Samantha Storey/New York Times


Why, as an Oregonian, the 1990 Marion Barry scandal was so confusing.

The Opposite of Hospitaliano

Hospitaliano_button Today, I’ve seen a few mentions of the guy who called and menaced a Wendy’s after robbing them because he wasn’t happy with the sum they had on hand.

As far as ballsy and stupid, I kind of prefer the man who met a woman in an Olive Garden parking lot (sounds more like a casual encounter than a legitimate date, though I know little about the mating rituals in Fort Walton Beach, Florida) only to rob her and spend the money in the Olive Garden.

She claims it was $90, he says $50. Either way, that’s a lot of breadsticks.

What Do You Call a Quarter Pounder with Cheese in Finland?

Quarter_pounder A deadly gun battle involving an SUV in a McDonald's drive-through and it didn't take place in America? I must brush up on my Finnish culture because I thought Scandinavia was a happiest-people-on-the-planet utopia where both genders get 20 years paid time off to raise their children and the unemployed are granted vacation stipends because being jobless is stressful (ok, the latter is true).

Ah, it seems that Finland is Nordic, not part of Scandinavia (Denmark, Norway, Sweden). That must explain it. I base all my decisions on random internet comments, and I like this one: "by genetic finnish people are closer to eastern world, as we are relative to estonian people. we do have same strenght and melancholic mind."

Strong and sad, a cursed combo.

By the way, in Finland a Quarter Pounder with Cheese is called a Quarter Pounder with Cheese.

Made in China

Eating-paste Americans are all upset that our McNuggets are less healthy than Britain’s and contain “tBHQ, tertiary butylhydroquinone, a petroleum-based product” and “dimethylpolysiloxane, ‘an anti-foaming agent’ also used in Silly Putty.”

Meanwhile, in China they’re adding donkey hide glue to almonds on purpose.