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Food rants

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Larry Greenly

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Food rants

by Larry Greenly » Tue Aug 22, 2006 1:22 am

I'm going to sound like Andy Rooney. I'm fascinated about people and food and their idiosyncracies...

(At upscale Abq restaurant with a couple of NY editors):

1. One member of our party ordered an entrecote steak "well done." I bit my tongue, and the server didn't bat an eyelash.

2. The same member wouldn't taste one of their fabulous escargots (I kind of understand, but how do you know unless you taste one?). The restaurant, IMO, has the best in town. Their secret ingredient is pernod.

3. To compound the steak thing, though, one editor finished only half her steak. Inwardly, I winced when they whisked away the unfinished portion. But you'll be proud of me, FLDGers. I was very couth and didn't ask, "Are you going to finish that?"

4. Another member discovered she didn't like French onion soup.

5. The next day I watched someone pick tomatoes before they were fully ripe. Why?

6. That someone won't eat a tomato with the skin on and has to peel them.

7. Two others wouldn't even try some really good halvah.

8. I was aked if I wanted some Hawaiian Kona coffee. I did until I discovered it was Hawaiian Kona chocolate flavored with macadamia nuts.

9. Did you ever notice how some people don't like the taste of original foods enough? Coffee has to be flavored with hazelnuts, a Coke can't be a Coke--it has to be a Cherry Vanilla or Lime Coke? Etc., etc.

Any idiosyncratic observations of your own?
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Robin Garr

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Re: Food rants

by Robin Garr » Tue Aug 22, 2006 9:53 am

Larry Greenly wrote:(At upscale Abq restaurant with a couple of NY editors):


Please tell me these weren't <i>food</i> editors, Larry!

Assuming not, then I'll confess that I, too, have frequently been startled by the pedestrian tastes of upscale New Yorkers (other than "foodies"). When we lived in NYC and Mary in particular did a fair amount of free-lancing, it used to just blow her away that she'd go downtown to take a meeting with editors from (for example) the Village Voice, and they'd shun the wealth of great Manhattan eateries to choose the dullest coffee shops or greasy delis, where they would then pick at their salads.
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Howie Hart

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Re: Food rants

by Howie Hart » Tue Aug 22, 2006 10:30 am

My future daughter-in-law salts everything. I like salt on my food, and have been criticized for putting too much in a pot of soup. However, I've actually seen her put salt on chili dogs and pizza.
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Re: Food rants

by ChefCarey » Tue Aug 22, 2006 11:22 am

Larry Greenly wrote:I'm going to sound like Andy Rooney. I'm fascinated about people and food and their idiosyncracies...

(At upscale Abq restaurant with a couple of NY editors):

1. One member of our party ordered an entrecote steak "well done." I bit my tongue, and the server didn't bat an eyelash.

2. The same member wouldn't taste one of their fabulous escargots (I kind of understand, but how do you know unless you taste one?). The restaurant, IMO, has the best in town. Their secret ingredient is pernod.

3. To compound the steak thing, though, one editor finished only half her steak. Inwardly, I winced when they whisked away the unfinished portion. But you'll be proud of me, FLDGers. I was very couth and didn't ask, "Are you going to finish that?"

4. Another member discovered she didn't like French onion soup.

5. The next day I watched someone pick tomatoes before they were fully ripe. Why?

6. That someone won't eat a tomato with the skin on and has to peel them.

7. Two others wouldn't even try some really good halvah.

8. I was aked if I wanted some Hawaiian Kona coffee. I did until I discovered it was Hawaiian Kona chocolate flavored with macadamia nuts.

9. Did you ever notice how some people don't like the taste of original foods enough? Coffee has to be flavored with hazelnuts, a Coke can't be a Coke--it has to be a Cherry Vanilla or Lime Coke? Etc., etc.

Any idiosyncratic observations of your own?


When I opened my first restaurant in Memphis, many years ago, 1985, a food reviewer from the local newspaper came in for dinner. It didn't take her long to get right into it.

She called over the waiter a few minutes after her salad arived. She was leaning over her salad, squinting and peeering into it. She pointed with her fork - "What's this in my salad," she queried. "Oh," he said, "that's a sun-dried tomato, Ma'am." "Oh, kind of like a tomato raisin, " she said. "Yes, Ma'am."

I had a 150-bottle wine list. Heavy on California , Rhones and Italians. (Quite unusual in Memphis in that era.) She was a non-drinker. Didn't even want to see the wine list. Sweet tea was her beverage of choice.

I think after the tomato raisin she was afraid to ask what the white filaments in her salad were (enoki mushrooms.)
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Re: Food rants

by Robin Garr » Tue Aug 22, 2006 11:39 am

Larry Greenly wrote:Any idiosyncratic observations of your own?


I did have a boss once who regarded the presence of any ice whatsoever in a drink, even the tiniest fragment, as proof positive that management was trying to cheat him by substituting frozen water for part of the drink that <I>he paid for</I>.

Yes, he was a delight to work for ... :roll:

We also had a long-time troll on the Louisville Restaurants Forum who persistently took the position that corporate chain restaurants were better than indies and that steak must always be cooked well-done.

He's gone now ... :twisted:
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Stuart Yaniger

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Re: Food rants

by Stuart Yaniger » Tue Aug 22, 2006 11:40 am

I'll check through our cookies to see if that was my wife.
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Re: Food rants

by James Roscoe » Tue Aug 22, 2006 11:56 am

Robin Garr wrote:We also had a long-time troll on the Louisville Restaurants Forum who persistently took the position that corporate chain restaurants were better than indies and that steak must always be cooked well-done.

He's gone now ... :twisted:


Are you sure this wasn't a buzzard who had just somehow learned to use the internet and type? Maybe his parents were buzzards? You never know.
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Carl Eppig

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Re: Food rants

by Carl Eppig » Tue Aug 22, 2006 2:43 pm

Having previous run a B&B in Maine, we have more experience with travel writers than food writers, but they must be cut from the same cloth. We used to get two or three groups of travel writers in per year set up by a public relations firms we (as a group) contracted for. These folks got free travel, free accommodations, free food, and free sight seeing. Some were free lancers, and some workrd for very pretigious magazines and papers, as well as popular on-line sites. Most of these folks were the most ordinary people you would ever want to meet, and most never went anywhere unless someone else paid for it! Can't decide if that is what I want to come back as, or a weatherman. The latter is very tempting too. I would love a job you only had to be right at 20% of the time.
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Re: Food rants

by ScottD » Tue Aug 22, 2006 2:55 pm

ChefCarey wrote:"Oh, kind of like a tomato raisin, " she said.



:shock: :lol:
Classic. Absolutely classic.
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Chris

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Re: Food rants

by Chris » Tue Aug 22, 2006 5:27 pm

I work with someone who always peels their tomatoes. They look so nekkid without the skins on, this in salads and such. I also once worked for someone who orded soft shell crabs while we were out to lunch and then later mildly complained that there wasn't much to eat once he'd removed the shells.
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Ian Sutton

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Re: Food rants

by Ian Sutton » Tue Aug 22, 2006 5:44 pm

Ok
One that I do.
Bread and Butter pudding without currants/raisins (which are typically a key part of the dish). I've even been known to pick out each individual raisin.
:oops:
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Re: Food rants

by Hoke » Tue Aug 22, 2006 5:58 pm

Yeah, here's one: there are actually people (and I'm not making this up; they do exist; I've seen it for myself; I even have one in my own family!) that like pineapple on pizza. Urk.

I know, I know. But it's true.
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Re: Food rants

by Ian Sutton » Tue Aug 22, 2006 6:00 pm

Hoke wrote:Yeah, here's one: there are actually people (and I'm not making this up; they do exist; I've seen it for myself; I even have one in my own family!) that like pineapple on pizza. Urk.

I know, I know. But it's true.

Yes, the brains of the operation is one of them :roll: . To be fair it's tolerable, but I think there's much much better options available.
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Re: Food rants

by Hoke » Tue Aug 22, 2006 6:02 pm

A personal food idiosyncracy: I hate raw celery.

I despise it. The crunch is okay, but that stringy texture is gross, and the smell and taste are just terrible.

Don't mind cooked celery, mind you. And celery salt and celeriac are just fine with mine. Just don't like raw celery stalks.

And before you say anything, yes, thank you, I have tried them with peanut butter, and with cream cheese, and with cream cheese flavored with various and sundry things. The celery stalk is still revolting.

Raw celery engenders in my much the same reaction that Tom Hanks made so famous when he encountered caviar for the first time in "Big".
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Re: Food rants

by Paul Winalski » Tue Aug 22, 2006 6:15 pm

Chris wrote:I also once worked for someone who orded soft shell crabs while we were out to lunch and then later mildly complained that there wasn't much to eat once he'd removed the shells.


That reminds me of one of the old "Bert and I" down-east Maine sketches called "The Sassage".

Husband: What's this on my plate?

Wife: It's a sassage. It's something new. Try it, you'll like it.

(pause)

Wife: Well?

Husband: Well, it's pretty tasty, but once you clean it out, there ain't much to it.

-Paul W.
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Hoke

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Re: Food rants

by Hoke » Tue Aug 22, 2006 6:59 pm

We also had a long-time troll on the Louisville Restaurants Forum who persistently took the position that corporate chain restaurants were better than indies and that steak must always be cooked well-done.

He's gone now ...


Oh, yeah. I remember him. (Who could forget?)

He was...persistent...which is a much nicer word than obsessed, or maniacal, or any number of other words once might come up with. :)
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Re: Food rants

by Hoke » Tue Aug 22, 2006 7:07 pm

also once worked for someone who orded soft shell crabs while we were out to lunch and then later mildly complained that there wasn't much to eat once he'd removed the shells.


One of the most hilarious---and painful---business lunches of my life was in Dallas at a trendy seafood restaurant. A visiting winemaker was in town, so we were having an elaborate lunch. One of the wholesaler reps was a somewhat unsophisticated West Texas boy (but I repeat myself), and when his serving of Soft Shell Crab arrived, it was obvious he had never seen one of those before. He was game though! With knife and fork in hand, he doggedly dissected the little squashed mud-bug-looking critter, winkeling out the sparse meat from underneath the papershell chitin.

Never has one man worked so hard for so little. That was funny enough. But when you add in the look of stubborn persistence in getting the meat and the sheer look of repulsion when he had to put the stuff in his mouth, it became classic.

The painful part for me was in tryin to keep from laughing out loud. That hurt. It really hurt.
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Larry Greenly

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Re: Food rants

by Larry Greenly » Tue Aug 22, 2006 7:58 pm

Reminds me of some people when I give them some of my home-grown Concord grapes. They eat them by nibbling around the seeds and making a big mess, acting like they were fish bones that were going to get stuck in their throat. It's pathetic.

Which brings up the paranoia some people have with the tiniest fish bone. The look of fear on their face. You'd think it's the most dangerous thing on earth. Of course, they demolish the fish while they're looking for those deadly killers. If you don't gulp fish down like a wolverine, you can actuall remove a stray bone without any problem. At least I can.
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Bob Henrick

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Re: Food rants

by Bob Henrick » Tue Aug 22, 2006 8:28 pm

Larry,
I like almost every cut of beef I cook and eat FLAVORED! With salt and pepper! :-)
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Re: Food rants

by Howie Hart » Tue Aug 22, 2006 8:55 pm

I used to have a copy of "Bert and I" but I don't know what happened to it. (My favorite was "Camden Pierce"). That being said, my brother (who lives in Maine) has a friend who meticulously, properly packed live lobsters and shipped them to friends out of state. After several weeks, when they never heard form their friends, they called them and asked how the lobsters were. Their friend replied "Oh, we had to throw them out. They turned brownish green."
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Re: Food rants

by Karen/NoCA » Tue Aug 22, 2006 8:57 pm

When I first saw my hubby putting jam on his toast....carefully spreading with a knife on just one bite size portion and having to do the same with all the other bites. I asked, "why don't you put jam on the whole piece?" He replied that his mother had taught him to do it one bite at a time, and he still does it that way. I remember reading long ago that it is proper manners to do it that way. Was anyone else taught this?

Once at a golf country club during their pasta night, the lady in front of me freaked out because her vegetarian pasta dish was being cooked next to a pasta station that was cooking shrimp. The smoke from the shrimp passed over her pasta. I thought she was going to pass out.
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Bob Henrick

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Re: Food rants

by Bob Henrick » Tue Aug 22, 2006 9:00 pm

Now Robin! Robert Sz isn't ALL that bad! :-)
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Re: Food rants

by Bob Henrick » Tue Aug 22, 2006 9:07 pm

It wasn't Stu! I have known this guy for 20 years!
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Re: Food rants

by Bob Henrick » Tue Aug 22, 2006 9:57 pm

Careful Carl! You might get what you want. I worked as a weather guesser for 40 years and I think you exaggerate with that 20% thing. I guess it depends on what you call right. But take temperature for an example. If I forecast a high of 85 and the temp get to 83 or goes to 87 I considered that a hit. IOW 2 degrees off in an situation where you have no control is pretty damn good IYAM. About precipitation, if I forecasted a 40 percent chance of, that also means a 60 percent chance your golf game would not be ruined. So, it depends, like beauty, it is in the eye of the beholder. And about Thunderstorms, you equip them with a steering wheel, brakes and an accelerator and I will drive them.
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