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The Complete Guide to Eating and Drinking in San Francisco - Eater SF
"Unofficial, highly opinionated information about the city by the Bay

In the home of green goddess dressing, Mission-style burritos, farm-to-table everything, and the toast-as-menu-item phenomenon, there's a lot of noise when it comes to what to eat. This guide will help you get to the real San Francisco treats out there."
eater  sanfrancisco  food  restaurants  bayarea  eastbay  oakland  berkeley 
7 weeks ago by robertogreco
The Best Indian Food In LA Is In A Gas Station | Legendary Eats - YouTube
"This brother and sister team serve some of LA's best Indian food in their family's gas station. Instead of serving typical fast food, they decided to serve the food that they grew up eating. When you visit Bombay Frankie Company, you'll find long lines of people clamoring for delicious curries and the best chicken tikka masala you can imagine, all wrapped up in freshly baked naan straight from the tandoor oven.

For more, visit http://www.thebombayfrankiecompany.com "
food  indian  losangeles  restaurants  2019  burritos 
9 weeks ago by robertogreco
Review: At Fonda Mixcoac in Anaheim, order a cheesy 29-inch machete. Bring friends - Los Angeles Times
"There is more to Fonda Mixcoac than machetes.

But you’re here, in Anaheim, four miles but a world away from the tourist hotels and chain restaurants of Disneylandia, for the machetes. A staple of Mexico City street stalls since at least the 1960s, they are the freak show cousins of quesadillas and huaraches: roughly the length of a Louisville Slugger, a folded-over surfboard of masa stuffed with two or three meals’ worth of cheese-smothered meats and veggies.

Fonda Mixcoac is run by several members of the Villegas family, a multi-generational clan who routinely trade off kitchen duties. The elder Villegas, Jose, opened the restaurant about five years ago with a vision that was simple and twofold: to carve out a niche for machetes in Southern California, where they are still relatively hard to find — and to make machetes bigger than those in Mexico City.

To that end, Fonda Mixcoac makes 29-inch machetes — griddle-crisped behemoths so long they barely fit on the restaurant’s tables. (A 12-inch, junior-size version called a machetito is also available). I’m told it took the family years to fine-tune a masa recipe sturdy and stretchy enough to withstand the dish’s exaggerated proportions. They’re stuffed with the standard guisados: thin sheets of the marinated beef called cecina de res; slinky, gooey pork skins of chicharrón prensado; juicy, slightly spicy nubs of homemade chorizo. You can configure a vegetarian machete from wilted, buttery flor de calabaza (squash blossoms); smoky rajas with epazote; or a thick spread of huitlacoche, the earthy, jet-black corn fungus that’s been a culinary staple in Mexico since pre-Columbian times.

Your machete is bulging with melted Oaxaca cheese, finely chopped iceberg lettuce and rivulets of crema fresca. It lands on the table with a whiff of head-turning fanfare, wrapped in the perfume of clean, hot oil. You whip out your smartphone to take pictures. Someone gently raises the baby cradled in their arms next to the machete for a sense of scale (the machete is bigger). It takes three or four adults to polish off one two-plus-foot-long machete. Someone else wisely carves into the dish, divvying it up into smaller, more manageable sections. Hot cheese dribbles out of every loose end. When you take a bite, the fried corn shell splinters against your teeth with a sharp crunch. Stretchy ribbons of cheese and quivering flaps of meat threaten to splatter onto the table. You devour your piece in one unseemly breath, nearly smashing it into your mouth to avoid spillage.

Beyond machetes, the cafe’s wide-ranging menu hews closely to the foods that Jose Villegas grew up eating in Mexico City, and his devotion to home-style Mexican cooking is broadcast loud and clear on the menu. “COMIDA MEXICANA,” the cover declares in all-caps typeface. “No ‘Mexican Food’.”

“My dad always says that if you want ‘Mexican food,’ go to Taco Bell,” Jose Villegas’ son, Erick, explains. “But if you want comida Mexicana, come here.”

So, in place of Doritos Locos Tacos, there are pambazos, plump, chile-stained French roll sandwiches stuffed with a cheesy blend of chorizo and potatoes. There’s beefy alambre, a platter of chopped steak, ham, peppers, onions and bacon fused together with lavish amounts of melted cheese, served with short stacks of hot corn tortillas. Huaraches, smeared with black beans and blanketed with queso fresco, are crisp and massive. Try the huarache azteca, furnished with thin, salty scraps of cecina, grilled onions, nopales, avocado and a drizzle of fresh salsa verde.

There are tacos made with nubbins of gently charred carne asada, or loosely packed with a creamy, spicy choriqueso. The al pastor is altogether unremarkable, but there is always cecina de res, air-dried beef that has something of the clean, thin-sliced, salty appeal of prosciutto.

On the weekends, the restaurant slow-cooks large quantities of lamb barbacoa, a city version of rural Hidalgo’s famous pit-roasted barbecue. The meat is shredded into flossy, slightly chewy tendrils that are gently charred around the edges on the grill and piled into aluminum to-go containers. If you order the family-style barbacoa package, it comes with a large bowl of consommé, a deep, musky aromatic broth filled with stewed garbanzo beans. You splash the meat with some of that lovely, meaty broth, and eat it with hot tortillas and salsa roja.

But a half-pound of lamb is probably not why you wandered into Fonda Mixcoac’s sunny, bare-bones dining room in the first place. You came for the same reason that people pile into small, sun-baked boats off the coast of Baja California every spring to see the blue whales that pass through the Sea of Cortez: to spy for yourself a rare colossus that’s impossible to forget once you’ve seen it in the flesh."
food  anaheim  orangecounty  mexican  restaurants  2019 
10 weeks ago by robertogreco
La Oaxaqueña- 2128 Mission St, Mission, San Francisco, CA - Yelp
[See also: http://oaxaquena.yolasite.com/ ]

["There are three things to know about the Mexican hot chocolate at La Oaxaqueña. First, is that it's made from pulverized blocks of cacao that are mixed with almonds and cinnamon, dissolved in steamed milk, and then frothed so that it's light and airy. Second is that you should add the guajillo chile powder for a kick of heat that doesn't overpower the drink. And third, is that it is served in a pitcher that fills two mugs, which makes it by far the best value on this list."
https://sf.eater.com/maps/best-hot-chocolate-san-francisco ]
food  restaurants  themission  sanfrancisco  mexican 
march 2019 by robertogreco
okonomiyaki
"Okkon Japanese Street Food is an Oakland based husband and wife team interested in sharing okonomiyaki, a popular street food from Japan.

The basic pancake comes with pork belly, mountain yam, cabbage, tempura, green onions, egg and flour. The dashi broth is made with four types of fish and kombu seaweed. Okkon cares deeply about the quality of the food, so organic and local ingredients are used as much as possible."

[See also: https://www.instagram.com/okkonpopup/

via: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bt9GuaJBUFm/ ]
food  oakland  popups  togo  restaurants  japanese  okonomiyaki 
february 2019 by robertogreco
The official fast food French fry power rankings - Los Angeles Times
"Look, it’s been a long two years for everyone. We’re tired, our brains have been melted to a thin pap by the news cycle, and we’ve soundly backslid into our slothful ways despite resolving to exercise off all the cookies we cry-ate over the holiday. During times like this, it’s necessary to celebrate small victories. Celebrate the fact that you woke up this morning, and did or did not remember to bathe. Celebrate the fact that your insurance company has decided that therapy “should” cost $50 per session.

And celebrate the fact that I bring tidings of great joy. After a barely noticeable hiatus, I’m happy to announce the return of the food power rankings just in time for February, our shortest, drizzliest and most romantic month. That’s right, my friends, I am pleased as punch to announce the authoritative, totally not subjective, incontrovertibly definitive and 100% correct L.A. Times Fast Food French Fry Rankings.

French fries, a.k.a. chips, aka freedom fries, aka 炸薯条, are a delightful treat enjoyed the world over, and they’re a staple of the fast-food meal. And what is fast food, exactly? For the purposes of this survey, I've selected chains where there’s an emphasis on speed of service, you’re not waited on at a table, and where there are at least a couple hundred locations, if not more. I ordered medium- or regular-sized fries (when available) and judged them based on the two metrics: (1) taste and (2) texture, which includes fry shape and mouthfeel."
fries  food  comparison  classideas  2019  lucaskwanpeterson  restaurants  fastfood  rankings 
february 2019 by robertogreco
Saucy Asian
"Around-the-World Korean Remix

Shameless flavor mashups served with Korean style and a California kick in the buds.

It starts with a global base—think Asian, Latin and Cali classics. Give it a Korean remix by throwing in K-Mom’s meats and veggies. Top it off with a world tour of awesome sauces.

Carnivore friendly.
Herbivore approved.
Authentically inauthentic."

[See also: https://www.yelp.com/biz/saucy-asian-san-francisco ]

[via: https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/cheap-san-francisco-restaurants#slide-6 ]
food  restaurants  sanfrancisco  korean  thecastro  themission  missiondistrict 
december 2018 by robertogreco
🅃🄸🄼 on Twitter: "1/ I grew up in the service industry. Great products and great service are the same."
1/ I grew up in the service industry. Great products and great service are the same.

2/ Know your audience: there’s a difference between a Michelin Star restaurant and greasy spoon. You would rightfully be annoyed if someone came and folded your napkin between slices of pizza. You build a restaurant for your customers, not for yourself.

3/ You learn how to listen to customers. If you ask “How is everything?” no one ever says things were terrible—and if they do they are probably taking out something else in their lives on you. *How* they said “everything is fine” is what matters.

4/ If a restaurant has perfect food, perfect service, perfect decor—it becomes perfectly forgettable. People expect to pay for an experience not just with their wallets but with their own effort. The lines, the waits make everything worth it. Effortless=forgettable.

5/ Don’t talk shop in front of house. Customers don’t care that a server missed their shift or that the cook is in a bad mood today. Customers literally don’t want to know how the sausage is made—they just want to eat it.

6/ Finally, churn matters. There’s only so many people who will try you once, let alone come back. If no one comes back, you’re done.

[See also: "The Internet Needs More Friction: Tech companies’ obsession with moving data across the internet as fast as possible has made it less safe."
https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/3k9q33/the-internet-needs-more-friction ]

[See also:
https://twitter.com/hypervisible/status/1073649771905204224

Stifling your cough so "smart" devices don't report that you are sickly and thus unemployable is now part of the nightmarish (near) future. https://cacm.acm.org/news/233329-smarter-voice-assistants-recognize-your-favorite-brandsand-health/fulltext

[image with starred part highlighted: "Yet the new sound detection capabilities also offer the potential for controversy, as the speakers now collect low-level health data. Snoring and yawning a lot, for instance, could be signs of obstructive sleep apnea, so leaked data might impact somebody's health insurance, or even car insurance rates. **A lot of coughing and sneezing might impact employability, too, if somebody seems too sickly too often.**"]

"[Smart speaker] users express few privacy concerns, but their rationalizations indicate an incomplete understanding of privacy risks, a complicated trust relationship with speaker companies, and a reliance on the socio-technical context in which smart speakers reside."

Here's the link to that study on smart speakers if you want it: https://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=3274371

TFW you realize that Black Mirror is actually too optimistic.

[image with starred part highlighted: "Mitchell says **Audio Analytic is pursuing a number of avenues for its technology, such as designing drink cans so that when opened, they make different, distinctive kinds of sounds that precisely identify the drink "and so rive some kind of interaction."** However, the drink does not have to be identified; simply knowing you're drinking from a can could be valuable, says Mitchell, and might spark a verbal request from the smart speaker to recycle the can when you're finished."]

Tech bros' obsession w/ eliminating "friction" is really just trying to eliminate the messiness of dealing with humans w/ the messiness of interacting with machines, which they can better monetize. Opening a can will initiate an interaction? FFS. 🤦🏿‍♂️"]
friction  technology  surveillance  timfrietas  effort  memory  experience  2018  educationmetaphors  education  seamlessness  effortlessness  forgettability  blackmirror  chrisgilliard  insurance  service  restaurants  smartdevices  internetofthings  internetofshit  health  healthinsurance  employment  illness  audioanalytic  privacy 
december 2018 by robertogreco
The Essential Guide to Eating California - Eater
"In the American imagination, California has always been viewed through a haze of fantasy. Early on, it was dreams of fist-sized gold nuggets lying in wait. Then a generation of Okies schlepped West, to eventually populate the pages of Steinbeck and the photos of Dorothea Lange, looking for a utopian land of plenty. More recently, it’s reveries of glamour and fame. Of in-ground pools. Of cheap avocados and convertible road trips to Coachella. Of picnics beside granite waterfalls. Of another gold rush, but made out of code. Of palm trees and beaches and children riding surf boards to school.

This is all mostly the stuff of California’s well-marketed mythology: There are swaying palm trees, but no public guacamole fountains. There are uncannily good-looking people and overnight millionaires, but few top-down joyrides (hello traffic). And then there’s the food. The beautiful idea that pretty much anything you can put in your mouth is better in California? That part, it turns out, isn’t a fantasy.

Obscenely wonderful produce is abundant year-round, but there are also peerless sushi bars and Sichuan restaurants and kebab shops and beach burger shacks and prix fixe palaces and pho specialists and bread bakeries and chaat shops and French bistros and tacos — lo, the tacos! This is where even toast sparked a national obsession.

In the course of putting together Eater’s first-ever guide to the entire state of California, we shipped our national critic out West for two months, recruited more than a dozen local experts, ate hundreds of meals, and drove just about every imaginable strip of highway to help you live our favorite version of the California dream. From the definitive list of the state’s 38 essential restaurants to a Central Valley taco crawl to an artist’s statewide search for a Beijing specialty, here’s Eater’s entirely true guide to the totally fantastical state of California — palm trees optional."
food  restaurants  california  centralvalley  centralcoast  sanfrancisco  losangeles  bayarea  socalnorcal  eating  littlesaigon  sangabrielvalley  marin  sonoma  sandiego  orangecounty 
july 2018 by robertogreco
San Francisco Mission District: The Ultimate Restaurant and Bar Guide
"There is no better food neighborhood in America than San Francisco’s Mission District. As such, we’ve compiled a list of the best and brightest things to eat and drink in the best spots in the neighborhood, ranging from ice cream shops to dives to temples of California cuisine. We’ve hit the pavement, seeking our favorite Mexican and Latin American destinations. We’ve shared our favorite tasting menus, and our picks for the best places to take vegetarians. We even shared suggestions on our favorite ways to explore the area.

To get us started, however, we thought it essential to anoint the dishes that we, the Chronicle food staff, see as the Hall of Famers of the Mission — old and new classics alike that have come to shape the neighborhood through the decades.

We also feel it’s a pretty darn good bucket list for any Bay Area eater."
food  restaurants  sanfrancisco  2018  maps  missiondistrict  themission 
june 2018 by robertogreco
Nyum Bai - 172 Photos & 54 Reviews - Cambodian - 3340 E 12th St, Fruitvale, Oakland, CA - Restaurant Reviews - Phone Number - Yelp
[See also: http://www.nyumbai.com/

"CHOM REAB SUOR!

At Nyum Bai, we will take you through beautiful and vibrant Cambodia - celebrating its cuisine, the forgotten good times of the Golden Era, and the fun tunes of 60’s Cambodian pop and rock n’ roll.

Our food captures classic Khmer dishes that we grew up eating. With our pastes, sauces and pickled vegetables made from scratch, we strive for a traditional, yet a modern touch. We also make an effort to use organic and locally-grown produce.

Nyum Bai's mission is to introduce the Bay Area to a nostalgic take on Cambodian food. We all have a love for food, good times, and the simple pleasure of sharing a meal with friends. So, we welcome you all to come nyum bai with us!"]

[via: https://www.instagram.com/p/BjIr9ujB23K/
"Had a craving for warm, nourishing soup so finally went to Nyum Bai for late lunch and had the Machoo Kroeung, which is a rich and delicious Cambodian pork and tamarind soup, similar to Filipino Sinigang."]

[Update: See also:
https://www.sfchronicle.com/columns/insidescoop/article/Nyum-Bai-s-Cambodian-street-food-to-be-12552844.php
https://www.sfchronicle.com/food/article/The-Chronicle-s-2018-Rising-Star-Chefs-13069996.php
http://projects.bonappetit.com/hot10/p/6

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/21/dining/nyum-bai-cambodian-oakland.html ]
restaurants  food  cambodian  oakland  fruitvale  togo 
may 2018 by robertogreco
KitTea
"KitTea is the first cat cafe in San Francisco and the first cat cafe established in the nation! We're a unique cafe experience dedicated to enriching the interactions between humans and felines in a relaxing environment. Slow down, sip some tea, and support rescue cats.

We provide high-quality care to our permanent resident rescue felines and work with local cat rescues, including San Francisco's Animal Care and Control, Toni's Kitty Rescue, and Wonder Cat Rescue to find our featured adoptable cat(s) a forever home at each cat's own pace. Whenever possible, we go outside of the area to shelters where the kitties would otherwise be put down."

[See also: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7aak1ARFmvc ]
cats  classideas  animals  human-animalrelations  human-animalrelationships  multispecies  tea  restaurants  pets  morethanhuman  sanfrancisco  teahouses 
may 2018 by robertogreco
‘Modern Mexican’ Steps Into the Spotlight - The New York Times
"Rosio Sánchez, a Mexican-American chef who lives in Copenhagen, makes the best tortillas in Scandinavia.

That, she admits, isn’t necessarily saying much — like laying claim to the best pizza in Indonesia.

“It was so much worse,” she said, describing the state of Mexican food when she arrived in 2010 to work as the pastry chef at the celebrated restaurant Noma. “Imagine the worst Tex-Mex food in America, and imagine that being passed on like a game of telephone, by people who have no idea what real Mexican food is.”

That is beginning to change, and not only in Copenhagen, where Ms. Sánchez has opened a taqueria with freshly ground, hand-pressed corn tortillas.

It goes far beyond tacos and tortillas, though: Mexican cuisine has made the leap to the global stage of fine dining. Restaurants like Pujol, Rosetta and Quintonil in Mexico City; Laja and Malva in Baja California; Origen in Oaxaca; and Hartwood here in Tulum all produce creative, world-class menus from the lush variety of fruit, fish, vegetables, herbs, grains and flowers that grow around them.

In places like Barcelona, London and Melbourne, as well as Chicago, Los Angeles and New York, food lovers are seeing the cuisine of Mexico in a bright new light.

Chefs are making house-cured chorizo in Toronto, and Michelin-starred chilaquiles at Punto MX in Madrid. Last week, the Houston chef Hugo Ortega, who began his working life as a shoeshine boy in Mexico City, received the James Beard Foundation’s award for best chef in his region: a first for a Mexico-born chef.

“Everywhere, I see a new respect for Mexican culture,” said Martha Ortiz, a celebrity chef in Mexico who is opening a warmly elegant restaurant, Ella Canta, in the InterContinental London Park Lane hotel this summer. Ten years ago, when a taco in London might easily have contained canned baked beans, the idea of a Mexican restaurant in a posh hotel would have been mystifying.

“Our traditional food has always had a high value at home, and there is a lot of respect for the women who produce it,” she said. “But for people internationally to be excited about it and willing to pay for it? That is new.”

These developments are part of a movement, inside and outside Mexico, to finally vanquish the rice-and-beans stereotype and to celebrate its vast and sophisticated cuisine. Just as New Nordic cuisine brought global attention to Scandinavian rye bread, smoked fish and Arctic berries, the newly coined “Modern Mexican” shines a spotlight on ingredients like cacao, agave and cactus; pre-Hispanic varieties of tomatoes, squash and pumpkins; and the country’s all-important corn and chiles.

Outside Mexico, at places like Cosme and Empellón in New York; Hoja Santa, the Adrià brothers’ restaurant in Barcelona; Broken Spanish in Los Angeles; and Cala and Californios in San Francisco, chefs are carefully combining Mexican flavors with modern ideas and local references. At Atla, in Manhattan, the tostada with Arctic char, farmer’s cheese and capers deliberately echoes the Lower East Side’s traditional bagel with scallion cream cheese and lox."



"Claudia Prieto Piastro, a Mexican food anthropologist, said: “I don’t object to others working with our food. I do object to feeling like we’re supposed to be grateful that someone is shining a light on it.”

It should also be recognized that in parts of the country with less agriculture and fewer tourists, like Durango and Puebla, the culinary picture is not as rosy.

Most chefs, however, are happy to have Mr. Redzepi here. “Anything that helps put Mexican cuisine on the world map is good for all of us,” said Roberto Solís, the chef and owner of Nectar in Mérida, the largest city in the region, who specializes in the cooking of the Yucatán.

And, he said, even chefs in Mexico have a long way to go in learning about the food of their own nation. From north to south, Mexico covers the same distance that exists between Ireland and Greece, and Mexican cuisine is not easy to draw a line around.

“Chefs come here to have real cochinita pibil,” he said, referring to the region’s Mayan-style pit-cooked pig. “And then they tell me that they like the one in Mexico City better.”"
food  mexico  restaurants  mexicocity  df  mexicodf  costamesa  sanfrancisco  bajacalifornia  california  oaxaca  losangeles  barcelona  nyc 
may 2017 by robertogreco
Let White People Appropriate Mexican Food—Mexicans Do It to Ourselves All the Time | OC Weekly
"My thoughts on cultural appropriation of food changed forever in the research for my 2012 book, Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America. One of my personal highlights was discovering the restaurant that Glenn Bell of Taco Bell infamy had cited in his autobiography as being the source of "inspiration" for him deciding to get into the taco business. How did he get inspired? He'd eat tacos the restaurant every night, then go across the street to his hot dog stand to try and recreate them.

Bell freely admitted to the story, but never revealed the name of the restaurant. I did: Mitla Cafe in San Bernardino, which is the oldest continuously operating Mexican restaurant in the Inland Empire. I was excited to interview the owner, Irene Montaño, who confirmed Bell's story. I was upset for the Montaños, and when I asked Montaño how she felt that Bell had ripped off her family's recipes to create a multibillion-dollar empire, I expected bitterness, anger, maybe even plans for a lawsuit in an attempt to get at least some of the billions of dollars that Taco Bell has earned over the past 50-plus years.

Instead, Montaño responded with grace: "Good for him!" She pointed out that Mitla had never suffered a drop in business because of Taco Bell, that her restaurant had been in business longer than his, and "our tacos were better."

It's an anecdote I always keep in mind whenever stories of cultural appropriation of food by white people get the Left riled up and rock the food world. The latest skirmish is going on in Portland, where two white girls decided to open up what the estimable Willamette Week called "a concept that fits twee Portland": a breakfast burrito pop-up located within a hipster taco cart. The grand sin the gabachos committed, according to the haters, was the admission that they quizzed women in Baja California about how to make the perfect flour tortilla.

For their enthusiasm, the women have received all sorts of shade and have closed down their pop-up. To which I say: laughable. The gabachas knew exactly what they were doing, so didn't they stand by it? Real gumption there, pendejas.

But also laughable is the idea that white people aren't supposed to—pick your word—rip off or appropriate or get "inspired" by Mexican food, that comida mexicana is a sacrosanct tradition only Mexicans and the white girls we marry can participate in. That cultural appropriation is a one-way street where the evil gabacho steals from the poor, pathetic Mexicans yet again.

As we say in Mexico: no se hagan.

What these culture warriors who proclaim to defend Mexicans don't realize is that we're talking about the food industry, one of the most rapacious businesses ever created. It's the human condition at its most Darwinian, where EVERYONE rips EVERYONE off. The only limit to an entrepreneur's chicanery isn't resources, race, or class status, but how fast can you rip someone off, how smart you can be to spot trends years before anyone else, and how much money you can make before you have to rip off another idea again.

And no one rips off food like Mexicans.

The Mexican restaurant world is a delicious defense of cultural appropriation—that's what the culinary manifestation of mestizaje is, ain't it? The Spaniards didn't know how to make corn tortillas in the North, so they decided to make them from flour. Mexicans didn't care much for Spanish dessert breads, so we ripped off most pan dulces from the French (not to mention waltzes and mariachi). We didn't care much for wine, so embraced the beers that German, Czech and Polish immigrants brought to Mexico. And what is al pastor if not Mexicans taking shawerma from Lebanese, adding pork, and making it something as quintessentially Mexicans as a corrupt PRI?

Don't cry for ripped-off Mexican chefs—they're too busy ripping each other off. Another anecdote I remember from Taco USA: One of El Torito founder Larry Cano's lieutenants telling me Larry would pay them to go work at a restaurant for a month, learn the recipes, then come back to the mothership so they could replicate it. It ain't just chains, though: in the past year, I've seen dozens of restaurants and loncheras across Southern California offer the Zacatecan specialty birria de res, a dish that was almost exclusively limited to quinceañeras and weddings just three years ago. What changed? The popularity of Burritos La Palma, the SanTana lonchera-turned-restaurant. Paisa entrepreneurs quickly learned that Burritos La Palma was getting a chingo of publicity and customers, so decided to make birria de res on their own to try and steal away customers even though nearly none of them are from Zacatecas.

Shameless? Absolutely. And that's what cultural appropriation in the food world boils down to: it's smart business, and that's why Mexicans do it, too. That's the same reason why a lot of high-end Mexican restaurants not owned by sinaloenses serve aguachile now: because Carlos Salgado of Taco Maria made it popular. That's why working-class Mexicans open mariscos palaces even if they're not from the coast—because Sinaloans made Mexican seafood a lucrative scene. That's why nearly every lonchera in SanTana serves picaditas, a Veracruzan specialty, even though most owners are from Cuernavaca. That's why a taqueria will sell hamburgers and French fries—because they know the pocho kids of its core clients want to eat that instead of tacos. And that's why bacon-wrapped hot dogs are so popular in Southern California—because SoCal Mexican street-cart vendors ripped off Mexicans in Tijuana, who ripped off Mexicans in Tucson, who ripped off Mexicans in Sonora.

To suggest—as SJWs always do—that Mexicans and other minority entrepreneurs can't possibly engage in cultural appropriation because they're people of color, and that we're always the victims, is ignorant and patronizing and robs us of agency. We're no one's victims, and who says we can't beat the wasichu at their game? And who says Mexicans are somehow left in the poor house by white people getting rich off Mexican food? Go ask the Montaños of Mitla how they're doing. Last year, they reopened a long-shuttered banquet hall, and the next generation is introducing new meals and craft beers. They cried about Bell's appropriation of their tacos all the way to the history books."
gustavoarellano  appropriation  food  culturalappropriation  tacobell  history  comidamexicana  restaurants  mestizaje  mexico  mexican 
may 2017 by robertogreco
The Coming Food Hall-ization Of L.A.: LAist
"If you've ever been to downtown's Grand Central Market, you know how much Angelenos love a good food hall. The one-hundred-year-old market has seen new life in the last few years as a wave of higher-end food stalls opened up shop. Whatever your thoughts on the transition, there is no denying that patrons flock here in droves. Grand Central has already launched the careers of Alvin Cailan, whose Eggslut has locations as far away as Manhattan; Sara Kramer and Sarah Hymanson, who followed up GCM's Madcapra with the renowned Kismet; and Kyle Glanville and Charles Babinski, whose G&B Coffee has been growing iterations all across L.A. under the moniker Go Get 'Em Tiger.

Last June, Brooklyn's uber-popular Smorgasburg made its L.A. debut. Smorgasburg L.A. is essentially a weekly pop-up food hall, with some 60-plus food stall setting up shop at the Alameda Produce Market on the edge of the Arts District. A testament to its success? For nearly every Sunday since its opening, Smorgasburg L.A. has seen several thousand attendees.

So that's it, right? L.A. has tripled-down on the food hall/food-cubator model (we haven't even mentioned Chinatown's Far East Plaza!), and we should expect to see GCM, Far East Plaza, and the Smorg chugging along merrily into the foreseeable future? Not so fast. The next year is slated to see not one, not two, not five, but seven new food halls opening across the city.

And the food hall trend isn't limited to Los Angeles; if anything, L.A.'s food hall explosion is indicative of a national trend moving west. Though food halls are technically nothing new (especially in Europe and Southeast Asia, where it's common to find a cornucopia of food vendors in one place), the roots of their current stateside renaissance can likely be traced to New York City, where the Turin-based Eataly opened to great acclaim in 2010. By 2016, food halls were "opening faster than nail salons" in the Big Apple, "and each with its own personality," according to the New York Times. And the appeal of the food hall goes beyond the consumer desire for a diverse array of tastes under one roof; they also offer chefs and restaurateurs the freedom and safety to experiment. Roughly 60% of restaurants fail during their first year, which makes the lower overhead and built-in foot traffic of a food hall especially attractive to culinary entrepreneurs.

“This food-hall movement is something that just will pick up steam,” restaurant analytics expert Damian Mogavero told Marketwatch earlier this year. “Every secondary city will have one and every major urban center will have a few. Think of food courts and think of this as the next Macy’s or Bloomingdale’s. Instead of Macy’s or Bloomingdale’s anchoring real-estate projects, it’s going to be food that is the future anchor, because that is the way we want to eat.”

Even Plano, Texas—a Dallas suburb with a total population that would fill out less than half of the seats in the Los Angeles Unified School District system—is slated to get its own food hall this fall. But let's get back to Los Angeles, where we are quickly accelerating toward peak food hall-ization. Ladies and gentlemen, fasten your seat belts, because here's what's to come:"
food  losangeles  restaurants  2017  foodhalls 
may 2017 by robertogreco
Pit master fires up great barbecue in SF - San Francisco Chronicle
"One of the greatest moments of serendipity in my eating life happened recently. I met Ron Cain.

Cain, 61, runs a barbecue kitchen out of the back of Clooney’s Pub, an old-school bar on Valencia Street that serves bargain beers to a grizzled clientele, from 6 a.m. onward. I don’t usually go to bars like Clooney’s, and I don’t eat barbecue in San Francisco. But one night, I happened to be there, and I happened to see Ron Cain moving around in his tiny kitchen. The quick, calm economy of his movements told me that this was a man who knew what he was doing.

Still ... barbecue? In San Francisco?

San Francisco is a city with nearly endless wonderful food options, but let’s be frank — barbecue’s not one of them.

I know there are good cooks in San Francisco attempting to keep the fires alive for Memphis-style, Texas-style, Kansas City-style, etc. I appreciate their efforts, but I wouldn’t bring my Southern relatives there.

So I walked over and asked Cain where he was from.

“I’m a San Francisco native,” he said. “But I think you meant to ask me, where are my people from?”

“That’s right. I’m listening.”

“My grandmother was from Louisiana. My grandfather was from Mobile, Ala. They taught me to cook over a wood-burning stove in the Western Addition. Then I started learning from the pit masters in the neighborhood — you know what the Western Addition used to be like?”

“I know there used to be a lot of barbecue places there,” I replied. “Run by African Americans who had come up from the South during the Great Migration.”

“Right. People from the Deep South, like my folks, and Texas, and Memphis ... you still look skeptical?”

“There’s no grill in here.”

“You’ve been eating that San Francisco barbecue. That stuff they cook indoors. Charcoal and chips and air vents. I use a smoker I built, outside. I do use a bit of charcoal now, but I also use wood.”

I ordered a plate.

Smiling, Cain brought me ribs, bread, greens and a roll of paper towels. I picked up a knife, but there was no need. The meat came off the bones with a simple fork lift. I took a bite. After initial resistance, the meat melted under my teeth, offering the barbecue flavor trinity of sweet-tart-savory. I almost cried.

After that first meeting, I tracked Cain down at his smoker in the Bayview. I needed to know more about his life and how he came to serving barbecue out of a one-room kitchen in a rough-and-tumble pub.

In between offering me cooking tips (“If you keep some bacon grease ready, you can make anything you need”), Cain told me what a previous San Francisco taught him about food.

“The Western Addition was full of people from the country, who had moved out West for a better life,” he said. “People kept their own gardens in their backyard. There were rural parts of Napa where we’d go out and hunt game. No one in the neighborhood had a lot of money, so we ate anything with a backbone facing the sky.”

It was a rich culinary milieu for a boy like Cain, who started cooking as soon as he could walk.

Most pit masters become experts in a specific regional technique, every one of which has its own rabid fans and ironclad rules. Since Cain’s neighbors came from all over the Southern states, they all taught him their specialties.

Cain’s family — and most of his neighbors’ families — were pushed out of the Western Addition during San Francisco’s ill-conceived redevelopment era. But Cain keeps their lessons alive in his food.

“What I do is fuse the different techniques,” he said.

For example, he uses four kinds of wood in his smoker: hickory, mesquite, almond and cherry. Most barbecue places that still bother to use wood, he explained, use only oak.

“But if you know what you’re doing, you can mix different kinds of wood to infuse flavor,” he said. “It’s just like coffee beans.”

As for Clooney’s, it was a simple matter of convenience. Cain lives in the neighborhood. He met the bar’s owners during his previous working life — in construction and in other people’s restaurants.

When the previous kitchen tenant, a gourmet hipster pop-up called the Galley, left the pub a couple of years ago, Cain offered to step in. He was already running Ron’s Pit Stop, a small catering service.

“I’m not doing this to make money,” Cain said. “I’m retired. I do this because I love it. It’s a passion. What else am I going to do, sit at home and watch TV?”

No, Ron Cain would rather stay in the kitchen."
food  sanfrancisco  restaurants  barbecue  roncain  themission  history  westernaddition  missiondistrict 
may 2017 by robertogreco
This robot will tell you the best places to eat in L.A. - LA Times
"Hungry in Los Angeles with no clue where to eat? If you’re reading this, you’re probably familiar with the feeling.

Well, readers, meet Goldbot, your personal L.A. food concierge who also happens to be the robot twin of our acclaimed food critic Jonathan Gold. Ask him where to eat on Facebook Messenger, and he’ll serve up a recommendation just for you.

For those of you who follow our food critic religiously, you’ll know that we launched Goldbot in December. But at the time, he could only recommend places to eat from the annual 101 Best Restaurants list.

Our little Goldbot has since grown up and has gotten a lot smarter. After some training with the “belly of Los Angeles” himself, he can now recommend any place Jonathan Gold has reviewed in the past two years. That’s more than 300 restaurants!

He’s also easier to talk to. Chat with Goldbot on Facebook Messenger now!

Or keep reading to see what’s new (and what’s improved):"
food  restaurants  losangeles  bots  jonathangold  2017 
may 2017 by robertogreco
Los Angeles Restaurant Scene Is on the Move and Mixing It Up - The New York Times
"Chefs are hunting for places with cheap — well, relatively cheap — rents in up-and-coming neighborhoods, away from communities like Santa Monica, Venice, Beverly Hills and West Hollywood, which offer established, thriving and satisfying restaurants.

That means a march toward the east, to places like Frogtown, Silver Lake and Highland Park. Or to downtown Los Angeles and Koreatown, where Here’s Looking at You recently opened in what had been a sandwich shop, serving such non-Korean dishes as sturgeon with aged rice porridge, chicken skin and buttermilk.

Immigration, long a defining dynamic of Los Angeles, is entering a new phase: Many second- and third-generation children of immigrants are chefs now, not only comfortable cooking what they ate growing up, but also creating mash-ups with cuisines they may have encountered in a neighborhood a short drive away. (Hence the pork belly with pinto beans from Mr. Ochoa at Salazar, or the clam-and-lardo tacos that Ray Garcia serves at B.S. Taqueria in downtown Los Angeles.)

“California food used to be wrapped in French or in Italian,” said Jessica Koslow, a daughter of Eastern European immigrants and the owner of Sqirl, a breakfast-and-lunch restaurant in East Hollywood that always seems to have a line out the door. “Now it’s, like, wrapped up in Vietnamese, Middle Eastern, Armenian, Thai, Mexican.”

And perhaps not surprisingly, a city that has never really seemed comfortable with white-tablecloth elegance is flying its casual and carefree flag. Michelin doesn’t award stars here, and thank goodness for that: Los Angeles will never be a Michelin kind of town. No one seemed flustered one night when a couple showed up in jeans and sweatshirts at Gwen, an inventive and, in any other city, fancy, restaurant with a $95 fixed-price menu on the edge of Hollywood, opened last June by the chef Curtis Stone.

The energy in Los Angeles restaurants is very much in keeping with what is taking place in other spheres across this city, from museums to music to architecture.

“There are so few rules in L.A. dining that it always has a potential of possibility: That is the tradition of L.A. dining,” said Patric Kuh, the longtime restaurant critic for Los Angeles Magazine. “Somehow in L.A. the unlikely becomes real and great. I think that is part of what attracts people. There isn’t a sense of, ‘What will somebody else think of what I am doing?’”

But out-of-towners are watching. The parade of just New Yorkers who have announced plans over the past year to open restaurants here is formidable: Daniel Humm of Eleven Madison Park, who has his eye on a spot downtown; Ken Friedman and April Bloomfield of the Spotted Pig, whose new restaurant is being built a few blocks from Gwen on Sunset Boulevard; and Enrique Olvera, the owner of Cosme, who is looking to open a restaurant here by the end of 2018."
food  restaurants  losangeles  california  2017 
may 2017 by robertogreco
9 Artist-Run Restaurants You Need to Know
"In the fall of 1971, the doors of a curious restaurant located at 127 Prince Street opened just south of New York’s Houston Street. Inside, if you were hungry, an artist might ladle you a steaming bowl of caldo gallego from one of three large cauldrons bubbling away over a low stove in the center of the room. Soup in hand, you’d make your way to a table where slices of bread were stacked around a huge heap of butter. Come another night and you might’ve been served the now-famous “bone dinner”—frogs’ legs and roasted marrow bones, among other skeletal dishes—then left with the remnants, rigorously cleaned and given a second life as wearable jewelry.

This was the restaurant and conceptual art project Food, run by artists Carol Goodden, Tina Girouard, and Gordon Matta-Clark, among others. Given a mini-retrospective at Frieze New York’s 2013 fair, involving several of the original chefs, the short-lived project has secured its place as one of the most iconic blurrings of the lines between art and food. The 1970s Soho establishment is far from the only artistic foray into the culinary realm, however, so we checked in on a handful that have been around for years, and a few others that are still taking shape.

Zagreus Projekt
ULRICH KRAUSS
BERLIN

“Food and art were the two elements in my life that were always there,” explains Ulrich Krauss, the founder of the Berlin food project space Zagreus Projekt. “I grew up in a butcher shop and I studied art.” He went on to apprentice as a chef, spending time cooking at a fancy hotel in southern Germany. “When you are in that world, it is so restricted, and you have rules for everything,” Krauss says. “It’s a very narrow world, so I got the feeling I had to escape from that.” Krauss left for Berlin, where he balanced artmaking—mostly performances—with cooking in restaurants. “I have to found a place where I bring things together,” he remembers thinking of his double life. Zagreus Projekt took shape.

Its first iteration found a home in the backroom of Galerie Markus Richter, a space for conceptual and minimal art that shuttered in 2005. Since then, Zagreus Projekt, which Krauss is careful to point out is not a gallery, has relocated to the elegant Mitte district. Artists bring ideas for exhibitions that in some way relate back to food, and a collaboration ensues to devise a menu that matches. FOOD ART, a collaboration that launches April 8th, pairs the talents of the artist-turned-chef with a Swiss-German artist couple, Hendrikje Kühne and Beat Klein, who make elaborate, three-dimensional collage sculptures, often including images of food and fragments of advertising and newspapers. “With every exhibition we do here, we have a different point of view on food or on the situation of eating, and that is the most important thing,” Krauss explains. But the demands of the project, 16 years on, are not without their toll. “I don’t see myself as an artist anymore,” says Krauss. “I see myself as a chef.”

Pharmacy 2
DAMIEN HIRST
NEWPORT STREET GALLERY, LONDON

Damien Hirst, dispenser of hand-painted pills and shark vitrines, blends two environments to unusual effect in his newest restaurant endeavor, Pharmacy 2, which opened at his Newport Street Gallery several weeks ago. After taking in vibrant work by John Hoyland, one of Britain’s key abstract painters, a Hirst devotee can round out the experience in the new spot. Uniquely crafted pills dot the marble floor, and a clinically cool neon sign that reads “prescriptions” hangs over the bar in view of works from Hirst’s “Medicine Cabinets” and “Kaleidescope paintings.”

Diners enjoy chef-collaborator Mark Hix’s cooking, which eschews pharmaceuticals for fresh ingredients and a British-inflected menu of European classics, including crispy squid with green chilis or Hix’s riff on the traditional German apples-and-potatoes side “Heaven and Earth.” “Damien designed a formaldehyde ‘Cock and Bull’ for my restaurant Tramshed, so it makes sense for me to exchange my skills,” the chef explains.

[restaurant not yet named]
RAPHAEL LYON
NEW YORK

“There is a long-running joke in the food industry that most artists are unrealized chefs,” the artist Raphael Lyon, who grows sculptures using geologic processes, tells me. “Which is just a way of saying that huge numbers of self-identified artists may have turned to art only because they wanted to be respected for working creatively with their hands, and that maybe they would have been more fulfilled in a kitchen rather than a studio.” Together with partner Arley Marks, Lyon is opening a restaurant off the Jefferson Street stop of New York City’s L train in the coming weeks. He also owns Enlightenment Wines, where he works as a “mazer,” fermenting honey and herbs into a wine-like beverage. “This will be something like a public home for that research,” he explains.

Lyon also hopes it will be “a place of sincere curiosity—whether it’s for a dry mead made out of Christmas trees and gold flake or just rethinking the pickled egg.” The artist’s deep knowledge of food and wine yields unusual revelations. “What interests me about winemaking, and more generally the American food scene writ large, is how until very recently discourse around it was obsessed with really awkward notions of authenticity,” Lyon observes. He suggests there’s a link between this approach to thinking about food and how people talked about European painting before Modernism. “A good part of the development of art in the last century was a move away from validity based on authentic regional expression to validity based on ideas,” he continues. “That’s happening in the food world, particularly in New York.”

ZAX Restaurant
WILL STEWART
BROOKLYN

“Generally, the stereotype of ‘starving artist’ isn’t far off the mark in New York,” says Will Stewart, an artist in the city whose work engages the environment and the architecture of space. “You’ve got people living in strange shared spaces, and everybody’s out running around every night doing something.” It’s a city that Stewart thinks “operates as a pressure cooker.” A year and a half ago, he started wondering about setting up a makeshift restaurant. “There’re how many hundreds of thousands of people?” Stewart says, retracing the thoughts that led him to set up ZAX—his fixed-price, vegetarian-only supper club in a vacant space adjacent to his studio. “There will always be at least 20 people who are going to want to come by and have dinner.”

ZAX’s December “Fertility Meal,” put together by artists/guest chefs Maia Ruth Lee and Violet Dennison, included “Estrogen Seeds” (an appetizer made with anise and sugar crystals) and “New Mother Nourishment Soup” (seaweed, daikon, enoki mushrooms, shishito peppers, miso, and fingerling potatoes), among other peculiar dishes and libations. For a few extra dollars, heat acupuncture was also part of the meal. Though Stewart has put his restaurant-in-a-studio on hold, he plans to bring it back in Greenpoint sometime in April.

Conflict Kitchen
DAWN WELESKI & JON RUBIN
PITTSBURGH

“What you choose to eat every day is a creative moment,” says Dawn Weleski, who, together with Jon Rubin, directs the Pittsburgh eatery Conflict Kitchen. “We provide an outlet for that creative expression.” The two artists work to address thorny social issues through food. “We were always thinking about how to re-envision the city, how to make it the city we wanted to live in,” Weleski, a Pittsburgh native, observes.

A simple but powerful premise guides their restaurant: Serve cuisines from countries with which the United States is in conflict. In its six years of operation, hungry residents who might not have given much thought to the social implications of U.S. foreign policy have filled up on Afghan, Cuban, Venezuelan, Palestinian, North Korean, and, most recently, Iranian cuisine. “We were trying to think of ways with which to engage the politics of the city, and to get people to have conversations in public spaces that weren’t typically had in Pittsburgh, let alone in the rest of America,” Weleski explains.

Currency Exchange Café
THEASTER GATES
CHICAGO

It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact moment at which Theaster Gates’s expansive approach to artmaking came to include food. One starting point was the artist’s frequent dinners, at which guests ate soul food while discussing its origins and cultural importance. Another was getting the Currency Exchange Café, decorated with materials salvaged from the currency exchange that used to occupy the space, off the ground serving breakfast and lunch to residents of Chicago’s south side Washington Park neighborhood (ample shelves stocked with books line the walls and there are plans for a 35mm slide collection). With projects like these as well as the establishment of his Rebuild Foundation behind him, Gates is at work on ArtHouse: A Social Kitchen, taking shape just across the border in Gary, Indiana.

The project joins the Gary barbecue-and-soul-food fixture Mama Pearl’s, which is and will remain in the space, as a tenant in a large building being transformed into a multi-use facility boasting a commercial kitchen for training, an incubator for culinary businesses, a pop-up café with a menu that changes based on input from incubator participants, and even an exhibition space for art. The ambitious project is sewing the first seeds of what the rustbelt city hopes will be a leap toward fostering a cultural district, bringing to its residents a place where they can come together over a meal and admire the many talents of their neighbors.

Thank You For Coming
LAURA NOGUERA, JONATHAN ROBERT, JENN SU TAOHAN, AND CYNTHIA SU TAOPIN
LOS ANGELES

Thank You For Coming is an experimental space that pairs a permanent restaurant serving simple weekend brunches with a series of creative residencies, as well as playing host… [more]
berlin  losangeles  sanfrancisco  art  artists  coffee  food  restaurants  gordonmatta-clark  2016  london  nyc  brooklyn  chicago  pittsburgh  brettwalker  lauranoguera  jonathanrobert  jennsutaohan  cynthiasutaopin  theastergates  dawnweleski  jonrubin  conflictkitchen  willstewart  raphaellyon  damienhirst  ulrichkrauss  127princestreet  carolgoodden  tinagirouard  cafes  openstudioproject  coffeeshops  matta-clark 
may 2017 by robertogreco
Who Gets to Be a Restaurant Critic? - Eater
"That, however, is just the trouble with standards: They don’t translate well across types of people, or the group divisions that help define those standards in the first place. The tension between haute cuisine and populism, a Times review and Yelp, is about competing ways of deciding what’s good — of whether chips should be fat and soft like in a chippy, or thin and crisp like bistro frites. But when the public discourse around food is so overwhelmingly dominated not just by highfalutin critics, but those who are often white, middle-income, and left-leaning, the assumed standards by which food is judged tend to reflect and replicate exactly those values. If critics these days seem to most value food which presents a vision, highlights the ingredients, or inventively mixes influences, it’s because those are the values of upwardly mobile, culturally omnivorous eaters who believe in conscious capitalism.

This is why the Chicken Connoisseur feels so pleasantly unusual. It checks off all the boxes for what modern food criticism looks like, self-reflexively paying attention to its own status as criticism, but instead of taking you to places with small plates, or omakase, takes you to chicken shops in Hackney or Tottenham or any number of other London areas that haven’t been entirely subsumed by gentrification. Those shops are, in a simple empirical sense, the kinds of places where millions of people eat, but that people concerned with food as signifier of cultural capital would rather ignore — perhaps because such places don’t represent change or novelty, the necessary fuel of the media, but also perhaps because the change they might stand for isn’t considered relevant. In putting a critical vocabulary people were already using into a polished, appealing YouTube show, however, Quashie ends up providing a model for what a food criticism that speaks to a broader, browner, less-wealthy audience might look like. It’s fast food, framed as a product of its place and time, by someone who is winning and funny in front of a camera, and who happens to be young and black. But Quashie also stands as a challenge to all kinds of institutional critics, urging them to grapple with — and take seriously — the things that a majority of people hold dear.

This is, I think, exactly as it should be. When literary criticism moved away from Leavis or the New Critics and started to dabble in feminism or postcolonialism, its emphasis wasn’t simply on the politics of how literature got created or the representation therein. It was also on aesthetics, so Woolf’s feminism wasn’t just in her message, but her prose. Cuisine’s import and relevance isn’t just in “what story a plating tells,” but our culturally loaded expectations about what food should be. Say what you will about four wings for around two dollars, but the demand that they be crispy and spicy is a standard, and one that people care about. At root, it’s a question of what the object and nature of criticism should be: a narrow slice of food that represents the bleeding edge and demands the language of a specialist, or a shifting set of criteria that tackle both the highbrow and the everyday without insisting one is more culturally significant than the other.

************

There is, at the dawn of 2017 — what feels like a decidedly new phase of history — something like a lesson there. In the aftermath of Brexit and Trump, there was a gnashing of teeth over the rise of populism as a transatlantic, if not global, phenomenon. But the attention paid to the gaping distance between the media and great swaths of the country was framed as either a problem to be solved using the same tools people have always deployed, or a thing to be dismissed because of ignorance or racism. When one also considers the boggling number of people who didn’t vote at all, perhaps this new era demands some sort of reckoning with what is popular, common, and reflects how the majority of people actually talk about food.

It is of course true that part of criticism’s function it to both engage in a dialectic with a craft, challenging it to do better, while also calling attention to broader, systemic issues. A food reviewer who only ever judged fried chicken joints without ever calling attention to factory farming or the environment would be in dereliction of their duty. And Quashie does at one point mention that a less-than-stellar wing from a chicken which “did not live a good life” tasted of sadness and suffering. But perhaps the first step is making room for a food criticism that speaks to people where they are, and like all criticism, through standards that they too value and understand.

At the end of Quashie’s first post-fame video, he acknowledges his sudden success — and then squints as an off-camera voice says “Chinese!” It turns out this fave, like any, is problematic. Still, it’s troubling to see talk of ethnic food that has been “elevated” by removing it from its context or, conversely, to see the food that most people eat derisively dismissed, and the Chicken Connoisseur is a rejoinder to both.

In episode 6 of The Pengest Munch — the one that first went viral and now has over 3.5 million views — Elijah Quashie mentions he chewed on a bone in a strip burger, then looks at the camera and says with a smirk, “Bossman: I don’t know wha gwan, but that can’t run. That can’t run fam.” You might also say the same of a food culture that ignores so much of the population, pretending that its own standards are somehow objective, while those of critics like Quashie are not simply arbitrary, but just wrong. If food criticism is to grapple with the populist present, that situation, it seems fair to say, fam, can’t run either."
navneetalang  culture  criticism  foodcritics  foodcriticism  food  2017  populism  elijahquashie  thepengestmunch  accessibility  elitism  everyday  standards  restaurants  howweeat 
march 2017 by robertogreco
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