So it turns out that Mickey D's is not actually charging Black customers a $1.50 fee per transaction to offset costs assoicated with crime. Good for them. If they did do that, it would be wicked racist. And unfair. However, it got the Cod to wondering if there are groups who should get slapped with a surcharge. For example, a surcharge for salad splitters? A surcharge for academic conference attendees who fail to remove their badges before sitting down to dinner? A surcharge for sports bar patrons who undertip if their team loses? A surcharge for folks who correct a server's pronunciation? An indie rock legend who always shows up five minutes before the kitchen closes surcharge? Folks in the business, am I leaving anyone out? Feel free to leave your surcharges in the comments, or email me at fesser of the gmail, if you prefer to be on the DL.
There was a youth whose name was Thomas Granger. He was servant to an honest man of Duxbury, being about 16 or 17 years of age. (His father and mother lived at the same time at Scituate.) He was this year detected of buggery, and indicted for the same, with a mare, a cow, two goats, five sheep, two calves and a turkey. Horrible it is to mention, but the truth of the history requires it. He was first discovered by one that accidentally saw his lewd practice towards the mare. (I forbear particulars.) Being upon it examined and committed, in the end he not only confessed the fact with that beast at that time, but sundry times before and at several times with all the rest of the forenamed in his indictment. And this his free confession was not only in private to the magistrates (though at first he strived to deny it) but to sundry, both ministers and others; and afterwards, upon his indictment, to the whole Court and jury; and confirmed it at his execution. And whereas some of the sheep could not so well be known by his description of them, others with them were brought before him and he declared which were they and which were not. And accordingly he was cast by the jury and condemned, and after executed about the 8th of September, 1642. A very sad spectacle it was. For first the mare and then the cow and the rest of the lesser cattle were killed before his face, according to the law, Leviticus xx. 15 and then he himself was executed. The cattle were all cast into a great and large pit that was digged of purpose for them, and no use made of any part of them.
Tough break for the animals, and that's a lot of meat to throw away when folks are hungry. But, even way back in the Protestant Reformation, there was Guiteau Monday.
In anticipation of a local and sustainable Guiteau Monday post on Monday, an actual local meal I threw together as we decamped the Dirty. It was basically a Southern riff on Tony Maws's lentiles de puy. It was hot, so something less stewlike seemed the call. I cooked some field peas from Winslett's in Easley, browned some cubes of Benton's country ham in a skillet, tossed in some (scallions?) radishes, and carrots from the organic farm at my day job. Tossed that all up w/ the field peas, and made a vinagirette using some of the pan drippings from the ham, served over lettuce from the CSA. Was good when made, and even better a day or two later. Here is a bad picture:
There does seem to be some ruckus attending Sifton, as a service to the patrons in the hotel housing Imperial No. 9, putting the name and address of a competing restaurant at the tail end of his review. I support the decision. Sifton did well to put it, and Wells did right to keep it. It's a critic's job to steer readers toward good restaurants/books/movies, and away from bad ones, right? If you walked into a record store asking for Guadacanal Diary, would it not be reasonable for the clerk to suggest REM instead? If you suggested an activity that did not involve drinking Narragansett Summer Ale, would it not be incumbent upon your friend to suggest amending the croquet match/trip to the beach/deposition/funeral to include the consumption of Narragansett Summer Ale? Seriously, folks, this stuff is the 'Gansett you know and love, but, like 1/4 Dale's Pale Ale on its mom's side.
To return, the folks who have a right to a beef w/ Sifton are the guests of the Mondrian Hotel. Including the Asia De Cuba address in the review is like saying to Mondrian patrons "Hey, the restaurant that is basically a Chuck E. Cheese for trophy wives in your sucks! But since that's what you want, here's how to get to a better Chuck E. Cheese for trophy wives! Have fun in the city! Did you get Lion King tickets?" Considering that Sifton knows at least 50 restaurants he actually likes, it's as if he thinks the people who stay at the Mondrian use Yahoo! personals.
There have been bad reviews in DI/DO before. Bruni on Ninja comes to mind. Freeman's got damned with faint praise well into its Yogi Berra Era. But! When you close a review of a hotel restaurant by offering the guests of that hotel the address and number of a Chodorow-operated establishment, you have crossed over from a bad review to ritualized acts of aggression, like dropping a hat in front of someone at Mardi Gras Indian practice.
We are in whole new territories of scorn. Again, like Tim Thomas creates the illusion of an opening, Soundtrack-wise:
And lobes of dismal-flavored sea urchin served over thick lardo and heavy toast were just dreadful: the eighth band after Nirvana to write loud-soft-loud music and call it new.
Get on over to Eater and read the interview w/ Sean Brock. It does the best job I've seen of articulating the vision he has for Husk. One thing that Brock emphasizes which bears repeating is that Southern food is a blanket term for a variety of distinct regional cuisines, rather than a specific cooking style. As a result, Husk is a rigorously ingredient-driven and compelling restaurant, while in the hands of a lesser cook, the food from the South rule would have been somewhere between an albatross and a gimmick. Go read the whole thing.
Especially nice to see some love for noted Gamecock polymath David Shields, who evidently has a terra cotta army of himself holding it down at the distingushed professor day job, so he can produce a definitive guide to heritage vegetables.
Also, if Charleston is not on your summer itinerary, Sean Brock will be making a return visit to Tony Maws at Craigie on Main on July 12th. When Tony went to Charleston this spring, it went down like this. Craigie will have more deets on this meal this week.
I hope that this guest cheffing thing catches on. Folks in the Southeast seem to turn up in one another's kitchens on the reg, but it would be fun to see more. In particular, I'd like to see Sean head to LA for Lou(Brock).
Anchower, I know, but the Cod, cinetrix and @Emmainthe864 have been in Joad mode for the last several days. But duty calls -- last week we let Guiteau Monday celebrate Memorial Day, but now it's back, sunburned and still hung over.* But, with a little help from the DPRK, we are back at it. How do you lead your famine-stricken nation out of grinding poverty and Dark Ages technology? With a global chain of casual dining restaurants, of course! As I understand it, it would be as if we addressed the USA's woes by nationalizing Applebee's and opening them in Latin America.
Again, stymied Sifton Soundtrackwise, but interesting to see a feature on Todd English of all people. Who knows, if this is intentional, but it has some of the implicit Behind The Music feel of David Kamp's Charlie Trotter piece from a while ago. DI/DO could give this real estate to an up-and-coming chef you don't know about, maybe even not one from Brooklyn, or maybe do a feature on some unheralded and influential chef from days of yore? But neither of those would be as much fun to read as another tale of squandered promise, right? Anything else ever written about English will be not as good as Grimes's review from back in the day, but a decade on, we see a lack of focus, writ large, and it ain't pretty. I was surprised to learn that Boston Mag, whose normal approach to local chefs leans toward the kneepads and chapstik, had gotten a good bit of mileage out of a "breakup letter" to Todd English conceit. Once again, the Aldous Snow comparisons are hard to avoid.