The Eater empire thrusts a tentacle north to Boston. As a native expat, it is an experience for the Cod to see coverage of TLOTB&TC through the familiar Eater lens. Long story short? Some things change, some things never change. Evidently, MIT has had enough of the All Asia Cafe, and the demise of institutions has been a speciality of Boston institutions since the Half-Way Covenant dropped. On the things changing front, this lede: "The most anticipated barbecue restaurant in Boston history somehow managed a very quiet soft opening" Anticipated BBQ restos in Boston? With soft openings? We're not in Somerville any more, for reals.
No time to locate the actual quotation, but George V. Higgins, a Boston writer, had a line about how NYC is the big leagues. As far as restaurant criticism goes, seems to be true, as far as the lead critic for the Boston Globe is concerned. It's been a while since I read a Globe review, and Devra First is, I will wager, safe from any offers of Sifton's old gig:
In a way hard to describe to those not familiar with the genre, the review reads like a college newspaper resto critic with a deeper expense account. True, it does not help that Forum is evidently exactly the assy kind of spot you would expect in the 700 block of Boylston, but still. So, welcome Eater Boston, but please:
Check out GSG here. Among southern metropoli, Durham can be irritating in the manner of the college roommate who spends a semester in York and henceforth refers to "lifts" and "flats," but between these folks and Parker and Otis, but it is a northern outpost of solid pimento cheese awareness.
The Cod would also like to state a policy of not being mad at sirachannaise. It's the mayoketchup for America's Pacific Century.
We've been over this before, several times, but there is new evidence that if you are a billionaire like Nathan Myhrvold, you can buy whole words, and not just vowels. I saw via Ideas In Food that they were talking about "modernist cooking" with Serious Eats. Eternal optimist that the Cod is, we clicked through, looking forward to a fritatta receipt from Ezra Pound, or perhaps even Vorticist gelato. Unfortunately, instead it's folks repeating the lazy mistake that Nathan Myhrvold made when he rebranded molecular gastronomy as "modernist cuisine" -- perhaps b/c of negative stereotypes associated w/ molecular gastronomy. It's fine, as long as you are not concerned with words and what they mean, which is ok, if you are in a non-verbal line of work. On the other hand, if you have just published a cookbook, or if you run a blog you want people to take seriously, all the digital scales in the world will not redeem sloppy and imprecise use of language. IIF's Tweets are inspiring, and I like what the SE crew does, but people who care about food and who care about language should be able to come up with a term that is not misleading and imprecise.
Even if you live in one of the many pimento cheese deserts in the USA, you can still raise your awareness, with some help from the handsome men in the brown trucks. Callie's, out of the pimento cheese stronghold of Charleston, SC, will ship you some. Caveat pimento cheese emptor! Thet tell us -- "you must order biscuits to order pimento cheese." Life is like that sometimes. But if you are in a pimento cheese desert, there is an excellent chance that you also live in a county designated as underbiscuited, so, like, two birds, one stone.
*Yes, of course we are interested in reading your UPS delivery guy/pimento cheese fan fiction.
EDIT: Yes, any best of list is, by definition, a troll. In this case, I question the conceptual foundation of this list.
The Eaters shared a list of the 50 best bars in the world. The Cod has an ally at Drink, so not mad at that, but otherwise, WTF? Given the makeup of the panelists, it's a list of 50 citadels of neo cocktail nerddom. Nothing wrong w/ that, but not the same as a, you know, good bar. Will the Skyview Bar in Dubai cash your paycheck? Will Milk & Honey comp your drinks when you go there the day you find out your dad died, and you can't stand the thought of being in your house? Does the High Five Bar in Tokyo usually have your usual waiting on the bar by the time you make your hellos on the way in? Does Bramble in Edinburgh have a coin-operated photo booth? Will City Space in Moscow give you control over the TV remote, even if it's to put on a hockey game?
What I am trying to say is that this list reads like if you asked Ferran Adria for his favorite brunch spots.
Against wisdom, hoping to take care of some cookbook business this week. Some good, some ugly. In any case, the Cod hopes to explore an idea that cookbooks either codify or extend your cooking repertoire. This binary, overlaid with an essential/inessential binary, creates four slots for cookbooks -- essential codifier (Joy), essential extender (Momofuku), inessential codifier (Bon Appetit) and inessential extender (Sous Vide with John Stamos).
But there is another series of choices. Do you release a book in book format, or as a DVD? Do your recipe demos feature bad boob jobs stuffed into camo bikinis? Is there archery in cutoffs? If you answered "DVD, Yes, Yes," then be forewarned that it's been done. Congratulations to noted herbivore Les Miles, and by way of hommage, we revisit the Only Cookbook That Matters:
It's the game of the century, for the ages, etc, as LSU travels to Alabama. The ESPN hall of mirrors has been in full effect -- hype the game, then cover the amount of hype as news. But it's an unusually easy gameday menu. For the main, honor noted herbivore and LSU coach Les Miles with a gumbo z'herbes. For dessert? Honor the man on the other sideline with a Saban family favorite dessert. You'll need some under-ripe persimmons (not the non-astringent kind), some stout nylon webbing, and buckles. Thread the webbing through the persimmon, and secure to your guests' mouths. Use the photo at right as a guide.