Doing some research for the location of this place, the Googles led me to Yelp. And good thing too, because now I am warned that the TVs at this Mexican restaurant broadcast Spanish language programs. Luckily, Yelper Sam S. is totally OK with that:
Mighty big of you, Sam! Let's hope that our Latino/a brothers and sisters are similarly unbothered by the preponderance of English language programming at BW3. Perhaps it's time for a new one of these.
The following is speculative, and I welcome comments, constructive or otherwise from folks who know better. I am not a journalist. This is not a newspaper article, but a personal blog. If it were a newspaper article, there would be reporting, and fact checking and editing and stuff. Anyway:
The Cod suspects that the place to begin with understanding the decision to allow the Times-Picayune to function as a dessicated shell begins with the logo at left. Chances are good you recognize it. Chances are also good that it's true when you say it's been quite some time since you've looked at the magazine that is the flagship of the Playboy empire. The publication, Playboy, is a relic. (I'm commited to not doing research here, but I doubt that this is a Taste Of Home type thing, where the lowbrow pub no one has heard of is actually vastly more popular than more highly regarded names people talk about.)
So, nobody reads Playboy, but the brand is still strong for selling keychains and airfresheners and as a tentpole for Playboy.com.
A similar thing happened to the Times-Pic's corporate stablemate, Gourmet. Like Playboy, Gourmet was a tony magazine that lost traction in the Internet age, and for similar reasons. (Grab your whisk and double-click, not to put too fine a point on it.) The magazine was losing money on Reichl's watch, and Conde management elected to suspend publication of the print mag, rather than sell it. By doing so, they kept the Gourmet brand, killed the magazine, and kept the name for a blog.
For Playboy and Gourmet, the brands are profitable, even though the eponymous publications are not. There are, quite probably, folks who would take the crack at running the Times-Pic as an actual newspaper, one that comes out seven days a week, and in a way that poor folks can read. Lots of them don't have broadband. However, same boss, similar math, in that one imagines that the Times-Picayune/NOLA.com, functioning as a news flavored media brand, rather than as a newspaper, might be profitable for the Newhouses.
These are a series of semi-educated guesses, but my guess is that this is not the last media brand vampirism we will see.
Very sad news out of New Orleans, with the Times Picayune planning to stop being a daily newspaper, and to ramp up its digital presence.
The Cod and NOLA go way back, and this is sad news for obvous reasons, but also non-obvious reasons:
1) The threshold for reading the Times-Pic has gone up from pocket change to the price of a computer/tablet/smartphone + the cost of internet access. This move effectively disenfranchises a significant portion of the residents of the city the Times-Pic 2.0 purports to cover. What's more, paper has a promiscous, democratic social life. An e-reader does not. You might read your newspaper on a park bench when you're finished for someone else to read -- a Kindle, less so.
2) It's fantastic to be able to read whatever daily paper you choose on the internet, so that you can keep up with what's happening in the places you care about. However, there is no substitute for reading a local, daily newspaper. At my day job, I've been dismayed by the steady decline of our student newspaper. It strikes me that a significant part of the problem is that you have a group of kids trying to put out a newspaper who are not familiar with what newspapers are and what they do.
Without resorting to masturbatory Bissingeresque nostalgia for The Paper, I'd argue that it is useful, especially for young people, to have a distinct object in their home or school that reports the news. Reporting, editorial, and advertising are relatively easy to tell apart. If you are instead getting your news by osmosis from social media, the differences between public relations and journalism can be harder to spot. Until I moved to where there was no daily newspaper to speak of, I read one every day from my early teens to late thirties. I have been known to joke that I used to be compulsive about reading the paper, but now I get my news from ?uestlove's Twitter. Today, that does not seem very funny.
I am confident that TP2.0 will offer many opportunities for readers to submit pictures of their Saints tailgates; I am less confident they will get after stories about charter schools in Orleans Parish.
Old friend Thomas McNamee dropped in on Eater to plug his new jawn -- a Craig Claiborne bio, the which no ARC has manifested itself, so you're on your own. But! If you write for a magazine that covers food, Thomas McNamee would like you to know that you are a fucking whore:
So, DI/DO spent some more of Uncle Punch's $ to render a SPFG* verdict on Le Bernardin. SPFG is short for "still pretty fucking good." Actually, better, and it's hard not to be impressed w/ Ripert's relentless quest for improvement and innovation. But! Two oddnesses in the writeup from Wells. One, actually in the headline:
Moving Ever Forward, Like a Fish
It, if my Probationary Ichthyologist amulet is still valid, sharks, specifically who move ever forward. Do we not want to liken Eric Ripert to a fish? He does, in fairness, look more like Jay Manuel than most chefs, but, is he an actual shark? Signs point to no.
It is the description of the saucier that seems a bit wide of the mark:
Granted, even four star reviews note imperfections, but where does "surrendering a critical walk in game four of the 2004 ALCS to noted gourmand Kevin Millar" figure into the analogy? Who is Kevin Millar? Allow the Cod to remind you:
Evidently, the geographical confusion that has gripped college football has extended into the realm of condiments. Duke's Mayonaise, the beloved cultish secret of Southern cooks, is now available in parts of the South that are north of Canada! They are selling it -- openly -- in Pennsylvania! The new slogan is "the secret of great cooks." As a reasonably serious question, what happens when/if Duke's is available at supermarkets nationwide? What portion of the Duke's mystique lies where you cannot get it? The only intentionally regional brand that went national that comes to mind is Coors, and that's complicated b/c of Nazis and stuff.
In other regional news, regional supermarket chain Bi-Lo defines local like so. The Bi-Lo HQ is in Florida, and the chain's reach extends well beyond these states, but there is something reminiscent of the idea of the home counties in this notion. It's not as good as, you know, locally grown food, but better than trucking everything in from California.
So, you can take the national editor out of the food section, but you cannot take the food section out of the national editor. Former lead NYT restaurant critic Sam Sifton is still finding the time to drop the odd cooking piece in the magazine. They tend to be slightly involved, but rewarding -- see, for instance the oxtail or mushroom lasagna -- in other words, good candidates for nice Saturday dinner at home.This week's ribeye and grilled Caesar* was no exception.
I will acknowledge some Wedcheffing, in that ribeyes of a thickness specified by the receipt are not to be had in the 864. The rub is certainly much more interventionist than I usually get with a steak, but there are few things that salt and sugar do not improve. I would, next time, dial back on the celery seeds, which took the flavor in a direction that was maybe too BBQish, but the crust was solid -- I suspect that the key is putting the rub on ahead of time, so that it can almalgamate into the meat.
The grilled salad is perhaps a bit baroque, and I'd be interested to have it prepared by its originator, but the principle is sound, if counterintuitive. The second time around (more in a minute) I found that 1/2 heads of romaine hold together better than 1/4 heads. If you like cebollitas, you will like this salad.
So, no pix of the first iteration, but there was some leftover steak, and leftover sauce, so for a quick Sunday dinner, grilled another 1/2 head, split and laid on baguette w/ leftover steak. Definitely worth trying.