The French Laundry on Yelp: A Zero Star Review

1/8/13   Okay, people, listen up. I went to the French Laundry, and obviously I’m the most qualified person to offer this review, even though there are fifty one-star reviews already on the site, because this is going to be the first person to give a ZERO star review! FIRST ONE HERE! Also, I actually went to the restaurant, so that puts me a leg up on more than half of those silly one-star people. I thought this place, was, like, super exclusive, or something? I was extremely angry that I got the exact day and time I wanted for my reservation (by following the instructions on … [Read more...]

Eating America: The Best Food in Chicago, Part 1: Budget Restaurants

Consider this the food blogger's guide to Chicago. As I say on my About Page, being a GastroGnome is not about sitting idly on the front lawn of culinary cottages. Each year I tell my stories of trips to Beijing, Hanoi, and Mexico, but sometimes I leave out my favorite places right here in the U.S. No more! This is the latest installment of my 'Eating America' series, featuring the best eating around our fine nation. In my few trips to Chicago, I’ve mostly had the chance to eat at only a few places while passing through the city on the way to Brett’s family’s place out in the burbs. … [Read more...]

Four Courses of Foie Gras

There are certain advantages and disadvantages to dating a food blogger. Waiting while your meal gets cold for the ten thousandth picture to be taken can't be fun, nor is listening while your dining companion dissects every little minutiae of an otherwise perfectly fine meal. On the other hand, if you happen to have a 30th birthday while dating a food blogger and you, maybe, say happen to think foie gras is better than manna from heaven, well, guys, that is when it pays to date a food blogger. My gift to B was an entire lobe of foie gras. Argue if you will, but I'll stop you with two things: … [Read more...]

A ‘Touching’ Meal

Last night I had a wonderful meal at an extremely fun restaurant. I hesitate to resort to hyperbole and compare it to Momofuku Ssam Bar in New York, but I think they share many elements, from the generous use of offal to the tendency to overdo dishes, rather than let the delicious components shine alone. Our service was impeccable, my only issue was a personal pet peeve. Don't touch me. I hate when wait staff touches me. Our waiter took an order from the table next to me and then on his way to put it in lightly brushed my shoulder and said he'd be back for our drinks. I bristled. I am not a … [Read more...]