I’m Not Eating It Wrong

5975470597_3ac0bca5be_z

Originally posted on Food Riot, which has since shut down. “If the food goes in your mouth, you’re doing it right,” the waitress told us, in direct contrast to the instructions given by the ramen restaurant’s PR rep. It was refreshing to hear—especially after having just watched a slurping demonstration that brought flashbacks of a time I slurped spicy soup broth right into my eye. It burnt in so many ways. The slurping demo, though, is just one of any number of ways that the “right way” to eat is trumpeted. You’re opening it wrong. You’re eating it from the wrong end. You’re insulting … [Read more...]

Dumplings on a Seder Plate: The Closing of Green Village Restaurant

Wendy Lu

“You’ll tell them, right?” Wendy asked toward the end of the evening. She motioned toward the outside world, as if to remind us that there were still other people out there. We were the only guests in the tiny Chinese restaurant tonight. She looked out the window at another customer pulling at the locked door. “I don’t have the heart.” We nodded, reassuringly; we’d tell the world—the Internet—that Green Village was no more. Let people read what Wendy wouldn’t or couldn’t say to their face, what she shared with us tonight inside the restaurant: Green Village, the restaurant that had been her … [Read more...]

10 Things I Don’t Want to Hear My Server Say

10 Things I Don't Want to Hear from my Server

Let's just get this straight: I was the worst server ever. On my second day as a waitress, I dropped chicken fingers on the floor of the Quito pub I worked in, and under the judging eye of both chef and co-worker, I picked them up and served them. As a pizza server in northern Mexico, I probably ate more cheese than ever made it onto one of the pies I was preparing. This is why I work on the marketing side of the food world. So I understand that serving is not an easy gig. But it doesn't seem so hard to remember not to ask, "Sir, did you forget to take your shower today?" (True story: this was … [Read more...]

How to Find the Best Food While Traveling

IMG_5359_2

Some phrases that make my heart hurt: “We got there and we were tired, so we just ate at the hotel” “I didn’t know what anything was, so thank god there was a [PICK ONE: TGIMcFunsters/Magic Panda/Burger Sovereign] nearby” “We wanted to eat where we could see the [INSERT MAJOR TOURIST ATTRACTION HERE].”  The average tourist decision, anywhere in the world, on where to eat goes like this: Joe Schmoe spends hundreds of dollars on flights and hotels to get to EXCITINGVILLE! He spent the whole flight reading the guidebook entry for FAMOUS PLAZA. When he got there, he looked around … [Read more...]

The French Laundry on Yelp: A Zero Star Review

CheeseCourse

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...]

10 Tricks to Make the Lazy Cook’s Food Taste Better

Red Peppers

I never clean up as I go. Rumor has it, that's what the cool kids do. That's what the organized, methodical, by the book cooks do. The people who clean as they go probably also set up their mise en place and follow recipes too. All things which I'd love to be the type of person who does. But I'm not. I'm me. Being me means that I'm a bit of a hurricane, whooshing into the kitchen, chopping, stirring, mixing, cooking, racing against the imaginary clock of getting one thing done before the heat on the stove demands the next step. I took a knife skills class once and I learned a lot. I've … [Read more...]

5 Things That Dreaming of Being a Food Writer Got Me

Pea Photo

Half a decade ago, I wanted to be a food writer. A local food writer I admired gave me the advice to start a blog. This blog has improved my life in more ways than I could ever count. I'd love to break bread with all of you and tell you the reasons, but I'll share a few here for now. One recent morning the food world was abuzz about Amanda Hesser's article Advice for Future Food Writers. In reading it, I was disappointed in some of it. In the way it dashes dreams. Little kids hope to be firemen and astronauts, recent college grads, hungry and broke, dream of being food writers. Yet, she … [Read more...]

What My Gall Bladder has to do with Paula Deen (and Healthful Edamame Dip)

EdamameToast

Two weeks into my gall bladder being on the fritz, I decided to go all Paula Deen on it. If I simply refrained from eating fat or consuming alcohol, I prevented the attacks, which were more painful than a lifetime sentenced to eating Kwanzaa Cake. But I was hosting book club that night. And we were reading Shark's Fin and Sichuan Pepper, one of my favorite books. An array of home-cooked Chinese dishes peppered the table, wowing me with the skill of my friends: beef tongue, celery, and pig ear from Tiffany, egg tarts from Snacking in the Kitchen, and dan-dan noodles from me, among others … [Read more...]

Donate, Win, Eat, Travel: Passports with a Purpose

Caprese Salad Ingredients

I'm back from Mexico with fresh cooking tips from an Abuela (grandma), a passion for pambazos (think tortas, but soaked in chile, then fried) and a few imbibe-able souvenirs. Before I start in on my posts about those, I wanted to give you the opportunity to win a little travel adventure of your own. As self-indulgent as this lovely blog is, I couldn't help but jump at the opportunity to help out by participating in Passports with a Purpose, to help raise money to build libraries in Zambia. "Zambia? Books? That doesn't sound like food?" You might be saying. And you'd be right, but only … [Read more...]

Dear Seattle Restaurants: A Chicken and Waffles Challenge

Chicken and Waffles

 This picture, folks, is the ultimate in chicken and waffle cuisine. Not familiar? Neither was I. I was dubious, to say the least, as all of my friends urged me to try Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles while I was on vacation in Los Angeles. I like fried chicken as much as the next person, and well, who can dislike a waffle, right? But together...I narrowed my eyes in wary judgment. How wrong I was! Now, I'm reduced to chasing this delicacy up the coastline, in search of the same succulence. Seattle restaurant owners, I issue you this challenge: Make a chicken and waffle dish that rivals … [Read more...]