MGZ's Profile

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Food as a reward/punishment

I agree with the basic notions put forth by most of those who have already commented - there is little you can do. Sadly, parents fuck up their kids. They may not mean to, but, in one way or another, they do. There is a reason the overwhelming majority of adults display some degree of psychological/emotional troubles.

One thing you might consider is to continue to work on and resolve your own issues. Examples are very powerful guides. As your niece gets older, she may need to seek advice for those she perceives to be healthy. Be those healthy people - emotionally and physically. It appears your both on the right track.

27 minutes ago
MGZ in Not About Food

Fat guy with ans expense account that is sometimes on TV

I have always tried to disclose any pertinent information regarding my relationships with chefs, servers, bartenders, restaurant owners, and even their families. I do the same thing if I am lucky enough to get something "on the house". I think it is prudent and helpful to fellow 'hounds. The problem is in defining what is "pertinent"? When does speaking with the chef constitute a friendship? It's particularly difficult when you are both affable, food geeks.

I my case, the litmus applied was basically just an "appearance of impropriety" drawn from between the lines of a review - there was never any sort of quid-pro-quo (yes, the McCutcheon hint was intentional - I couldn't help myself). I am passionate about good food and sometimes the excitement I have experienced is palpable in the way I put words on a page. We can all cheerlead for places we like in the hopes that they succeed and we can go back. Should we consider that a nefarious, self-interest?

If I've never spoken to a person outside of their restaurant, does it make them a "friend" because they will stop by our table when we come in to dine? What about someone who lives on my block and I exchange pleasantries about the weather frequently, but have never spoken to inside their pub? What if I did a house closing for a bartender a couple years ago and didn't charge him for some of my time? Slept with a server's sister? (Ironically, in the matter which I first noted in this thread, I would now call the chef my friend, we exchange e-mails occasionally, I've met his wife, etc., but at the time of the deletion, the relationship was much more limited).

I have no problem with the Mods posting the messages they send to me. First, I stand by my original presentations, their veracity, and my own disinterestedness. Moreover, it permits a chance to publicly clarify any misunderstandings I may have generated with my prose and lets other 'hounds draw their own conclusions. My gut tells me, however, that the practice might not work "across the board(s)".

By the way, I appreciate your implying that I'm not "pathologically disgruntled". I didn't think so, but it's always nice to hear it from others.

about 21 hours ago
MGZ in Site Talk

Fat guy with ans expense account that is sometimes on TV

I my case, it was simply something assumed by the mods from the text of my posts.

2 days ago
MGZ in Site Talk

Fat guy with ans expense account that is sometimes on TV

I've had a similar problem with one place/chef in particular. It can be very frustrating. Eventually, I just pretty much gave up and would only post anything about either in accord with the "friends and family" rules.

As to another place, I've just started checking out Serious Eats. I think I've seen some familiar faces.

2 days ago
MGZ in Site Talk

"Just eat it, you'll like it"

I'm sorry I missed that thread, cowboy. I'm glad you referenced it and think your read is insightful.*

It seems, advancing from what I was suggesting yesterday, that the less common one's divergence from the norm may be, the more of a threat it is perceived as by many. Such beliefs mean that one is "weird", "wrong", or "holier than thou". But, upon reflection, it's tough to not respect someone with the ethical/moral fortitude to stand alone and go hungry rather than compromise.

* Even potentially "inciteful", as attempts to distinguish are made.

2 days ago
MGZ in Not About Food

"Just eat it, you'll like it"

Clearly, it bothers people. It's different.

Apr 17, 2014
MGZ in Not About Food

Spiced Jelly Beans Rule!

That's just wrong - like stealing from your five year old niece's piggy bank.

Apr 17, 2014
MGZ in General Topics

Spiced Jelly Beans Rule!

You can keep your Peeps. Love your Solid Bunnies. Treasure your Coconut Cream Eggs and Peanut Butter Cups. They're all lame!

Bring me a giant handful of those spicey-sweet little pectin gems after I polish off some ham and lamb and I'm resurrected. (Admittedly, they are tough to pair with wine . . . .)

Easter is a fun time to be a kid.

Apr 17, 2014
MGZ in General Topics
1

"Just eat it, you'll like it"

I think part of the problem may lie in the approach to the diet question in general. Perhaps, there simply is no universally "right" diet. Different humans may simply benefit from different nutritional intakes to maximize health. When some are too dogmatic about their approach and proselytize aggressively, it flies in the face of personal experience, preference, and good taste in general (kinda like religion).

Apr 17, 2014
MGZ in Not About Food
3

"Just eat it, you'll like it"

"I believe that a lot of food fanatics do get frustrated by people who declare they love food and eating well then reel off a list of dislikes and foods they don't eat. For me they shouldn't really profess an interest in food if their taste is so narrow."

I am certainly one of those food geeks who can be bothered by hearing the phrase "I hate" before the name of a food - especially from those I'm breaking bread with and fellow 'hounds. Even more so, however, I'm kinda fascinated with the idea and what people mean when they say it, how they got to that conclusion, etc.*

I think the discomfort is sometimes simply a product of my understanding of what it means to be passionate about the subject being in conflict with the understanding of others. Like most folks, I prefer to be right, but not enough to create conflict over something so trivial.

On the other hand, I have little patience for disingenuity and close-mindedness. Lies and ignorance are tough to not confront - particularly when coming from those who are trusted at our table.

*Several years ago, I even posed the question to the community: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/784163

Apr 17, 2014
MGZ in Not About Food

"Just eat it, you'll like it"

fldhky, on the assumption that you're honestly looking for feedback on your experiences (not just simply trying to vent), I submit that you may first want to examine any passivity in your declinations. If multiple people are, on repeat occasions, treating you this way, accept that you are the constant in the interactions. Say "no" while looking them directly in the eye. Speak clearly. Decline while standing tall, not while you are seated and they are on their feet - rise if you have to. Moreover, don't over apologize.

Further, keep in mind that if you are going to adopt and maintain an aberrational diet (or, frankly, any other idiosyncrasy), accept that you are going to meet some resistance. You are stepping outside the behavioral norm. When it comes to declining a food that a vast majority of people enjoy, others will naturally make assumptions because it is different and therefore creates some discomfort. You may be seen as "weird" because you have different tastes. You may be seen as "less" because you suffer from some debility. You may be seen as "condescending" because you believe your minority viewpoint about health is better than their's. So what?

The thing is, hold to your convictions. You made your decisions, have chosen the lifestyle and worldview you are comfortable with - fuck 'em if they can't take a joke, you know? If you're not going to be like everybody else, accept that you're probably never going to be liked by everybody else. Just make sure that, in the end, you like yourself.

Apr 17, 2014
MGZ in Not About Food
3

Fresh Ham - NYT

That's cool. I can't remember seeing unsmoked hind shanks anywhere around here. I'll have to keep my eyes open now.

Apr 16, 2014
MGZ in Food Media & News

Is the food better when the owner who is the chef cooks your food ?

American Maganese, Inc.makes a mean "chicken" nugget.

Apr 16, 2014
MGZ in General Topics

Is the food better when the owner who is the chef cooks your food ?

I realize that it's a generalization, but I tend to agree with you. In fact, I previously have put forth my own litmus for selecting a restaurant when there is not much other information available - "the closer the owner is the stove, the more I want to go." If the capital behind a place needs directions to find it, or worse, thinks of it as a three or four letter "symbol", I kinda lose faith in the food.

Apr 16, 2014
MGZ in General Topics

Fresh Ham - NYT

The glorious fresh ham was a pretty common dish at family gatherings throughout my life, though not so much at Easter where "red ham" was more in keeping with Polish/Eastern European traditions and historical realities. I still think the former is an under-appreciated (and judging by some of the threads I've seen on this Site - under-understood) roast. I was always a big fan of the leftover, cold roast pork, sliced thin, on rye with mayo, lettuce, and tomato for lunch the next day.

So here's to Sifton for writing this piece. Further, here's to Harold Moore and Bruce Weinstein for being on the "right" side of the brining issue.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/16/din...

Apr 16, 2014
MGZ in Food Media & News

Whole fresh picnic ham.

I agree with ospreycove about a low temp/long time cook for a picnic ham. As suggested, the cut is from the lower half of the front leg of the pig and contains a decent amount of fat and collagen.* I like a little chile (dried, ground) added to the S&P on the surface of the meat, which I'll let sit overnight in the refrigerator and then for a couple hours on the counter before putting in the oven. A temperature of 250 is what I have used the last couple times.

*In contrast, what is often referred to as a "fresh ham" is actually the hindquarter of the animal. It is a much leaner piece of meat.

Apr 16, 2014
MGZ in Home Cooking

Calzones

I can only speak to places at the Shore and in Middlesex County, but a folded pizza crust - half moon shape - is a calzone. A "roll" or "log" shape is a stromboli.

Different terms in the Philly zone of influence?

Apr 15, 2014
MGZ in New Jersey

Calzones

How did I know that post was coming?

Apr 15, 2014
MGZ in New Jersey

Calzones

Where is Prosecco?

Apr 15, 2014
MGZ in New Jersey

Calzones

Not sure why, but I've been craving a solid calzone lately. I realized it's been a few years since I've treated myself to a giant half moon. The gently browned crust giving way to the knife and emitting the pillows of steam. The ricotta oozing out, the mozzarella stretching from the platter to the plate. The "holy shit we ate the whole thing" moment of over-satiation.

I'm pretty much a simple "ham and cheese(s)" calzone guy - maybe a bit of sauce on the side for the ends of the crust. I'm not adverse to other combinations of fillings and have gotten pretty weird when making smaller "pies" at home.

My recollection is that I haven't picked one up in so long because I was kinda disappointed by what we got the last few times. Consequently, I'm wondering if there are places anyone might recommend? Any particular version offered? Is there a DeLorenzo's or Spirito's of calzones? Anything you'd dare label the "best" or "must try"?

It would be a bonus for me if the there are great ones available south of the Driscoll, but I'm thinking there should be some statewide consideration of this dish that the Garden State does so well (sorta like: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/186329 ).

Apr 15, 2014
MGZ in New Jersey

First time smoking and making a brisket

Cheers, Porker. That kind of good advice is often the hardest to come by with all the other information out there.

Apr 15, 2014
MGZ in BBQ, Smoking, & Grilling

Online food reviews reveal inner self, Stanford researcher finds

Thanks for posting the link Melanie.

Apr 15, 2014
MGZ in Food Media & News

Good Sushi in Monmouth county? Where do you go?

Well, it's probably too late, but I'll suggest the Ika & Uni and the Tako Sunomono, as well as simply trusting to the Itamae with sashimi or donburi. They'll sometimes have monkfish liver as a special which I have come to like more and more.

Looking back on my first post about the place, some five years ago, I realize two things. First, I'm glad I try to never offer much by way of "review" after only a single visit anymore. And, second, Kazu's moving was a really, really good idea. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/604955

Apr 12, 2014
MGZ in New Jersey

Supermarket pricing.......can someone explain this to me?

Not to mention painful.

Apr 12, 2014
MGZ in General Topics

Small things I can't stand at chains or other......

$6.00 cocktails? That'd make me feel like a kid again. I may finally be beginning to understand the appeal of these places. At least now I know why jr goes so often.

Apr 11, 2014
MGZ in Chains
1

“Authenticity,” he confided to me, “is a bourgeois value posing as an aesthetic one.”

I agree that the acquisition of knowledge should be lifelong, but I think that its ultimate purpose should be to foster understanding.

Apr 11, 2014
MGZ in Food Media & News

Good Sushi in Monmouth county? Where do you go?

One thing I should have added above. If your boy has an adventurous side when it comes to food, Kazu can be a solid place to indulge it and try new things.

Wherever you wind up, let us know how it goes.

Apr 11, 2014
MGZ in New Jersey

“Authenticity,” he confided to me, “is a bourgeois value posing as an aesthetic one.”

"So sincerity is the sincerity to the dish not the diner?"

Honestly, I don't really care. I laud the sincerity to the purpose. I can even respect sincerity to profit. I don't have to eat McCassoulet when it comes out, but I can appreciate the commitment that went into its engineering.

Upon reflection, I realize that each passing day makes me less of a prescriptivist. Gathering knowledge and accepting definitions are inherently worthwhile endeavors, but part of the value of learning the "rules" is to understand their bases and purposes so that one can know how to bend and break them. There would be no Glass without Schubert, no Kelly without Monet, no cassoulet without casserole.

Which all kinda comes back to why hearing "non-authentic" used as a knee jerk pejorative by those who are still merely acquiring knowledge ruffles many feathers. It suggests a lack of understanding, of lingering ignorance, disguised by an authoritarian presentation. Perhaps it should have been labeled a "'petite bourgeois' value"?

Apr 11, 2014
MGZ in Food Media & News

Good Sushi in Monmouth county? Where do you go?

I think I'd have you to take me to Sushi by Kazu in Freehold, if I were him. http://sushibykazu.com/

Apr 11, 2014
MGZ in New Jersey

Cookware Board denizens

Hat's off!

I spose I'm just pissed I had to sit and talk to Vernon for nothing. . . . Well, at least I got the fifty bucks.

Apr 10, 2014
MGZ in Site Talk