Lizard's Profile

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Why is "the best" so important

Hmmm. I'm not sure this is a uniquely American affliction (arrogance and exceptionalism more like). The Academy Awards are hardly the sole awards ceremonies on the planet. And a glance at any UK paper will bring one league table or another.

That said, there is definitely something to think about regarding the best, the listification of reportage, and FOMO. Probably also something about the way consumption and (personal) value are so fused through one of capitalism's many self-perpetuating mechanisms.

Feb 13, 2015
Lizard in France

Top Chef Boston – Ep. #14 – Pre-Finale - 02/04/15 (spoilers)

Words like 'misogynistic' tend to get a rise out of people (as they have here) and shut down a necessary conversation.

I say 'necessary', because as I watch these programmes and as I read comments threads on them, I see a lot of unchecked unconscious bias that lists very much to the sexist. The doubt that the women actually bring skills, the comments on their looks (particularly if fat or if not given to smiling), and the comments on behaviour if they are not 'nice' (and performing the affective labour so many crave) are particularly prominent on comment threads.

Yes, the shows and their fans do focus on who can bring it, but the shape of the debate is one that I find striking when not depressingly tedious and outdated.

Would you buy your neighbors' home cooked food

Your reference to Uber is precisely why this business model is a problem. The issues of safety, price gouging and exploitation alone make this an ugly proposition (for home cooks and clients).
An online database of neighbours willing to share is one thing, and even then, we have to wonder about privacy issues involved, but this seems a curious plan. Who will be doing pickups and deliveries? Frankly, it sounds like a leftover exchange service and I'd imagine many might have such a thing in place,
If it is an arrangement to sell food produced in unregulated kitchens, I think that's already done in a casual, underground manner and I don't see the benefits to the participants in bringing in a middle man.
Whatever the health concerns, I'm not seeing a fully formed business model that convinces me of benefit all around.

Feb 03, 2015
Lizard in Not About Food

The "Gastro" thing...

My unnecessary addition here is that I giggled when I saw the title 'The "Gastro" Thing' as written by Skidmark *ahem* Jones. I am more familiar with 'gastro' as shorthand for 'gastro-entérite' and associate it with its symptoms (hence further sniggers with 'Skidmark').

I'll just leave now.

Jan 14, 2015
Lizard in Los Angeles Area

I am in sympathy with my Parisian food lovers

And also

Christmas Dinner Highlights and Lowlifes

I did read it, thanks, so please don't make me subject it to a good old-fashioned fisking to demonstrate my point about tone.

It may be that you could reread mine, however, which acknowledges the frustration this person caused and does not excuse the behaviour of this visitor. The focus is on empathy. There's enough to go around in this case; although in short supply on chowhound, it's actually not an endangered resource.

Jan 04, 2015
Lizard in Not About Food

Christmas Dinner Highlights and Lowlifes

I agree. Puffin certainly could care less. (And might do, to boot.)

Jan 01, 2015
Lizard in Not About Food

Christmas Dinner Highlights and Lowlifes

Ah, but surely as a trial lawyer, you'd recommend preparing the OP for the testimony-- to remind that this is an adversarial process, that the statement is subject to cross-examination, and that language and tone matters. :)

I have to say I find this entire thread fascinating. I'm not sure why a trial analogy was brought in. Not every encounter is suited by making such analogies (as was actually nicely argued in the pieces responding to THE NEWSROOM and the episode 'Shenandoah').

I don't think the doubters are denying that certain things happened, but that there are reasons for looking for reasons for that behaviour-- possibly in an act of empathy. (And imagining what has happened in someone's day before s/he encounters us is part of that, and hardly so far fetched as to imagine said person an alien.) I think for some of us, too, the empathy was especially triggered by the tone and delivery of the OP, where judgements seemed levied over this girl's appearance and quiet demeanour even before questions of action were taken up.

I appreciate that there is a lot of anger and frustration since the OP was left without a gift and without thigh meat. And I can imagine that the behaviour was of the eye-brow raising kind. But in this case, reading the OP, my response wasn't 'WHAT WAS SHE THINKING?!?!' (re MF) but rather 'What was she thinking? What is going on here?' As for the OP, the position, even if irked/amused, was one of relative comfort: surrounded by loved ones by choice.

And if one is to bring in an analogy, let's just say that many of you might be happy that people do respond to weirdness with empathy. Imagine if it was your kid having a meltdown of sorts (and as a uni lecturer, I've seen my share of inappropriate behaviours); it's nice to think someone might respond with wanting to know more before levying judgement. Judgement is fun, but I think there was possibly too heavy a hand in the report, leaving some of us sympathetic.

I'm not excusing or explaining away the behaviour, just saying that there is a rationale for some wanting more. And the nice thing for humanity is that this tendency is related to a very valuable commodity- empathy.

(Also, let's just say that in light of what's happening in the US, a bit more suspicion cast on testimony should be a good thing. *ahem*)

And now, having posted enough for all of 2015, I'll go back to my post as occasional lurker.

Happy New Year, everyone! May your year be filled with spicy drinks, delicious thigh meat, and enthusiastic guests!

Are food allergies really hereditary, or is my SIL overly cautious?

PhilD, perhaps. However, what Sunshine and others are trying to explain is that there is a window within a child's life where sensitivity to and likelihood of allergic reactions are higher. And according to the NHS, the risks of allergies actually are greater when they run in the family. in some cases, children are fed first peanuts at the surgery, where their reactions can be monitored. (I know this last but only through friends and colleagues, but it sounds like it's not just the US reacting to allergies.)

I'm not sure that breast milk would be a problem, but I'd certainly sympathise with someone wishing to be careful. It may be annoying to find out at the last minute, but anything I'd argue against.

(Also, there are allergies to things like milk and eggs early on, but babies are so gross that it can be easy to miss the milder responses like rashes and eczema. Peanuts and shellfish are more likely to produce life threatening reactions.)

Dec 26, 2014
Lizard in Not About Food

A Faster Chowhound: Pagination for Longer Threads

Sorry, nope. All the same, even with your chowsplain.

Dec 20, 2014
Lizard in Site Talk

A Faster Chowhound: Pagination for Longer Threads

I guess I'm the only one not enraged by these changes. I mean, I didn't care for it, but looked up the instructions and fixed it for my personal preference. It just doesn't seem that big a deal.

There are things I get upset about to be sure, but this just isn't one of them.

Dec 20, 2014
Lizard in Site Talk

Foods unique to France to buy in Paris?

Nah, actually it makes sense. The problem is always thinking of it as 'cramique'. I'm just trying to get my head around it with anything but raisins.

Aw... now I'm hungry. And wish I had some cramique here. I'm calling my mum...

Dec 17, 2014
Lizard in France

Foods unique to France to buy in Paris?

I passed by a Merveilleux de Fred in Brussels (on Grassmarkt) just a few weeks ago and was taken aback. Not in a bad way, since merveilleux are my favourite, but because it looked like Belgium's next step in advancing a local(ish) traditional delicacy. (And that the Parisian one sells cramique makes me think about Belgium's newfound hotness in the francophone regions; in fact, my mum and I were talking about it, but more in terms of comedians).

Don't really know what I'm saying, but I guess I'm gobsmacked by the attention and spread of all those things that were so much part of my growing up but of which so few knew about until recently.

Oh: also merveilleux are not really for transporting. Or I would have picked up a bunch during my last trip which was more a layover between one spot and home. But cramique? Yeah. And oh so good (although this brioche comparison makes me wonder what exactly they're selling.)

Dec 16, 2014
Lizard in France

Comments Heard At Restaurants...

The manner is important, but apparently manner for you includes the horrific offence of eating out whilst fat.

Prepped Food /Food Halls in London, Any reccos?

I can't necessarily vouch for all the food, especially as I haven't been recently, but you may enjoy checking out the Japan Centre on Shaftsbury Ave., which has prepared foods (although maybe not heat and eat, I can't remember).

Dec 05, 2014
Lizard in U.K./Ireland

Let's ban the word GUYS!!!

Tipping in a pub? I've been doing it all wrong the past years I've been living here (more than I care to say for reluctance of confronting my age and mortality). Uh oh.

Nov 23, 2014
Lizard in Not About Food

Returning food too often customer banned

There may be a good point, but crikey... "should of"? *Shudder*

TUMS at a dinner party?

I keep allergy pills around for visitors to my house. This isn't a prescription to others, but I'm happy when people make the effort and know that an additional run past the chemists may not be desirable or possible. But I would never expect that of others and I also acknowledge that medicating ones guests may actually not be best practice.

Nov 20, 2014
Lizard in Not About Food

Drive-by Posts?

Is it my imagination, or has there been an increase of one-time posters, joining only to ask etiquette style questions that have little to do with food?

This may be an inappropriate question. I certainly wouldn't want to stop anyone from dipping their toe in and coming to know the people here (and checking out good recipe and restaurant tips). This could be a first step in and it might be that it's just coincidence as I've popped by to check out recommendations. Indeed, I'm probably not one to talk since I'm not one of the major contributors myself, but yeah, I was wondering.

Nov 17, 2014
Lizard in Site Talk

Upsurge in Inanity

I find (here and elsewhere) that a shocking number of people whose writing would indicate English as a second language turn out to be native speakers.

Minimum Wage Impact on Restaurant (especially FF) Prices

To Tom34 and his comment that begins, 'Reaching top level management rarely happens by accident', an item from The Guardian, so not about the US but the UK-- but let's face it, economic trends towards neoliberalism apparent in the UK are pretty much a pale reflection of the US:

"If the national minimum wage had kept pace with FTSE 100 CEO salaries since 1999, it would now be £18.89 per hour instead of £6.50. However, for some reason broadcasters rarely ask CEOs about the gulf between their pay and that of the poorest staff in their organisations. The unstated implication is that the lowest-paid staff are lucky to have any job at all, and only have what they have thanks to the benevolence of the 1%, with their superior leadership skills.

If the top 1% actually created more jobs as they became wealthier, then ordinary people would be surrounded by employment opportunities in both the US and the UK. Instead, it is in Germany, where the wealthiest 1% receives in pay and bonuses half as much as their counterparts in the US, that unemployment is at a 20-year low. In countries that keep their top 1% in check, the highest earners work more effectively for the good of all, or at the very least create a little less misery."


What's for Dinner #327-The Scotland Votes Edition! [through September 25, 2014]

Dundee also voted yes. (Just because you haven't heard of it doesn't mean it isn't a big city- one of the top four in Scotland.)

PYT scandal... owner refuses to apologize for sharing tip

Whoa. If you guys are talking about the case I think you're talking about, you've the wrong end of the stick on that one. Seriously.
(And I'll stop here before the mods have cause to step in.)

Sep 16, 2014
Lizard in Not About Food

Are bagels "a thing" now?

I've been reading this with great interest, or moderate interest, if only to look into the popularity and spread of the bagel/beigel. I have rarely come across bagels on brasserie menus in Paris or Brussels, so this is a new one on me. I've only ever seen beigels for sale in Jewish shops/areas, but then, I may also be blind to the appearance of bagel sandwiches in restaurants. (And I don't go out to eat loads when I'm in either city so maybe that's also it.)

Sep 01, 2014
Lizard in France

In search of tips for Edinburgh & Highlands

I'm having a think on what would be near you for shopping. I'm more familiar with the shops of Brunstfield and the like, where on finds speciality shops, although I recall Leith Walk having its share of Asian and Polish markets.

There's also the Sicilian Pastry Shop (around Albert Street) that many swear by. Otherwise, I keep thinking about the big Tescos-- one at the end of Easter Road and the other near George V park (but I cycle, so don't know how it would be for walking or taking the bus).

For a lovely walk, on the other side of Arthur's Seat in Duddingston, there's Sheeps Heid Inn (oldest pub in Edinburgh). I've only been for drinks, but the food looked nice. It's worth a visit, at any rate. I'll continue thinking and see if I can't remember spots.

There's also The Café Royal on West Register Street (close to Waverly Station) that is a lovely place, although once again, I'm afraid I haven't eaten but only enjoyed a drink.

Aug 29, 2014
Lizard in U.K./Ireland

That Time Anthony Bourdain Scared Kids with the Gay, and I Laughed

Then what you wrote the first time was perfectly clear and my response stands.

Aug 27, 2014
Lizard in Features

That Time Anthony Bourdain Scared Kids with the Gay, and I Laughed

I'm a bit puzzled by your response, to be honest, as it seems you are simultaneously sympathetic to and resentful of the cause (the cause being the fight against homophobia). It seems that this story has you already on the defensive, as the greatest danger is to you, a straight man, rather than to those who live with homophobia so pervasive and so subtle that it can be perpetuated far too easily.

Indeed, what I get from this story is the author's own surprise that he did not see the homophobia inherent in Bourdain's teasing (one you seem to see and condemn straight away). In that, he takes himself to task and reminds us that everyone can participate in the maintenance of racism, homophobia, sexism, etc. and that no one is necessarily immune simply for their identity or because they've been activists. The piece offers a reflection that is useful as guide: it's worth checking back in every now and again.

Being born gay or not, choosing or chosen, it doesn't matter. In fact, why should it only be acceptable if one is helpless to stop TEH GAY? Yes, I think much of this is beyond one's control, but even if it were within the grasp, it would still be ok by me.

But then, maybe I'm missing something in your post.

Aug 27, 2014
Lizard in Features

That Time Anthony Bourdain Scared Kids with the Gay, and I Laughed

Heard you the first time. But given you are an active poster on the thread about the couple kicked out of the restaurant because of service dogs, and given that thread has less to do with restaurants, and more to do with plastic surgery and the Americans with Disabilities Act, I would have thought you were lax about such things.
The set up here is similarly foodie: One-time chef and well known food writer and presented has a show about taco trucks, and then something happens.

A Four-Year-Old reviews... The French Laundry

"A ringside seat to see assholes create more assholes."

Aug 22, 2014
Lizard in Food Media & News

Who would you like to dine with?

Well, will women really want to come if Richard Dawkins is there? :)

Dawkins used to be interesting, but my how things have changed. I love this recent bit from the Daily Mash:


Aug 21, 2014
Lizard in Not About Food