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In 'Parts Unknown,' Anthony Bourdain is not a man on a mission

I've watched enough of his shows that I just don't buy it. Some of his shows, particularly his recent show on Mexico or his Jerusalem/West Bank show…..he's just not a man with no "mission". I'm not saying he necessarily has a strict mission in mind, but he does have a bias that I feel comes across strongly.

Now true, saying "I have no mission, I'm just here to eat, drink, and be merry" may help his visa issue. And maybe that's reason enough. But I just wish he was more honest about that. If he said, "by being vague about any other interests, I'm allowed access to places that more mission oriented shows aren't allowed" - then fine. Be sneaky, but I don't buy him as that naive.

about 4 hours ago
cresyd in Food Media & News

Favorite brown bag lunches that don't require reheating

Loads of great examples - but I wanted to add a modification to either eating everything from home or just eating out. If there are places that sell tasty/exciting hot side dishes that can help boost the interest of an otherwise cold lunch. Obviously the trick is to make sure that financially and portion size that you don't make your lunch into a huge meal or end up spending a ridiculous amount - but it can help in giving a little warm umph.

There's a BBQ foodtruck that's near my office occasionally, and I always look forward to adding their smoked beans with whatever my normal "boring" lunch is. Especially with the cold weather coming, it might be a good way to balance only being able to eat room temperature in the office and wanting something hot.

Also, if you have access to hot water, you open up the door to being able to make a variety of "add hot water" soups as well as ramen noodles.

about 7 hours ago
cresyd in Home Cooking

Suggestions for wine for an Israeli-style dinner

First, the best Israeli wines (kosher and not) are still not available in a widespread fashion outside of Israel. But to me specifically regarding kosher wine is that the amount you have to pay for an equivalent quality kosher wine will always be more than the none kosher wine. Therefore determining the value of a $10/50/100 bottle of kosher wine will rarely compare to a non-kosher wine of similar cost - whether it's from Israel or not.

If part of the value one places on wine is that it be kosher, then yes - the quality of kosher wine has considerably increased and there is value in keeping kosher. However, if being kosher has no distinct value, then there's rarely a cost benefit.

There will always be exceptions of over priced nonkosher wines and kosher steals - but on average, it's a reliable generalization.

about 9 hours ago
cresyd in Wine

In 'Parts Unknown,' Anthony Bourdain is not a man on a mission

"This outspoken New York chef insists he is on no kind of socially minded mission. And he's not an advocate, activist, journalist or expert on anything."

This attitude that Bourdain insists his show presents I find disingenuous. As his show has moved further and further away from just being about food, I don't think that he's entirely nailed down what his kind of travel journalism is - but it's definitely not without a strong perspective, and shall we say "mission".

about 11 hours ago
cresyd in Food Media & News

More diaper changing - this time in Chipotle

Another diaper change at the family, and an angry father's response. While I understand advocating or places that present themselves as 'family friendly' to have changing tables - the response that it is then ok to change the baby at the table seems to be a weak soapbox to stand on.

Yes, I don't have children - but still....

http://gawker.com/diaper-changing-dad...

1 day ago
cresyd in Food Media & News

Round Challah in DC/NOVA

I am looking for round challah suggestions in the DC/NOVA area. I need a place accessible to the metro - and the bakery doesn't need to be kosher. Thank you!

Possible Double Standard Regarding Dietary Needs/Preferences

My mother is like this, and 100% uses "being kosher" as her way of saying "I'd rather not eat this".

For better or worse, I think we're now in a place where a number of people use religious or medical restrictions as convenient ways to not eat what they don't want. While in a situation like a flight where you ask for a kosher meal or express to a restaurant that you have an allergy - so be it. But when it's around people you socialize with (or family members), it can get grating to the point where hosting meals/food at home can just become one request too many.

Sep 23, 2014
cresyd in Not About Food

Great Food Truck Race 2014 - one week left (spoilers)

I give the Israeli team credit for figuring out the game. And in that way, I can't blame them. Find food that takes next to no prep and be assembled quickly, and then charge crazy amounts. But it has started to seriously sour the viewing experience.

If I was doing an actual Israeli food truck, hummus would be a major feature. Super easy to dish out of a truck with either pita chips, fresh grilled pita, whatever. However, given the parameters you don't have the time to use dried chickpeas. Same with falafel. So the show already forces them into less natural dish options, so why not just focus on shortcuts?

Given the way the show is designed they've slipped to such a point of rewarding quick and easy that it's just gotten embarrassing.

Sep 23, 2014
cresyd in Food Media & News

Great Food Truck Race 2014 - one week left (spoilers)

At least they priced their food fairly. Which is way more than what you can say for any other team on this show.

Sep 23, 2014
cresyd in Food Media & News

Great Food Truck Race 2014 - one week left (spoilers)

Yeah - I think that on one episode Tyler tried to address that the quality of food wasn't super high, which was a first. Not to mention that there was the early military mom's truck that was charging $8-10 (?) for a grilled peanut butter and jelly sandwich.....

Given that the nature of the show truly is a case of 'one and done', there's no need to develop a fan base or provide a product of value. Which has kind of deflated the show for me. I don't believe the food is amazing, and the "challenge" of showing up with some FN cameras and then overcharging for a dish I've made drunk at 3am (quesadilla, I'm looking at you), meh.

I think going forward, the show would be more interesting taking existing food trucks from one city and setting the competition just in that city. (i.e. Food Truck Race, Portland) The challenges could be more neighborhood and cooking oriented. Or, select a number of existing food trucks from around the country, and have them face challenges in their own city. Either way, this current set up has gassed out, imho.

Sep 22, 2014
cresyd in Food Media & News

Great Food Truck Race 2014 - one week left (spoilers)

The price gauging on this season of the show has been unreal. At one point the Tex-Mex truck was charging $25 for a quesadilla.....

It's a theory I've always thought with this show, especially when they're in smaller towns where people show up in large numbers because it's an "event". Slap a huge price tag on the food, cause clearly people are paying for the experience/being on tv more so than the food. But it's not helping the intrigue with the show.

Sep 22, 2014
cresyd in Food Media & News

Sukkot and shabbat meals tel aviv

Don't have a specific answer (though my guess would be that it would be open) - but given the lack of activity on the Middle East board, you'd probably see quicker responses if you double post your question on the Kosher board.

Sep 22, 2014
cresyd in Middle East & Africa

(Silly) question about ingesting soap.

Oh, you're 100% correct.

To be completely frank - I totally ate the rest of the rice the next day, and whatever stomach issues I had didn't return. So yeah, there was totally that case of "what have I done to myself??" in the middle of the night.

Sep 18, 2014
cresyd in Not About Food
1

(Silly) question about ingesting soap.

Thank you - that was the basic response I was looking for.

This was a case of a quick wash/rinse/dry/use - and clearly I was a bit careless. Fair enough, it didn't make for amazing eating - but it was late, I was hungry, and it wasn't 'that' bad.

I've also been traveling a lot recently, so whatever bellyaching my stomach is doing is probably more related to that. But I can't imagine that eating dish liquid helped.

Sep 17, 2014
cresyd in Not About Food

(Silly) question about ingesting soap.

Last night I made some rice, and clearly hadn't rinsed all the dish soap out of the pot. While it wasn't like there was foaming soap, there was definitely a bit of an after taste. Then last night/this morning I had a truly awful stomach ache that so far Pepto has appeared to mollify.

So the question is this - aside from the obvious of not serving this to anyone - is there a level of how much incidental digested soap before it becomes a problem? I've also been traveling a lot recently, so I'm totally open to this having no connection to eating soap. But for future reference, should something like this happen again - should I have just tossed the rice as being totally inedible/bad for me?

Sep 17, 2014
cresyd in Not About Food

What "typical American Foods" would you serve to foreigners?

True - but I think this automatic assumption that 'typical American food' is limited to fried meat and starch isn't true. Sure, it's a huge part of American comfort food, but isn't the whole story of great American food.

I mean, you could serve a bean chili that has some meat in it with corn bread and a variety of vegetable sides and it'd still read to me as a very American meal without it being fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, and mashed potatoes.

Why is that Kids Competition with Rachael Ray and Guy Fieri on Food Network and not Nickelodeon?

Fair enough - that's a fairly (very) nebulous term.

For me the original Iron Chef served to amaze me, encouraged me to try new things, and gave me a few pointers (some that I still use today). For whatever reason ICA doesn't hold my attention in quite the same way - but that doesn't necessarily diminish the quality of the show.

Sep 16, 2014
cresyd in Food Media & News

What "typical American Foods" would you serve to foreigners?

I just spent the past week with a group of Israelis, English, Germans, and Canadians (who currently live abroad) and were in the US for a Cape Cod wedding and traveling. Based on this experience - many fruit/vegetable side dishes and something without meat as a main feature of the main course. And nothing fried.

I think it may be that for many travelers, getting "restauranted out" is fairly common. It's not as though any of these countries don't have plenty of deep fried and starchy foods (especially in restaurants), but after a few days the "why can't I just get a good salad" whining got pretty loud.

Because we were on the Cape, and had a limited number of cars/drivers and lots of wedding events to be available for - taking the time to prepare more normal home cooked meals didn't work out very often. But to speak on behalf on that crowd - lots of salads, lots of veggies, lots of fruit, minimal meat and frying.

Sep 16, 2014
cresyd in General Topics

Which would rather have? Great Food or Great Service in a Restaurant?

It depends on the price/food - but I've regularly gone back to some places that consistently have dreadful service. Sometimes it becomes part of the joke/experience of going there. But it's hardly a business model that I'd recommend.

Sep 16, 2014
cresyd in Not About Food

Why is that Kids Competition with Rachael Ray and Guy Fieri on Food Network and not Nickelodeon?

Compared to a show like Worst Cooks in America or Rachael and Guy's Celebrity Cook Off - by FN's standards, this is a pretty respectable offering.

Also, because none of the kids are ever sent home (and rather the winner is determined by a cumulative score), the show doesn't have nearly the same volume of the agony/ecstasy of going home week to week that just about every other competition show has. I don't think this show is a center for cooking brilliance, but of all the shows FN should be embarrassed by, this isn't one of them.

Sep 16, 2014
cresyd in Food Media & News

Wheat/Dairy Free Wedding Guest Ettiquette

I figured kosher-keepers would have a variety of responses on how to deal.

The most recent wedding I attended definitely had GF/DF options - perhaps not necessarily enough for a perfect meal - but definitely enough to ward off hunger (esp if accompanied by a snack).

Sep 16, 2014
cresyd in Not About Food

What types of restaurants does DC need now?

RusUz in Ballston is an Uzbekistani restaurant and there are a lot of food similarities between that and Georgian cuisines. Some of the same stuff, some slight variations on a theme.

Wheat/Dairy Free Wedding Guest Ettiquette

As a thought - another audience that might have some advice/experience on how to bring up this point would be people on the kosher board. Though I've never had to ask or been asked about this, I have been to weddings where guests had double wrapped kosher meals or stayed for part of the reception, didn't eat, and left early. And I've never heard any of those people being called rude.

I was recently invited to a wedding, and the RSVP card had no place for mentioning something like a peanut allergy - so I'm not sure that opening the door to dietary restrictions on invites has become de rigueur yet.

Sep 04, 2014
cresyd in Not About Food

tipping with limited service

A lot of tipping threads often function under this notion that a "few bucks" won't really hurt someone. However, if someone does have a very tight budget, does that free them from the obligation to tip? And while a few bucks one time may make no difference, if someone purchases food (at counters/restaurants/delivery) even just a few times a week - that few bucks can add up fairly quickly if we're expanding this to all food service.

Not all servers make less than all customer. I've always found it a bizarre point to bring up regarding tipping. Because then that essentially tells someone living on student loans or any fixed/tight income that they're immune from tipping.

Sep 04, 2014
cresyd in Not About Food

Next Food Network Star -finale (spoilers)

I think that comment may have been in response to your line "It was stupid and gross, and what woman amongst us has not gone on working with stupid and gross guys?" - and a point that women should not have to go on working with such men.

I would also add that I think someone blowing a snot rocket with the intention of hitting someone 'stupid and gross'. Actions I would describe as 'stupid and gross' I would shrug off in the workplace. And I don't shrug off sexual harassment.

Personally, I would choose different words to describe sexual harassment. So the disagreement may be more vocabulary based than true sentiment based.

Next Food Network Star -finale (spoilers)

In the grand scheme yes - the stuff said about women who are public figures on the internet really does drop to horrific depths. But I do think that the public nature about what he said about Ree does cross current lines about what is accepted.

I'm not saying Lenny has no career. But I would be shocked if he has any career on the Food Network.

Irrationally far-in-advance bookings: an increasingly general trend

This is the worst with event tickets - specifically for concerts. No more the days when a committed fan could wait in line for hours to be first in line - those companies buy up the tickets in bulk and then resell them.

Sep 01, 2014
cresyd in Not About Food
1

The Feed

Max Silvestri also used to do very funny recaps of Worst Cooks in America for Grantland (http://grantland.com/contributors/max...). It's a shame it's such a mess.

Aug 29, 2014
cresyd in Food Media & News

I really like <fill in chain> and I look forward to returning

I can't imagine investing in the whole box's worth - I more like to think of it potentially happening as a fantastic accident.

Aug 29, 2014
cresyd in Chains

Are you a herb, spice and seasoning junkie?

I'm with you on this - it also helps in terms of working through different cuisines/recipes at a time. I have a fairly standard Middle Eastern selection of spices around - but I recently bought nutmeg for a recipe, and now I'm trying to find other recipes that use nutmeg (and other spices I already have) so I make the most of it. I would much rather buy spices in as small a quantity as possible.

Aug 29, 2014
cresyd in General Topics