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Another day, Another restaurant law suit

If it's required to be done onsight (i.e. you're not allowed to do so at home), that might be the issue. There was a case in South Carolina I remember reading about where a restaurant required front of the house staff to buy these vests from J. Crew that cost over a $100. Because they were from a generic store, the restaurant made employees pay for them as they were 'normal' clothes and not a uniform. During a US audit, the government disagreed with that interpretation. So it may also be an issue of interpretation of how the law is written.

I say that as a non labor lawyer who doesn't really have a clue.

about 14 hours ago
cresyd in Food Media & News

Another day, Another restaurant law suit

Technically these aren't the first allegations filed against Colicchio's restaurants - the last time they were just settled out of court. So I think the chance of the public necessarily finding out whether or not they're true is pretty small. This screams to me "settled out of court".

What I think I've learned the most through these various cases is that the restaurant labor laws are convoluted enough that most restaurants are probably breaking some labor laws. However, most smaller restaurants probably don't have the money to make a law suit worth it. But with celebrity comes more money, etc etc. If labor laws are being broken, I completely support pursuing that legally. But as a chicken/egg thing - it's not a surprise.

about 24 hours ago
cresyd in Food Media & News

The Taste 1/22/2015 Finale Spoilers

At this point across 3 seasons, all of the winners have come from the teams with mentors that are still at least somewhat involved in owning/operating a restaurant(s). While Ludo's style may be a bit over the top - Marcus's mentoring style is relatively similar in terms of being very hands on. Anthony and Nigella being producers of the show is the only reason why they're still mentors.

Another day, Another restaurant law suit

And here's a response by Tom, http://www.takepart.com/article/2015/...

2 days ago
cresyd in Food Media & News

Top Chef Boston – Ep. #12 – 01/21/15 (spoilers)

That may be just because of Mei's demeanor that she initially appears more mature and serious. I could also see Melissa's lighter attitude coming from having more experience and being more confident.

Either way, I think that Melissa has often referred to Mei as "my buddy", which I guess does have a slightly more diminutive/little sister quality to it.

Jan 23, 2015
cresyd in Food Media & News

Top Chef Boston – Ep. #12 – 01/21/15 (spoilers)

I completely agree. I also think the fact that she's in an industry that remains largely male showing a complex human side of her is really dynamic and interesting. For ages, women on this show have been shown as "tough" by being on of the boys. They burp, they swear, they swear, whatever - but Mei has shown where she came from and her choices in a way that I find pretty compelling. It's a different way of showing strength and toughness in a professional environment that remains heavily male.

And while Mei's situation may be presented a bit starkly - Melissa, who's just a lighter personality all around has presented a fairly similar background. Just that it's only one parent and not both.

Another day, Another restaurant law suit

This one is against Tom Colicchio's restaurants.

http://pagesix.com/2015/01/21/top-che...

Jan 22, 2015
cresyd in Food Media & News

Why are people slaves to a date, say February 14?

This past year, my parents decided that from now on Hanukkah in their house would be celebrated the day after Thanksgiving from now on. As us grown siblings do travel home for one holiday (and not the other), it ended up being fantastic to celebrate together.

That being said - I do understand how in matters of the heart things can get a bit more emotional and a bit less straight forward. I'm not going to say I've never been the girlfriend getting hot under the collar about Valentine's Day.

Jan 22, 2015
cresyd in Not About Food

Why are people slaves to a date, say February 14?

If you look at holidays like Halloween and St. Patrick's Day - those are holidays that despite being on specific days, lots of people and businesses adjust their day of celebration to what suits them best. For 'adult drinking' or parties major festivities will be adjusted to accommodate hangovers, for kids trick-or-treating if there is really bad weather communities will change the day, St. Patrick's Day parades will also often adjust to be on a weekend, etc.

Last year in DC, St Patrick's ended kind of being a rolling holiday of sorts because initially weekend plans ended up being extended by a federal snow day on the Monday that actually was St. Patrick's day.

Jan 22, 2015
cresyd in Not About Food

Why are people slaves to a date, say February 14?

A week ago I was at a dive bar that I enjoy, and has decent bar food - but it's definitely a dive bar with diver bar prices. They were advertising a Valentine's Day dinner with a set menu of $70 per couple - if nothing else it was definitely worth a chuckle.

However, the whole "eating out on Valentine's Day is silly" reminds me of the quote "no one eats there anymore because it's so crowded". If people didn't keep doing it, it wouldn't keep happening.

Jan 22, 2015
cresyd in Not About Food

Kosher?

So this question inspired me to dive a bit into the Reuben Sandwich rabbit hole. There is some debate whether the sandwich was founded by a Lithuanian immigrant in Omaha or Arnold Reuben in New York (or a few other New York origin theories). It appears as though all early inventions of the sandwich involve cheese.

This may be a case where Jewish deli and kosher deli have become synonymous and the traditional Reuben came from the Jewish deli, but later modified for kosher delis.

Jan 22, 2015
cresyd in Kosher

Top Chef Boston – Ep. #12 – 01/21/15 (spoilers)

While they airing may not have sat well, unfortunately I know more than one set of parents who's made that vocal proclamation. And this is not just limited to Chinese or Asian parents.

Had her brother not been brought on the show, I don't necessarily see her going there. But her brother was brought on the show, she was likely asked by producers a million and one questions about families for those interview clips - I hardly blame her. That kind of lopsided family situation hurts, and this late in a stressful competition I don't blame anyone for not being 100% buttoned up all the time.

Top Chef Boston – Ep. #12 – 01/21/15 (spoilers)

I think when Tom admits that the show still does "reality show" editing - like toning down the enthusiasm for Paul, it does ultimately hurt their credibility. Unlike giving a restaurant an award where diners can test for themselves later, the show only really works when you entirely trust the judges. And I think over the years Top Chef has definitely made some reality show editing choices that haven't helped them.

Jan 22, 2015
cresyd in Food Media & News
1

Top Chef Boston – Ep. #12 – 01/21/15 (spoilers)

This kind of brings to mind that interview with Tom where he said that during the Texas season, they had to fiddle with the editing to not make it so obvious that Paul was the winner. Given all of Gregory's wins, particularly if he does go onto win the season - I could see editing want to emphasize this lull that he's had.

Jan 22, 2015
cresyd in Food Media & News
1

What happened to Top Chef?

As Top Chef becomes a bit more and more the respectable grandfather of the cooking competition world, it definitely has discarded a quest to constantly find characters and present truly "crazy" challenges. No one has cooked with Cheetos/Red Vines/chicken in a can/mandatory offal/'exotic' or 'bizarre' meats/fruits/veggies in a while. Did they even cook for kids this time?

And while it means that perhaps I'm most interested in seeking out/eating a Top Chef contestant/winners food - it has started to make things a touch boring. A challenge to make something "innovative" where proteins end up including salmon, chicken and duck just isn't quite as dynamic television as watching a contestant rip open a goat head (last episode of Chopped). And no one's throwing any kind of fit that gets anywhere near an average Ludo moment on The Taste.

Staking out the "respectable" corner of the market has given Top Chef a lot of credibility. But it's not making it the most fun tv show.

Jan 22, 2015
cresyd in Food Media & News

Vegetarian Breakfast, lunch and dinner in D.C.

I really like the vegan mac and cheese a Woodland's Vegan Bistro and their collard greens are also really good. http://m.mainstreethub.com/woodlandsv... I also like The Diner for vegetarian. http://www.dinerdc.com/menu/ Lastly, Soupergirl http://www.thesoupergirl.com/ is a great lunch place.

Top Chef Boston – Ep. #12 – 01/21/15 (spoilers)

I have to say, I really didn't like the bean challenge as a one hour concept. I think a lot of skills and finesse with beans has to do with taking a dried bean and manipulating it from there.

When I lived in Israel there was one canned product of chickpeas where the beans were far firmer. It made certain dishes radically different by having a more toothsome texture. But in terms of cooking talent, all it meant was that I had a friend drive me to the one store where they carried that brand as opposed to the other widely available brands. I think a bean dish would have been the perfect time for an overnight challenge.

Jan 22, 2015
cresyd in Food Media & News
1

Etiquette question (re: BYO and food) when hosting a birthday party?

I think a slow start will also reduce the formality of the food portion of the evening - so there won't necessarily feel as though there's an arrival "meal" time.

Jan 21, 2015
cresyd in Not About Food

Etiquette question (re: BYO and food) when hosting a birthday party?

I think that sounds smart - especially if you mention that like the game will start at 8:45/9 (depending on if your friends are the type who need that extra padding).

Have a lovely birthday party!

Etiquette question (re: BYO and food) when hosting a birthday party?

I think that 8pm is kind of iffy in terms of people not expecting dinner. It's fair enough for you to warn them that it will just be drinks and finger food - and also you have a better idea of your friends - but depending of a variety of factors it would be a weird witching hour for people. If you're looking for a start time where dinner is more presumed to be off the table, I'd aim for 9pm.

That being said - saying 8pm and that it'll just be finger food - it's also fair for people to plan/eat accordingly. But I wouldn't be surprised to have one or two guests show up "starving".

Jan 21, 2015
cresyd in Not About Food

Your Fave 'Around the World' Condiments. .

String halva (also part of the larger sesame/tahini family) is excellent on ice cream....which leads me to think that in addition to being good on meat, such a mix would also be good on ice cream.

Jan 21, 2015
cresyd in General Topics

Your Fave 'Around the World' Condiments. .

Yes - not quite as versatile as a thinner tahini sauce - but a delight in its own way.

Jan 21, 2015
cresyd in General Topics
1

Your Fave 'Around the World' Condiments. .

Trader Joe's makes a fairly decent tahini sauce. I'm also a big fan of "green tahini" which is just the standard with a bunch of herbs blended in (traditionally a combination of parsley, mint, cilantro - whatever's on hand, needs to be used).

Jan 21, 2015
cresyd in General Topics
1

Your Fave 'Around the World' Condiments. .

I don't think this is so obscure - but perhaps just usage isn't so common in the US as a condiment. But tahini sauce or dip is my favorite condiment for grilled meat, French fries, chips, my fingers....

Arrival time for Rose's Luxury?

I went to Rose's Luxury last night (the Tuesday after MLK Day). I showed up at 5:30 as the door's were opening, we ended up with an hour wait that we spent in a bar a few doors over.

I don't know how this compares necessarily to other Tuesdays as this was my first time there - but given that it was after the holiday weekend and the night of State of the Union, it wasn't all that difficult. Not having to wait in line before the doors opened, but waiting in a near by bar for a bit was definitely preferable to me.

Etiquette question (re: BYO and food) when hosting a birthday party?

I completely agree - and particularly since you're calling people you can adjust calls/emails/texts to friends based on the relationship and what feels right. There was a period of time a year or two out of grad school where the incomes of my friends hit a pretty broad spectrum from still in school to very financially comfortable. This meant that one of our friends really had the space and the income to be more generous more frequently. So when others of us would host, even though we knew he'd bring wine and he'd ask if he could bring anything else - we'd never ask him for any other contribution because he usually hosted so much more.

I think a lot of social groups just aren't one size fits all. But I can say that when I lived in the apartment not in the center of town and with the world's tiniest living room, no true dining space and kitchen that was on a converted porch - I actually felt a bit grateful to be asked to bring food/alcohol to a party as it really was the only way I could socially contribute in a larger social way.

Jan 20, 2015
cresyd in Not About Food
1

Etiquette question (re: BYO and food) when hosting a birthday party?

Another "in our 20's" issue that definitely came up for me and my friends was the type of space where we lived. Some people were in tiny studios, others had roommates that were more formal relationships, etc. - so to have a space that was conducive to host in wasn't evenly spread amongst a social group. So being able to contribute dishes or other "hosting" duties in someone else's home can actually be really nice when you don't live somewhere where you can host or can't host very often.

Jan 20, 2015
cresyd in Not About Food

The Taste 1-15 Spoilers

Sigh.....just reread that.....

Jan 20, 2015
cresyd in Food Media & News
1

Etiquette question (re: BYO and food) when hosting a birthday party?

I completely disagree.

For a 25th birthday - and assuming most people are within that age range - if anything it's a bit of a relief to be invited to a party where the "gift" can be some alcohol and a side dish. As opposed to a party at a bar or restaurant, where often guests are expected to pay for themselves at least. Various birthday parties like this that I've been have often resulted with most guests just bringing alcohol and maybe one or two guests also bringing a dish. And then the host bringing all the food.

Personally, I believe the notion that the host pays for everything is a fairly dated notion and not really applicable to many social groups now.

The Taste 1-15 Spoilers

I'm not entirely surprised. Ludo has done well with people he think she can mold - and Vanessa definitely seemed like someone eager to be molded.

Jan 20, 2015
cresyd in Food Media & News