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Why Does Ketchup on a Hot Dog Piss People Off?

The topical conversation starts at 1:00

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q24mf...

May 20, 2015
Reefmonkey in Features

Why Does Ketchup on a Hot Dog Piss People Off?

I've only heard it called rat trap, not mouse trap, and it is a type of cheddar.

May 20, 2015
Reefmonkey in Features

Why Does Ketchup on a Hot Dog Piss People Off?

Amen! Gotta say I never put just ketchup on a hotdog, it's always the trinity of ketchup, mustard, and sweet relish, but if someone wants just ketchup on their hotdog, what the hell is wrong with that? I generally reserve mustard-only or mustard-kraut only for bratwurst, but if someone wants that on their hotdog, who am I to judge? The people who put down ketchup on a hotdog are just doing it to try to look "cool" and elitist, and they come off like total buffoons.

May 20, 2015
Reefmonkey in Features

Pink pork tenderloin safe to eat?

And that extremely low incidence is because of the extremely controlled conditions that factory farm-raised pigs live in. For factory farm raised pigs, trichinosis really isn't a concern, I mostly insist on my pork being cooked at least to medium for the same reason I insist on beef being cooked at least to medium - for protection against bacteria and other pathogens, not because of any real concern for T. spiralis.

My big concern is that foodies' predilection for medium rare to rare meat and their growing interest in heritage-breed pigs raised outdoors is going to cause a jump in those trichinosis numbers. Just like milk-borne illnesses like camplyobacter, listeria, and E. coli were virtually unheard of in the late 20th century, but we have had a recent spate of them because of a growing interest in raw milk.

Feb 11, 2015
Reefmonkey in General Topics

Pink pork tenderloin safe to eat?

If the thermo read 165, it was fine no matter what the color. But some thoughts on trends in cooking pork to lower temps. So here is the skinny on the traditional wisdom of well-done pork as I learned it in my college Parasitology class. Trichinosis is a disease of carnivores. Herbivores like cattle, sheep, goats don't get it, you only get it from eating the infected muscle tissue of another animal. Pigs are omnivores, so they will eat meat. Used to be that pigs were fed slop, basically garbage, which included raw meat, including sometimes raw pork (kinda gross), and this could help perpetuate trichinosis. The Feds started requiring pig farmers to thoroughly cook slop before feeding it to pigs a few decades ago, so this eliminated that transmission path. Another way that pigs can become infected is through eating rats. Pigs love to eat rats, they are better than cats and finding and killing rats, and wild rats can carry Trichinella. Requirements for better, cleaner conditions have reduced the likelihood that pigs will get a chance to eat rats. Also, USDA carcass inspection requirements aim to catch infected carcasses before they go to market. So the chances of getting trichinosis from the pork at your grocery store are much lower than they used to be. Your comfort level in eating medium-rare pork lies in how much you trust USDA inspectors and how little respect you have for the ingenuity of rats to get into a pig house where there is lots of great garbage for them to eat. Me, I like to stay on the safe side with pork. I also don't eat beef cooked rarer than medium. Trichinosis isn't the only threat from undercooked pork. Majoring in Biology and taking Parasitology gave me a different perspective on things than the average foodie might. I also wonder, as more foodies seek out heritage breeds of swine that are raised in more traditional farming ways, free-range and whatnot, those pigs are going to have more opportunity to hunt and eat wild rodents while they are allowed to forage on the pasture, which means they will have a greater opportunity to be infected with trichinosis and other potentially food-borne illnesses like toxoplasmosis, tapeworms, etc. Foodies are going to have to have more and more faith in carcass inspection catching any infected pigs, and chef's thermometers being properly calibrated, to protect them if they like their pork chops medium rare. Just something to think about.

Feb 09, 2015
Reefmonkey in General Topics

Go Nostalgic or Go New?

I recommend Drago's in the Hilton Riverside. Also, if you are going oldschool, I don't recommend Commander's Palace, had a disappointing dining experience there recently, same with Antoines. I LOVED Gallatoire's when I was there in August 2012.

Feb 09, 2015
Reefmonkey in New Orleans

90s food!

That was my point, that KaimukiMan made an error when he assumed Americans only discovered "real" Asian food in the 90s. In reality, like you and I are both saying, Americans had been eating all different varieties of authentic Asian food for at least 20 to 30 years before the 90s.

Feb 06, 2015
Reefmonkey in General Topics
1

90s food!

Speaking of "Mexicali", I remember going to visit my aunt and uncle in Los Angeles in the mid 80s. Being a native Texan, even at age 10 I already had some pretty concrete ideas of what "Mexican" food was supposed to taste like, so when they took us to a "Cal-Mex" restaurant, I tasted the food and in my head was thinking the 10 year old's equivalent of "what the f--- is this s---?"

Feb 06, 2015
Reefmonkey in General Topics

90s food!

"the 90s were the bomb - I would go back anyday"

You said it! I suppose every person has a lot of fond memories for the time they were in high school and college, but beyond that I think there are a lot of universal reasons the 90s just rocked. We were riding high off the end of the Cold War and victory of Desert Storm, blissfully unaware of what 9/11/2001 had in store for us, music was better back then, a lot of independent bands with real soul made it big back then, so many musical acts since the early Aughts seem so manufactured, we had the Internet, but "technology" had not invaded every aspect of our lifes and made kids slaves to their smartphones yet, and you could go to class without looking like you came out of an Abercrombie and Fitch or H&M catalogue. National Geographic Channel came out with a miniseries last year that I missed, can't wait for it to come out on iTunes or Netflix- "The 90s: The Last Great Decade?" hosted by Rob Lowe." http://channel.nationalgeographic.com...

I will give props to the food of today, though, there is a lot more choice, a lot more flavors, farm-to-table movement has been great, and fads like "molecular gastronomy" and foams seem to die out fairly quickly but quality ingredients and good technique seem to endure. But sometimes I just get really nostalgic for the 90s, and when I do, I get a hankering for a meal along the lines of a mixed greens salad with fried goat cheese and pine nuts and balsamic vinaigrette, appetizer of seared ahi tuna appetizer, and pasta with grilled chicken and sundried tomato cream sauce. Followed by a molten lava cake.

Feb 06, 2015
Reefmonkey in General Topics

90s food!

I wasn't born until 1976, but I still am aware that Americans discovered asian food beyond chow mein and chop suey in the 70s at latest, same with spice. Discovery of ethnic food was part of the counterculture movement of the 60s and 70s. I remember in the early 80s many Chinese restaurants distinguishing themselves as either Hunan or Szechuan style, Thai restaurants were already springing up, several Indian places were established, and of course being Houston, where many Vietnamese refugees came in the late 70s, we had a lot of Vietnamese restaurants. I still don't think pho is worth it, just like ramen (which I have had both in Japan and here) and udon (ditto ramen). Remind me of when Anglos were into Chinese hot pots. I don't know what people find so exciting about bland noodles in bland broth with meats added so they lose all their flavor. At least shabu shabu and soba come with tasty sauces.

Feb 06, 2015
Reefmonkey in General Topics

90s food!

Hi, stumbled on this thread because I am going through some big 90s nostalgia right now (for me 90s was all of high school and college, and my first two years out in the workforce/doing grad school at night), and that includes the food we ate in the 90s. I am so glad to finally find a place where a discussion of 90s food is not Millenials waxing nostalgic about the Dunkaroos in their elementary school lunchboxes, but instead people talking about the real food adults ate when they went out to nice restaurants in the 90s.

I see some people contesting the addition of certain foods, saying they were actually 80s foods. I would say that sundried tomatoes, raspberry vinaigrette, and tiramisu still qualify as 90s foods because, even though they rose in popularity in the 80s, they were still very popular and still on many restaurants' menus into the mid 90s. So, I think the definition of whether something is a 90s food is not what decade it came out, but when it became passe. Something that became passe in 90 or 91, well, that's most likely an 80s food, but if it still had legs in 93, 94, then it qualifies as 90s.

By "legs" and "passee", I think you have to look at how a food travels down the "food chain" of restaurants. Trends tend to start with the innovative restaurants in NYC and LA, get picked up by the higher end restaurants in other major cities, then by the restaurants that are considered somewhat upscale and trendy by locals in suburbs and midsized cities, and during all this time you can still say that the trend is "in". By the time your average local neighborhood restaurant or national "casual dining" chain (Applebee's, etc.) latches on to a trend, you know it has run its course, and when Jack in the Box released its ciabatta burgers in the early Aughts, that's when we all were reminded how passe and 90s ciabatta bread was.

Feb 06, 2015
Reefmonkey in General Topics
1

annoying food bloggers

I completely disagree with the attitude of several posters here. What pretentious crap that there is a certain class of people who are "enlightened" enough to have an opinion about what they eat, and everyone else should just shut up and be grateful to be fed. This attitude is why so many people hate foodies. Restaurant food and service is meant to be enjoyed by the average diner, not just your fellow servers or other chefs, or some "expert" or someone who "knows about food." If your food, or you service, has failed to satisfy the average diner, you have failed, period. It doesn't matter if they were there on your "off" night, or didn't come back three times like a critic would. They are under no obligation to give you a second or third chance.

The customers who come to your restaurant have a right to an opinion about your food and service by virtue of having paid for the food.They have a right to share that opinion with others. They have been sharing their opinions for as long as there have been restaurants, it's called "word of mouth". Restaurants have always lived or died by word of mouth, which is regular people who have eaten at a certain restaurant telling people whether they liked the restaurant or whether they didn't like it. People blogging about their restaurant experiences is simply a continuation of that tradition. The only difference is, instead of this word of mouth being spread verbally at gyms and cocktail parties and at the golf course where you would have never heard that Joe Diner thought the service was slow or the food was uninspired, now you have the opportunity to stumble across it on the internet.

The food-related blogs that I find most annoying are those written by servers who have convinced themselves that their job is some high calling, and so now 20% should be by law the minimum tip for adequate service. As they insist their job is so important they deserve more money, they bitch about customers who ask for changes to a dish, or expect servers to be honest in their suggestions about which dishes are better done, and which are not the chef's strength. And then there are the snarky comments about their customers not "knowing about food" just because the customers haven't fetishized food the way servers and pretentious foodies have.

The 78 Most Annoying Words to Read in a Restaurant Review

Except Sietsema uses the term "annealed" completely incorrectly. It doesn't mean sticking two things together. It means heating a metal or other material above its critical temperature to allow its atoms to diffuse to a homogenous equillibrium state to improve properties such as ductility. God I hate foodie pretentiousness.

Jul 31, 2013
Reefmonkey in Features

Next time a wine connoiseur looks down on your choice of wine....

....just remember this study:

http://scienceblogs.com/cortex/2007/1...

"In 2001, Frederic Brochet, of the University of Bordeaux, conducted two separate and very mischievous experiments. In the first test, Brochet invited 57 wine experts and asked them to give their impressions of what looked like two glasses of red and white wine. The wines were actually the same white wine, one of which had been tinted red with food coloring. But that didn't stop the experts from describing the "red" wine in language typically used to describe red wines. One expert praised its "jamminess," while another enjoyed its "crushed red fruit." Not a single one noticed it was actually a white wine.
The second test Brochet conducted was even more damning. He took a middling Bordeaux and served it in two different bottles. One bottle was a fancy grand-cru. The other bottle was an ordinary vin du table. Despite the fact that they were actually being served the exact same wine, the experts gave the differently labeled bottles nearly opposite ratings. The grand cru was "agreeable, woody, complex, balanced and rounded," while the vin du table was "weak, short, light, flat and faulty". Forty experts said the wine with the fancy label was worth drinking, while only 12 said the cheap wine was."

Jul 27, 2011
Reefmonkey in Wine

Shouldn't the server at a function tell you if the bar is no-host?

Considering the hosting company called it a "free" event with a "social hour" before dinner and lecture, I can certainly understand your confusion. The host should have put "(*excluding alcoholic beverages)" on the invitation. It is possible that the restaurant assumed the host had done that, which is why the server did not inform you. This is 90% host's fault. I do reserve 10% of the blame for the restaurant, though. They should have been billing each time they brought a drink during the social hour, for several reasons. 1. it would have reinforced the idea that this was a cash bar, 2. I'm surprised they were able to keep what everyone ordered during the social hour straight, if it's like most social hours where people mill around and mingle with several groups before sitting down, and 3. Sometimes people might make an appearance at the social hour for networking, but not be able to stay for the dinner. How would they bill those people?

Feb 18, 2011
Reefmonkey in Not About Food

What is the best way to order food/drinks that keeps the bartender happy?

The bartender is supposed to keep you happy, not vice versa. It's his job to serve you. If you start out drinking a Tom Collins, then when you're finished with that decide to switch to a Singapore Sling, and after that decide on a snifter of Gran Marnier, there is nothing wrong with that. It's ludicrous to think that you should have to say upfront what you are going to want all night. You're allowed to change drinks, you're allowed to change your mind, and taking your order everytime you do is what the bartender gets paid (in your tips) for.

Feb 18, 2011
Reefmonkey in Not About Food

jalapenos are never spicy or even close too spicy

You may be watering them too much, and your soil may be too enriched. Jalapenos are at their spiciest, but have smaller pods, in poor soils with hot, dry conditions. Once you set pods, you should thoroughly water, then let the soil get really dry - even let the pods almost wilt, before thoroughly watering them again.

Feb 18, 2011
Reefmonkey in Gardening

Limoncello- WTF???

I've successfully used supermarket lemons, but only after spraying each lemon with Fit(TM) and scrubbing with a vegetable brush, then rinsing in warm water. It is a bit of a time-consuming process, so for that reason and because organic lemons give you a greayer assurance of no residual, it's better to use organic lemons if you can get them. However it can be done with supermarket lemons with the proper care.

Feb 14, 2011
Reefmonkey in Spirits

Texas sushi etiquette question & recommendations

Dallas Alice - I like the name - from the song "Willin'", right?

Oct 29, 2008
Reefmonkey in Texas

Texan foodie spots? Help needed from the UK!

I'm a native Houstonian, and love my hometown, but I don't recommend it for people coming to experience "Texas". It's a great place to live, with fabulous restaurants of all nationalities, genres, and price brackets, but (or maybe because of this) there really isn't any "Houston"-specific cuisine. And as for sights to see, we don't have a lot of historical sights or other attractions. I lived in Dallas 4 years for university, and what I said for Houston goes for Dallas too.

For big cities, I recommend San Antonio and Fort Worth. Austin would be slightly lower priority than these two. As far as sights go, in San Antonio I HIGHLY recommend renting or borrowing (or buying cheap second-hand) bikes and biking the Mission trail, a series of 18th century Spanish missions. A large part of your ride will take you through nice parkland along a pretty river. The Spanish Governor's mansion in downtown, and the mexican market are cool, too. A fun place to go for tex-mex in San Antonio is La Fogata. Romantic patio, great margaritas, good food. Watch your belongings, the neighborhood is prone to car breakins, though.

Fort Worth has a beautiful downtown and true texas character for a big city. A genuine foodie spot I can recommend is Lonesome Dove. Tim Love is nationally known for his upscale Urban Western cuisine.

For barbecue, there are 4 texas styles. The east texas/urban african american style, with pork, ribs, and sweet sauce. One of the best places to try that is NEw Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Huntsville Texas. Yes, it's a church, but they also sell barbecue. Another great place to go is Stubb's in Austin, especially for their Gospel Brunch on Sundays, when reservations are essential.

Another style is the central texas/hill country style barbecue, which is derived from the German meat market tradition immigrants brought over in the 1840s. No sauce, no sides, just well-smoked meat like pork loin, beef shoulder, and prime rib. Those who told you to go to Lockhart were steering you in the right direction. They are also right to recommend Kreuz and Smitty's. The barbecue is comparable at both (two branches of the same family own them), but Kreuz is in a brand-new building, while Smitty's is in a 100 year old building with real character. Black's is good too.

Cowboy style barbecue is another style, and a great place to go for that is Cooper's in Llano, outside of Austin.

The final style is south texas mexican barbecoa - which is a whole cow head wrapped in wet maguey leaves and cooked until the meat falls apart. IT's also where lengua (tongue) tacos come from. I can't recommend a specific place, but a lot of mexican taquerias and carnicerias serve it.

Oct 28, 2008
Reefmonkey in Texas

Annoyed with the surprise price of a glass of wine!

"although your idealism is sweet."

and your attempt at condenscension is pathetic.

"My restaurant ...."

Ahh, you are a restaurant owner, your axe to grind is revealed. You certainly would have no problem if your waiters automatically gave any diner who asked for btg the most expensive glass, would you?

"...places that don't take their wine program very seriously..."

"serious wine program" is my new favorite on the list of neologisms that the pretentious in the restaurant industry use to inflate their sense of self-importance.

"You're out of date and completely incorrect."

Your transparent defensiveness is duly noted.

Oct 27, 2008
Reefmonkey in Not About Food

Shouldn't food service professionals "get" vegetarian?

Honestly, there are so many different types of non-meat eaters

Piscaterians
Ovo-lacto vegetarians
lacto, but not ovo vegetarians
Vegans, in multiple degrees of adherence - after all, that pasta may have been vegetarian enough for you, but it likely has eggs in it

Not to mention multiple levels of adherence to halal and kosher (which for instance, in the most strict sense do not allow the same plate or utensil to be used for both dairy and meat, even at different times)

Let's not even get into all the possible allergies people could possibly have.

In order to prepare every meal permutation that would satisfy every possible dietary restriction AND every palate, food service professionals catering a banquet situation would have to serve more choices than there were people at any given event. These guys are doing mass serving of huge numbers of people at a time. They have a repetoire of just a few dishes that they have learned through experience work satisfactorally for mass serving. Learning a million permutations of piscatarian-ovo/lacto-vegan-kosher-hindu-halal - actually make that two million permutations because they need to have a backup in case you don't find the one thing they make that adheres to your restrictive diet appealing - is an unreasonable expectation. People with restrictive diets, especially those whose diets are restrictive by choice (this includes religious requirements) should take responsibility for their choices and not burden others with them. You made your choice, and this is one of the consequences, one of the sacrifices you agreed to when you selected this lifestyle. Just eat what you can eat and eat around what you can't, and accept that it is not going to be the most culinarily satisfying few days of your life - even us omnivores have to do that last part when confronted by rubber chicken and grisly beef at these banquets, why should you be special?

Oct 27, 2008
Reefmonkey in Not About Food

Is tipping % going up; if so to what & why?

No, it has nothing to do with your age, so many waiters have gotten a ridiculous sense of entitlement to 20% for merely doing their job over the last 10 years or so.

Oct 27, 2008
Reefmonkey in Not About Food

Annoyed with the surprise price of a glass of wine!

"a serious wine program." God, that's the most pretentious thing I have heard in a long time. (not to mention the "This is JUST not true" phrasing being histrionic)

Pretentiousness aside, you miss the point entirely. I did not say that A&D would have an official "house wine", I said that many, if not most people who are ordering by the glass and not calling for a specific label are by convention ordering a house wine, meaning that they are of the mindset that they want a wine which fills the the old niche of the house wine - as I said, something low to middle of the list in price, certainly not top of the list. I don't know, I am assuming that $25 a glass is top of the list and that there were plenty of lower-priced choices that the OP saw on the list after ordering. If not, and $25 was one of the more "value" priced wines on the list, then I don't know what the OP is complaining about.

I am assuming your perseverating on the idea of a "house" wine is what you were saying was "just not true", so that what I wrote above satisfies you, though I can't be sure as your post is undetailed and barely responsive.

Oct 27, 2008
Reefmonkey in Not About Food

List of Dallas LATE-NITE spots...

How can a Dallasite on a foodie website talking about late-night spots forget Avanti?

A nice upscale late-night break from greasy tex-mex or diner food. Where else can you get carpaccio, or escargot, or lobster ravioli till 3 AM?

Coming to Houston - Only interested in Tex-Mex or Mexican

The original Ninfa's on Navigation is still fun and good, but the chain Ninfa's are not worth it.

Hugo's is great upscale interior Mexican, and Hugo Ortega is now nationally recognized.

Maria and Selma's in the Museum District has great street mexican food.

The place I recommend most of all is El Tiempo (owned by Mama Ninfa's son) - fantastic fajitas, great margaritas. There are two locations - one on Richmond and Buffalo Speedway, and one on Washington near Waugh or Studemont.

Another recommendation - there is a great taco truck behind the Airline Farmer's Market (AKA Canino's) on Airline. Serves molleja (sweetbread) tacos. A french chef has said they are the best sweetbreads he has had in America.

Oct 27, 2008
Reefmonkey in Houston

When to Censor Your Dinner Conversation?

I don't see a problem with that. I've done that too, initiated a conversation starting with asking someone what they ordered because it looked and smelled good and I wanted to order it too. I've also sometimes chimed in agreement with a nearby table when they have complained that our mutual server is slow.

I guess the logical rule that would come from this is it may be okay to initiate a conversation with another table if it is about the current experience at the restaurant, but one should still use common sense.

Oct 27, 2008
Reefmonkey in Not About Food

Going "green" or being sneaky cheap?

That's funny, they used to brag on their sleeve as being so much greener than using two cups, which other to go coffee places do to insulate.

Oct 27, 2008
Reefmonkey in Not About Food

To Serve or Not To Serve?

It is completely up to you. The bottle is meant as a gift to you, not a contribution to the meal, so you are not obligated to serve it. You can save it to enjoy yourself later. On the other hand, if you would like to serve it, you may do so, and you will still be correct.

Oct 27, 2008
Reefmonkey in Not About Food

Is tipping % going up; if so to what & why?

jgg13 hit on part of the reason when he talked about "showing off".

I think the biggest reason is that it is easier to move the decimal one place and double than it is to move the decimal one place, remember that number, divide that number by half, and then add the half to the whole. Lots of times people are ready to leave when they get the check, and don't want to spend more time than necessary figuring the tip, and also may feel self-conscious as their dining companions watch them scratching their head on 15%, worried these companions may think they suck at math.

Because of this, waiters are getting 20% more often, and so they start expecting it, feeling entitled to it, and go around saying that is the "correct" tip.

Oct 27, 2008
Reefmonkey in Not About Food