Okay, home again.. and the travelogue stops...
and we can enjoy Foodie bit(e)s:
Of course I can’t find it now, but this morning there was a Facebook post from the James Beard Foundation about a “burger contest”. Somehow I don’t equate James Beard with that particular dish, but given his girth, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. In fact, there are several sites that purport to have the “James Beard Hamburger” recipe. Which, by and large (ha ha) are pretty much the same:
2 pounds ground beef
3 tablespoons finely grated onion
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 hamburger buns, toasted
Spread the beef onto a cutting board; sprinkle with the grated onion. Mix in the cream, salt, and some freshly ground pepper. Form into patties; cook on a hot grill or in a hot cast-iron pan—for medium-rare, about 4 to 5 minutes a side. Bun each patty and serve.
Of course around the fourth of July, outdoor cookery gets lots of press, and all the foodie magazines devote an issue to it.
Bon Appétit (June): Cover photo of “the Grilling Issue: Burger Time! – become a grillmaster..TONITE!”;
Food and Wine (June): also cover photo of burgers (with bacon hanging out from the sides) – and banner of, guess what? BEST BURGERS! With articles inside like: “how to cook an entire meal on the grill, TOP CHEF – STYLE; Yikes! Usual themes of “quick, easy, secrets of pit master’s” same old…. S….tuff.
SAVEUR (June/July): Get Grilling, America! At least they kick it up a notch (thanks, E) and have a nice looking T-Bone on the cover. And they laud inside you can find “The Ultimate Brisket Burger”, at least they didn’t use the “B” word (which would have provided nice alliteration). And incidentally another banner says “The Next Great American Food City”. Hmmm, that’s interesting, let me turn to page 56 where I discover that the NGAFC is…..Minneapolis!! Yeah, you betcha!
And hard to get the scale, but the burgers all look like they would be impossible to hold, let alone actually get some in your mouth. Looks like three to four inches tall at least.
Are ya still werkin’ on that?
Which is on my (long) list of abhorrent phrases in a restaurant, but the subject is getting some press lately. A stringer from Seattle sent me a link to a story from MyNorthwest.com entitled: “Is this the most annoying restaurant trend today?” It involved something you’ve heard me rant about before: clearing diner A’s plate while diner B is still enjoying the food (dining shouldn’t be considered work). Personally I hate that, and IMHO it puts everybody at the table ill at ease (parties of 12 or more may be excluded). Diner A can sit and examine the tablecloth or the detritus of his meal (what, actually crumb a table?), while Diner B feels like he ought to chow down the food. The etiquette has long been to clear when everyone is finished, now it seems like (Washington Post) “servers hover over diners, fingers twitching, until the very instant someone puts down a fork. Like vultures they then snatch up the silverware.. If you’re lucky they might ask permission before stealing your plate”
If you want to read the whole piece here’s the link.
it always gives me some kind of perverse pleasure to read of a food professional who has the same peeves as i do..
I thought about this again, and while I still remain of the opinion that the table should be cleared at once, I can see why some servers might think they are doing the right thing. I guess I wouldn’t want to stare at the remains of a veal chop with the juices congealing forever, but in general there hopefully would not be a long difference between diners pace of consumption. I would hope a motive is not to force the table to turn.
I asked a restaurateur acquaintance about the situation, and he more or less agreed, but felt it was up to the server to read the table. If Diner A pushes the plate away, it might signal that removal was preferred. My notion that all diners eat at relatively the same pace is apparently not always very common. A corollary to this situation is when Diners A, B and C, order starters and Diner D prefers to wait for the main course. Kind of awkward sometimes. Delivering everything at once is a no no (IMHO). Of course all of this applies to a classic dinner, not the “small plates” which are becoming more common. No rules there..
Anyway food for thought!
“ Pappa John’s looks to cut 14 artificial ingredients”; Geez, how many did they have?
“Olive Garden looks to takeout to boost sales”; will launch a delivery service for large parties
“Preliminary Injunction issued against propose US Foods/Sysco merger” ho hum…
“Diners favor complex cheese flavors”.. really?
Sneaking in a little sports note
Alert readers might remember that I am enamored of the practice of “hat tipping” which takes place most notably at the beginning of the Baseball All Star Game. Players line up on the foul line for introductions and most practice doffing their caps in one form or another when announced. There is of course a classic procedure which we won’t go into now. Instead I’ll just remark that on a tip (ha ha) from MFO’s brother, I’ve found a similar situation in the Women’s World Cup. On TV, they go through the lineup video and there’s a vignette of each player as they are identified. No hats, instead it is “Arm Folding”. Apparently the media moguls decided that looking at a player just standing there was not interesting, and so instructed them to fold their arms. Like hat tipping there is a variety of styles; right over left, left over right, hand under or over bicep, fun to watch.
and you can watch this while you are getting
and see Mr. P, no pictures!