Holy crap do I hate chain restaurants. I’ve been accused of being elitist, uppity, condescending, snobby and a variety of less family friendly adjectives because of this. Most of that is true, but it doesn’t make my argument less valid.
So, here’s a little rant on why I don’t eat at chains. But I just checked in the driveway and found my High Horse there (usually my wife is riding it.), so this is actually more a rant about why YOU shouldn’t eat there. So get with the program.
Let’s get one thing out of the way first: Don’t be a dick. If your parents, extended family, out-of-town friends with whom you’re staying, parole officer, or whomever takes you to Olive Garden or Red Lobster for dinner and you whine that you ‘don’t eat at chains,’ you are a dick. If you have small children and do this, you are still a dick. A serving or two of high-fructuse corn-syrup won’t kill little Amelie and Aiden; you can compensate by popping in the audiobook of The Omnivore’s Dilemma on the way to the French Immersion School. And don’t tweet, Facebook, or for Christ’s sake blog about your purgatorial evening with the culinary Philistines after the fact. (Yeah, I know I’m mixing my metaphors between Old Testament and Council of Nicea or Diet of Worms or whenever it was that Purgatory was included in the standard Catholic factory equipment, but I still have a point.) Thank your hosts, tell them the never-ending pasta was great, and get on with your life. In just the same way that those jeans never make you look fat, manners in this case always trump honesty.
Ok, I’m glad that’s out of the way. When you’re the alpha-diner, the one making the choices, you should choose differently, and here is why:
Defending Big Food is probably a little bit like being the defense attorney for Jeffery Dahmer. You do your thing and then leave the blogoshere under cover of darkness, I guess.
In October of 2009, I went on a little rant about the outrageous Smart Choices program dreamed up by folks like Kraft and General Mills that resulted in Froot Loops being marketed as a “smart choice” for kids. I translated the industry comments about this program for the benefit of the marketing impaired.
Similarly vexed, Marion Nestle and David Ludwig argue for a ban on all front-of package nutritional claims in a column written this month.
They are wrong, of course, and they leave me in the curious position of having to take a stand in defense of the processed food industry. And I’m not the only one. They were taken to task by law professor Timothy Litton in the British journal Public Health Nutrition who, while agreeing with their concerns about consumer protection, points out that there is the not inconsiderable matter of the First Amendment to contend with as well.
We were fortunate enough to host one of my absolutely favorite friends and her husband this past week. They flew in from Santa Barbara on Wednesday evening and we had several days to hang out together. They were coming in for the LSU vs Bama game which has become tradition. These friends are the ones we met up with in Napa for a wine tour last year as well as in Colorado this past March. We were happy to host them at our apartment in the Quarter for their stay.
She had planned a surprise dinner for us months in advance that had He Said and I so intrigued that we couldn’t wait for Thursday evening. We grabbed a cocktail at our corner bar followed by another round at Napoleon House and were off to our top secret destination. What comes next folks is nothing short of pure love. These guys must really like us because they brought two of their favorite boutique wines from obscure vineyards in Santa Ynez and hosted us to an extravagant meal at Stella!
Those of you who have read a few of our past posts and/or rants are likely to hone in on just how much we love Stella! Our friends certainly did as they proved in planning this event. We, as always, loved the meal. Them? …well not so much. Disclaimer: I believe this reflects more on us than them as I had a very similar experience with another couple who were equally, if not more, unimpressed. This was eye-opening for me because it made me realize just how far from our roots He Said and I have veered.
Posted in Dinner, Rants, Restaurant, Reviews, She said
Tagged dinner, food, rants, restaurants, reviews, Stella!, wine
So He said and I have a morning ritual. Get your mind out of the gutter people, this ritual involves coffee and a couch! Every morning He said wakes me up and I drag my groggy ass to the shower. Upon exiting the shower, I walk to the couch, sit in my favorite spot and wait patiently (at least that is how I see it) on the couch for my morning coffee. Spoiled? Yes, I know. But it isn’t until after my first cup of joe that I am ready and willing to face the day.
Posted in Rants, She said
Well, at least I got to visit a farm
So the husband and I did something completely out of character Saturday. We went across the pond. No, not London; Covington. I ran across this farm that does a fall festival of sorts and have been itching to get there since last year. So this morning we loaded up the sleeping bags, survival kit including 3 day supply of food, etc. Well, that’s not exactly the way it went.
But we really did go to the Red Bluff farm in Folsom. This was the first of three Saturdays the farm is hosting its annual pumpkin festival. I must have a good husband. I tried to get my sisters from Texas there last year but it didn’t fit squarely between nap schedules of thier kids so this year we were going. With or without kids.
Apologies to Dean Wormer for the paraphrase. Last year, I wrote about a great piece of marketing by New York City public health officials aimed at alerting people to the deadly perils of soda. No longer content with attempting to shape public opinion, NYC mayor Bloomberg and NY governor David Paterson are now seeking permission from the USDA to ban sugary drinks entirely.
Ok, so that’s not completely true. If Bloomberg and Paterson have their way, you can still have a Coke and smile. Unless, of course, you’re poor. New York City is seeking to ban sugary drinks from food stamp eligibility. Here are the details.
What an interesting concept.