People who know me know that, despite the pesky fact that I have this blog, which contains a lot of information about food and that this might make me therefor a kettle-calling pot, I have a beef with food bloggers. "There is no hierarchy," I often say, quoting myself. "Anyone can say anything!" "The only qualification as far as I can see is the ability to type." "And besides, who cares what you ate for dinner last night." And then, on August 11, as if my only qualification were the ability to type, I went and issued this tweet. Umami Burger's "burger crack" = MSG. No, thank you. Why do we need chemically good? What's wrong with just "delicious." It was a nice thought from the Department of Grumpy, but the truth is, I had no idea what I was talking about. This is no excuse but by way of explanation, I saw the word "crack" and "Japanese" in the same sentence and  immediately blinded by visions of MSG. I have major issues with MSG--bigger issues than I have with food bloggers even. ...

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Today in the New York Times... ACROSS the United States, artisanal pizza joints are opening faster than Natalie Portman movies. But inside those imported ovens, pepperoni — by far America’s most popular pizza topping — is as rare as a black swan. I don't even know what to say. Here's the rest of the story. Let me know if it gets better. (I couldn't bear to look.) ...

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One of the reasons I haven't written in this blog for months is that I am a hater for food bloggers, and this blog made me one of them. What made--or rather makes--me a hater is nothing more than an old-fashioned desire for hierarchy. Respect. In the blogosphere, any ol' one can spout his or her opinion on any ol' thing. There are no filters. The one time I looked online for restaurant reviews was about five years ago, when I was working with Kenny Shopsin on his book, EAT ME. Kenny asked me if I ever used the Internet, or if i thought it was any good (Yelp, Chowhound, etc.), as a restaurant guide. I told him that I didn't, but it did inspire me to take a look down what I found to be the sad avenues of these sites. I decided to conduct a test of their efficacy and chose to see what they had to say about a restaurant I know well, Barbuto, owned by a well regarded chef, Jonathan Waxman, who has been around several different blocks and is near-worshipped by his peers. (In the years befor ...

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A lazagna cupcake, spelled with a "Z." What more is there to say? It actually looks pretty darned delicious, and the long list of options, including Colorado lamb ragu and wild boar bolognese, would all point to the fact that the guy behind these learned a thing or two from Gino Angelini, who he worked for. That said, when one gets to the bottom of the list to a cupcake option called Purple and Gold Beet with White Balsamic, one can't help but wonder if this isn't the blue velvet of pasta cupcakes. Or at least this one couldn't. Buon appetito, amici! ...

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