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cabbage

Food snob

  • 28th Mar, 2005 at 7:37 PM

I think I've become a food snob. Not like the kind that lambasts every single restaurant in a city and pines that it isn't Berkeley, but still a food snob.

I mean, I like to complain that restaurants are horrible. And I pick apart what things work and what things don't. You can hear me gush whenever someone plops down home-cooked meals in front of me. However, plates of food stacked in circular towers make me scoff. When a restaurant has "fine family dining" in its name, I advise you to run.

This idea hits me, as last weekend I was dining with Julie at the Lion Brewery restaurant. Now we should have known better than to try to eat out at a place that wasn't a usual spot, but we were hungry. Plus, the sorry truth about KW dining is that most restaurants close on Sunday. That's right, they close, because obviously people fast on Sundays. So we were trying to struggle through a pommes gaufrette that was greasy potato pancakes in applesauce. Then I ate a very thin and not very blue steak. Julie had a dish that was OK, I think her fish and risotto were fairly tasty. The best part of the meal was the milkshake. It's really hard to screw up a milkshake.

Throughout the entire meal, we had little conspiratorial conversations about what was wrong with the food and how it could have been done better. I highly recommend if you ever become a snob, to only indulge your snobbishness with fellow snobs. This is because (a) you're only entertaining to each other and (b) if you're snobbish around non-snobs, they think you're really annoying. Which you are. Don't worry, the waitress tried very hard to provide good service, so we tipped her well.

Then I think about Wikipes. What I pine for are recipes that rival those out of beautifully published cookbooks. I want conversational anecdotes that tell you how the author came to know this dish and love it; I want food porn so beautiful that you want to scarf down the pages right now. I want the heart and the spirit and the love. Instead, Wikipes disappoints with contributions of student food or, even worse, kitschy housewife recipes. All is not lost, however. Since it is a wiki, we can forseeably flood it with recipes that are awesome. Come help me.


Comments

( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
spider88
29th Mar, 2005 00:52 (UTC)
I'm a classic frat-boy bachelor when it comes to cooking. Anything at a resturant better than what I can do in 10 minutes I consider gourmet.

And it's not like I *can't* cook well. I just can't focus on any project that takes that long when I'm hungry. :)
sfllaw
29th Mar, 2005 00:58 (UTC)
I have a similar problem with craving foods that take multiple days to prepare.

Thankfully, there aren't that many of them. Or I would be skinnier than I already am.
cpirate
29th Mar, 2005 01:22 (UTC)
Should I confess that the dish in that picture up there sounds like a really good idea to me? Or that I'm craving it right now? Sometimes I really love me some simple eatin'.
hukuma
29th Mar, 2005 01:43 (UTC)
I fear I've lived in Berkeley long enough to become the other kind of snob. Eating out in K-W has become such a disappointment to me.
blacksquiggles
29th Mar, 2005 15:46 (UTC)
having been raised by a mother who was the head chef at the guild inn and many other "snobby" places over the years I considered myself to be the food antisnob. Unfortunately as the years pile on I'm finding that too often it is the "I can make this better" case. My husband doesn't find it amusing either.
libertinette
29th Mar, 2005 18:08 (UTC)
I worked there for one horrible term. Don't trust the food. Ugh.
sfllaw
29th Mar, 2005 18:12 (UTC)
I once, once, lucked out and got a really good tortellini in white wine with fresh mussels in them.

But I understand now that it was merely fluke.
libertinette
29th Mar, 2005 18:24 (UTC)
Let us just say that if you trust the deserts therr you're-- Ugh. I don't even want to talk about it. I'm-- ugh.
sfllaw
29th Mar, 2005 18:40 (UTC)
I'll make it a point never to go there again.
mattjaybe
29th Mar, 2005 18:57 (UTC)
I agree that Wikipes has become a collection of simple, largely uninspiring recipes. They're simple dishes, one of them even posted by my roommmate. I cringed when she was typing it up, but I keep telling myself I created Wikipes with the goal of letting everyone have a place to post their recipes, even if it means most of them may be from simple people that knows little about food, but know how to enjoy them.

I'm hoping to see more unique and comprehensive recipes posted more on Wikipes, like you, where you know the person who posted it is full of excitement and passion. I would love to see the site develop a diverse, yet balanced, collection of recipes for food lovers of all walks of life. I think that's the beauty of the site, and wiki technology, to let everyone become involved.

Thanks Simon for posting about Wikipes, and especially posting your fantastic recipes on there. I hope to try them out in the near future, and I look forward to more recipes from you and friends.
sfllaw
29th Mar, 2005 19:07 (UTC)
I know about your weblog, but I can't seem to find an RSS feed for it. I'd like to subscribe to it, if only so I don't have to keep on remembering to check.

I think that the value of the information at Wikipes should exponentially improve, much like it did with Wikipedia and, more recently, Wikitravel.
mattjaybe
29th Mar, 2005 20:47 (UTC)
If you mean my blog at Goodblimey.com then the RSS feed for it is at http://goodblimey.com/feed/

I hadn't known about WikiTravel, that's a useful site. I'll have to dig into it, though I don't travel as much as I'd like to.
sfllaw
30th Mar, 2005 06:07 (UTC)
Subscribed. Thanks.
redsash
29th Mar, 2005 20:05 (UTC)
The Lion's OK, but you have to know how to order. The Whole Garden Pizza with the peanut sauce is excellent. The soups and salads are generally safe. The beer is wonderful.

The risotto sucks big time.

~r
nobodyhere
30th Mar, 2005 15:20 (UTC)
I agree. It's important to find a few menu items you like because the beer is so good and they've stopped selling Adlys ale in bottles. (It used to be called Joker's ale in bottles.)
I like the Thai Chicken pizza (which has the peanut sauce you mention) and the spinach salad with warm bacon dressing.

The often-misspelled French items on the menu are a mistake in my opinion -- but then the Huether has survived a lot of restaurants in Uptown. Maybe what doesn't make food sense makes business sense.
redsash
30th Mar, 2005 15:38 (UTC)
Yeah, the new menu is hokey. I used to go there when the tables were unfinished wood and their most upscale offering was the panzerotti (which is also quite good, by the way). I think I liked it better.

But you're right -- Sonia Adlys is a canny lady. Maybe that's what they need.

~r

(p.s. good desserts at the Lion, too. Chocolate cake and English Ale! Yum!)
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )