Drew Lazor's Ill-Advised Rant Factory
If you don't know Nutella is bad for you and your kids, then you are a total idiot and a bad parent.
In or around December 2010, Ms. Hohenberg learned through friends what ingredient were in the Nutella that she was feeding her family. She was shocked to learn that Nutella was in fact not a "healthy" "nutritious" food but instead was the next best thing to a candy bar, and that Nutella contains dangerous levels of saturated fat.She had to have friends explain to her that CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT SPREAD COMPOSED OF MORE THAN HALF PROCESSED SUGAR was not nutritious. I feel so sorry for your friends.
Plaintiff is not a nutritionist food expert or food scientist; she is a lay consumers [sic] who did not possess the specialized knowledge Ferrero had which otherwise would have enabled her to associate high levels of saturated fat and refined sugar with disease.I don't consider myself a food expert or food scientist either, Mrs. Hohenberg, but I am well-aware that EATING FAT MAKES YOU FAT.* You've got to be fucking kidding me. I cannot believe this is real.
* UPDATE [11feb11]: To those who have pointed out that caloric intake (in the case, coming mainly from sugar), and not literal fat intake, is what leads to one putting on weight, you are absolutely right. It was a figure of speech â "fat" meaning fattening foods in general â and admittedly not a clear one.
Plaintiff, in the exercise of reasonable diligence, could not have discovered Ferrero's deceptive practice earlier because, like nearly all consumers, she does not read scholarly publications or other materials describing the negative impact of consuming foods high in saturated fat and refined sugars.I would LOVE to peruse the "scholarly publication" that contains the bombshell that saturated fat and refined sugars are â GASP! â bad for you! I'm guessing the pub is titled Food Facts Every Person With Their Spinal Cord Attached to Their Fucking Brain Is Aware Of, Except This Lady, Who Would Rather File a Frivolous Fucking Lawsuit Than Put in the .5 Seconds of Rational Thought It Requires to Make Sure Her Child Doesn't End Up On a "Fat Babies" Segment of Maury. For the record, I think Nutella is delicious in moderation, but I don't think I'll be eating it for awhile after hearing about this. All it'll do is remind me of Mrs. Hohenberg, who has decided to blame a supermarket product for her disturbing inability to think for herself.
|Photo | Drew Lazor|
Bags of Doritos Collisions are meant, by design, to feature two separate varieties of Dorito that taste nice (as nice as 'ritos can taste) when crunchily combined. So imagine our shock and frustration when we ripped open this hot wing/blue cheese bag (purchased at the 7-Eleven at 22nd and Lombard, a frequent Meal Ticket convenience haunt) and discovered that its contents were about 99 percent blue cheese and 1 percent hot wing. Munchie blasphemy! This is an affront to sedentary snackers nationwide, Doritos! You should be ashamed. We expect a package containing a Ziploc bag filled with seven to 10 hot wing chips forthwith.
When Chima Brazilian Steakhouse first opened in Philly in May 2008, they gave out two-for-one vouchers to people to draw new diners in. To my knowledge, they are no longer offering these. But that hasn't stopped people on Chima's CP restaurant database page from leaving comments requesting that we send them coupons (see below).
City Paper is a print and web publication. It is not a Brazilian churrascaria. No one here wears gaucho pants and bolo ties and/or jaunty neckerchiefs. We do not run around with giant metal skewers of beef. We cannot make you a caipirinha. And most importantly, we do not have any Chima two-for-one coupons.
I see here that you can get a $25 gift certificate by registering on Chima's Web site. Please do that so I stop waking up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat screaming about rodizio meats.
Drew Lazor, Food Editor
With the exception of a very welcome appearance by my favorite Top Chef, Season 3 winner Hung, this was the suckiest episode in recent memory. The number one reason: The spiritless "farm to table" theme haphazardly driven home by the cheftestants' visit to Dan Barber's Blue Hill at Stone Barns in upstate New York.
< illadvisedrant >
No disrespect to Chef Barber and Co., but their inclusion in this episode caused me to stew over my biggest (admittedly tangential) pet peeve about the excruciating "locavore" trend. Are local/sustainable/organic ingredients great? Absolutely — they taste excellent. I'm just sick of A) people who go out of their way to pat themselves on the back because they think it's impressive that they've come to this utterly obvious realization ("Hey everyone, I rule because I use fresh ingredients! Look how amazing and socially conscious and green I am!"); and B) smug diners/home cooks who look down on people who buy lettuce from Shop-Rite instead of exclusively sourcing from a central Vermont-based microgreen farmer who fertilizes his crops with fossilized pterodactyl droppings that he spreads across his fields in the pattern of a Tibetan sand mandala.
Please don't get me wrong — I'm all about locally sourced, farm-fresh ingredients. I think you should use them whenever possible. But just know that I'm going to give you shit the second you start behaving like the epicurean equivalent of those self-important douches who think they're singlehandedly preserving humanity by driving their kids to riding lessons in a Toyota Prius. It's food. If it tastes good, eat it and stop looking for a medal of valor. (This is not the first time I've said my piece about this — 13th down.)
< /illadvisedrant >
Quickfire: This challenge, which Hung oversaw, gave the chefs 15 minutes to create a delicious morsel — using only canned, pre-fab ingredients (THE HORROR! NEED ... ORGANIC ... BUTTERNUT SQUASH ... TO SURVIVE). I personally loved this task because it featured copious amounts of Spam, the Filipino household staple that people like to hate on even though they've never tried it. Trust me, it's a godlike product — as evidenced by Hosea making the top three for his Spam 'n' sweet pea soup, as well as Stefan's immunity win for his Spam-ified baked bean soup and Velveeta grilled cheese. Hung knows the deal.
Elimination: After being split up into three separate groups — pork, lamb and chicken — the chefs traveled to the afoermentioned Blue Hills to cook a family-style lunch, for a crunchy local/sustainable crew, using products fresh off the farmstead. "This is totally the food I do," Jamie said. Scallop fields on yonder! After some uninspired moaning and groaning from Tom, Padma, Toby and a few people who looked like they'd just gotten back from watching The Wizard of Oz on mute with Dark Side of the Moon playing the background, Team Chicken — The Duchess of Scallopshire, Stefan and dessert master Carla (who's really grown on me) — earned a three-fer win for their simple pollo menu. (Did anyone else notice that Stefan seemed to establish a deep spiritual connection with the live chicken he was cradling during their farm tour?)
Though Team Pork (our dude Jeff got a lot of face time) was tsk-tsked for a few misgivings, Team Lamb — Ariane, Hosea and the increasingly irritating Leah — ended up in the bottom three. As expected, the Gross Couple, BOTH OF WHOM HAVE SIGNIFICANT OTHERS, turned their gross backs on Ariane at judges' table, which seemed to contribute to the sweetheart Jersey mom's dismissal.
True, Ariane didn't know how to properly butcher the lamb or tie it up so the meat roasted evenly in the oven — but she openly admitted her lack of expertise in that particular area, while Leah and Hosea openly admitted that they possessed such experience. Instead of working as a team to try and stay off the chopping block, Gross Couple let her fuck things up, with every intention of placing the blame squarely on her if it came down to it. Yeah yeah, I know you often have to play dirty on reality TV. It was just especially noxious this week, namely because Ariane is so likable and Gross Couple is so not.
Oh well. I'm confident Ariane has a future in TV. Like Gail, she's got a nice balance of expertise and approachability. Catch you on Food Network, girl.
NEXT WEEK: Restaurant Wars!
These are just a few of the food- and drink-related target goals I've set for myself in 2009.
- Stop eating so much goddamn red meat. Eat more fresh fruit and vegetables. Local is best.
- Drink more water. Drink less soda.
- Stop over-ordering at bars and restaurants just because you are drunk and can't decide between six different things.
- Buy a deep fryer.
- Stop yourself from buying a deep fryer.
- Buy one or two badass chef's knives. Get one of those magnetic knife strip things to store them on. Perfect act of tossing knife onto magnetic strip from afar so you look cool in front of people.
- Stop eating so many Stouffer's microwavable chicken pot pies. But they're soooo good!
- Start figuring out — for real — which wines you like and don't like so you don't just keep blindly picking stuff off wine lists because the name sounds cool.
- Start awesome bourbon collection. Key to starting awesome bourbon collection: Stop drinking entire bottles of bourbon the same day you buy them.
- Visit the following restaurants, which I am ashamed to admit I've never eaten at (this list is sure to grow immensely): Buddakan | Earth Bread + Brewery | Fork | Honey's Sit 'n' Eat | Jovan's Place | Kanella | Miran | Morimoto | Rangoon | Talula's Table | 10 Arts | Under the Oak Café | Zocalo
What about you — have any eating-related resolutions you'd like to share? Let us know in the comments!
Starbucks teams up with Red Campaign for World AIDS Day, bringing out unparalleled dickwaddiness in Facebook community
Starbucks is working with the Red Campaign to raise support funds on World AIDS Day, which is Dec. 1.
Join us in support of World AIDS Day. We're giving 5¢ to the Global Fund for every hand-crafted Starbucks beverage sold on December 1, 2008 at participating US and Canada locations.
Invite your friends! We're counting on every customer to help make a difference. Together, we can do a world of good.
Naturally, this ostensibly positive (and rather benign) charity function has been met head-on by a bunch of assholes who happen to have Internet access.
After the jump, check out a minute cross-section of the thousands of thousands of terrible people who have posted comments on the event's Facebook page (must be logged in to view).
Here is my personal favorite:
|Martha liked Geno's better than Pat's.|
Always has been, always will be. Don't let Martha Stewart throw you off your game.
You break my heart.
Studiokitchen's Shola Olunloyo responds to Meal Ticket's restaurant music rant (and we respond back)
The other day, I excerpted a write-up that Mémé chef/owner David Katz posted on his restaurant's MySpace blog. The subject at hand: patrons who have complained about the music he plays during service.
It amazes me how many people have an idea of what restaurant music should be. Like there is one kind of music played at one certain loudness for every restaurant in the United States! Haven’t these people been in any other style of restaurant? Maybe a gastro-pub, a bistro??? We are NOT a formal slow dining restaurant.
Using Katz's statement as a jump-off, I went on to throw in my own opinion — I think people who complain about this kind of stuff need to rejigger their priorities. Music selection? Volume? Let's concentrate on the food and drink we're paying good money to enjoy. That's my stance.
Earlier today, chef Shola Olunloyo, who runs the blog Studiokitchen (and knows Katz), offered up a retort — not to the music issue, but rather to what he perceived as self-serving pontification that tarnished his colleague's reputation. "I am very concerned that opportunistic journalism is becoming increasingly common in food writing," Olunloyo writes. "Too many writers today will easily sacrifice the subject for the story." An excerpt of his response:
I think this article does the chef a disservice because more than a philosophical discussion on restaurant music selection or volume, it paints an egomaniacal portrait of someone who probably is a much nicer person but just does not have the right filters regarding how he is quoted.
Furthermore the fact that while the City Paper seems to agree that restaurant patrons should have absolutely no say in the volume or selection of the music, the "category" of the posting is filed under "Ill Advised Ranting" thus acknowledging that it probably is a very bad idea to say things like this publicly.
That is what I find increasingly disappointing about food writing.
I do not think that my post portrays Katz in an "egomaniacal" light. If you check out our recent Q&A with him, it's pretty clear that he tends to speak his mind. And in an industry that's fiercely watchdogged by public relations pros, that's kinda refreshing. "Control your image. Do not say a word. Let your publicist speak for you," Olunloyo advises restaurant types at the end of his post. Though hospitality PR is a vital cog in the machine, that is straight-up terrifying to a food writer. If every chef, owner, etc. subscribed to such a credo, readers would be subjected to nothing but prefab quotes and meticulously regulated info. And that wouldn't be good for anyone, restaurants included.
As far as me making Katz appear "inhospitable" by quoting him: There was plenty of preemptive press on Mémé, and much of it touched on the chef's candid nature. Yet the place has been open for going on a month and it looks busy every night. Perhaps these people just dig the food and aren't even concerned with/aware of Katz's public image. (Maybe they like the music, too?)
One notable distinction that Olunloyo does not point out: Katz shared his thoughts in a very public forum. I did not badger him with loaded questions to acquire juicy quotes, then take them out of context to serve my own sadistic journo needs. "If I didn't feel that way or want anybody to know, I wouldn't have posted it on MySpace," the chef confirms via e-mail.
Lastly, the blog category "Ill-Advised Ranting" references ME, not Katz or whoever else may be cited in future rantage. I created it to distinguish thoughts/gripes straight from my craw from some of the more reporterly stuff you'll find here on Meal Ticket.
I have renamed the category "Drew Lazor's Ill-Advised Rant Factory" to prevent future confusion.
|Read A.D. Amorosi's interview with Katz here.|
|Photo | Michael T. Regan|
But it seems some diners are not feeling this policy. An excerpt from Katz's MySpace blog:
So. If you are one of the couple hundred people that has dined with us thus far you'd know that we play music in the restaurant. The music is a touch on the loud side, but not too loud. It is intended on being heard and not just background music. the music that plays is an array of good rock like The Smith's, The Police, The Clash, Neil Young, Bob Dylan and even some reggae like Gregory Isaak's and Steel Pulse. Some occasional Bob Marley too.
The reason I'm writing this is because we have seen and heard some over the top complaining about the music from some people so far and one woman on her way out even shook her finger at me saying "shame on you" with sincerety! Like I committed some sort of crime. It amazes me how many people have an idea of what restaurant music should be. Like there is one kind of music played at one certain loudness for every restaurant in the United States! Haven't these people been in any other style of restaurant? Maybe a gastro-pub, a bistro??? We are NOT a formal slow dining restaurant. I just read a review on Zagat's about us and the person says it was "beer swigging bar music". The Police - Don't Stand So Close To Me is that offensive? Wow...
I agree with Katz's sentiment that many people seem to "have an idea" of what type of music a restaurant should play. Bottom line: Unless it's a jukebox situation, it ain't up to you. Stop whining. I go out to eat a lot, and I've had plenty of experiences where a restaurant's music was not to my taste. But while solid tunes definitely augment a good time, I never let crappy ones ruin my evening. Like napkin dispensers or ketchup bottles, the music's just there. (Can you tell I eat at classy places?) If you don't dig it, drown your frown in bread and butter and deal. If you can't, you suck.
Anecdotal example: A server I know once told me about a daytime shift she was working at a busy Center City lunch spot. A table of businessmen pulled her aside and requested that the song playing in the restaurant — "BILLIE JEAN" — be nixed because they found it unpleasing. (Management obliged.) Can you think of a single R&B-ish song more acceptable to squeamish, brow-sweating white-collar dudes in dress sock holsters than "Billie Jean"? Now, every time I hear it, I think "Man, those guys were total dicks."
Volume is a completely separate issue. (I'm talking strictly restaurants here, not bars, and strictly restaurant music, not the dull roar of diner chatter, noise from an open kitchen, etc.) I couldn't tell you how loud is too loud, but a threshold does exist. (One particularly eardrum-shattering meal: Grabbing an early dinner at Ashoka Palace while the next-door Whistle Bar tested their sub-sub-subwoofers. My raita quivered like the Jell-O in Jurassic Park. I didn't know raita could quiver!)
I have never felt compelled to complain about music selection or music volume. But what about you, Meal Ticket readers? Have you found yourself in a situation where it was absolutely necessary to say something about a restaurant's music? If so, what was your reasoning? Let's hear it in the comments section. Be as loud as you like.
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