Wednesday, March 11, 2009

lemons are a bad deal in your water

Let's get one thing straight: I don't have too many pet peeves when it comes to dining out. A big lesson I've learned is that pleasure trumps all inklings of snobbery. True, someone might look nothing short of retarded dropping some ice cubes into their Chilean Cabernet, but if that means that they are going to enjoy their drink more so than sans ice, then so be it. I have the knowledge and know-how to encourage someone to be the kind of diner that would impress even the most discerning of critics, but most of the time it's my job to simply facilitate pleasure and comfort, not to scrutinize the faux pauxs I see taking place before my eyes.

HOWEVER...a pet peeve that is the bane of my existence is lemon wedges in water, especially when ordered before even tasting how good the local tap is. It especially chaps my hide as a server in Colorado Springs, where the tap water tastes better than most bottled versions (which are a crock entirely in their own respect). Such an order means an extra trip or two to the table, and it shows the ignorance of the table. If you fall into the aforementioned category, allow me to cure such ignorance. Long story short, not only do lemon wedges in ice waters cause thousands of servers across the United States extra time and effort, but they are also the fruit equivalent of petri dishes when it comes to germs. In clinical studies, over 77% of the lemons tested positive for some sort of disease causing bacteria. In some cases the lemons even tested positive for fecal matter...yes, FECAL MATTER. You gotta realize that the lemons are picked by field workers in an environment not exactly comparable to a surgical ward, then packed by human hands, then unpacked by human hands, and eventually sliced by some kitchen employee that has probably not washed their hands in awhile. Those things are like agricultural paper towels. Yuck. Sorry, I just gagged a bit. Below I've provided a couple links for your researching enjoyment. The nature of my pet peeve is two-fold: I hate wasting time on needless trips to tables, and I don't particularly enjoy watching people drink poop. So, save your poor server a trip and your immune system an unnecessary bout with botulism and stick to the local tap without ice, k? K.

Video (in case you're sick of reading at this point)
Today Show Bit
Glamour Magazine (the most academic of all resources)
KOAA (a local news station)

Friday, February 27, 2009

yep, he's special

So, Anthony Bourdain is my hero. I find his hedonistic, slightly cynical, truthful approach to both travel and food inspiring. Now, the road he's taken to get to this point in his life has been a bit dodgy (imagine a sex, drugs, rock n' roll restaurant scene throughout the 80's in NYC), which explains why this man in his late 50's has more edge than most people in their 20's, heck maybe their teens. I think everyone would be better off by gleaning a bit of his reckless abandon toward life and lack of concern for critics. Anyways, here's an interview from that gives you a bit of an insight to this man's psyche. Feel free to pick up his book Kitchen Confidential off It manages to capture the adventurous spirit that is alive and well in the restaurant world (he often uses the term pirate in reference to the workers, which I find to be incredibly endearing).

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Fledgling restaurateurs should pay close attention to how things are run at Salumi, a Seattle oasis of artisanal cured meats and hand-crafted cheeses. The formula, created by Armandino Batali (yes, Mario's dad), is simple: an unwavering dedication to quality and tradition that is set in the bedrock of a love for family and neighbors. The Seattle eatery is only open Monday through Thursday from 11am until 4pm, with the line often out the door and down the block. You may ask, "Why not expand the restaurant's facilities and times of operation to make way for bigger profits? They are sitting on a goldmine!" Herein lies the irony of Salumi; he is not in it for the money. Batali is a retired Boeing engineer, not a lifelong cured meat artisan; Salumi is his retirement dream of opening a Salumeria a block away from where his maternal grandfather, Angelino Merlino, opened Seattle's first Italian import store in 1903. Salumi is a thriving mouths-on museum, an ode to how his family has eaten for generations, and a living manifesto for how eateries should function: find food you are passionate about, perfect your craft, keep it simple, and leave people wanting more.
Please visit these great folks if you're ever in the Pioneer Square of Seattle:

Thursday, February 12, 2009

blogging fitness (what the crap does this have to do with food?!)

This was a post I wrote about a year ago when I told myself that I was going to start blogging once again. I found it to be pretty relevant, so I'm going to simply re-post this puppy as my starting point.

I'd like to bring my post average up from once every 6 months, so I figured I'm gonna set my sights low in regards to what I expect of myself. This time of year, gyms across the nation experience a spike in business because the American public goes through a 2-week phase of realizing that they actually need to be active to be healthy. It's both sad and entertaining to see Joe Schmo strut into the gym and act like he knows what he's doing within the realm of exercise. Joe approaches his personal fitness as if it's a sprint, oblivious to the fact that personal health never ending pursuit, a lifelong marathon. His sprint mentality leads to lifting too much weight with bad form, often resulting in injury and/or discouragement. This holiday season I am resolving to slowly amass a steady record of blogging, beginning with short, poignant posts. We'll see if i can eventually build my blogging muscles to impress the literary gym, but for now i am going to swallow my pride and start with the 5lb dumbells.