Locally Grown


A REAL Restaurant Review
2012/01/28, 6:26 am
Filed under: restaurant reviews | Tags: , , , ,

This is what a good restaurant review looks like. Read it and enjoy. We will return to this subject soon.

The cook

Got crepes? The Awful Waffle doesn’t live up to its name

http://m.heraldextra.com/mobile/entertainment/dining/restaurants/got-crepes-the-awful-waffle-doesn-t-live-up-to/article_49c03dd7-b6bf-5599-b68c-b62fa065e4ef.html

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And The Smoke Was Blown
2012/01/27, 1:25 pm
Filed under: restaurant reviews

Good afternoon, Tens of Awesome People.  I would like to take a portion of, what was supposed to be, this Friday Funday post to thank you all for coming back to the LG fold.  I am thuper exthited to be back ranting for your pleasure, and I feel that your all are getting just ath exthited.  More and More people are coming back each day, and I feel that soon we will all be back together joining our forces against the evils the cloud the local dining experience.  Thweet.

(I have had a cold/something of some kind of sickness all week and am just trying to portray my stuffed nose inability to enunciate my “S’s”)

Now, as I had mentioned at the beginning of the last paragraph, I have come up with a fun new formula for us to wind down together every Friday. Yes, I plan on us being together every Friday.  BUT this week there is business to attend to and the last thing I want to do is be a business not-attender.  Next week we will have fun, today is business.

Has Our Beloved DD fallen out of love?

Yesterday it was brought to my attention that this person who shall be continually referred to as the DD had leveled her sights on new French (ooooohhhhh lalalala!) restaurant Tartine out in the western portion of Our Fair City.  Tartine is a small, lunch-centric bistro located in a …well, it doesn’t matter.  To escape redundancy you can just go to the REVIEW read all the pertinent location blah blah blah.  Tartine was founded by Baru 66 Chef (and possibly the love of DD’s life) David Baruthia as a more financially accessible outlet to taste his creations.

You know, I am sitting at the bar at Zombie Burger with some good friends.  so for your assignment this weekend I would like you to all read the review and tell me what you think.  Personally, I think that it’s a load of shit…or is it?

The Cook



The Truth Comes Out

My Dearest Tens,

This week’s newfound return to the LG blogisphere has yielded an interesting development: You aren’t nearly as interested in reading about Agriculture here as you are witnessing my tirades towards food critics, food bloggers, and dim-witted diners.  The numbers don’t lie, and lucky for you I have a forthcoming opportunity to write about sustainable dining on another furum, freeing the “LG Brand” up for more constant crappy commentary and policing of those in the dining community whom need policed.  To this end I thank you.  Coming back to this blog was not easy, and there was consideration given to tranforming into a voice for positive change in local, sustainable food.  This would have been a giant work load involving interviewing, research, and late nights making sure that every word is just just right, so as to most effectively pass the point of each post. 

Thank you for not making me do that here (I will let you whom want to read my writings on those subjects know where to read said articles once we get started).

Yesterday while I was sitting at one of my favorite wifi spots having a liquid lunch and writing about farmers, I spied the mighty (thin) Des Moines Register, home of our favorite critical Francophile.  You may recall that the LG posts of the prior two days dealt with the DD and her narrowly waving Magic Food Scene Judgement Wand passing um…judgement on the kitchens of Our Fair City and their inability to serve any desserts which aren’t cheesecake or “chocolate fall -down cake,”  which I took to mean that lovely “worn out” dessert the Chocolate Lava Cake. 

The front page of the Living section, or whatever it is called, has a feature on desserts…and what is dessert #2 of the feature?  CHOCOLATE LAVA CAKE FROM ALBA.  AND IT IS BEING CAST IN A FAVORABLE LIGHT.  Wait, what?  How can this be?  Have Jason and his team at Alba (who are all awesome, btw) somehow ressurected what was earlier in the week deemed one of the two most boring and tired desserts in all of MetroLand? 

And

on the third day the lava cake arose from its tired tomb to bring forth new light unto post-dining patrons.

.

.

OR has this other food writer started a war with the DD, and I remember the last time a register food writer crossed her.  This could get ugly…

More later.  My WP app is making this a very unpleasant experience.

Thank you again, tens, for showing me what you REALLY want to read about. 

The cook.

(Please excuse any formatting problems, WordPress of Android app can suck it.)



Who Are Your Heroes? Mine Are Farmers.

Hero: he·ro/ˈhi(ə)rō/, noun:

  1. A person who is admired for courage or noble qualities.
  2. One who saves lives

 

Our society is based on a “hero mentality,” with us commoners daydreaming about those who would be there to save us from whatever evils would befall us.  There are movie and comic-book (sorry, graphic novel) based super heroes with otherworldly powers saving puny humans from natural disasters, historical bad guys, and other super people whom have chosen to live a life of utter evil.  There are every day heroes like doctors and nurses and the mortal humans whom keep you healthy and safe.  There are even celebrity heroes such as Steven Tyler, whom work diligently to save you from having to listen to the wrong singing talent on your television.  Thanks, ST.  These heroes all serve their purpose in life, from stopping your gaping bleeding wounds, to saving your sanity, to keeping your house from burning to the ground, to just simply giving you hope that giant flying magnetically charged creatures from another dimension will not be descending upon your city to devour or enslave its population.

Larry Cleverley of Cleverley Farms in Mingo, Iowa watching the sun set over the farm. Larry is a real hero.

But who are the real heroes of our lives?  The people raising the food you (should) be eating.  There is really no more noble, humble, or courageous a profession than to be a farmer.  A real farmer, someone concerned with the well-being of not their bank accounts or the happiness of corporate overlords, but with the health of the land they farm and the people being fed from that land, and of the welfare of the community surrounding their farm.

Does this make you hungry?

My hero’s a farmer.  A real farmer.  A person whom I can talk to, have a conversation about what they are raising, and not be given the run-around due to someone above them putting restrictions on what they can or can’t say about their operation.  I see these people as the real heroes of our world, sustainable raising nourishing items that can feed our population…without creating more health-realated problems.  The farmers who understand what to do with the food they raise, the ones whom can teach cooks or chefs what to do with their wares, the farmers that spend their lives feeding you FROM THE HEART, making sacrifices, getting out to the markets to sell to and meet produce/meat buyers face to face.  THIS is a real hero.  People like this guy:

Because THIS is what makes me hungry.

Today’s rant isn’t supposed to be some wildly informative treatise on local sustainable farming/food, but just to get you in that mindset.  Spring is around the corner and we will be talking more in the near future about ways to enrich your lives through these heroes of agriculture.

I hope that you are as excited as we are…

The cook.

 



France>Des Moines?!

Tens, first a thank you for taking your time to read and comment on yesterday’s France/DD/Dessert diatribe.  It’s good to know that some of you have stuck around.  It’s good to have you all back on the bus.

Secondly, I agree with every one of your comments.  All of them.  I have been “out of the loop” for a while with all of my other dealings and haven’t really been paying attention to any of the food writings being shat out on paper as of late.  You clearly haven’t had the same problem.  Glad someone is keeping their eyes open, and I am rejoining your ranks.  Clearly we have a lot to talk about, old (and new) friends.

FR>DSM?

(please excuse the swearing about to fall from my fingers into your eyes)

One thing that really makes me sick about this ongoing problem of food criticism is that the local food isn’t being given proper consideration by the Register’s Food Captain.  It is a fucking travesty that someone who has been charged with guiding the Metro’s diners by the area’s largest print outlet has glossed over what is really at the heart of our food scene (which is HEART) and instead has become the self appointed travel spokesperson for France and New York…and everywhere but the city she is writing about.  According to yesterday’s comments and a few other messages from the interrab she has been focusing too much attention on one particular Chef Whom Doesn’t Care For Me Much (CWDCFMM) and much too little time really researching the local food and its movers/shakers/background.

I see where the information comes from in the form of regular lacksadasical (how do you even spell that?) emails/tweets/blog posts stating “I am working on an article about _____, anyone know anything about that?”  and by reading multiple blog posts which are just reprints of press releases from the area restaurant whom bother sending her press releases.

Even though it isn't funny

Is this the type of person YOU are trusting your dining dollars to?  Or are you trusting the other jokers writing nothing but positive internet reviews of every restaurant they visit?  Whichever, and I have to cut this rant short, you are chosing is probably wrong.  Some of you have voiced an opinion that some people need to be replaced.  I suggest not only filing that complaint here, but to contact the “proper authorities.”  You don’t have to stand for this bullshit.  Seriously.  I have to go, sorry to not have time to elaborate further.

The Cook



Something Something Just Desserts.
2012/01/23, 12:11 pm
Filed under: Local Food Commentary | Tags: , , , , ,

Hello, Tens!  I know, I know, it has been way too long since we got visually and verbally busy with each other,and there may be a few of you out there who aren’t really familiar with what we have going on up in here. The rest of this paragraph is for you people.  This blog was originally fueled by disdain.  And frustration.  And a urge to share that disdain and frustration.  And a love for all things local.  Yep, I think that is about it.  It turned into so many other things, like a good way to piss off food critics, a nice forum for people to be assholes about vegetarianism, and the perfect place for diners to learn how to properly approach the act of dining in public.

Moving on…

Today a very good friend of mine emailed me a link to an article which brought back all of those old feelings, and article that reminded me that my work is not done within the realm of LG.  This article was from our old friend, DD and definitely portrayed her normal “Blinders-On, Geographically Unaware” attitude.  What was the subject?  I am glad you asked (and made it all the way to this point. Sorry for all the prefacing).  Said food writer claims that the only desserts you can get in this town are either some kind of chocolate “fall down” cake (which I read as Lava Cake and caught a craving) or Cheescake.  That’s it.  She black/white’s the Des Moines dining scene again with a vast generalisation, AND THEN, true to form, whips out her culinary retort: A French (of course) dessert of poached merengue and creme anglaise Submitted by a certain French chef whom is also not a fan of yours truly.  The dessert was admittedly not a real “seller” by any means, and didn’t look as spectacular as I would expect from DB, but I am sure it was delicious.

So what was the whole point of her rant?  Is she trying to tell DMZ (Des Moines Zone) restaurants that they are boring her to death with their alleged “Two Dessert System” or is she trying to encourage chefs and restaurateurs to break out of the mold which she thinks they are all currently occupying? Is she stating that we, The People Of Des Moines, are all a bunch of rubes and could only be saved by selling all of our worldly possessions for a one way ticket to her Mecca, France?  Are TPODM a bunch of self loathing a-holes whom wouldn’t know a good dessert if it bit them in the tukus, I mean if there were any more choices to sneak up and bite them?

I have prepared a list of things to do with this stuff.

  1. Des Moines only has two desserts available to the dining public.

  2. France is still better than Des Moines

  3. No one really bought the dessert she thought was better than the current options, but featured it regardless.

  4. Des Moines must be stupid because they didn’t buy said dessert.

  5. France>Des Moines

  6. Alba also has interesting dessert choices, but no examples were given.

  7. Viva La Francais!

  8. French.

  9. French

  10. France

Let's Not Foget Category 4: France Is Not Des Moines

I hope that the Chefs and Restaurant Owners and Diners of our Fair City start paying attention to what this person is saying.  Yeah, we get it, you released a French cookbook.  Good For You.  You also most likely think that you are helping culture the heathen masses of Central Iowa with your Francophilic ways.  Maybe you should take a poll of your readers to see how many of them really give a rat’s patoot about France as it relates to our local dining scene.

I would instead like to see a published writer who revels in our constantly growing local food scene instead of constantly complaining that it just isn’t as good as New York or France.  Yeah, no shit, it’s not.  But in my travels during the last year I found myself thinking more than a few times “I wish I was in Des Moines right now so I could go to ______”

Now THAT should speak volumes to those of you who know me personally.  I guess that’s the difference between a food lover and a food critic… Lovers love to love, and critics are just a-holes.

Didn’t I used to do a sign off thing at the end of posts?  I forget.

the cook