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Posts from August 2008

Red and green chile sauce: beef and shrimp, a la Rosa Mexicano


I was exchanging emails with iamnotachef yesterday, as we sometimes do, discussing bourbon and absinthe and the state of New Jersey dining -- you know, things that two people who are complete strangers would talk about over email -- when it occurred to me that instead of telling him what I'm making for dinner, I should probably blog about it.  He concurred, but said that I should only blog about it if it's very good, or very bad.  I tend to agree, but the other reason I sometimes blog about the things I cook is so that I can remember what I did. I'm horrible at keeping notes for repeat performances, so this blog sometimes doubles as a dumping ground for those semi-successful meals that were thrown together.  Trust me, this blog thing and those dinner posts aren't about trying to impress people.  Of this you are assured.

The discussion started with a mention of the opening of Rosa Mexicano in Hackensack's Riverside Square mall.  What I said to the fella was this:

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The Brick House: Wyckoff, NJ: Slammed by the Record

The Brick House (the "fine dining" restaurant in Wyckoff, NJ) was ripped a new one (update:  that link won't work.  I have to stop bothering trying to include links to the North Jersey Media Group's websites.  They are constantly changing, and as of today, I cannot even find their review of The Brick House.  It seems they have very little respect for their reviews, and don't care if anyone ever sees them.  Maybe that's by design) by the Bergen Record yesterday.  And just like clockwork, critics of the critic came out of the woodwork, defending the restaurant, and questioning the reviewer's food knowledge (you can read the comments at the bottom of that link and here as all of them here).   One commenter suggests that a reviewer should "educate me and enrich the dining experience".  That's good stuff.  I can't even make that stuff up.  And, of course, some made it known to the world that one little review was not going to change their opinion of the place (ummm, is that the goal of a review?  ever?)

You might recall that something similar happened when the Record slammed Biagio's.  The immediate outpouring of support for the mediocre Biagio's was mind-blowing.  These people were incensed!

I guess this phenomenon has something to do with these places being "local institutions."  My take on "local institutions"?:  generally not very good.

While I've had several meals at Biagio's to support that hypothesis, I've had none at The Brick House.  But not for lack of trying.

Our visit a few weeks ago went like this:

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White Castle fries: File under: WTF?

I've been to a few fast food joints over the years.  Hell, over the month.  And I always get a "large" combo meal, because I like a lot of soda.   You do get a lot of fries with the large size, but it's really all about the extra soda for me.  In fact, if you could super-size the diet Coke, and keep the fries small, well that there would be a great option. 

However, even with all of this experience, and all of the thought I have given this, I was absolutely floored, nay, disgusted, when I pulled the large fries out of the White Castle bag the other day.

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Study: Most kids' fast-food meals have too many calories

Study: Most kids' fast-food meals have too many calories

In related news:  no shit, Sherlock.

<WTF?>  Who pays for this stuff?  Shouldn't they be paying for studies on how to get seeds and flavor back into watermelon instead of the number of permutations possible with 7 sandwiches, 5 drinks and french fries?  Was this study run by a high school student looking for extra credit?</WTF?>

Tomatoes: what you've been missing

So, by now you're probably avoiding jalapeno peppers due to the recent scare.  And for most of the summer, you've been avoiding tomatoes because of doodie contamination. 

I've been avoiding them too.  Then again, I always avoid tomatoes, because they are pretty crappy 99% of the time, not just when they're, well, crappy.

Here are some snaps of some of what you've been denying yourself:

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Fairway in Paramus: Coming, soon?

Update (03/27/2009):  Fairway be open, and you're dopey if you go the first week it's open. 

Update (02/03/2009):  More on Fairway in Paramus if you click me!

I don't usually do much "reporting" on this blog.  Reporting is dry, boring, fact-based verse.  I don't deal in facts.  Additionally, reporting is a job for trained and professional reporters and newspaper people, and that's sure not me.  Conversely, being interesting and entertaining is my job.  And before you say anything, I don't get paid for that job, so if I'm sleeping on the job, not very good at the job, or just plain not showing up to work, well, too bad.

At any rate, a lot of people are excited about NYC's Fairway Market coming to Paramus (unrelated to Fort Lee's Fairway, which is a fine store in its own right, and has served the community well for longer than most people have been a part of the community).  And of course they're excited:  NYC's Fairway is a pretty darned good store, and, our Paramus version sure has been a looooong time in the coming. 

t:e visitor Jmags sent me this picture, which he claims shows the progress of the construction of Fairway (I sure hope he's right, because we don't need another stinkin' Linens -n- Things), and that got me thinking that I should probably look into this.   I figured I'd do some reporting on this story.

Here's the report:

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