Things food writers should: stop doing


2013 is winding down, and I thought I'd wrap it up on a positive note, helping those who are less fortunate: those who write about food, horribly.

While I can't make people more interesting than they are, I can, and will, point out a few things that food writers people who write about food should stop doing/writing/typing/thinking. This goes for everyone, including Yelpers, posters on the big food boards, and writers for traditional media outlets*.

In no particular order, please stop this:

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Hey, I added a map to the t:e blog.

I added a map of restaurants/retailers covered in this blog. This is for my amusement to be quite honest, but it might actually be helpful to visitors.  It's accessible via the menu bar above, or here: http://tommyeats.com/tommyeats/te-map.html

I should add that this Google map doesn't seem to work with Google Chrome, so you have to click on the link for the larger view. You should probably do that anyway.

View t:e restaurants in a larger map

The despicable theft of photos and recipes: on Facebook

Dont-shareYou've no doubt come across this type of theft, and perhaps even rewarded that theft, without realizing what's going on.

Like when your friend shares some sort of wacky video from some Facebook page with a name like "Funniest Sh*t Ever." That friend probably saw it on another friend's feed, who saw it on some other friend's, and so on.  Sure, the video is entertaining and probably worth a look/share.

But the person who created the Facebook page Funniest Sh*t Ever had nothing to do with the creation of that video. That distinction goes to the talented, hardworking people that actually produced that video. Often at some expense and always with some level of effort. And they deserve credit, in the form of a direct link to their content. 

The only thing the Funniest Sh*t Ever person did was take time to steal the video from YouTube, or whatever service it was put on by the owner, and put it on their Facebook page, urging every to "OMG this is so funny...have to SHARE!. I love working from HOME click my link to learn how to be the best mom." Not only time, but also effort; you are assured that you cannot "accidentally" steal a video from the internet. It takes a bit of know-how and it's never by mistake.

That person, is a thief. And a sorry ass, ta boot.

Closer to home, for me, since I am somewhat involved in the food writing and recipe creation world (don't snicker, it's sort of true...OK, so maybe it's more of an "interest" than "involvement"), is the ongoing and egregious theft of not only recipes, but photos, in the form of posts that contain someone else's recipe and photo, and suggest you "share share share." I am seeing this every day, and it seems to be picking up steam.

I'd say about 100% of the time, the goal of the thief is to drive traffic to their Facebook page, urging unsuspecting people to join some group like "Skinny Minnie's Diet," at which point they are very likely going to be sold something. More often than not, there is some sort of personal and financial advantage to getting people to "follow" or share the stolen recipe or join the page. Other times, I suspect, people are just lonely, and want the attention.

Examples of this theft can be found all over Facebook (and the internet in general). I found three in about 4 minutes today: 

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Ridgewood Jazz Feast: 2013

Winard Harper

The Ridgewood Guild and their partners and volunteers did a heck of a job with what was hopefully the first annual Ridgewood Jazz Feast this past weekend in Ridgewood. (Click here for 2014's event!)

Plenty of music and wine and beer and food to keep people very happy.  While I didn't eat any of the food, I did have a quite tasty rosé from Ventimiglia Vineyards.

Raymonds-fried-chickenRaymond's was offering what appeared to be very good fried chicken. Do they have this on their menu? If not it should be. And they should also offer chicken and waffles during brunch. I'd go every week.

Lisas1Lisa's Mediterranean was doing their thing.

Malee1Malee Thai

Stable1 Stable-meat

The Stable with meats on sticks

Lots of other restaurants had stands, including A Mano, Park West Tavern, Ridgewood Fare, and many which I forget.  There was certainly a good selection of food. I can't say the same about the beer, which consisted of Coors Light, Yuengling, and Blue Moon.  Standard distributor stuff. Maybe next year they can get a few local NJ brewers in there. Cricket HIll, High Point, there are plenty to choose from, and they could use the exposure more than Coors. Maybe I'll volunteer next year and get the beer sorted out.

The music was top-notch. I was sort of expecting cookie-cutter snoozy jazz, catering to boring white-bread Bergenites. But what we got were three incredible and well-regarded acts, spanning a wide range of jazz and blues.  The acts played over the course of what seemed like 5 hours. The lulls between bands were brief, which meant the music kept pumping almost constantly.

This was a well-run and organized event. Congrats to everyone involved.

Antoinette Montague kicked it off, backed by Band of Bones. Fantastic big band jazz.

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Four Seasons: Nevis, West Indies


While visiting cities and countries and spending 10 days walking around and exploring cultures and sites is certainly fulfilling, sometimes we just want to sit on a beach.  We'll generally alternate between what we call "beach vacations" and "cultural vacations."  In September of 2012, the t:e organization was looking for a beach vacation.

In the running was Mexico and, of course, one of the many islands in the Caribbean.  The missus had visited Nevis some years back and had a wonderful experience at the Four Seasons resort. My arm did not need twisting. 

First things first: you just thought "what is Nevis?"  Or, you knew right away.  It's that type of place. Small. Off the beaten path. And very friggin' awesome.

We flew from New York to St. Kitt's, where we were met by a car service and whisked off to the Four Seasons ferry that would take us directly to the resort on Nevis. I highly recommend this method of arriving at the resort. There's something very relaxing about pulling up to a dock at a resort, rum punch already in hand. 

IMG_0741On the way from St. Kitt's to the Four Seasons Nevis.

IMG_0758Closing in on the resort. What you see is almost the whole island.


Our room was not yet ready when we pulled up to the dock, so we pulled up a bar stool (shocker) at Cabana, the casual beach/pool bar/restaurant, where we would be spending a lot of time this trip. The cocktail list leans toward islandy drinks, and I was fine with that.  

IMG_0791A clear abuse of shallow depth of field. I should be embarrassed.

'Nevisian Smile' - think Pina Colada, but you're sitting next to a volcano in Nevis.

We ordered a tuna nicoise, and what would quickly become a favorite dish: conch with pickled vegetables.  This dish is fantastic.  Tender conch, with pickled cucumber, some sweet peppers, a bit of fresh herb.  The "broth" was briny, not much unlike the liquor from an oyster (liquor is the best part of the oyster eating experience).  I ordered this dish every day. And so should you.



The Four Seasons has two basic rooms (and, of course, rooms that I can't afford). Some face Nevis Peak, and some face the water. We chose the Nevis Peak view, knowing that we'd be upgraded since it was off-season and we booked through American Express, and were very pleased with the ocean view. But I can certainly see the allure of waking up to the majesty of Nevis peak every morning. 

There are several buildings, some of which are in front of pools.  You might consider requesting the buildings that aren't, and request a second floor room, for additional privacy.

There are three pools, including an adults-only pool.  Some basic water sports are available right at the resort, and some decent snorkeling.  Lots of fish and lobsters and sea turtles.  Not the greatest clarity when the sun is behind the clouds, but certainly good enough snorkeling for hobbyists. 

Adults only pool

The golf course is supposed to be pretty good (at the very least, the views are spectacular), but since I don't play I didn't care.  We did, however, spend hours on the golf course, taking pictures of monkeys.  There are monkeys all over the island, much to the chagrin of Nevisians, and a shit load on the Four Seasons golf course. I highly recommend taking a walk up to the back nine to check them out.  They're a funny lot, and if you're vaguely interested in wildlife, they will be sure to keep you entertained for hours. Since it's a decent walk to the back 9, you might want to go to the pro shop and tell them you're going to the driving range so you can get a cart.  It'll cost a few bucks, but it's worth the convenience.  Conversely, you can ask the front desk to have someone bring you up.  Getting back, obviously, is a bit trickier, but at least it's downhill.  Did I mention it's as hot as b*lls in September? Bring water.


If you're like me, you might also spend hours on the beach taking pictures of crabs and birds and the random dog that might make its way onto the beach.  



IMG_3314The beach in front of Sunshine's, Lime, and Chevy's, just down the beach from the Four Seasons.




View from the room


Back to the food...

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Roots Steakhouse coming to Ridgewood, NJ?

Update: We made our way over to Roots for a first look. Here are some details of the meal (click me!)

Update: Roots in Ridgewood has opened, per the Booziest of all the Burbs.

Update: Roots is claiming that it will open around June 9 (click me).

The Ridgewood/Glen Rock Patch reports that the Harvest Restaurant Group is opening a third Roots Steakhouse (turn down your sound, the website is annoying), this time in Ridgewood in the old Blend spot.

I visited Roots in Summit a few years back (my gosh, it was over 6 years ago!) and wasn't really blown away, and took exception to the pricy wine list and the lack of disclosure on which cuts are actually USDA Prime and which aren't.  

Some comments on the Patch's piece on the internet are in the vein of "finally, a steakhouse [in Ridgewood]."  I'm not sure if these folks are aware that Park West Tavern (turn down your sound, the website is really annoying), right around the corner, has several serviceable steaks on the menu, and a more interesting menu overall.  

It's pointless to predict if they're going to be successful, but that won't stop me.  

I'm somewhat skeptical of having a restaurant of that size (assuming they take the whole space) serving food at that price-point in the quaint little village of Ridgewood. No doubt they are going to need support from a whole lot of diners from outside of the immediate area, as Ridgewood just doesn't seem to have the volume of diners who are going out to eat that often at places like Roots, or even Park West Tavern. 

There's little doubt that they will be poaching diners from Park West Tavern, which has enjoyed a very good run, so things could get interesting.  Park West Tavern filled a void in Ridgewood, and the townsfolk reacted enthusiastically.  Perhaps Roots will fill some void that I'm not aware of.  But if Roots doesn't come with a decent cocktail program, and some reasonably priced wines, I don't think you'll find me at their bar very often. 

I hope they can make a liar out of me.  Although I'm sure not going to bother if they have a dress code as they do at their other restaurants. 


Live from Daryl's House: music and food


I've been obsessed with this show since I stumbled upon it a few years back was an internet-only deal.  Thankfully Palladia has picked it up on cable, bringing it to your HD TV with ease.

For you youngins, Daryl Hall is a singer-songwriter who has been around for quite some time, who was blessed with an enormous career in the 70s and early 80s.  Enormous hits.  By any measure, he's a fantastic songwriter and singer.  This series illustrates this theory.

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It's a new dawn: it's a new day



Those of you who have stumbled upon this blog in the past may notice a new layout (if not you may have to force a refresh). 

In the 7 years since I launched this mess, there have been maybe 2 changes to the look.  Minor changes at that.  As I've gotten a bit wider in that time, I decided that t:e should get a bit wider as well, taking up more real estate in your browser window. Some of the old posts may look a little wonky, and the very old posts even more so. But going forward it should stabilize into something not-very-painful to read, aside from the actual content of course. 

Hopefully it looks better, but feel free to throw stones, call me names, and tell me what's wrong.  A special "thank you" to iamnotachef.com, for his critique during this 20 minute redesign.

Food-related: I would guess that I've consumed about 10 million calories over those 7 years (burning much less).  With this blog seeing about 1.2 million page views during that time, that works out to about 8.3 calories per page load. Now there's a statistic for you to chew on.

Thanks for reading.



Bikini Girl Margarita: Taste test

The saturation/color in this photo were not exaggerated

Gotcha, didn't I.  After taste testing the Skinnygirl margarita, you don't really expect me to put this stuff in my mouth, do you?

This Bikini Girl Margarita caught my eye at Bottle King last week.  Not because it looked interesting, but because it was glowing.

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