Haiku for Obama

Haiku for Obama

Republicans buy shoes too. That was the rumored response by a famous basketball player about why he did not campaign for or endorse a Democratic candidate. Fortunately, I do not sell shoes and I’m not remotely famous. Some people might be hesitant about politicizing their blog in fear of alienating a segment of readers. I really don’t see the point of having a blog if you’re not going to say what you mean. Plus, people who don’t like this can leave for all I care. This week’s haiku comes courtesy of my sister and it very accurately represents how I feel about the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election. I want Obama to win. And the truth is that I have unkind words for that other candidate. I won’t litter this with those unkind words but I think this is shaping up to be an important election. If you want to register to vote, check out, Go Vote.

I was wanderingly aimlessly yesterday when I came upon The Smoke Joint. I had heard about their hot dog being tasty and decided to give it a try. The hot dog was grilled to perfection. The skin snapped as you bite into it, and a salty and beefy flavor explodes in your mouth. Usually at The Smoke Joint I like to get Tips and Bits, which is the ends of the rib that they’ve put together in one dish. Their hot dog (while not cheap at $3 for a skinny dog), might become a second favorite.

Here you get a picture of a real dog thrown in because it was looking cool on the sidewalk and barking for attention. Yes, quite pointless…

Since I’m going all out and politicizing this blog, might as well get it all out there. It’s time to reveal a huge pet peeve. My biggest pet peeve by far, has to be chefs who don’t understand blogging yet hate bloggers. Last month the Chicago Tribune published an interview with Bill Kim of Urban Belly which has been reviewed here on Food in Mouth. Graham Elliot Bowles of Graham Elliot, and Paul Kahan of Blackbird and Avec were there too.

The question was, “Your biggest pet peeve about diners?” Bill Kim answered, “Bloggers”. Graham Elliot Bowles said, “Yelp” And Kahan compared food blogs to sports talk radio.

Whenever I hear things like this, I think about how ridiculous and uneducated chefs are with regards to blogging and technology. It would seem from Bill and Graham believe food bloggers are unreasonably obsessed about food. It would seem that Bill and Graham want their diners to come in, eat the way they dictate diners should eat, behave the way they dictate diners should behave, and then move on out. Seriously, someone remove that pole for him, it’ll help him sit down and relax a little.

I think food culture in American is undergoing a transformation as we speak. Frozen foods as we knew them are on their way out. Fresh produce and farmers markets are on their way in. Chefs would like to believe that the only reason this is happening is because they started cooking better food and the food revolution stems from the restaurant kitchens! Hurray! I disagree that is the only reason.

Media coverage of food has increased just in the last ten years. Look at the Food network or Chowhound or Yelp. People want more information. They want to see it, read it, and eat it. I think sites like Chowhound and Yelp help stir up interest in new restaurants. Blogs like Grub St an Eater keep New York foodies up-to-date on food and restaurant news. I think blogs help foster a healthier and more delicious attitude towards food in the U.S. Just go look on Tastespotting for all the delicious recipes and dining out experiences.

But if a blog dislikes a restaurant’s food? Well blogs MUST be the downfall of humanity!! Of course! Why didn’t I see it earlier?!?! It seems that chefs dislike the way technology is shaping the way people communicate their interests and their lives. If chefs like Bill Kim ran the world, you could blog about how your cat can play fetch like a dog, but you can’t blog about how you ate at a restaurant. And do chefs come out and say, “Man, all those bloggers who love my food? Completely unreasonable people! Compare them to those diners who enjoy my food and never blog about it! We need more of the latter!” No, you never hear that from chefs.

What you do hear is a disdain when a blog dislikes a chef’s restaurant or its food. And if there are anonymous comments left on a forum like chowhound, then we must go on a witch hunt!

As a whole, bloggers help. But its easy to exercise extrapolation unfairly. A few anonymous commentors do not define the entire blogosphere. It would be like me saying, “oh hey, Taco Bell represents all restaurants!” How stupid does that sound? And I’m ok if chefs wanna compare my blog as the taco bell of blogs. I’m down with being grody and diarrhea-inducing. But that doesn’t mean all blogs are like mine.

Yes, it must be tough when you are in a business where everyone of your customers can judge your product. That’s the restaurant business. That’s the music business or the movie industry or many others that depend on materialistic consumption. No one is taking pictures of an actuary or a particle physicist and blogging about it. Does it make it unfair to blog about a restaurant? I think it comes with the territory. If you have a good restaurant, it’s going to survive even if there are unreasonable bloggers out there. Because if it’s good, there will be positive reaction from other bloggers to cancel out the noise.

Of course all this said is pointless because chefs can easily just disallow photography at a restaurant. Momofuku Ko did this to some fan fare earlier this year (but since I disagree with the action, not gonna find a link for it). The easiest way for a restaurant to combat blogging is to simply disallow it. It’s perfectly within their rights to do and if the restaurant is good enough, people will go anyway.

All of that was pointless. And my biggest pet peeve will go away as soon as chefs with blogging pet peeves stop being unreasonable and open their eyes. Or maybe I should just go eat at Urban Belly and compare it to taco bell. I dunno, what’s better? Should I relax or be unreasonable?

Posted by Danny on October 20, 2008 at 3:43 pm

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