Everybody Loves Romano Beans

Recently on Twitter, someone named @Bobby Tweeted: “The worst writing online is those quirky 17-paragraph preambles recipe bloggers post before telling you what to put in your fuckin lasagna.”

You might think that a Tweet like this (which has over 12,000 likes and 3,000 RTs) might enrage someone like me who spent over a decade of my life writing quirky seventeen-paragraph preambles before telling people what to put in their f-ing lasagna, but actually, I totally agree with this Tweet. In fact, this Tweet speaks to why I kind of gave up food blogging two years ago. The writing seemed besides the point; I was just becoming a resource for recipes rather than a person whose words mattered. In a screenplay or a script for a TV show, every word matters; in fact, sometimes you get into hour-long discussions with producers or actors about one or two words that you feel strongly about. So when the writing on food blogs started to feel disposable, I lost interest. What’s the point of writing on here if no one really cares about what you’re saying?

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East Coast vs. West Coast Porchetta

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On a cold December day in New York, I took the 6 train down from the Upper East Side to the Astor Place stop with porchetta on my mind. No, not Sara Jenkins’ glorious Porchetta sandwich served at her sandwich spot so devoted to porchetta it’s called, well, Porchetta. This time I was headed to Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria to try a porchetta sandwich that made a bit of a splash when it first appeared a year or two ago. Now the New York food media has moved on, as it tends to do, and that sandwich continues to be served with slightly less fanfare. I knew I had to give it a try before it disappeared entirely.

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Stop It With The Small Plates! (Except Where They Work)

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Dear Restaurant Owners,

The jig is up! Do you think I’m a chump? Do you think I don’t see through you and your small plate menus?

You’re trying to get me to spend more money than I want to! Instead of offering up an individual-sized appetizer for $12 to $15 and an entree in the $20 to $30 range, you’re asking me and my tablemates to each order several $12 to $15 dishes—at several restaurants, recently, we were instructed to order “six to seven” of these small plates per person. It’s been years since I got a 1 on my A.P. Calculus exam, but I’m pretty sure that adds up to at least $80 a pop before drinks, dessert, tax and tip. Why don’t you just put a pistol to our heads and demand that we empty our wallets on the table before allowing us to see a menu?

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The Apple Pan, Gjelina Take Away & The Lazy Ox Canteen

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I’m terrible at geography (please don’t ask me to find Iowa on a map) but I’m wonderful at food geography, especially when I know a city really well. In New York, friends would call me on a regular basis with queries like: “I’m going to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and need a place for an afternoon snack before going to a 5 PM chamber music concert at The Frick.” (Answer: Cafe Sabarsky.) Here in L.A., though, I’m on shaky ground (earthquakes notwithstanding). I’m new here and when a food geography issue arises, I’m not as quick on my feet. But I’m getting better.

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