Congrats NY Giants! And while I’m on the subject, I finally found the best food in Indianapolis: El Pastorcito, righteous Mexican food. Think Posole and Menudo.
I am curious what you think is the overall the best, most consistent, honest place to grab Mexican eats in the Twin Cities. I mean real food . . . don’t give me a taco or torta only joint. A restaurant. Doesn’t have to be fancy, doesn’t have to be anything more than delicious and real. Please reply to these pages and let me know. First person to impress me gets a signed copy of one of my books.
RedVioletChicago.com is open for business. Not honest or authentic, but some tasty grub. I think the concept will work here—maybe even downtown—it’s the perfect place for groups and lunches. Why won’t gussied up Chinese work in this town? Discuss.
Cool hotels work in our town. The Graves 601 just got a mini facelift: There’s a new chef at Cosmos, and a new snacky menu. There are new drinks, new lamps, and the makeover extends to the check-in area in hotel and several other environments. Ben Graves needs to be given the entrepreneur of the decade award for keeping his business relevant and meaningful and trying every year to dial it in better and bigger. You might not like what you see, or eat, maybe it’s not for you, but because he is consistently pursuing excellence, when he hits a home run it will always be with men on base. Count on it. No one I root harder for than my pals at Graves 601.
Speaking of hotels, I stay in a lot of them. Here are a few openings if you are a business traveler that you should be aware of: Four Seasons Hotel in Baltimore has a year round infinity pool overlooking the harbor. Michael Mina is opening two restaurants there, which will sort of automatically improve the food scene in that town dramatically. The Saguaro in Scottsdale, Arizona, used to be the Theodore. Jose Garces just opened a new resto in the hotel called Distrito and for my money, Scottsdale is fast becoming quite the little food Mecca. I also think you should try Public in Chicago, Ian Schrager’s first hotel in the Heartland. The Pump Room serves Jean-Georges Vongerichten small plates late at night. Groovy. But best of all, Jacques Garcia of the Paris Hotel Costes is opening NoMad hotel in March in NYC. Even better, my pals Will and Dan from Eleven Madison Park have created a menu that will is all about family-style dishes cooked over an open hearth. I can’t wait. Book your room now.
Tonight at 8:00 p.m. the Seattle episode of Bizarre Foods America airs on Travel Channel. The Seattle Times posted a nice piece to get you salivating. Seriously, the series gets better every week. Boston, Detroit, West Virginia all on tap this month . . . set your DVRs
For whatever reason HuffPo is having problems displaying Ricky Gervais’s essay on fame. It’s a great read, click over and see if it’s still up. He sees his success as the thing that makes him work harder and harder, all the time. And he alludes to the pursuit of excellence as a foundation for all he does as well. His point about some poll respondents wanting to be ‘famous’ as a career says a lot about our culture and our time in America. His new series about reality stars pokes fun at this conceit and I can’t wait to see it.
Several years ago I applauded Big Bowl for doing something unique and trying to own a space in the mall restaurant pantheon that seemed worth pursuing. Bruce Cost was doing their menus at the time, and he is a knowledgeable and talented chef. He must be gone from the corporation because my last two meals there have been absolutely horrible. La Choy makes better chow and it swings American in cans. OK that was a little harsh, but bad food is one thing. Bad food at big prices, masquerading as good food is a rip off. Someone needs to help those folks out; they are one step away from becoming Pei Wei.