Tuesday, January 06, 2009

way to go, sacbee

Right on, Sacbee!  A real, critical restaurant review.  Well written, informative.  For a sec I thought this was written by a woman (Blair being an androgynous name), but how foolish that I would think that the Bee would hire a woman to write about food.  Everyone knows that women just know about birthin' babies.  Besides that little snipe I'm stoked.  Check the comments.  That is some harsh chop busting!  I find it very intriguing that BR answered back to the criticism, and in a spirited way.  I agree that it's too early to write about the Grange but I enjoyed the review.

If you happen to be feeling helpless about the situation in Gaza and would like to do something, however small, a guy from this organization was on Democracy Now and was talking about how they're getting a wave of donations.  Yesterday's Democracy Now had a pretty riveting debate between a UN worker and a pro-Israel NGO person.  The gloves came off.

26 comments:

The Armeniac said...

Yeah what a debate! THe UN worker was right on point and the "NGO" spokeswoman, sorry to use quotes but that was real funny when she said her group, called the Israel Project , was not affiliated with the Israeli Govt., was hitting all the right talking points. I liked the 15 second thing, settlers can only take 15 second showers, have 15 seconds to decide which child to take with them to the shelter. I feel bad for anybody under fire but they have a dram life compared to Gazans. At least they have a shower and a shelter. Such a strange irony that Israel is becoming what it's people sought to escape.

beckler said...

I thought when he queried her about how this could conceivably help with a lasting peace that she was demolished. There is no way you could pretend that would help with that. His British accent also helped him triumph over her valley girl speak.

The Armeniac said...

Totally Dude! Being on the right side of an argument is good, but arguing the right cause in a British accent is better! She did the old right wing thing of truckin on even though her arguments were weak and indeed demolished. Just keep talking and the talking points will come true. Oh, mah gawd, like gag me with a spoon.

Anonymous said...

Good restaurant review, except for how he perpetuates that old long-ago-debunked saw about searing meat to seal in the juices (or as he puts it,drawing them to the center)

JD

beckler said...

Good point. When will people read some McGee and drop that old chestnut? People are so attached to all those food techniques that sound like they would work. I'm sure I have plenty that I believe in. Like spitting in the soup to add flavor.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the old Heckasac kitchen classic peeing in the marmalade.

-miller

Liv Moe said...

Have we solved the diarrhea conundrum from earlier?

Count Mockula said...

Blair Anthony Robinson is probably my favorite SacBee writer right now -- he's been writing fantastic profiles and features for a couple years. I saw when Mike Dunne retired that Robinson was taking over and I was pleased. Oh yes, pleased.

My verification word is brathoar. I'm insulted.

beckler said...

Diarrhea mystery! It was Professor Plum in the study with the wrench.

The Armeniac said...

It was Professor Plum in the study wretching!! Ha ha,

Anonymous said...

I'm just curious as to why you think the Bee purposefully didn't hire a female food critic - they have a female movie critic and a female music critic - it hardly seems like there's sexism going on ...

BlairRobertson said...

Beckler, thank you for the kind words. That's nice of you. I have enjoyed your blog for some time. I had wanted to have a blogger as a guest critic (eat with me, write a sidebar review), but was told you were not ready to go public.

As for comments: Yes, I'm not one of those roll-over-and-take-it (perhaps that phrasing is awkward) kind of guys, especially when people are rude and dumb. Rude and smart, I can handle. I'm very nice to nice people.

I'm also a fan of Harold McGee (Shirley O. Corriher, too). I don't think I said searing locks in the juices; more like chases them toward the center of the cut of meat. The chef and I talked (on the phone) about that in quite a bit of detail. But I'm always interested in getting it right, so I'll grab that book off the shelf tonight and go over it. I've seared a few filet mignons in my time (then put them in the oven to finish), but I never thought I was locking in the juices. Nevertheless, it's nice that there are readers out there who are that particular. As a writer, and as the new restaurant critic, that's inspiring.

beckler said...

Wow, thanks! I'm only fuzzy on what McGee said. I didn't particularly notice that bit, the commenter did. I've never heard of Shirley O. Corriher. I'll keep my eye out.

Anonymous commenter, I didn't say the Bee purposefully did that. It just occurred to me that their food coverage has been handled in the last few years by four men and 0 women. That could mean nothing or something about the people who have been doing the hiring. Perhaps I am wrong, and I have forgotten about someone.

BlairRobertson said...

Just for a little clarity: the managing editor, the executive editor, the publisher, as well as the features editor and city editor are all women. As far as that issue goes, I'm not sure there are too many papers, if any, in the entire country with that line-up.

beckler said...

Hmmm, so the women are the ones being sexist! I smell a lawsuit.

ClarificationsDept. said...

The Bee's food coverage has not been "handled in the last few years by four men and 0 women." Though not a critic, Gwen Schoen was a prominent part of the Bee's "Taste" section, and Terri Watson is still in the mix. Gwen's tradition of "how to" videos is being kept alive by the very-female Gina Kim.

JustBeingAnnoying said...

And there's no difference between women being food/wine critics & women basically teaching Home Ec.

Anonymous said...

Spin it how you want, but it's simply incorrect to say the Bee's "food coverage has been handled in the last few years by four men and 0 women."

smitty said...

2009 is when we watch as even more newspapers go belly up. Crap economy, declining ad revenue and weird refusal to figure out the internet has them on the ropes.

It's the "back in my day" thinking and not figuring out they need to hire people who know what a gosh darned facebook is. I don't mean hiring a few who know how to use it. Hell, even my 71 year old dad is on facebook, but people who understand the use of social sites, twitter and stuff like that. Things like making the back issues freely available and google-able.

Maybe the Bee will continue its spiral into the Union and Pennysaver world.

According to the comments, the Bee appears to be run by women. They aren't usually as hard headed as men, so hopefully they'll figure out that the Bee is a local site. More local news and reviews. The AP is useless.

Part of it is the Bee as Yelp only with known reviewers. For instance, I know heckasac personally (I'm such a name-dropper) and I know that movies I love, she hates, and movies that she loves, I hate. It's not that black and white since we both love Grizzly Man, but you get the point.

Still, heckasac describes movies (that I know I probably won't like) in such an interesting and exciting way, that I netflix them anyway. The power of the press and having someone trustworthy.

Basically, there's no point in reading the Bee for news that isn't local. The site is a pain to use even with Firefox and AdBlock Plus.

It's a local site, so I don't mind looking at ads since they're for places I shop at, but when they became a pain, overlapping stories, I blocked them.

Did the Bee higher ups notice that heckasac points to the Bee for a local review and points to Democracy Now for an international story?

If the Bee dies, heckasac will have a moment of silence as the anonymous Bee staff petty comments fade out of existence (no persistence).

Small sites like this will combine and grow larger to replace the paper to get stories out. As soon as some Sacto blogger develops a fetish for city council meetings, you're doomed.

Spin it how you want, but making snide comments about issues that were corrected by the ClarificationsDept 20 minutes before your comment is so 5 minutes ago. "Spin it how you want" was last years "gnarly" which got old in 1978.

I'm waiting for Mike R Mike to show up so we can go see This Bike is a Pipebomb and I'm rambling like an old man (see my dad on facebook). Don't worry, I expect a tl;dr out of all ya'll after I got all Soriano like. Assuming people get stuff that I don't explain well and over explaining stuff they already know.

And all to think it was an anonymous coward with the "spin it how you want" that got my goat and started my rant.

Okay, I'm going to open a bottle of Hitachino Next Beer's "White Ale". Pick up a bottle next time you're at Total Wine, Taylors doesn't have it yet, and BevMo doesn't stock the "White Ale". Maybe heckasac will start beer reviews.

1920s music (for crackers, sadly they lack on old blues): www.the1920snetwork.com

Anonymous said...

$20 to anyone who read that.

-miller

beckler said...

Did you note how I said "perhaps I am wrong"? It turns out indeed I was wrong. I am sorry I made the snipe. Maybe you have noticed that men traditionally dominate quite a few fields, sometimes even rising to the top of those very fields that are considered "women's work" (such as cooking), and that sometimes women are sensitive to that? I don't go around calling "sexism" all the time, right? So could you let me off the hook this time? That thing about the lawsuit was a joke.

beckler said...

I wish I could claim that 20. I did get the part where they went to the pipe bombs show without calling you?!?!?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, unfortunately I read that part too.

-miller

darin said...

speaking of old recordings, you can listen to or download a whole ton of edison cylinder recordings here:
Edison Cylinder Project

I hipped Old Man Olsen to this a while back, but it may have been too old-timey even for him.

smitty said...

I didn't read it either. Hence the tl;dr ending

April said...

What do you think of the SN&R's new restaurant reviewer? I find him incredibly annoying, what with the constant name-dropping.