Category Archives: Books

Discussions about restaurants in the New York Times

The data start in 1880 and run through 2013. Based on my visual reading of the chart, discussion of Chinese restaurants appears to have peaked in the 1940s (!). German restaurants are the biggest loser over time, with plunges during … Continue reading

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*Land of Fish and Rice: Recipes from the Culinary Heart of China*

That will be the new Fuchsia Dunlop book, due out in October, July in the UK, self-recommending. Her work is far more than recipes, but rather an extended meditation on food, history, culture and many other things. She is one … Continue reading

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The Aztec diet was more nutritious than it may seem at first

Colin M. MacLachlan, in his splendid Imperialism and the Origins of Mexican Culture, reports: 1. Corn gruel and tamales were reinforced with fish, seeds of various kinds, fruit, and honey. 2. Beans were supplemented with meat from iguanas, armadillos, and … Continue reading

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*The Language of Food: A Linguist Reads the Menu*

That is the new and excellent book by Dan Jurafsky, due out this September, and I found it interesting throughout. Here is just one bit: In fact, the more Yelp reviewers mention dessert, the more they like the restaurant. Reviewers … Continue reading

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Do Americans prefer hand-held foods?

Abigail Carroll opines: Are there any dishes or foods that you would classify as typically, or even exclusively, “American?” A number of iconic foods—hot dogs and hamburgers, snack food—are hand-held. They’re novelties associated with entertainment. These are the kinds of … Continue reading

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Lines are overrated, and totally empty restaurants are underrated

Some readers (or journalists) ask me if I have further principles for finding good food which are not outlined in my ethnic dining guide or in An Economist Gets Lunch. Of course I do, though many of them are not … Continue reading

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Michael Pollan’s “Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation”

Here is the bottom line: The premise of this book is that cooking — defined broadly enough to take in the whole spectrum of techniques people have devised for transforming the raw stuff of nature into nutritious and appealing things … Continue reading

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My talk at Arlington Public Library, April 3, 2013

The talk is available on YouTube: WEDNESDAY, APRIL 3, 2013 6:00 pm – Food Trucks Open for Business 7:00 pm – Lecture, Q&A with the Author Arlington Public Library, 1015 North Quincy Street, Arlington, VA 22201 (Metro Trip Planner) RSVP … Continue reading

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Chasin’ Tails, Cajun Seafood and Bar

Chasin’ Tails, Cajun Seafood and Bar, web site, (it is in The WestLee building, Google Maps does not display this address properly, use 2198) 2200 N Westmoreland Street, Arlington, VA, 703-538-2565 (Metro Trip Planner – opens in new window) [Google … Continue reading

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Dinner with Fuchsia Dunlop

I am pleased to have shared a meal at A&J Manchurian restaurant, in Rockville with the charming Fuchsia Dunlop. You may recall that Fuchsia has written what I consider to be the very best Chinese cookbooks in English and indeed … Continue reading

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