Sampler Plate: This Week in Food Blogs

City of Ate: Our sister paper in Dallas interviewed Anthony Bourdain in advance of his new show, 48 Hours, and as Bourdain is wont to do, he dispensed some straightforward talk about his "low opinion" of Dallas Morning News critic Leslie Brenner, why anonymity in a food critic isn't critically important and Dallas as a "dining nowheresville." Our recent review of Brasserie 19 and its picky diners also came up in conversation, prompting Bourdain to remark: "But I sympathize with a chef that has to deal with that -- who's trying to raise their game and trying to do things as well as they can and their customers haven't caught up with them yet or learned to trust them."

The Loop Scoop: Earlier this week, reader Eric Sandler directed us to The Loop Scoop's recent review of Plonk by saying, "Honestly wondering if the @TheLoopScoop Plonk review isn't a joke. It is fucking terrible. You have to read it." Well, with an endorsement like that... Fellow foodies joined in, chiding the review's use of words like "mustard-y" and the author's non-sequitur about picking clover as a kid. It's not my job to review reviews, so I'll just say this: Any attention given to Plonk is good attention in my book. I love the charming little wine bar-cum-bistro, and am glad to see that others do too.

Eater Houston: Eater's last Heat Map was a guide to where to eat in Houston right now. This latest Heat Map features a different set of hot spots: where to get great cocktails in Houston right now. We're pleased to see some of favorites on the list, including The Queen Vic, El Gran Malo and Trevisio.

29-95: Chris Reid stirred up a minor hornet's nest earlier this week by writing about Tiny Boxwoods' "tiny empire." Reid suggested that the place was always crowded because the food -- while not "exciting" -- was "simple, well-prepared and consistently good." Commenters on the article and on Twitter disagreed, saying that TB is overpriced and overrated. Where do you fall?

Almost Veggie Houston: If you, like me, weren't able to make it to any of Justin Basye and Peter Jahnke's Les Sauvages dinners, live vicariously through this blog post from Almost Veggie Houston to see what you missed.

Fox News Latino: For a remedial course on why we love Chef Hugo Ortega so much, read this article from Ruth Samuelson on the Ortega brothers' journey from the slums of Mexico City to Houston. Hugo himself was homeless for a period of time, a gentle reminder as we approach the holiday season that everyone can use a helping hand from time to time -- and that not everyone who is homeless stays homeless.

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