Welcome back to the weekly roundup here at Eating...Our Words, where we've spent the last few days allergy-sick, lying around watching cable TV and wondering who has the worst rate of success: Intervention or Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares. With some of the restaurant owners they feature, it seems like there would be multiple opportunities for those shows to cross over.
We started the week off right with a look at five great aguas frescas from around town. A little advice from yours truly: If a taco truck offers agua fresca, try it out. It's probably gonna be pretty damn good.
We also had a look at snobbery in craft beer, which is a little out of control. We're all for connoisseurs with an abiding love for their product, but craft beer has devolved into a bunch of tough guys trying to out-bitter one another. I had a local lager the other day that was hoppier than many IPAs I've had. A bitter lager? Come on, guys. Rein it in, for shit's sake. It's okay to make a beer that's refreshing and somewhat drinkable every now and then.
That having been said, we don't care if we get accused for calling out the woefully ill-informed list of "dive" bars published by our friends at 29-95. Boondocks? Seriously? My back porch is more of a dive bar than Boondocks. The beer runs out quickly and our neighbors like to call the cops, but at least there won't ever be any frat boys.
One of two big stories this week: Chronicle food critic Alison Cook shed the last of her anonymity this week, which...fine. Anonymity is outdated anyway. Not only is it impractical in the digital age, but guess what: Even if a shitty restaurant does its best to impress you at the last minute, it's still going to be shitty. Just because a kitchen manager recognizes your face doesn't mean he can suddenly muster up something amazing if he's running a slophouse.
We found a decent pizza place that delivers to our area, spent a hell of an amazing day in San Francisco and came up with five ridiculous things to put in a ridiculous $630 lunch bag. Isn't it great that once you're an established artist, you can create any old thing and charge hundreds of dollars for it because fuck everybody, you're an artist?
Torchy's Taco's was tepid rather than tantalizing, tanking toward terrible taste with their tragic Tex-Mex. Ugh, I hope I don't ever feel like that kind of sentence is worth doing ever again. Here's a list of ten great pub burgers in Houston and another one about stuff you can cook in a muffin pan that ain't muffins. Yes, every muffin pan is also a Make Little Bowls Out of Weird Shit pan.
An anniversary dinner at Brennan's? Hell, that almost seems worth staying in a relationship for a year. Of course, as the man, I'd be the one paying. THANKS A LOT, SOCIETY. I'll probably just stick to the buffalo wings and the making, on average, of 27 cents more on the dollar than the lady folk.
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SHOW ME HOW
Finally, the other big story of the week has to do with a group of concerned, civic-minded individuals who got organized, got their facts together and got the opinions of experts and told Houston City Council the simple truth that: Hey, the food truck industry is one that we're at best ignoring and at worst intentionally suppressing here in the Bayou City. The City Council's response to their very reasonable arguments: "DERP, TERRORISM."
I'm gonna go hang out at the backyard dive bar and whip empties into the neighbors' pool.