This Week In Food Blogs: Bastard Cuisine or Mutt City Dining?

Seattle Weekly: After visiting Houston for the weekend, Hanna Raskin -- the food critic at our sister paper in Seattle -- came away impressed with what she calls "a city which should be atop the travel wish list of any enthusiastic eater right now." Raskin dined at some of the city's more well-known hot-spots such as Oxheart and Underbelly while she was here, writing:

In addition to a legendary global foodways scene, bolstered by the absence of zoning codes, Houston's home to a crew of talented young chefs who care deeply about the flavors linked with the region's immigrant communities and the Gulf of Mexico, which helped lure many of the city's newest residents halfway across the planet. To eat a hakurei turnip baked in salt with pecans and beef fat, followed by steamed scamp grouper with a sofrito of preserved shellfish - as I did at Justin Yu and Karen Man's Oxheart - is to eat in H-Town.

CultureMap: One person who wasn't as impressed with Raskin's write-up was Sarah Rufca at CultureMap, who took umbrage with Raskin's affectionate referral to Houston's cooking as "bastard cuisine." Wrote Rufca: "Even if the bastard title can be separated from the person doing the cooking, the term still reeks of pejorative connotations, marking Houston's mutt cuisine (ugh, for lack of a better term) as something that debases the original."

Romenesko And speaking of responses... After last week's scathing review of Guy Fieri's new Times Square restaurant by New York Times food critic Pete Wells, media critic and journalist's journalist Jim Romenesko gathered the thoughts of a dozen food critics nationwide on which of their own reviews have been similarly incendiary or elicited similar responses from diners. Romenesko spotlighted our own reviews of Maggie Rita's and Vida Sexy Tex-Mex among many others from across the nation.

29-95: Although we were initially turned off by the sheer number of toddlers running wild during our first visit to Cottonwood -- the new craft beer bar/icehouse in Garden Oaks -- a second visit (and some excellently spiced jerk chicken wings) have us agreeing with Nikki Metzgar that the new spot already seems quite promising.

Eater Houston: Wondering about the status of OKRA's upcoming Charity Bar downtown? Eater Houston editor Eric Sandler checks in and discovers that the crew has come up with some very interesting fundraising techniques to secure the money necessary for revitalizing and revamping the old space on Congress.

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