In today’s food sections, joy was abundant. A kind of euphoria threaded its way through each of the pieces. The best? Here they are:
The Boston Globe
1. Actual title, swea’ ta gawd: “Taking nachos to the next level.” Here the reporter went to area restaurants and sampled the nachos to see which ones made it to, “The Next Level.” I was unaware, prior to reading this well-researched piece, that levels existed with nachos. Many varieties were described with the one that was so clearly the next level being Chocolate Nachos served at Cottonwood Cafe. When the Michelin guide finally makes it to Boston, this dish may be the one that is described as, “worth a detour.” The runner-up, close to the next level, but not quite there, are the Italian Nachos, “topped with beef Bolognese, ricotta, mozzarella, and hot cherry peppers,” and served at Anchovies–the reviewer wisely notes, “Definitely ask for a fork.”
2. Fascinating piece on school lunches in which celebrity chefs tell kids what to eat. Not a single nutritionist is quoted.
3. A wonderful recipe, no kidding, for country vegetable soup by Peter Davies from Henrietta’s Table in the Charles Hotel. This guy has a straight-ahead, unpretentious kitchen with terrific ingredients.
The New York Times
1. Bruce Seidel from The Food Network is launching a hipster network: Cooking Channel. Very cool idea. Roll up your sleeves, learn to cook, watch how it’s done, no nonsense. (Full disclosure: I once sat next to Mr. Seidel on an Amtrak train from NYC to Boston and he was shouting into his cell phone, which I thought rude at the time. I wanted to say, “OK, you’re a big food network executive, but indoor voices please,” but instead just sat there quietly not wanting to offend. Talk about ironic. I mean he was the one being offensive, not me. But I digress.)
2. A great Pad Thai recipe by Mark Bittman.
3. Jidori chicken. Folks, this is good chicken, I’ve had it in Japan, but it’s not a whole lot different from the birds from PA. The writer notes that the chickens, “are fed all vegetarian diets, without antibiotics,” which is how most chickens are fed, nothing new about that. Mind, the fact that these chickens are free range and therefore eat crickets, worms, bugs, dung, and paint chips is not noted. The fellow who processes them in his plant, Dennis Mao, is quoted: “You don’t just grow a chicken, you form a relationship.” The writer left out the part that the relationship ends when Mr. Mao’s workers kill them all.
This taco is most definitely not at The Next Level: