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Food and Putting it in Our Faces


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We have a place in Arlington "Taste of Europe" that serves good Russian and Ukrainian food. I go there often because not only is the food good but I can talk to someone in Ukrainian so I don't forget how.  They also sell lots of Russian and Ukrainian household gifts and Soviet military surplus.  

 

There is a banya in Carrollton that has a restaurant but I've never been. I hear it is good though.  We also have place called Taste of Poland in Plano, cafe and market style place. Food there is great. 

 

Other than that, my home cooked meals are from  my Russian neighbor and the nice Ukrainian girl that works at my barber shop who brings in food all the time. 

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Meh. I get where he's coming from. But that doesn't explain away the issue with how processed food has evolved - or devolved rather - in the past couple of decades coupled with a more sedentary lifestyle.

The latter is the larger problem of course. And hundreds of millions of people stuffing their craws with Lil Debbie's and pink-sludge McDonald's burgers.

If you want to espouse insta processed food then fine. But why not use that technological progress they're advocating to produce healthier AND better tasting food for the consumer rather than meals that consist of cheaper and inferior ingredients which are sold at higher prices?

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I think it's not necessary to naysay all processed foods. Hams and bacons are after all processed, as are cheeses, and nobody really complains about them. The Philippines, much to my surprise, also has a pretty damn good canned goods industry - something passed down by the Spanish and which snuck past the American period.

 

The issue really is the overcommercialization and trying to mass-produce stuff that stop being food and instead are just a bunch of chemicals slopped together. Shit like soy sauce made out of plastic is the worrisome trend, not that people are using soy sauce.

 

In part, the US government is to blame because they idiotically mandated the removal of a lot of fat from processed foods, causing everyone to switch to high fructose corn syrup instead, which resulted in that huge boom in diabetes and obesity that would have paradoxically not happened had folks stuck to butter instead like all the 19th Century epicurians already knew (they knew that it was too much bread/carbohydrate/sugar consumption, not fat consumption, that caused obesity)

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Meh. I get where he's coming from. But that doesn't explain away the issue with how processed food has evolved - or devolved rather - in the past couple of decades coupled with a more sedentary lifestyle.

The latter is the larger problem of course. And hundreds of millions of people stuffing their craws with Lil Debbie's and pink-sludge McDonald's burgers.

If you want to espouse insta processed food then fine. But why not use that technological progress they're advocating to produce healthier AND better tasting food for the consumer rather than meals that consist of cheaper and inferior ingredients which are sold at higher prices?

 

I'm also seeing a spike in appreciation in my industry as well. Young folks don't want to eat garbage anymore. In the same way with how we were able to get lots of sweets in the HFCS boom and went overboard, the people raised on that are starting to rebel from what I can tell. It's really quite nice, and since it takes more effort and expertise to make real, good food, kitchen incomes are starting to finally get a little higher.

 

I regularly get people who will either squeal over glee when I mention I work a truck, or people who scoff at me being a part of a fad. I don't see food trucks as some big game-changer. They'll likely die back out in a few years, with mainstays sticking around. The big thing they have going for them are:

 

1) Cheap. The core problem with the modern American restaurant is cost. You either need to build a building, which is incredibly expensive, or take over an older one which can be (oddly enough) even more expensive. Code inspections are not grandfathered in, so lots of hapless owners who just spent the last 80% of their budget on fancy tableware are side-swiped by the fact that they need to spend $10,000+ each on new fire-proofing, ventilation, and plumbing after forking over ten life-savings' worth of dough for the liquor license. This means that someone who's worked as a chef for 30k a year is right out as a financier on a restaurant. Most people in the US who fund a restaurant opening are either a single wealthy individual or a group of fickle people with no interest or experience in the industry who want an immediate return on their investments.

 

2) Most are started by people with the actual interest in food. The latter two groups of people produce a lot of problems that result in bad restaurants. It's usually said that to open a restaurant, someone needs more money than brains. Unfortunately, when someone's money is at stake, they really want control over everything. Since we've established that these people aren't particularly bright, they pretty much proceed to fucking shit right up as the first customers sit down. I've worked at places that demanded a 6% food cost to the point where we were butterflying Tyson's garbage "chicken" while the owner tried every scheme in the book or the investment hive-mind would fire a chef "wasting" money by not having a gigantic menu meant to please every pleb on the planet. There's just this giant snowball of stupid horseshit that could have been avoided if people were patient and realized that people want some good food. Food trucks are typically run by people who want to make good food, so if you want to eat from someone who at least wants to try, then it beats the traditional US restaurant system of trying to sucker what you can out of people. Cutting all of this results in:

 

3) Simplicity of service. "The customer is always right" is so dangerous in the business, especially these days. This common problem is "one person complained, go to DefCon 4." One person complained the prime rib looked undercooked, so now we need to make it into well-done superheated carbon that nobody will eat. The waitstaff refuses to even politely recommend against a customer's request, resulting in several customers who would have enjoyed something new leaving un-satisfied due to their own (perfectly acceptable, mind you) ignorance. Being able to sell what we make removes so much of the stupid garbage of management and poor service. I made something, now I can sell it. I don't have to have a waiter acquiesce to every whim out of fear of losing a gratuity. I can say "My way or the high way."

 

We still insist the best day we ever had was the day where we broke down to a few peoples' demands and passive-aggressively served our version of the "Classic" American Taco: Ground beef, lettuce, cheese and tomato made with local farm ingredients. Our regulars didn't like it, and it was one of our worst days. The next week we run the weirdest fucking crap we could think of and sold out every day. We've had so many people just succumb and try our food the way we recommend it, and have them come back regularly afterwards because I made what I thought was good and convinced them to try it. I think of what would have happened if I had left out this or that in the "sauce-on-the-side" vein of my more conventional jobs. We'd have probably just had people who ate what they wanted to eat, and gained no interest. It pays to remember that you sell a product, and it doesn't hurt to try to sell that damned product.

 

 

By no means am I saying trucks are superior, or that there aren't a few dumb-dumbs serving bad food out of them. I'm just saying that they have an edge in allowing people to try to enter the market without the usual hurdles that block perfectly adequate proposals or people from starting something up.

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I'm not sure if this deserves its own thread but a question on eggs. Particularly fried eggs. I prefer mine with runny yokes (over easy) which lends itself to the culinary pleasure of sopping up the leftover yoke with a well-buttered piece of toast.

My wife on the other hand prefers her eggs cooked until they are rubbery enough to bounce. True this lowers the risk of salmonella. But it also takes away the joy de vivre of a traditional English or American breakfast.

Which egg perpetration is the breakfast master race?

 

dosent matter how you cook them, everything on your plate should be drowned in hash browns, pepper sauce, cheese and bacon. 

 

Im gonna need all the oral pleasure energy i can get for my 9 hour desk jokey job, and occasional drive out to work sites in air conditioned imported trucks

*has 5th heart attack of the day*

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dosent matter how you cook them, everything on your plate should be drowned in hash browns, pepper sauce, cheese and bacon. 

 

Im gonna need all the oral pleasure energy i can get for my 9 hour desk jokey job, and occasional drive out to work sites in air conditioned imported trucks

*has 5th heart attack of the day*

You eat at Denny's a lot?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Not ghetto, just different. The sausage is probably the same or similar, I just get mine at a local eastern European deli. The cheese I use is just cream cheese from sheep and the bread is similar to a bagel. 

Well, it still sounds tasty enough.  Keilbasa/Cheese/Mustard/bread is a freaking good combo no matter how you call it.  Heck, as long as you like the base sausage flavor, thats a pretty good sandwich with almost any sausage.

 

Edit: Substitute local bread/sausage/cheese and add mustard, and prolly 99%  90% of the time I'll be happy.

 

Edit: Let's be real. There is some fucked up sausage combos out there that taste pretty odd.

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So SH foodies, what is your favorite simple sandwich?  5 ingredients or less.

 

I'm nomming on a Keilbasa/Cheddar/yellow mustard/bread/margarine sandwich and it's pretty tasty. Would usually use butter, but I'm out, so semi-acceptable margarine is in use.

 

Bacon (crispy), Lettuce, Tomato, Cheddar Cheese, and Egg. Thomas Keller's BLT essentially.

 

Also, margarine is heresy no matter the circumstance.

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