A fried chicken, a hog and a glass of red wine

January 20th, 2011 by Daniel Leave a reply »

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1. Fried Chicken

I do not recall why I caved in and had started thumbing through the submissions on Yelp about the restaurant, but I was in fact and one of the reoccurant themes  the fried chicken. One blog contained a long litany of complimentss: citing the delicate crunch of the seasoned dredge as well as the combination of savory and sweet that so astonished the mouth. The author mentioned his food book, not by name, but did indeed write eloquently.  Go in to The Country Cat and check it out for yourself, or else go to duckspoon and try the recipe yourself.  I think you will find the requisite preparation will encourage you to visit the restaurant.

Yet the next submission was an incantation of such vile, hurtful criticisms that I had to marvel for a moment about the bitterness that the poor unfortunate  writer must have been wallowing in when she hurled that anonymous bag of digital refuse at the restaurant.  It took me a moment to collect myself and not to take it personally.  Yelp can indeed be a sticky collection of information to begin wandering through.  I wrote and essay about the double edged quality of Yelp a little while ago for showcasepdx.com.  So much in life ought to be considered with a caveat…

2. The Hog

The hogs come to us whole and we break it down. We cure the bacon for about 5 days before we smoke it, slice it and bake it.  To order we heat it up in a saute pan.  Good bacon starts with good pigs.  The pigs are well bred and treated with dignity at Sweet Briar Farms.  So it is tough, although a tad amusing, to hear someone mention that it tastes old, and that it is of poor quality.

3. A glass of red wine

Often times when people order red wine they are not sure what they want.  Rather than giving a brief tasting profile for each wine I ask them what they are looking for.  Depending on their answer I bring two wines to the table and taste them.  Sometimes I go back to get a third.  Their palate informed them which was the correct.

We have expectations.  Not only do we have qualitative and quantitative expectations for the food, but for the service and ambiance as well.  I do not suggest that we ought not to have expectations, or even that we are able to cease expecting, but that we ought to understand that as Americans we are a fortunate people who have been  coddled and wooed into a sense of entitlement and hubris.  Americans are eating upwards of 145 pounds of sugar a year…up from 5 lbs in 1905 (The Little Food Book, Craig Sams.  Alastair Sawday Publishing Company. 2004); just about everything in the supermarket tastes  like it does because of the scientists in New Jersy; obesity is now the leading cause of death in the United States.  Our whole relationship with food, with the people who grow/raise it, the people who prepare it and the relationship with the people who serve it is skewed.  How we treat each other is how we view ourselves.  How we view ourselves comes from the people we interact with and the food we eat.  I don’t beleive it is too much to ask to approach both endeavors with some consideration and with some thought.


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