Tag Archives: westword

We love our [office] ‘hood

The neighborhood around our office won Westword’s Best Neighborhood Shopping District – 2013!  We are unintentionally hip!

I was also very pleased to see that East Asia Garden won Best Chinese Restaurant.  First of all, it’s an encouraging sign of Denver’s maturing food tastes that they’ve stopped giving the award to The Imperial, where white table cloths and fancy décor distract mainstream dining Denver from the gloppy, tasteless, Americanized food.

But more than that, East Asia Garden has some seriously badassly keepin it real Chinese dishes.  Like

East Asia Garden

and

East Asia Garden 02

and the best damn dumplings in Denver.

Update – I don’t even understand the grammar of this poster, yet since it’s in our office ‘hood, I am hip by association.  Um, right?

2013-03-29_19-23-59_47

In defense of Guy Fieri, or at least Triple-D

I’d like to take a break from the frivolity of blogging about abortion, constitutional theory, and peace in the middle east, to address a truly important topic:  Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.  Guy Fieri (né Ferry it turns out) has come in for some recent and apparently not so recent crap for being an over-exposed douche with a couple of crappy restaurants.  The Westword dis and the NYT wrecking ball are both worth reading, if for no other reason than to stock up on entertaining invective such as “hair like space-alien pornstar pubes” or “whirling hypno wheel … where adjectives and nouns spin in a crazy vortex.”  Gotta remember that last one for my next opposition brief!

And it’s true that Fieri may be a bit overexposed, what with the TV show, the other TV show, the TV game show, the original restaurants, the new restaurant, the website, the books, the accessories, and the constant need to come up with new ways to say “off the hook!” “out of bounds!” and “on the _____ to flavortown!”*

But I’d like to stand up for Triple-D – Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.

Diners Drive-ins and Dives

In this show, Guy drives around in his signature red convertible (OK, probably flies to where some truck has recently delivered his signature red convertible – I get the kitsch but really don’t mind it!) to the sorts of restaurants that serve yummy food but may not make the Michelin Guide or even Zagat’s.  I disagree with Westword that he sets himself up as

the proverbial white knight of normal, average, hard-working, unpretentious Midwestern diners who are oppressed and marginalized by hoity-toity East and West Coast chefs and their expensive, unapproachable, foreign-sounding dishes.

In fact what he does is celebrate a certain kind of non-chain, non-fancy restaurant with good food and – this is what I love the most – a good story.  The restaurants are true celebrations of American creativity and entrepreneurialism.  Some have been in a family for generations.  Others were started by a couple with a small nest egg and a love for cooking, or by a classically-trained chef who wanted to call his own shots, or – my favorite, because these are the ones I am most likely to track down – by an immigrant family recalling and cooking their grandmother’s recipes, sometimes sending back to the old country for missing ingredients.

The shows always involve interviews with diners, who extoll the food and, often, the owners.  Hell, some of the customers have been coming since they were kids, or their parents or grandparents ate at the same place.

It’s a celebration of good food and friendly restaurants as creators and sustainers of community.

So, yeah, Guy has a bit too much signature-this and –that (bleached tips, backward sunglasses, weird goatee, flip flops,** cargo shorts, red convertible, repetitious slang), but who on the telly doesn’t have a shtick?  We tune in for the restaurants, the people, their stories, and the food.  And have tracked down many a Triple-D joint on our travels, almost always to good result.

Extra bonus Conan O’Brien/Guy Fieri spoof:  Brozen Brogurt:  The Frozen Yogurt Just for Bros!

*************

* Tim and I always try to gauge Guy’s real view of the food he’s tasting on camera by the vehicle on which he is traveling to Flavortown.  Someday some poor joint is going to whip up their specialty for Guy and hear that it’s “on the mo-ped to Flavortown!”

** I do wonder about the flip flops and the health code.  Don’t want to get in the way of the signature, though!