¡Ask a Comida Critic!: Who are Your Favorite OC Food Bloggers?
I love you guys, remember when you first printed Shuji as Professor Salt, and have been a groupie of Edwin and Das Ubergeek since they were on the original Chowhound. I'm so glad you got them to write for the Weekly (love you too!). Are there any other local food bloggers you like?
You had to go there, didn't you? Commence flame war!
I'll start my remarks by stating the obvious: Orange County needs more food bloggers, period (and more bloggers in general, but that's another post...). Too many people waste their bon mots on Yelp, Facebook and Twitter feeds, and blog comments, or simply don't continue their blogging enough to warrant a following, which means they stop doing it in a self-fulfilling prophecy. Before he started trying to pick fights with me, SaFII's #1 fan Diamond Dog had a great blog--I even plugged it years ago. If the guy spent even an eighth of the time on his long-defunct blog that he spends 'round here, his take on cuisine would earn a devoted following. The couple HungryMomma and HungryPoppa are witty, knowledgeable and kind--and haven't updated their blog since last year. And frequent commentator digkv: whatever happened to your blog?
As for our county's regular bloggers?
For the most part, they need improvement.
The county's most-prominent food blogger, of course is the Orange County Register's Fast Food Maven, run by Nancy Luna. I've never taken her seriously, however, since she relies mostly on press releases and close connections with fast-food chains for her scoops while hardly casting a critical eye on most anything--she's the Frank Mickadeit of food criticism. Much better is Food Frenzy, nowadays run by Jeff Overley and Claudia Koerner. Their enthusiasm knows no bounds, their writing is sharp, and they call bullshit as they see it without using that word--you know, because it's the Reg.
The most epic local food blog is Orange County Mexican Restaurants by Christian Ziebarth--he's a good guy who has trekked through an amazing 250 of OC's Mexi joints. But far too many of his choices have been of the combo-platter kind, and Ziebarth gets strangely defensive on the subject of authenticity.
Booze it Up OC doesn't get updated enough, Dining Out in OC seems crafted together by PR hacks, Brekkie Fan has given many of us Forkers great tips but maybe should keep them for her blog so she can update more--same with Chubby Panda (whose writing style is often fantastic). Eating My Way through OC has kept up the pace, but the posts, alas, needs prose polishing instead of pretty pictures.
OC's three most regular bloggers are Wandering Chopsticks, Griffin Eats OC, and Eat in OC. No problems with any of them, and good reads (especially Chopstick's encyclopedic knowledge). But a favorite? Food Frenzy alum Niyaz Pirani has already gotten off to a hilarious, informative start with his Fat Dude on a Diet. Another former Register writer, Cynthia Furey remains one of my favorite OC-based writers--I loved her stuff on Furey and the Feast, which she's apparently abandoned. I Nom Things is a great blog, although I wish the author spent more time on breaking news in OC.
But OC's best food blog is undoubtedly White on Rice Couple. They don't spend much time writing, instead crafting gorgeous food shots that impress even me, someone who doesn't care much for food porn. Bookmark them, browse the rest, and make up your own mind.
Oh, and who's this Elmo Monster character? Methinks I'm going to steal him for us...
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