There's a Restaurant in Kentucky that Sells a $38 Bowl of Pho

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Photo by Das Ubergeek
Not the $38 pho bowl in question, but rather a bowl from Pho 86

Last week, the chica and I were in Kentucky for...something. We spent most of our time in Louisville, a charming-as-hell city with a vibrant, rising dining scene. It's also the home to two iconic hotels, the Seelbach (where F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote a bunch of The Great Gatsby), and the Brown Hotel, home to that edible pillow known as the Hot Brown Sandwich.

Both hotels have fabulous, iconic bars (and the Seelbach is the birthplace of its namesake bourbon-and-champagne cocktail), although we found ourselves more at the Brown due to its superior bourbon selection. And in one of my drunken stupors, I made my way to its English Grill, its high-dining restaurant. I was expecting to find refined takes on Bluegrass State classic meals like burgoo or Benedictine; instead I found a bowl of pho. For $38.

OH, DEAR...


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Chipotle Finally Gets Hispanic Authors for their Stories-on-a-Cup Series...and None are Mexican

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Chipotle
No nopales yet

Okay, haters: go for it. Go on and rant that the anger that Chicano authors and I have for Chipotle after they announced the latest batch of authors for their "Cultivating Thought" series is laughable. That we should rejoice that the series included Hispanic authors this time, from Brazilian self-empowerment guru Paulo Coelho to Dominican writer Julia Alvarez to Spaniard Carlos Ruíz Zafón. That we should thank Chipotle for including diverse voices after the travesty of last time, shut up, and get on with our lives. Actually, that we should get lives, period, and go bend a taco or something.

But the fact remains: when curating author Jonathan Safran Foer had another chance to expose hipster America to Chicano or Mexican authors, he chose not to. And the question must be asked: why?


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UCI Scientists (And One Aussie), Discover a Way to Unboil Eggs

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Photo by Edsel Little
Doesn't this look delicious?

Overcooked boiled eggs are horrible. The whites get rubbery, the yolk develops that little green sulfur ring, everything smells off, don't you wish you could just.. unboil them sometimes? No? Okay, good, because despite what the headline says, you still can't actually unboil eggs.

What's really cool though, is that a team of scientists at UC Irvine have now developed a way to re-nature (nature? un-de-nature?) proteins that have folded incorrectly so they can be reused. How'd they test their process out? By renaturing an egg protein that had been cooked for 20 minutes in near boiling water.

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Morality in Media Names Carl's Jr. As One of their "Dirty Dozen" Top Sexual Exploiters for 2015

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Food porn, yes--but porn porn?

That sound you hear is Carl's Jr. founder Carl Karcher rolling over in his grave, gritting his teeth, clenching his bowels and scratching at his coffin, trying to come back from the dead to take back his company.

The famously conservative Karcher spent the last years of his life ashamed of Carl's, which by then had turned over to the bro side with racy ads featuring Paris Hilton and other starlets. It's doubled down ever since, with ad campaigns featuring Kate Upton, that girlfriend of the Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback that Brent Musburger drooled over on national television, and even more starlets. It's reputation is such nowadays that it's the only food company named in Morality in Media's 2015 Dirty Dozen list of who they say are the top sexual exploiters in America.


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VIDEO: ¡Ask a Mexican! on Why Mexicans Should Learn to Love Hipsters

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From the Lalo Alcaraz Tacos Series...
Lalo nails it as always...

Though the issue of gentrification rears its happy head in various manifestations, the most obvious front is food, battlefield for $17 burritos, "street" tacos and the ever-popular mezcal. I mention most of this in my latest ¡Ask a Mexican! video, which ridicules hipsters but nevertheless urges tolerance for their columbusing ways...HA!


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In Defense of Writing About Street Vendors--And Non-Mexicans Writing About Them

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From Sigmund Krausz's 1896 Street Types of Great American Cities
The OG tamalero, now and forever

SO...there was a bit of controversy in the food world last week after an Eater LA critic reviewed a elotero in Lincoln Heights. Instead of focusing on the actual execution of the article, though, nearly all the criticism focused on the very act of the article--that is, on Eater's reporter even doing the piece in the first place. Oh, how the accusations flew--that writer Lucas Peterson was columbusing, that he was exposing the poor elotero to retribution from the health department (or worse), that Peterson was a dumb hipster gabacho who was adding to the gentrification of LA's Eastside by doing his story.

Oh, it got nasty. And critics--some in the foodie world, others in Chicano yaktivist circles--got it all wrong.


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First-Ever Taco Bell Location May Be Demolished in Downey--DAMNIT!

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The oldie-but-goodie returns!

Preservationists across Southern California are upset over plans to demolish a building in Downey that was the site of the original Taco Bell. The tiny ol' Downey Patriot broke the news, adding that saving the building would be appropriate given the city also hosts the world's oldest continuously operating McDonald's.

I'm actually surprised the multi-billion dollar Bell hasn't bought up this building and turned it into a museum, ala the original Mickey D's in San Bernardino (although that spot is as sad a memorial as you'll ever find). But those preservationists should really be paying attention to San Bernardino and its many Taco Bell treasures.


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We Drink It So You Don't Have To: Absinthe-Flavored Coffee

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Photo by Courtney Hamilton
So friendly looking

On a recent trip to Santa Ana's Cost Plus World Market, I made my way to the back coffee wall, as coffee addicts tend to do. Peeking out at me, beneath the sea of French vanilla and butterscotch-flavored coffee grounds, was a curious dark green package with friendly, if not slightly psychedelic hand-drawn script. The bag read "absinthe flavored ground coffee".

Produced by San Francisco-based Mavericks Coffee, the grounds advertised a litany of botanicals that flavored the beverage -- fennel, wormwood, Angelica, Hyssop and other herbs worthy of a new age, healing crystal shop. Cartooned French gimmicks -- red windmills, the Eiffel Tower, a mustachioed man in a beret -- surrounded by a green haze, covered the packaging. Signs on the shelf read "75% off," making the coffee $2. Bizarre and cheap, how could I not buy the bag.


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This Is Reddit's 20 Most Overrated Foods

Categories: Really?!?!?

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Photo by Michelle Woo
Fun fact, I went to Dominique Ansel's bakery during my recent trip to New York. They were out of Cronuts

I've been known to be a little bit of a hater in my earlier life (Read: last year. For examples, see: From Pancakes to McRibs, the 5 Most Over-Rated Foods Ever, Pliny The Younger Is Overrated, Or: Why I Won't Be Lining Up Next Year, Vietnamese Food is Hip Now (And I Hate That), If You're Still Crazy About Bacon, You're an Embarrassment, and Seriously, Hipster Chefs Really Need to Stop Calling Their Non-Pho Dishes "Pho"). But my disdain isn't anything near random-people-on-the-Internet level. No, for that you have to go to Reddit, and man did they do it.

Here are the 20 foods they think are the most overrated. The average redditor isn't a foodie, so don't expect too much but, hey, it's a pretty good list.

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Crispy M&M's Are Starting to Show Back Up in Stores

Categories: Really?!?!?

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I don't know how I missed this news when it came out in October, but crispy M&M's, the most superior of the m&m flavors, is starting to show back up in stores enroute to a national roll out earlier next year.

I don't know if they're in any Orange County stores yet, but keep on the look out, because these were the candies that were so popular, they got taken off the American market because they cannibalized too much of the original's sales (They've been available in Europe, but reports were they just weren't the same).


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