A Guide to the Guides

I find that as marketers and advertisers become increasingly more savvy, it becomes increasingly more difficult to parse the difference between the authentic rave and the shill. On a recent trip to Baltimore, mom and auntie and I stopped at a Maryland tourism center conveniently set up in one of the roadside rest stops along the turnpike. The brochures, of course, were legion . And you have to expect that in that environment, 97% of the material is going to be marketing and maybe 3% is going to be made up of legitimately helpful advice and maps.

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Quick Bites: Barcelona

A friend of mine recently journeyed to Barcelona. Having loved the place so much when I went, I was somehow certain she would encounter wonders on every corner. Sadly, she returned with an appreciation for the architecture and the climate, but little love for the food. Though aghast, I blame myself. I didn’t offer up any advice at all on the favorite spots I’d visited… and it’s so easy to go astray when a traveler doesn’t know the territory.

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Recipes Wild Rice for Breakfast? Hell, Yes.

A while back, I wrote a piece detailing a few favorite food spots in Minneapolis. (And to be honest, I really need to do a follow-up.) As I peek in my website search results, all kinds of readers hit that page, but it’s not guidance on where to eat you’re looking for… ya’ll want to find a recipe for the Mahnomin Porridge featured at that favorite creepy brunch spot, “Hell’s Kitchen.

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Dining in the Twin Cities

The New York Times published an article today that features “The Foodie Scene in the Twin Cities,” the subhead for which proclaims, “In another sign of a cultural awakening, dining out in this city of sensible industry is no longer confined to steakhouses.” What?! Confined to steakhouses? Seriously? Did the writer actually visit MSP? I lived there for close to ten years and I can’t remember ever eating at a steakhouse.

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Food Quote Friday: Pyotr Kropoptkin

“If you want to know the people of a nation, I am sure you can judge a great deal more about them from their cooking and eating traditions than you can from the words and actions of their public officials.” -Pyotr Kropoptkin in Mutual Aid

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Deck the Halls With Lots of Groceries…

I’m sticking around New York this year for the holidays, but I thought I’d post this series I took a couple of years ago at the South Dakota state capitol building. They go all out there with the decorated trees. Local schools, boy scout troops, philanthropic organizations and fraternal clubs rally their resources to put up a pine and adorn it with homespun ornamentation. If you’re thinking, “Gosh, that sounds ever-so Norman Rockwell,” you’re on the right track.

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A sweet moment in airport security

Okay… raise your tiny fist if you’ve had something taken from you at the airport gate. Yeah, me too. My water bottles, tweezers and little red Swiss Army Knives have all made it into the TSA refuse pile. Fellow foodies returning from far-flung feasts (the recent AAA estimate put this year’s holiday travel number at 37.2 million Americans traveling 50 or more miles from home) should appreciate this delicious moment relayed from the rim of the shiny silver TSA arch.

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Sea and Crumpets

J, on the move between Seattle and San Jose this week, reports in from the field (or dock, as it were) on a subject dear to my stomach: quality breakfast! First good brekkie of the trip today. There’s a place at Pike Market called The Crumpet Shop that rocks unconditionally. $1.50 for a mug of unlimited refills of freshly brewed loose leaf tea, $3 for a bowl of groats(!) with honey, milk and currants.

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Missives from Miss Molly: Last call at Montali

“caprese garnish” From thisismolly photostream at flickr. “dami, eva e minty carrot sorbet” From thisismolly photostream at flickr. “fichi ripieni con crema gorgonzola” From thisismolly photostream at flickr. In this final letter from her ever-exciting post in beautiful Umbria, Italy, Miss Molly and her motley kitchen crew once again push out plate after plate of beautiful vegetarian cuisine despite a tearful screaming match, a wild boar on the loose, a motorcycle accident and much public drunkenness.

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Missives from Miss Molly: 20 Questions & Limoncello

“bitter greens with caramelized cippolini vinaigrette and fresh figs” From thisismolly photostream at flickr. “gelato in Tavernelle” From thisismolly photostream at flickr. “i love this place” From thisismolly photostream at flickr. Miss Molly, a cook I worked with at Tabla in New York, sends along one of the last few postcards she’ll write from her summer-long post at the ever-so-upscale Umbrian restaurant and inn, Montali. This note finds our dear Molly winning at Alberto’s homegrown Quizbowl, reveling in kitchen-slave solidarity and falling in love with the world.

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About Me

Miss Ginsu is a nom-nom-nom de plume of Leitha Matz, who worked at Tabla and FreshDirect in NYC, wrote about the food scene from 2004 to 2009 in Brooklyn and presently lives in Berlin. Occasionally seen on TV cooking segments, Leitha has also written for FreshDirect, contributed to Cee Cee Berlin, The Food52 Cookbook and has been interviewed/quoted in The Food Keeper as well as The Washington Times and Salon.

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