Diary of a Misplaced Foodie

January 10, 2007 at 8:23 pm | Posted in Blogging about Blogging, Home, Sweet Home? | 32 Comments

I rolled my eyes (okay, I rolled my eyes A LOT) when the restaurant reviewer for our local newspaper panned the one really good Chinese place in town, complaining that the food was too spicy and the owner offered too many suggestions.

I rolled my eyes even more when she gave a very positive review to the “authentic” Italian cuisine at 0live garden.

And then in the front page article of today’s food section the editor offers some helpful tips on recipe substitutions.

As a substitute for one whole egg, use two egg yolks and one tbs. cold water. Um, if I don’t have a whole egg, do you really think I’m likely to have two egg yolks sitting around the fridge? No maple syrup? Use corn syrup + maple flavoring. Why of course! Maple flavoring – the essential basic everyone has in their spice cabinet.

Finally, in the “you must really think your readers are idiots” category: Did you ever imagine that you could substitute boiling water and bouillion cubes for broth? A stick of margerine for a stick of butter? An equal amount of unsalted butter and a pinch of salt for salted butter?


Despite the tone of this post, I don’t really bite (Really. Those were lovenips.) So… since it’s national delurking week… won’t you leave me a note and tell me what brought you here?


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  1. I have a love-hate relationship with being a foodie and it sounds like you do, too. heh.

  2. Gag. Just gag. I can’t stand it when people think that OG is “fine dining”.

    In a story of diabetes gone haywire, Dad had a glucose level yesterday of 27. No wonder he needed to ride in an ambulance on Sunday!

  3. You should *so* write a letter to the paper or publication of a reviewer who thinks Olive Garden is a real Italian restaurant. Please. It’s a chain.

    Valid points, all. Maybe they’ll make YOU the next reviewer!

  4. I friggin’ HATE Olive Garden. It’s as bad as Red Lobster. Blech, hack, spit, ptooey.

  5. OK, you got me to delurk. We don’t go to any of those chain places – fake food, oversalted, and generally not too much cheaper than the “real” Italian place up the road.

  6. Wow, Olive Garden is authentic Italian? Who knew? I didn’t see anyone microwave a plastic pouch of chicken and sauce when I lived there, but maybe they do it in Sardinia. (blech!)

  7. Great post… though one of our favorite “local” and “authentic” restaurants was written up in the paper today for a Hep A outbreak. You win some, you lose some, I suppose.

  8. Thanks for stopping by my blog. This food reviewer sounds like my 6th grade teacher. You should pitch her to the Travel Channel. A gastronomical tour of the world with her would be hilarious.

  9. Hilarious!
    Handy food tips for those lacking even a modicum of common sense – talk about stating the bleeding obvious!

  10. Boo.
    I hate Olive Garden.

  11. Is it delurking week already? Well, since many of you know that I read the blogs of J’s friends (without commenting – goodness, I’m such a voyeur!), in honor of de-lurking week I’ll do so when asked. πŸ™‚ S (wife of littlestpea)

  12. Oh, and two teaspoons yeast with 2 teaspoons warm water will replace an egg. Okay, I’m not sure about the measurements, but the yeast and warm water will replace the egg. i swear. In everything but brownies. Just don’t try it in brownies, okay? Just don’t.
    And another thing- We leave eggs out of almost every single recipe (except brownies) and you can’t tell the difference. Pancakes, cookies, cakes, muffins… you can’t tell. Fuck the eggs.

  13. I read a brilliant op-ed a few years back, when so many people were clamoring about how offensive The Sopranos was to Italian-Americans, by someone who basically said, “Forget the Sopranos. As an Italian-American, I’m much more offended by those Olive Garden commericials.” He then discussed the ad in which Great Uncle Luigi or whoever comes to the U.S. for a visit from the old country and where does the family take him–to the Olive Garden? Pulleeze! Uncle Luigi would not be smiling. He’d be cursing them.

    Last time I checked, Olive Garden and Red Lobster were owned by the same company. That might give one an idea of how “authentic” it is.

    Not to mention, authentic is in the taste buds of the beholder. I’ve been out for real Italian food at gourmet restaurants and am always dissatisfied. It’s good and I’m sure it’s authentic, but it doesn’t taste really Italian to me because my Italian family doesn’t cook stuff like that. My family were poor when they immigrated. So, they cook Italian peasant food. I think of beans and escarole (pronounced schkedole), not chicken in cream sauce, when I think of Italian food, personally.

  14. People consider the Olive Garden an “authentic” Italian restaurant? Those people need to consider expanding their food horizons. And not to other chain restaurants.

    I’m here because I love reading about your family-building in general, and especially about Guatebaby in particular!

  15. i came here because

    1. I love your writing

    2. i can’t find an RSS feed to put you in bl*glines.


  16. My Hubby is on me to write a cookbook with REAL substitutions. (Between my allergies and his diabetes, I could come up with a ton!) UGH.

    Olive Garden? REAL Italian? UGH. I’d write a letter on behalf of your favorite Mom and Pop pizza joint.

    And I’m not really a lurker, but I came here for the adoption stayed for the writing.


  17. From an episode of _Golden Girls_, seen on the DVR last week:

    Sophia is in the kitchen, chopping things in front of a big pot of tomato sauce.

    Rose walks in and says, “Smells good! What is that, Chef Boyardee?”

    Sophia, offering knife: “Just plunge this right into my heart, it’ll hurt less.”

    I stop by every day or two, because art-sweet’s writing and musings have been enchanting me for — wait for it — nineteen years.

  18. Olive Garden? Really? I think all chains should be banned from being reviewed. They serve a purpose in life but don’t really count. My city just voted on “Best of…” Best Pizza? Pizza Hut – Groan!

  19. de-lurking. i came because i followed a link, i stayed because i think you’re entertaining. guatababy is also very cute, so the hope that there’ll be more pictures of him is insentive to visit too!

  20. Stop by to read. Found your blog through other blogs. Followed the trail. Have enjoyed reading.

  21. Art Sweet,
    I am delurking. I love your website and all the stuff you say.

  22. I’m not a lurker, but I can’t remember how I found your blog. Erinberry, maybe? Anyways, thought you should know.

    Banished to Olive Garden- that cracked me up. πŸ™‚ We want more pictures of GB!!

  23. No! Margarine for butter? That’s just crazy/amazing advice!

    And what brought me here? Why your loveliness and wit, of course. Plus, all the great food advice.

  24. I know of whom you speak and yes, she just kills me with her reviews. I mean come on, yeah, we live in a small town, but it’s not so small you have to review OG! I don’t even read her any more. Have you checked out Aunt Josie’s? We love it there. They have homemade pasta that is to die for. And why do I come and read you…? Because we haven’t seen you and Pili in the longest of times and I miiiiiiisss you! Let’s do dinner soon OK?

  25. I read often. Comment, not so often.

  26. I have no idea how I got here (that sounds pretty dramatic). Maybe you commented on my blog? But here I am, and I’m hooked. And I am not really a lurker. I lurk, more than I comment though, so maybe I am a lurker.

    As for the Olive Garden, I think that any establishment that sells via the TV “authentic” anything is probably not authentic. But I am a snob who used to work in a very nice Italian restaurant that never claimed it was authentic, but changed everything I understood about food. In a good way.

  27. Hi! I can’t remember how I got here, actually.

  28. Well, I don’t think I’m quite delurking, though this is my first time over at the new digs…

    I’m so glad I swallowed my water because I would have spat it out after reading the egg suggestion.

  29. You know exactly what brought me here. πŸ™‚ The new site looks cool, though. I’ll try to do a better job of keeping up with it. Honest.

  30. Oh, you know I read your blog, but hi anyway. And also, OG sucks and spicy Chinese food rules. As does your blog. Yeah.

  31. Hey, I don’t know if you have ever been to Mother’s. It is in L’pool which I think is pretty close to you (if I am not mistaken). If they are still in the same location they were when I lived there – it is sort of a converted house (fairly tiny) which serves Italian food. Not fancy, but good. And very reasonable. Made by real Italian people (family owned) – that’s got to count for something.
    Now, I have heard from the grapevine that Pavones (which used to be THE BOMB! when it came to NY Style pizza) isn’t very good anymore. It made me sad to hear that..I grew up on that pizza and damn was it good.

  32. I got here from… someone! I don’t remember.

    But I’m wondering if we live in the same place because my local paper is absolutely TERRIBLE and offensive to anyone with a brain. Good thing most people here don’t have one!

    Glad to be delurking (a bit late, sorry!)

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