Following my blog on the demise of the Oscar-Mayer-Hot-Dog-As-I-Know-It, and the nice, fat silverfish I discovered in a package of OM Bacon Dogs, I received a call from an “executive member” of Customer Service at Kraft Foods, wishing to hear more on the incident. I repeated the entire story for him and he offered to have the package picked up and tested by their internal laboratories. I found that amusing, as if I really didn’t see the silverfish in my package, nor understood what it was. Nevertheless, I relinquished the entire package, silverfish and all, to them. I’m surprised at my act of faith, as if OM and Kraft Foods hasn’t already done enough damage to it.
This issue is so serious, I have yet to hear from them. No confirmed receipt of the package and no news that they are now in process with their battery of tests…and this is what shocks me. Given Kraft’s dispensation of an obviously tainted product, and the major runaround they’ve given me, their behavior continues to remain unacceptable. You’ll hear more on this soon.
If the rebound in the economy in Minnesota is any indication, it is virtually confirmed in the incredible….and I mean incredible….wave of new restaurants opening in the Twin Cities metropolitan areas of St. Paul and Minneapolis. Some 91 new restaurants are scheduled to open between now and mid-winter 2015. This is a shocking number, and it flies in the face of the old adage on restaurants failing at a 50% rate in the first two years. Sure, some of the new offerings of the past three years have closed, but it’s such a small number it reinforces the notion that this area is truly becoming an eater’s destination. The breadth of cuisines is impressive and gives rise to yet another notion we’ve long wished to destroy…that this is flyover country, the home of the hot dish, ketchup is a spice sort of thing. We are far more adventurous in our culinary choices than East and West Coasters would have you believe. Rick Nelson of the Star Tribune profiled this new phenomenon recently (and did his usually stellar DD), and I’ll share some of the more lively success stories soon.
AZ’s Canteen is Just Okay
Andrew Zimmern, the Travel Channel’s Ambassador of all things Bizarre, recently went the Food Truck Route and introduced his own. I had a chance to sample a number of dishes when the truck was at the recent Eagan Food Truck Festival. For all the hype surrounding his gumbo — a sign decreed that Food & Wine Magazine called it one of its best 25 recipes of ALL TIME — I found it to be merely passable. Top 25 all time? I don’t think so, Scooter. It lauded its inclusion of Andouille, crab and oysters. I got the Andouille whiff, although not much actual meat. As for the crab and oyster? Random bits and pieces, no chunks, which is what you’re looking for when you’ve been given this much lead-up hype and it would have balanced his plethora of spices. And $5 for a fairly diminutive cup flattened my enthusiasm even more. The Crispy Pork Belly with Green Papaya Salad and Fried Egg should have knocked my flavor molecules out of whack, but it was overdone and listless and the lime was far too present. This dish couldn’t even breathe. Given his meteoric rise as a bona-fide travel television universe and brand icon, his food needs to join him in that rarefied air as well. Maybe leave the big screen TV hyping your show off the side of the truck and work more on what’s coming out from inside the truck. You can do it.
That’s all for now. Be well and go eat something! -Dirty Jack