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Just because it’s pasta with meat sauce….

Doesn’t mean it’s fucking Bolognese.

I picked up some pasta from a spot downtown this evening (won’t put them on blast) and this was some bum shit. Taco Bell style ground beef, tomato sauce and over cooked “house made” pasta.

Bolognese better have carrots, celery and onions. Bolognese better have red wine. Bolognese better have been braised, deglazed and stewed for hours to develop deep, complex flavor. Add cream if you feeling horny, or some house tricks for finesse but If you don’t want to kill yourself by the time your done making it then you probably didn’t do it right. It’s a labor of love that pays off and anything else is spaghettiOs.

I know there are more important things I could write about but restaurants constantly use these hype words to entice guests and charge $4 more than what a dish is worth without any respect or admiration to the classics. Trust me, if you saw the words “spaghetti with meat sauce” on a menu instead of “Bolognese” you would think twice about spending $14. Yet restaurant owners don’t think twice about the words they use as long as it generates revenue and sounds fancy.

Same goes for aioli. Just because you mixed pesto and mayo together doesn’t make it “pesto aioli”. But hey it sounds foreign and looks nice and you’ll pay $1 more than that turkey panini is worth. Charlatans.

This is not to mean I am purely a classicist or hold a staunch position on cultural purity, especially when pertaining to food. I believe food, culture, etc. are not stagnant and should be open to evolving over time, but if you are going to call something “Bolognese” or “mapo tofu” etc. then it should be a good representation of that dish, otherwise just state that was the inspiration and call it Joe Dick’s styling beef pasta.

Throwing smoked salmon on top of rice doesn’t make it sushi and beef on top of pasta is not Bolognese. I rest my case.

Gordon Ramsay’s “Perfect” Burger

Someone sent me this link the other day via email. It’s hard to believe but people still get salty about my “why your burger sucks” post.

I guess the anonymous sender wanted to inform me of how Gordon Ramsay cooks a perfect burger, and since he has Michelin stars and deep chin wrinkles I’m somehow supposed to be persuaded.

Unfortunately appeals to an authority don’t always work, and although I would definitely reference Ramsay if I were aiming for a star rating from a renowned tire company, I can’t go quite as far as to say he made the “perfect” burger. Besides the dude is British, which means he probably prefers tea over coffee. That alone brings all credibility into question. Sorry, not sorry.

I won’t lie though, in between my JW Black with lemon La Croix and watching Season 1 of Unsolved Mysteries on Amazon Prime I skimmed through the video clip. Here’s my thoughts on the matter…

His choice of blend is a good combination but I can’t comprehend why he added egg as a binder. Unless you are mixing your meat with other ingredients (i.e. Meatloaf, meatballs, etc.) there shouldn’t be any issues of your meat falling apart so I feel this is an entirely unnecessary step. A burger patty should be unadulterated beef seasoned with salt and pepper just before cooking. Every time. 24/7. Don’t fuck with me on this.

Ramsay doesn’t like raw onion on a burger? A combination as old as time? If it’s good enough for Peter Luger it’s good enough for me.

I still stand behind my prior comment that burgers should either be cooked on a flat top grill or a cast iron pan. I understand the depth of flavor that a wood grill/charcoal can bring but I’m not a big fan and regardless you will never get that seared, crispy, fat rendered crust you achieve from a flat searing surface.


Tokyo Dreams: Part 1

As soon as you leave the airport, Tokyo crashes upon you like a giant, simulated wave.

Row upon row of concrete giants, bustling thoroughfares and perfectly aligned trees will have you questioning reality and what human existence really means.

Certain experiences change you. Their impact so prevalent you can’t remember what life was like before that moment. Nor do you want to. Tokyo is one of those times.

If you haven’t been, go.

If you wait for the perfect time…

You’ll be waiting forever.

The perfect time to break up.
The perfect time to take that vacation.
The perfect time to bring that idea to market.

The list goes on and on, as well as the excuses, and at the end of it all what are you left with?

Time lost. Moments missed. Growth stunted.

There is no perfect time.
Only doing and not doing.
The magic really is that simple.

Maybe you’ll fail miserably. Maybe you’ll make bad decisions. Maybe you’ll succeed.

In the end you are guaranteed to not be the same person you were yesterday, and if life is only made up of experiences… then there’s the fucking point right there.

Go do.
Perfect is for suckers.

Things i like about San Francisco in no particular order.

  1. Driving down Geary in the Richmond on Christmas Morning.
  2. Walking the streets of Telegraph Hill during sunset.
  3. Breakfast noodles at Yin Du in Chinatown.
  4. Starting or finishing the night at Black Horse London Pub in Cow Hollow.
  5. Attempting to wait less than an hour for an unreserved table at House of Prime Rib.
  6. Afternoon Baker Beach vibes.
  7. Golden Gate day drives with the windows down.
  8. Zam Zam in The Haight.
  9. Avoiding Fisherman’s Wharf.
  10. Drinking shitty black coffee on the corner of Geary and Polk on foggy mornings.
  11. Eating breakfast at Moulin Rouge after drinking shitty black coffee on the corner of Geary and Polk.
  12. Li Po.