November 11, 2012

Whining & Dining

Wow, I thought writing college application essays was super-stressful, but seriously, cranking this one post out beats all that grief by a mile!! If I told you how many posts I scrapped before finally hitting the publish button, you'd think I was a little neurotic. Which I'm not...OK, I am...and yes, the pressure's been killing me! But finally, after some serious soul-searching, a gazillion cups of chai, and being totally wired off all that caffeine for days, I came up with this: "Happy Sunday and welcome to Hunger & Haw Hai!"

Best burger on the block, the "Shack Burger" from the Shake Shack
in Madison Square Park.
New York, NY

Phew! It feels good opening up with something casual like that. Almost therapeutic. Especially before I dive into the hot and juicy stuff. 

So I thought it'd be fun if I got this show on the road with an innocent little confession, an appetizer, something you should know about my food love, a tidbit of information I conveniently omitted from my about section. It's really kind of hush-hush thing, but we're all friends here, right? And you totally won't judge me when I spill the proverbial beans, right? Awesome! 

Fresh jelly-filled donuts at the Ferry Building Farmer Market.
San Francisco, CA
OK, so when it comes to food I'm what some would describe as anal. Politer people term me judgmental. I'd prefer enthusiastic. Or passionate. But fine, I'm pretty gung-ho about my grub and a total stickler for culinary correctness. What does that mean? Basically, even though I'm not a picky eater, I'm fussy about my food. That might sound completely contradictory, but I have a perfectly illogical explanation.

See, I secretly believe that if there's one quirk all food enthusiasts share, it's this: peeves usually come before praise. And I'm no different. In fact, when it comes to the complaints-before compliments policy, I have a complainer gene no man, woman, or wild beast can compete with. To give you a tiny taste of what I mean, I present a sampler of whining with my TOP 10 FOOD PEEVES (Food Scenarios that Make My Skin Crawl). For the record, they're in no particular order, mostly because they irk me equally.

My favorite way to start the day, Everything Bagel with cream cheese from Guy & Gallard,
New York, NY
(Food Scenarios That Make My Skin Crawl)
  • Fishy fish: Seafood that tastes too much of the sea triggers my gag reflex. Ditto for smelly meat!
  • Complicated garnish: Save the curling, twirling, and swirling skills for the origami class.
  • Baking: That kind of precision is too authoritarian for my taste. What ever happened to the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of adapting recipes with reckless abandon?!? I'm a liberal and I like cooking like one. 
  • Paid restaurant reviews: Let's get real, paying someone to pen glowing accolades about your joint is advertising, not opinion.
  • Over-saucing: Drown my food in a river of sauce and prepare to drown in a flood of my wrath. Believe me, Hell seriously hath no fury...
  • Pretentious menus: Just because I can't pronounce what I'm ordering doesn't justify charging me $50 for a cheeseburger, no matter how shmancy you make it sound. 
  • Limp salads: Come on, I think we can all agree that limp anything is rarely attractive. 
  • Innards: I'm not a vegetarian, but there's something very Hannibal Lecter about chowing down on animal guts.
  • Self-proclaimed foodies: Cut the cheese, we all know that's just hipster-speak for "food nerd."
  • Obscure ingredients: No, my local supermarket does not carry salt made from fairy tears or fine cuts of unicorn meat. 
  • BONUS PEEVE: Tiny portions: If you're going to be a Scrooge about my food, I'll remember to be a Grinch about your tip.
  • SUPER-BONUS PEEVE: Up-sized portions: I'm not a beast. Please, don't feed me like one.
Sorry, I know I said "Top 10," but that damn complainer DNA...! 

And now, another cup of chaiMeanwhile, stay tuned for updates in the recipes section, and until next time, have a great week!

Perfect peppers outside the San Francisco Farmer's Market
San Francisco, CA
P.S. I absolutely LOVE photographing food. I threw in some of my photos of utter deliciousness as a token of gratitude for hearing me out. I envy your patience.

P.P.S. Share your rant! I'd love to hear about your hysteria-inducing food moments.



  1. Why oh why did you have to put up a picture of a Bagel? That too a New York City Bagel - I have been craving them for so long !! ..
    I think i'm finally going to attempt to make them - Major craving ..

    1. LOL :) I'm sorry, I was expecting my son at the time I took this picture. I was at that pregnant point of "I need to have my bagel and eat it too!" Let me know how your bagels turn out and do share you recipe.

    2. Ohhhh .. no wonder :) .. I have a list of stuff that I want to have been craving from my New York trip .. Managed to satisfy my craving for Halal Food Cart Style Chicken & Rice but now its bagels and White Pizza; I tried it from this place Artichoke and it was the yummiest thing ever .. have you tried it?

    3. and sure, will share when I make it :) ..


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