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Sunday, January 17, 2016

Food Critic of the NYT, Peter Wells has lost his way.

Peter Wells, NYT Food Critic, has lost his way. Food critics have always been tempted to exaggeration and food foppery to build a following but Mr. Wells’ focus on the food has blurred beyond the visible range. But does it really matter to the diner? No. There are better ways to find a restaurant we will enjoy. Does it matter to the those earning a living there? Unfortunately, yes. The critic wields the power to ruin a restaurant and the livelihoods of those working there with just a few irrelevant nasty words. 

Popular Western chefs (Michel Richard, Thomas Keller, Guy Fiere) have provided targets for his idiotic similes and unrighteous indignation. He makes me ill. 

Here are some quotes from his reviews that illustrate why I will probably not read a word of what he writes on restaurants or any topic in the future.

“When I asked to see the truffle being shaved over somebody else’s plate, it was whisked under my eyes for a nanosecond, as if the server were afraid I was going to sneeze. I know what truffles look like; what I wanted was to smell it.”   OH THE HORROR.  “May I smell the truffle?" would have worked.

“Once, the table was set for dessert so haphazardly that my spoon ended up next to my water glass instead of my plate.”  OMG. I just can’t eat a dessert with a spoon near my water glass. I always pick a restaurant based on whether I see them using a ruler like they do at Downton Abbey.

 “When my server asked, ‘Would you like the foie gras’— $40 more — ‘or the salad?,’ the question had an air of menace.” When foie gras and salad is a menace, walking from the cab to the restaurant must be truly terrifying. No wonder he doesn’t believe anyone should eat out.

“This unidentifiable paste coats your mouth until you can’t perceive textures or flavors. It is like edible Novocain.” Here Peter Wells reveals why he has no taste. He apparently knows what edible Novocain tastes like. We must assume it is what he snacks on in the cab on the way to his reviews.

“If soldiers had killed Escoffier’s family in front of him and then forced him to make dinner, this is what he would have cooked.” His worst characterization. Unfortunately one of Escoffier’s sons was indeed killed by a soldier. I’m sure karma will some day extract its due for this nasty comment. 

Fortunately, the days when we had no choice but to follow Peter Wells are over. With careful reading, we the people can read what we the people have found during recent real dining experiences. Facebook, TripAdvisor, and Opentable, among others, give restaurants a chance to improve and diners a chance to see if the improvements have been made. It is not just the stars that fall when a single authority has lost his way and fallen onto the dark path of a nasty troll; the diners lose, the chef loses, and most important the lives of many workers are unfairly trashed.  

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

What young guys think and what old guys know about fly fishing.

What young guys think and what old guys know.

1. Young guys think the guy in the fly shop their age will give them the best advice. The old guys know the owner who has caught the most fish.
2. Young guys think you must use a specific fly in a specific place like their buddies. Old guys know the drift is more important.
3. Young guys think the published primetime tables will tell you when you must throw the first fly. Old guys know that the published primetimes are based on astrology not chronobiology and don't mean a thing.
4. Young guys think using a fast rod and casting quicker will get them more fish. Old guys know that stealth and finesse are more important.
5. Young guys think old guys will not walk pass the first spot. Old guys know that habitat rather than walking distance determines whether there will be fish holding in a spot.
6. Young guys think that getting skunked ruins the whole day. Old guys believe that being out on the stream is reward enough.
7. Young guys think they'll never be that old. Old guys know they will be and will still be fishing.
8. Young guys think the catch and photo are most important. Old guys know the release is the most fun.
9. Young guys think that size matters. Old guys think that fly selection, stalking and size matter.
10. Young guys believe that it only happened if there's a photo. Old guys even count an in-stream release.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Annual Update 2015 eat drink travel fish sort books.

Eat, Drink,Travel, Fish, Sort Books. 
Just like last year.

from John and Brenda Davenport 

There were a couple of notable events this year. Mom, Olive Davenport celebrated 100; Morgan Bransky launched her college career; we got all six grandchildren together for the first time!!; Brent got engaged to Jennifer Brown; John immersed himself in unplanned plumbing infrastructure events; and Brenda finally got some of the wall colors changed in Denver.
       Abby and Dante both climbed the F&B ladder this year. Abby jumped back to the Hilton ladder as the Executive Assistant Food and Beverage Manager at the Waldorf Astoria in NYC and opened the new La Chine, a "Ritzy Regional Cuisine Chinese Restaurant." Meanwhile Dante jumped off the Hilton ladder to Food and Beverage Director at Savor/McCormick Place, the Western Hemisphere's largest convention center. 
      The 100 Valentines Day celebration in Nashville brought together a fine collection of the family cousins from both sides; some of whom had never met and were surprised how civilized each other were. Olive will be sending out her own Christmas letter; so, we won’t duplicate other than to say the reconstruction of Park Manor in Nashville really cut down on her walking with a predictable effect on her mobility. She quite enjoys receiving Skype calls on the “magic window” John installed in her room (an iMac). Charlie and Liz are still on duty, but Charlie claims John’s turn must be coming up again.
     This year, our international research for places to emigrate if The Donald is elected included the Turks and Caicos and the Czech Republic. 
     After a very complex money transfer we booked a VRBO on Grand Turk Island in January. Definitely off the Caribbean tourist trail; however, it is definitely on the Off Shore Banking trail. It was harder to get a fishing license than setup a multinational conglomerate. John persisted and scored a bonefish, probably legally, right out the front door of Sea Biscuit, our cottage. 
    The Czech Republic tour was organized by Overseas Adventure Travel with a little side venture to fish with Jan Siman, a former Czech Fly Fishing Team member. We discovered that the  “Iron Curtain”, named by George Kennan, was indeed made of iron and steel barbed wire and concrete bunkers. The Czechs and Slovakians were really undone by Chamberlain, Hitler, and the Russians. It is a testament to these Central Europeans’ resiliency and negotiations that the cities of Budapest, Cesky Krumlov, and Slovanice are so well preserved and the vineyards near Modra have been returned to their former greatness. 
     US travel included 100 days in Chicago, and a week in Belmar and Santa Fe. We look forward to Brent & Jennifer’s March wedding in St. Thomas and getting Evan as a bonus grandson. Plans for next year include more of the same with Machu Picchu and the Galapagos in January and an unknown destination far from Koch brother doorbell ringers and political campaigns in the fall.
     John’s book count is now 10. “Bug the Bug 3-Fixing Fly Fishing Fails” with Eloise on the cover, now joins his other books unread by thousands. Francesca’s book “Greek Mytholagy A-Z” out sold him in all markets.
     Overall, the highlight of the year was getting all the kids and grandkids (with Brent, Jennifer, & Evan an exception to be corrected in 2016) together at the beach in Belmar. 

Here’s a link for the visually oriented
     Via - Map

      Via Slide show:


                Fred's New Humungous HDTV


Text us when you are flying to or through Denver and we’ll meet you at the airport for some dining or bring you home for western hospitality.

 Wishing you a good year with good times. Stay in touch.

John and Brenda Davenport

email or text:

skype: loghousejd

4426 Wolff St
Denver, CO 80212

and sometimes:

519 N Main St  1EN
Glen Ellyn, CO 60327