We understand City of Ate is an, um, unusual blog.
The Dallas market was already well-served, when we started up, by outlets breaking news tidbits, speculating on rumors, providing forums on topics of the day and such. So we conceived of a 'magazine-style' blog--a venue for recurring articles, some of which would be pure entertainment, others more provocative, with plenty in between.
So we enter our second calendar year with much the same lineup, plus a few additions. Here's what we have planned:
This year we're adding a piece we call Out Of Order. It was inspired by a visit to Jimmy John's, where we realized that a person could ask for an avocado sandwich with mayonnaise, if so inclined. Why not, we decided, test the extent of restaurant menus?
Well, we first thought "why not send an intern out to test the extent of restaurant menus?" Then we were told no interns were available. Or they'd all quit after hearing a list of duties.
We also have a few more new items in the works, such as regular features on local chefs and a more consistent schedule of "first looks" when new restaurants open. Hopefully these will round out the "magazine" idea, providing a little something for everyone.
Otherwise, the usual fare continues:
On Monday, for example, Jesse Hughey collates some of the more interesting events, dinners and other culinary activities coming up in Hash Over. Usually, anyway. We also tackle home delivery restaurants (How 'Bout Them Knockers) for the purpose of rating speed and efficiency, more that the food itself. And I talk about issues or incidents, good and bad, in (Un)Sound Bites...which happens to be this space.
Yeah, seems like I'm wasting it--but we don't really take much time through the year to explain ourselves, so...
One of the Tuesday highlights is Kristy Yang's ongoing tour of Vietnamese restaurants, which we call Pho From Home. Another is Dude Food, where Noah Bailey and Jesse Hughey seek out guy-friendly restaurants...you know, vegetable-free havens with old deep fat fryers and new flat screen TVs. I also use Tuesday to blather about a dish that helped shape my love for food. Sometime--either Monday or Tuesday--we through in a Top 10 list, as well.
Wednesday we turn things over to Chris Meesey as he explores the history and lore of Texas menu items (On The Range), Jennifer Moody's take on Fort Worth dining and culture (Westfork) and our attempt to pair inexpensive wine with ordinary food (Pairing Off) through the assistance of the city's wine experts. In addition, we look back on a dish or restaurant from the past (Days Gone Bite).
On Thursday, newcomer Steve Doyle pits one restaurant against another in Toque To Toque. It's a dish against dish battle for supremacy. Sarah Johnson steals a recipe from some unsuspecting restaurant...or maybe she asks permission, we don't really pry into how she gets them. Then Jesse Hughey reemerges as Hophead, exploring the world of beer.
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Which makes Thursday a very good day at City of Ate--especially when he decides to share the extras.
Every other Thursday, Merritt Martin orders frilly cocktails in a girls night out fest called Girl Drink Drunk. There's a bit of food porn related to that week's restaurant review. And twice a week I will subject some poor restaurant to a "mini-review" in our Short Orders column.
Then we wrap up the week with a look at more masculine spirits (Handle The Proof) and a Question Of The Week--which isn't always lame.
That's pretty much where we stand at the moment. And I probably left something out.