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10 Questions: Arnold Wayne Jones

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We always thought Jones, food critic for the Dallas Voice, was a little on the strange side. After all, he selected a college not on the strength of their football program, but of their law school. After graduation from the University of Virginia (and all the exams one must endure to enter the legal profession), he practiced on the east coast...then gave up a lucrative white collar job to become a writer.

Since then he's been a fixture on the Dallas dining scene--and an award-winning one, at that. He's versatile, engaging, fun to read and quite willing to strike with quick, sharp jabs when necessary. We sat down with him at The Idle Rich to talk about food, music and other stuff.

1. The best thing about being a food critic is...?
Um...move on--no, really it's the opportunity to try restaurants you wouldn't think of trying in real life. The job forces you out of your comfort zone.

2. What could Dallas use more of?

More good, authentic Italian restaurants. I'd kill for a veal piccata.

3. Is there a particular song that makes you hungry?
I'll think about it and come back to you...oh--"A Little Priest" from Sweeney Todd. And it comes on just before the end of act one, so you can go out and grab something at the concession stand. I love Sweeney Todd.

4. Is there a song that will make you leave a restaurant?
Almost anytime hip hop comes on, I know it's not the right place for me.

5. The best reason to be a carnivore is...?
You don't have to be so picky. My college roommate was a vegan. I had to study every label of anything I gave him. Even gelatin was a problem.

6.You exercise; what's the best music when you're on a treadmill?
Show tunes--just because I'm gay. I also like Kelly Clarkson and, you know, American Idol pop. It all has a perfect rhythm for jogging. But I only have 300 songs on my IPod, so the selection is pretty slim.

7. What do you sing in the shower?
"Vincent" by Don McLean. It is exactly four minutes long--3:55 to be precise--so I know how long the conditioner has been in.

8. Besides wine, you drink...?
Amaretto sours and whiskey sours.

9. Who would you most like to meet?
I really don't care that much about meeting most famous people. Do you mean living or dead? Since we're talking about music, Mozart, of course. And Chris Daughtry--preferably alone, in a locked room at the gym.

10. If you weren't a writer, you'd be...?
Unemployed.

--Dave Faries

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