Food News

Burning Question: What's Going On At City Of Ate?

Someone posted a comment under our new Veggie Girl segment this week wanting some kind of alert when the column pops up--RSS, we think they called it.

The Burning Question crew, of course, knows nothing about technology...which is probably for the best. If we could figure out our mobile phone camera, crew members would waste workdays in much the same way we used to waste them back when the photocopier worked.

Too smudged to copy--that's what the maintenance guy said.

Because of the reader post (and because we're finally getting a handle on this blogging deal), the thought occurred that we had never actually presented a City of Ate schedule.

There are three daily features and one we'd like to have on a daily basis, but that would be considered exploitation of free intern labor: Food For Thought pops up first. It's merely a quote that jumps out from daily reading of newspapers, magazines, blogs, etc. Every once in awhile we might catch a newsworthy trend or important issue, but what's included here may just be of random interest. Whatever--takes five seconds to read.

10 Questions, our other daily feature, highlights someone in the food service industry (or someone loosely related to the industry, or just someone famous who eats food), from wait staff to executive chefs to those who market beer or wine. For today's edition, we spoke with wedding planner Donnie Brown, a Dallas resident and Style Network star. We like to have fun with the piece, throwing in some odd questions here and there, as well as hitting a couple pertinent topics.

After 10 Questions, Hash Over introduces an upcoming event, wine dinner, restaurant opening or whatever might be worth looking into. S. Anne Durham was responsible for starting this series. Beginning next week, Jesse Hughey takes over the grueling role of culling through press releases for that one interesting festivity.

All three are morning features. The semi-daily piece, Chewing The Fat, appears late afternoon, the work of hard-charging intern Daniel Daugherty. He culls something comment-worthy from the nation's food-related news, just in case you missed it. Like we said, if we could force him to skip class, not take spring break and miss rent payments, we'd run this every day.

Now, the day by day stuff:

How 'Bout Them Knockers--in which we rate home delivery on such criteria as speed else, up to and including the driver's cleanliness or phone order-taker's tone of voice. We keep a scoreboard, an idea we borrowed from the BBC show Top Gear.

(Un)sound Bites--Is just a food critic ranting about trends and topics of interest. Well, hopefully of interest.

Short Orders--Consider this a revisit or mini restaurant review, usually of a place we haven't been visited in awhile.

Dude Food--The guys (Noah W. Bailey or Jesse Hughey) check to see just how dude-friendly restaurants can be...which usually means fried foods, beer and a lax dress code. They've developed a unique rating system, but won't explain to outsiders precisely how it works.

Veggie Girl--Our newest feature. Vegan (and news writer) Alexa Schirtzinger seeks out not only vegan/vegetarian dining spots in Dallas, but also tracks down regular restaurants with decent veggie options.

On The Range--Chris Meesey follows the trail of Robb Walsh's The Tex-Mex Cookbook chapter by chapter to find examples of authenticity in Dallas restaurants. It's part book report, part history, a little adventure and all food.

Pairing Off--In an effort to prove (or at least suggest) that wine works well with ordinary food, we challenge the experts to pair it against Arby's roast beef, canned sardines and the like. Great artwork by our own Patrick Michels, too.

Appetite For Instruction--Lisa Petty is a smart person. She knows it's better to get local chefs to demonstrate how to make a dish, rather than to do it herself. A step-by-step through one great recipe each week.

Hophead--The aforementioned dude, Jesse Hughey, loves beer. He samples brews, checks out pubs and their service standards and that sort of thing--learning as he goes along...for who really has tasted every beer out there?
      Or (for we alternate these two features)
Girl Drink Drunk--Merritt Martin likes fruit, froofy (is that how you spell it) cocktails. In the manner of those chick shows we never watch, she gathers friends and tries out colorful, slushy concoctions.

Short Orders--We revisit another place for Thursday.

Burning Question--Can be anything related to food service or long as it involves alcohol and an answer. But we are considering dropping this in favor of something more sedate, like a weekly review of liquors (both new and old). We'll see.

Sloppy Seconds--Let's you know what happened this week on City of Ate and what the other papers had to say about local restaurants.

We throw in some other pieces now and then. And there are a few we're trying to work out (such as a weekly contest, which we seem to be failing miserably at). At the end of each month, we also catalog restaurant openings and closings...although we've forgotten just what we call that feature (Wilonsky made the mistake of leaving a bottle of bourbon--intended as a gift for someone--in his office, unattended, so we're all a little woozy at the moment).

But that's it, for now. And yes, this is what happens when people lose--don't know where or how--the notepad with this week's question scribbled on it.

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Dave Faries
Contact: Dave Faries