January 27 Morning Roundup

Behold Slashfood’s mind-blowingly condescending attitude toward the Midwest in general and Minneapolis in particular (vis-a-vis Chef Wadi on Iron Chef), Rachel compares Subo to New York’s Momofuku, a beet lover’s confessional, Well Fed Guide to Life heads to Saffron, Simple Good and Tasty is holding an event at Grand Cafe, and Miel y Leche saunters into Sweets Bakeshop’s neighborhood via France 44’s St. Paul Cheese Shop.


  1. shefzilla

    Don’t be so insecure Norton, one crack about Minneapolis and you call that “mind-blowingly condescending attitude”, meanwhile they write that Wadi should have won.

  2. James Norton

    You get low marks for reading comprehension, Shefzilla. Crack #1: “So we were hopeful when yet another random chef was plucked from semi-obscurity — or rather, Minneapolis — to attempt to ascend to the throne.”
    Crack #2: “Chef Sameh Wadi’s restaurant description didn’t give us hope. (A midwestern, mid-east fusion joint called “Saffron”? If memory serves, we’ve eaten at about six of those, and gotten terrible indigestion at five of them.)”
    And it strikes me that the odds they’ve actually dined at six Midwestern fusion restaurants are pretty long.

  3. geoff

    While I agree that the dude on slashfood comes across as a complete tool, it’s hardly mind-blowing to draw a parallel between “Minneapolis” and “obscurity” in terms of our place in the foodie world at large. Not only are our biggest food celebrities Andrew Zimmern, the Pillsbury Doughboy and the Green Giant…but we don’t even have our own Chowhound discussion board (we’re lumped under “Midwest, not Chicago”) and New York has like a board per borough.

  4. James Norton

    The thing that gets my goat is that the whole post felt — to me — reflective of something I call reverse provincialism. (If you ever want to understand it on an intimate level, try living in Boston.) It’s a mindset adopted by a lot of folks on the coasts (and plenty of self-loathing Midwestern exiles) wherein you condemn entire states as being cultural wastelands simply because you’ve never bothered to actually explore them and get a sense for what’s going on there. Now, are there states that are cultural wasteland-ish? Possibly. But neither Minnesota nor Wisconsin qualify. If I had the money and people, I could publish three stories a day about local chefs / restaurateurs / ethnic recipes / trends / etc. etc. and not come close to exhausting the slush pile of ideas we’ve got. The scene around here is vibrant.

  5. geoff

    @sarah NO WAY!

    @Norton sure you could. but that begs the question: would the stories be interesting?

  6. dave

    It’s crap like this that caused me to stop posting on Chowhound. I was posting about how a local Minneapolis Chinese Restaraunt was putting out good authentic Chinese (Tian Jin in Chanhassen). A know it all poster from New York jumped on and said it was a cookie cutter below average restaraunt. Even after explaining that the Head chef came from a 4 star hotel in Tian Jin, China and the owner was serious about sourcing top quality ingredients and serving excellent Chinese food he still said nothing could compare to Manhattan or Flushing. I am just happy that sites like Heavy Table provide a voice for us ignorant hicks in Minnesnowta.

  7. Jim D

    I agree with shefzilla. You are over-reacting to a mostly positive post about Chef Wadi’s skill.

    We have to remember that if we have one thing cool, there are at least twenty in big cities.

    Gives us a reason to travel and be content when we get home.

  8. James Norton

    Jim, the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro is about 3.5 million people; it’s among the top 20 metros in the country. We’re living in a big city. And as someone who lived in a much more famous big city (Boston), I can tell you that we’re far, far luckier than we know in terms of great dining options. Don’t write this town off.

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