The New York Times’ review of Guy Fieri’s American Kitchen & Bar in Times Square, which has received quite a lot of attention since it was published last week, gave me a chuckle for two reasons. If you have not read it, which by now would be virtually impossible but here it is anyway, it is nothing short of a verbal pummeling. A funny one, but a pummeling all the same. That was the first reason I found it funny. Even though we have taken the point of view to not write such reviews – to focus our attention of what we do like in South Jersey – there is a sense that Pete Wells got some cathartic ya-yas out while writing it. Shockingly, ol’ Guy is not at all pleased with it.
But there was a second reason why I got a good chuckle out of the review. As I was reading it, all I could think to myself was “This is a blog post disguised as a New York Times review!” To me, this was as big a symbol as any that the so-called ‘lines’ between those who write for so-called serious media (print), and those who do not (digital), no longer exist – not that they really did anyway. People would try to make the distinction between the two, usually looking down on those of us who (gasp!) blog.
Well, eff that noise: you either can write or you can’t. The delivery system that you use is immaterial.
Restaurant News and Notes
Where to start? How about the opening of District 611 in Riverton this past weekend, where former Stephen Starr alums are bringing their city-style fare to South Jersey. At some point there needs to be some fair play and a place called District 130 needs to be opened in Philly…ground was broken in AC for the new Margaritaville, while two restaurants at Atlantic Club (Ono Chinese Bistro and BB’s Burger Bar) were closed due to the affects of Sandy…Vineland’s Bain’s Deli, which had close in March, is now back open again…a $500,000 grant is being sought to bring a restaurant to Camden’s waterfront, although the news of Camden’s record-setting year for homicides won’t help their cause…DeLorenzo’s second Trenton location will be moving to Hamilton next year, leaving the capital without a DeLo’s to call their own…I should make mention of a couple of places that recently had to close their doors: Starfish Caribbean Cafe in Woodbury and Bus Stop Music Cafe in Pitman…one of the many affects of Sandy: some restaurants that are usually open for Thanksgiving will not be this year…
Blogging Out Hunger (The Sandy Edition)
It’s so wonderful to read about all of efforts being made to raise funds and collect food for those most affected by Sandy. Here are just a few of those stories…How about the 15-year old ‘Pie Girl’ in Ocean City creating her own relief center with food she prepared herself. Or, how The Cookie Cab in Toms River became an impromptu soup kitchen giving out free meals. There was the executive chef in Madison who came down to Ocean County to serve food to those in need. Stop & Shop donated 1500 turkeys to the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties this week. ShopRite lowered the spending threshold to earn a free turkey this year. Lacey Food Bank delivered 200 Turkey Day meals to local residents.
But there are strains on the system. The Food Cupboard in Ocean City is limiting themselves to town residents only. Food banks in Burlington County that stepped up to help Sandy victims are now facing shortages themselves. And food banks in Ocean and Monmouth counties are worried about being able to make it through the holidays. Even with an expanded facility, the Community FoodBank of New Jersey in Egg Harbor Township is also worried about keep up with demand.
Some upcoming events: The Moorestown Home and School Association Turkey and Pie Drive and Temple Emanuel’s Thanksgiving Food Drive & Basket “Stuffing” Night Extravaganza in Cherry Hill are taking place on Monday. High Street Grill in Mount Holly is having a Jersey Shore Hurricane Relief Guest Bartender Night on Tuesday from 7PM to 10PM. Xina in Toms River is having a Grand Re-Opening Hurricane Relief Party on Thanksgiving Eve. Restaurants for Relief in Somers Point on November 24. Latitudes on the River here in Forked River will be hosting a Benefit for Hope on November 30.
In other food news this past week…
At least one food truck will be to stick around in Ocean County: Wild Bill’s Food Truck at Popcorn Park Zoo.
SuperFresh is closing two locations in South Jersey in January: Marlton and Westmont.