Wednesday, January 21, 2009

10 Resolutions for the New Year

Yes, this is 21 days late. I took my time.

New Year's resolutions should not be adopted lightly.

1 - "Eat food . . . mostly plants." Michael Pollan's reasons are ethical and health-related. My reasons are more aesthetic. Plant foods are fascinating, and do not get enough respect. For instance, in restaurants, dishes are typically organized by the meat. Yet the quality of a dish more often turns on the sides, and not the meat.

2 - Go to good local restaurants that might be at risk in the bad economy. It helps the restaurants stay open. And it means more meals there before they close.

3 - Host one dinner party each month. Invite at least two guests I don't know. Food is a great way to meet people. And meeting people is a great way to enjoy food. See this guy who says eating with others is the key to success in business. That should make Jenny, the organizer of all those Houston Chowhound meals, the most successful person in Houston.

4 - When eating meat, eat the strange parts. It is a more sustainable way to eat meat. It is also cheaper -- and more interesting.

5 - Avoid the center aisles. That is where grocery stores sell all their industrially processed foods.

6 - Shop at local farmer's markets at least once a month. Sure, the cost of transporting the small quantities of produce sold in farmer's markets may outweigh any environmental benefits of locally-grown food. But much of this stuff is more flavorful, and stranger, than anything in stores.

7 - Eat Mexican food where the recent immigrants eat. I have had enough Tex-Mex for a lifetime. Where is the real Mexican food?

8 - Figure out Italian wines. They go well with food. Many are earthy and complex. Most are not over-oaked. And the price isn't bad. They are just so darned hard to figure out.

9 - Take food trips to San Antonio and Dallas. Four reasons: Le Reve, York Street, Nana, and Abacus.

10 - Lose 10 pounds. Sure, everyone says this. I really mean it. I also put it last on my list, which means I have my priorities straight.


Anonymous said...

Things at restaurants change quite frequently. I wasn't blown away by my meal at Nana. There seemed to be quite a bit of misplaced foam on many dishes, although otherwise the cooking seemed solid. Fearing's was very good, though.

Anonymous said...

#1 and #5 were my 2008 resolutions and by sticking to them, #10 happened all on its own. Easy.

Anonymous said...

Abacus is on our short list - Kent Rathbun is a chef to watch.

Anonymous said...

Everyone should add this to their resolutions.
When you walk into a restaurant 15 min or less before they close, order to go! If you choose to stay... remember that the waiter is not the only one waiting on you to leave. If you don't want your boss at your job that doesn't pay you enough for what you do to ask you to take on a time consuming project 15 min before you leave to your personal life, don't do it to others. That or you better tip 30 or over $20, which ever is greater.

Unknown said...

I wasn't impressed with NaNa at all . . . but, I LOVE abacus.

thanx for this food blog - it has helped ease my transition to houston. and you are right about the rainbow lodge - little old school but very yummy!

Unknown said...

oh, forgot to ask - where do I find Houston's local farmer's markets? is there a listing somewhere?