Monday, August 4, 2008
Mostly Quiet on the Western Front
It's been quiet here. Few posts have made it from the drafting board. Meals are consumed, impressions made, and favorites tracked down. As before due to my calorie requirements, I eat at least three meals a day, some of which find their way onto my hard drive where they sit. There really are fewer better places to eat in America than the Bay Area. Whether it's the diversity of produce available, or the diversity of cuisines represented by the many large immigrant communities, there is really a large problem deciding what to eat. The big problem for me, is most food eaten out is in restaurants. I stay home and cook a lot. As I said in the previous post, I'm not looking to turn this into a simple restaurant review blog, or just a cooking blog, so posts have been slow in coming.
A word or three on street food:
I've written and rewritten opinion pieces about the merits of street food many times over the last year or so, but am never satisfied with the results. Now that street food is elusive, it is easier to hit the main points.
I hesitate to say that street food is better than restaurant food, as it is hard to speak in absolutes, but it often is a lot more fun, is more inclusive, and of course it is cheaper. You certainly don't have to agree, but one of the most enjoyable things in life, is wandering around a large outdoor market, picking up snacks, plopping down for a beverage, or having a bowl of noodles. Hell, a simple grill on a sidewalk can really be perfect as well. It's casual, it's simple, and it's cheaper. Oh yes, it's fresh, interesting, and a great look into what everyday people are doing. It's a slice of life.
A word or two on restaurants:
Dining in a restaurant, whether in Oakland, California, or Bangkok, Thailand, I feel a striking sense of separation. Separation from the outside world, separation from other diners, separation by class, and separation from the production of the food. There is always a time and a place to eat in a restaurant, so don't get the wrong idea. Sometimes it is nice to get away from the elements, forget the outside world, and even be catered to. But for everyday eating, I don't need an overly polite waiter, art on the walls, or a daunting list of choices.
This is all very unscientific. I don't have a pleasure index relating to the food I've eaten on the street vs. in a restaurant. Maybe it's all a matter of personal taste. So anyhow, I don't bring my camera to every restaurant I end up in. In addition I don't want to show you what I cook for breakfast on a daily basis.
This is what has been on my mind as of late. That is all for now. More is on the way, I promise.