The Fallacy of Food Faux Pas, or Why Restaurants Really Want You to Have It Your Way

Candy-Bar-ForkI love the folks over at Thrillist, but this week they published a list of seven food faux pas that makes my blood positively boil. Their round up of seven deadly culinary sins includes so-called dictums like, “Don’t order a steak well-done, anywhere.” Or, don’t ever put ketchup on a hot dog in Chicago. WHAT?!

Really, though, here’s what: When you’re paying for a meal — or a hot dog or a cup of coffee or a piece of streetza — you can enjoy it however you please. Let me repeat: HOWEVER YOU PLEASE. Dunk your ‘dog in ketchup. Ask for your steak charred to a flaming crisp. Heck, eat your candy bar with a knife and fork if that’s what floats your boat. Continue Reading

Win the Ultimate Wine + Food Getaway, From OpenTable, Thrillist and Food + Wine!

In conjunction with Thrillist and Food + Wine, OpenTable is pleased to present the Ultimate Wine + Food Getaway giveaway!

One lucky winner and a guest will receive round-trip airfare to Miami, three nights at a hotel, and VIP tickets to the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival, including Thrillist’s “BBQ & The Blues” hosted by Michael Symon. Held February 23-26, 2012, the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival features today’s hottest chefs showcasing signature dishes, new techniques, and seasonal ingredients, all complemented by the best in cocktails and wine. From chefs Miguel Aguilar (Wynwood Kitchen and Bar) to Mark Zeitouni (The Standard), and everyone in between (David Burke! Marco Canora! Bobby Flay! Stephanie Izard! Tony Maws! Charles Phan! Angel Sosa! Charlie Trotter! Plus, many more!), along with leading mixologists and sommeliers, you’ll be able to indulge your appetite’s every whim for four delicious days.

Don’t delay! Enter to win the Ultimate Wine + Food Getaway giveaway today.

Thrillist’s Ways to C.Y.A.: Last-Minute Tips for Men on Valentine’s Day

Thrillists-Ways-to-CYALast year, many diners booked their Valentine’s Day reservations on OpenTable in the week leading up to the big day. And the guys over at Thrillist wouldn’t be surprised if most of those last-minute bookers were men. According to Ben Robinson, senior editor of the site that specializes in uncovering the best of your city’s food, drinks, gear, services, entertainment, travel options, and events, “Unlike women, men are inherently lazy, negligent, and terrified to think they know who they’ll be buying a lobster dinner for three weeks from now; naturally, they assume all other men are just like this as well.” But, says Robinson, “There are always some guys who brazenly break ranks and actually book Valentine’s Day reservations before 5:00pm on the 14th, but the rest of the men need help, and OpenTable’s there to rescue them.”

While OpenTable can help rescue dinner, we can’t take care of every aspect of a creating a successful Valentine’s Day for you and your girl. Fortunately, Robinson, who has been with Thrillist for three years, is sharing his “Valentine’s Day You-Know-What Savers” for every man without a plan.

1. Tailored Music. Robinson raves, “This service is incredible! They actually create a custom love song for your lady that’s totally personalized for her and even comes in a special CD package with the lyrics. The only way you could ruin this one is by trying to sing it yourself.”

2. Chocolate Nation’s Chocolate Concierge. He recommends these chocolates with a personal touch, saying “These guys take info on your special woman, such as hobbies and culinary likes and dislikes, and turn that into a bespoke box of chocolates pulled together from some of the finest chocolatiers in the country, who even make specialty chocolates if your girl is kosher, vegan, or just really committed to fair trade.”

3. The Ultimate Rose. Robinson recommends saying it with flowers — really, really big flowers! He advises guys, “These cartoonishly oversized roses range from three to six feet long, meaning they make up for all the times you forgot to get her flowers. Actually, that’s not true at all.”

4. Call Me Casanova. “Casanova never lets you forget another must-gift day. Just pre-set what you want to send to your main squeeze, from flowers to jewelry, when you want them to send it, and they take care of the remembering. You can also have them send pre-penned love notes stuffed in bottles — you just have to pray she’s forgotten your handwriting,” he adds.