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Holiday Windows 2008

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Peas Roll In, and Tomatoes Are Better Than They Have a Right to Be

It feels like the first week of camp at the market, as we check out which of our friends from last summer are back and how they look this year. A few weeks later than usual, some of the most popular warm-weather farmers, like Keith’s Organics and Eckerton Hill, have returned, with tables already full and lots more to come. It’s going to be a good summer, we can just feel it.

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Taco Mix’s Torta Cubana May Be Overstuffed, But It’s Also Sandwich of the Week

A good sandwich is a balanced sandwich. This, as any faithful reader of the Underground Gourmet's sandwich dispatches can tell you, goes without saying. Good sandwich-making requires not only skill but also a delicate touch. Frantically stuffing a sandwich the way cartoon bank robbers cram bills into sacks emblazoned with $$$ symbols is considered bad form among the sandwich elite, and emblematic of what is wrong, culinarily and nutritionally, with our Supersize Nation. As Mario Batali once explained to the UG in between dainty bites of a toasted panino, “The American tendency is to obfuscate the perfect simplicity of the sandwich by putting too much crap in it.” Despite prevailing carbophobic biases and the legacy of a certain diet doctor, Batali asserted, “The bread is the main event. There shouldn't be more stuff inside than outside.”

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Termination

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So. That was some Sopranos last night, eh? The critic-y kids over at Vulture count a full five hits in this penultimate episode: the rat garroted by Silvio, the Ukrainian father and daughter, Bobby, Sil, and Tony's therapy. The worst damage of all, however, is undoubtedly yet to come: There'll be some in next week's finale, sure, but also lots to those poor Baccalieri kids, doomed to be raised by Janice. What else caught Emily Nussbaum's eye? Find out at Vulture. UPDATE: Plus an obituary for Bobby Bacala, "the biggest sad-sack, nice-guy murdering mobster we've ever met." 'The Sopranos': Melfi Whacks Tony

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Joe Bruno Plays the Ponies

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Our nomination for most sweetly quaint sentence ever about an FBI inquiry into the business dealings of a powerful politician: "Mr. Bruno bought two mares from Mr. Mack." The former is, of course, Joe Bruno, the state's top Republican; the latter is Earle Mack, a fellow Thoroughbred enthusiast and a former ambassador to Finland (okay, now it's turning into P.G. Wodehouse). The Albany Times Union followed the money, as today's Times reports: Bruno bought the mares from Mack for $50,000, bred them, and auctioned off the three resultant foals for $425,000 (nice, um, flip?). The buyer of one of the foals, at $105,000, was, you won't be shocked to hear, Mr. Mack. There's nothing illegal about the transaction, of course, except the persistent impression that Mack, a major GOP donor, either (a) is the world's most eccentric businessman or (b) wanted to make Bruno very happy. In either case, here's a question: Why can't all political scandals be about horses? Let the noble animal, at least, confer some dignity on the participants. Bruno Inquiry Scrutinizes Thoroughbred Transactions [NYT]

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Will Someone Please Call Family Services on Dina Lohan?

Dina Lohan, the "white Oprah," is in talks to do a reality show for E! in which she'll try to turn her two youngest kids into stars. And Lindsay's DUI arrest made it tough for underage girls to get into L.A. clubs after the MTV Movie Awards. Michael Moore has lost 30 pounds eating whole grains and sleeping more. Harvey Weinstein is an investor at Bungalow 8 doorman Armin Amiri's new club, Socialista. Angelina Jolie is spending time with her children at the expense of spending time with Brad Pitt. Gwyneth Paltrow and David Byrne are bad tippers. Cameron Diaz gave André Balazs a neck rub.

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Book Expo: Read All About It! (Ha!)

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Book Expo America — the annual, enormous books-biz tradeshow that invaded the Javits Center last Thursday — reached its final chapter yesterday. Heartbroken you missed all the excitement? Buck up, little reader: Vulture's correspondents were there, and they brought back all sorts of goodies for you (if by "goodies," you mean "brief dispatches"). Julianne Moore! Tina Brown! An animatronic-ish Margaret Atwood! Foreskins! Everything you ever wanted to know about Book Expo awaits at Vulture. Book Expo [Vulture]

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