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Robert Schonfeld

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About Robert Schonfeld

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  1. Rest in peace, Maurice. You will be missed.
  2. I didn't, but now that you mention it, it was good for me...
  3. And what place is that? It's Rodeo on 3rd Ave. But a fellow eater looked into it and Black's says they did do it, but don't do it any more. Maybe someone wants to check it out with Rodeo. The guy we spoke to when we were there said they did it; I wouldn't have mentioned it otherwise. However, even if it's the case, there is the not insignificant issue of travel and reheating. Yes, barbecue can be frozen, transported and reheated and deemed to be good. Is it the same as slices off a piece that has achieved its quintessential moment of readiness, to be consumed then and there, in the cultural envelope that brought it into being and that gives it a good portion of its meaning? Not even remotely. In a phrase, you got to go there.
  4. I hadn't intended to post further, but you guys were so sweet, you're making me nostalgic for something that's gone. So here you are: We hit seven barbecue places in Texas, four in one day. In addition, there was fried chicken (Bubba's, Dallas), live Looziana crawfish (Flying Fish, Dallas), and a Jewish/Episcopal wedding featuring bizarre, mediocre catering. Angelo's, Fort Worth Sonny Bryan's so-called original location, Dallas Kreuz's, lockhart Black's, Lockhart Smitty's, Lockhart City Market, Luling Lambert's, Austin It is simply impossible to say which place has the best barbecue based on a single visit, any more than it is to say anything about the consistency of Michelin three stars based on single, or widely spaced visits. That said, we can eliminate Sonny Bryan's, which we stopped by just as a relic curiosity. We can also separate out Lambert's, which is a lovely, creative restaurant on 2nd Street tended by a young chef, Larry McGuire. We ordered wood-grilled chops and steak following house-made charcuterie, and a very good composed salad of watercress, pecans and Fredricksberg peaches. When the chef learned that we had been on the barbecue trail, he sent some over. It was very good, but it was not the same as the destination temples of meat. No mistake, though: Lambert's is a delightful place with very good food that can be recommended with confidence. We chose the strategy of arriving early. At Angelo's, a place that never gets first tier ranking, the place was full and much beer was being consumed at 11:30 in the morning. When we reached the head of the line, I told the server we had come from New York especially to eat at Angelo's, and what did he recommend? Sliced brisket, of course, "off the high side." This expression, which I hadn't heard before, turned out to be the key to the entire experience. It means the thickest part of the point, or second cut, which yields a slice that includes the flap, a seam of fat, and the flat. So the carver obliged with several slices from a piece right off the smoker. It was simply incredible. Juice, fat, taste and texture (no sauce, no point) combined for an epiphany of taste. 9.5 out of 10, with 10 reserved for the Platonic Ideal. I had no idea that barbecued brisket could be this good. If you think Angelo's isn't in the game, you aren't playing the place right. Down to Lockhart. At the first stop (because it's first on the road into town), I was put off by the new-made-to-look-old building at Kreuz's. We ordered sliced brisket, now confidently requesting it off the high side and getting a nod of understanding in return, again, right out of the smoker at 11:15 in the morning; prime rib, because someone said we had to, and a sausage. The brisket was perfectly juicy, with a very slight smoked flavor. The prime rib was simply a novelty that I wouldn't repeat. I didn't notice any special texture as the result of a low and slow treatment, if that is in fact what it got. The sausage was good, but it was an after thought. A bonus was some exceptional German sauerkraut. If you get there, don't miss this. Next, Black's, where, whaddya know, a big fat brisket had just come out of the pit. Same interaction. Among a wealth of barbecue riches, we thought this was the best of the trip. Just the right smoke and that same incredible taste and texture. Here they are: And guess what else? Black's ships (a lot) of 'cue to a certain NYC place that would otherwise attract little attention as destination. This was like finding out that Pierre Herme ships his macarons to an anonymous bakery in Astoria. Smitty's: by far the most picturesque. There is a new eating hall, but the older portion survives, as does the original butcher shop. The sliced brisket was delicious but not memorable. Same for City Market. It should be emphasized, though, that in these parts, City Market and Smitty's are still a solid A/A-, where Black's on this day and Angelo's were A+, with Kreuz's at an A. We have a list, topped by Southside and Salt Lick in Elgin, but including Ironworks in town and a bunch more, all for the next time. I noticed next door to Black's the Reyna Mexican bakery. Well, you can't keep me out of a bakery, so we passed by on the way home. they had closed just minutes before. A pantomime entreaty got the (adorable) young lady to open up for me. When I asked her which two items still remaining best represented her work, she chose a "concha", a shell-shaped, just very slightly sweet bread topped with a dusting of cinnamon flavored confectioner's sugar, and a pumpkin-filled empanada that was a masterpiece. After that, we stopped to buy some Fredericksberg peaches, which were extremely delicious. We had the last one for breakfast this morning. A couple of notes on Austin; the Driskell Hotel is an historic beauty. Antone's blues night was a joke. The big bank building that dominates the skyline is prodigiously ugly. The stadium at UT is unbelievable. The Texas History Museum, apparently a solid granite structure, makes a nice visit. You can walk right up Congress and straight through the Statehouse. The 'dillos are great free transportation. On one of them, we met a young woman who was a community college student, and a member of a roller derby team providing entertainment for the Texas Bikers' meeting in town this weekend. Last, visiting the hometown Whole Foods was a bore, but a personal tour of Central Market from Foodie, who has what must be the best job ever, was delightful.
  5. This isn't about barbecue; it's about the kindness, generosity and hospitality of a fine group of people in Austin who came out for dinner with a couple of strangers. We asked for something that said "Austin" and we got Matt's El Rancho, a local institution serving up all the Tex Mex favorites. Foodie52 and John, memesuze, New York Texan, Napa Valley Phil and a special additon, the charming Kelly, joined us for a Texas-size welcome to the very interesting and attractive city of Austin. This was a perfect illustration of the notion that it's not just the food; it's the company that matters. Thanks, y'all! We really can't wait to come back.
  6. Wright did not have formal architectural training, which would normally include some practical engineering. He learned his craft in the office of Louis Sullivan, but his art was god-given. The other Wright - Russel - was the same way. His house is also beautiful and impractical, and is also undergoing a full renovation at huge expense.
  7. Just wanted to add on the subject of weights/spin: the real distinction is anaerobic/aerobic. The former kind of exercise (like weightlifting or sprinting on the bike) will burn calories for a longer period of time after you've finished exercising than will aerobics. But: anaerobic exercise (above threshold) burns more calories from muscle tissue; aerobic exercise (below threshold) burns more calories from fat. This is why some people who go nuts exercising (anaerobically) wonder why they don't lose weight. Also, switching back and forth from one system to the other in the same workout only confuses the body and results in less fitness gain than working in one system at a time.
  8. The Doctor is correct. No point in going to all the trouble otherwise. Bugialli also has good instructions.
  9. Fallingwater is both grounbreaking and beautiful. The problem with Fallingwater is that it's falling apart because FLW was so busy being visionary that he gave short shrift to practicalities. Architects will do that.
  10. Come on, Rebecca, just a little teasing. You're not gonna tell Mom and Dad, are you?
  11. Cities build on top of themselves. Think Rome, Jerusalem. The most wanted outcome is a balance of old and new. The Seagram Building is among the most beautiful and significant buildings in New York. If you don't understand that, you need to study up. If you weren't a boiler of puppies, I'd take you over there myself for a fast look. It is drastically different than the Rockefeller Center complex, which, in its own way, is one of the most important projects ever built in New York. Parts of it are quite beautiful. Sometimes, what looks ugly can get to be beautiful; sometimes, it can get to be even more ugly. Architects can be difficult. Like doctors.
  12. The other day, I ran into a guy working on the street with an 11 x 14 view camera on a huge wooden tripod. We got to talking and, not surprisingly, his line was that anything other than what he was doing - large scale negatives and contact prints - was a degradation of the process. This idea follows all down the line in photography to those who now insist that digital photography simply can't do the same things as analog photography. Of course it can't; it's a different process. But this is not to say that it cannot be qualitatively excellent, as good for many purposes as analog photography, and better for others. I think it's important to keep an open mind about new things that come along in photography. Otherwise, we might still be making bromoil prints and turning away from that newfangled silver gelatin stuff.
  13. Not I, but if you want me to, I will pick on you for liking Cats, too, because there are few worthier reasons to be picked on. As for Donny, you are talking to the wrong guy.Did he ever open for the Airplane? Few worthier reasons? Sputter, sputter. OK. If one's favorite poet is T. S. Eliot and one truly understands unconditional love, as he did, there is little left to give heed to less worthier parts of one's soul. Here is where all love dwells. There are Saturday nights and Sunday mornings, as the song goes. I personally prefer Cole Porter to Gershwin. There is T.S. Eliot without Cats as the delivery device, Rebecca. The American musical theater has had moments of rather greater quality. You get to New York much, or were you fortunate enough to see one of the sixty crack road companies?
  14. Bastille Day, 1990, we were at the Oriental in Bangkok, in a corner room overlooking the river in one direction and the French Embassy in the other, where we watched the celebration in their beautiful garden, from a few floors up. I'm impressed you have your pictures from 1990 around. It would take a major excavation to dig mine out.
  15. The woman famous for the color Polaroids? Great photographer.
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