Any list of influential blogs must include Andrew Sullivan, as noted in the sidebar of the article [Cover, Who's Drew? Mar 14] but also Instapundit http://instapundit.blogspot.com, a site maintained by University of Tennessee law prof Glenn Reynolds. The amount of work these two guys put into their sites is incredible. I honestly don't know how they post as much stuff as they do.
If you're interested in a good overview of the blog phenomenon check out this article:
I've been visiting these sites (and many others) for 6-8 months now, and the blogger revolution has been the most exciting journalistic development of my lifetime.
Thanks to Billy Hylton for identifying the latest web phenom right here in our midst in the heart of bluegrass country [cover, Mar 14]. No horses? No basketball? Amazing.
I'll be looking for Drew the next time I'm at Slone's.
I'm always searching the menu in the hope that some courageous young chef has finally recognized tobacco as a vegetable. Bake it, steam it, grill it, or stuff it into littleneck clams, I just need something familiar that I can hold onto.
We actually lived equidistant between Lexington and Knoxville, on I-75, but for some reason, I have almost no memories of the Volunteer State, except for a trip to the World's Fair (which I most strongly remember for my first taste of a "Belgian Waffle!!") and several visits to their zoo.
The Lexington of my childhood is far more vivid.
It's where we always came to shop and - far more importantly to my way of thinking - to eat.
In those days, Fayette Mall was pretty much the last word in cool that any metropolis might have to offer, where - after making my pilgrimage to Spencer Gifts for a 99 cent black lightbulb - I would re-join my grandmother at the front of the Mall for lunch at York Steakhouse.
Putting on my best, big city, big-girl manners, I would order the "ground sirloin" (never realizing it was hamburger) and an iceberg lettuce salad with blue cheese dressing.
I also remember Max & Erma's with the phones on the tables. And I truly believed Darryl's was "THE place for ribs." If we were very good, sometimes, we would come downtown for pizza at Joe B's (at the old Limestone location).
I was reminiscing about all this with my college pal Charlie yesterday. He brought up the Ground Round (formerly on Southland) where, to his delight, you could throw peanut shells on the floor. I didn't eat there, but I remembered many a happy childhood meal at the very similar Ground Pattie in New Orleans, where I always ate so many peanuts that I'd inevitably have a stomach ache before the burgers arrived. (The Crescent City was also home to many a Reeves family eating challenge - where I won, on varying occasions, many bets for consuming the most: crawfish, shrimp, cayenne-injected fried chicken, beignets, and in one spectacular gastronomic success: an entire muffulatta from the Central Grocery.)
He also fondly recalls the naked extravagance of a Red Lobster "sampler platter," about $7.99 in about 1975, as do I.
By the time we all got to college, Lexington had become our true culinary Mecca.
Stuck in a town where our choices were McDonald's or Wendy's, Lexington quickly became a weekly pilgrimage.
The Bistro (in Chevy Chase) was where I first tried snails on a date for some fraternity formal, and I just as fondly remember the midnight runs (aptly named) to White Castle.
In those days, we were all equally poor, and equally hungry.
My friend Kevin (who graduated a full decade later) reminded me yesterday of the popular Sunday afternoon game he and his fraternity brothers would play, called: "what would you do if you had five dollars?" (usually, the answer was a Papa John's pizza, with a dollar tip for the delivery guy). I told him he didn't know how good he had it. We quickly got into the dozens as I pointed out Papa John's hadn't even been invented when I was in college (or if it had, it hadn't made it to our neck of the woods).
He countered with the memory of the time the opening of a Fazoli's was a perfectly good reason to jerk the car across three lanes of traffic when they saw the lines (only to be told, AFTER standing in line, that it was a "dry run." They were given free breadsticks and told to come back in a week, but frankly, he still sounds a little bitter.)
I was contemplating all this over the phone with Charlie yesterday afternoon.
He and I were both home sick from work (he had the flu; I had an ulcer) but he'd called to talk shop about a project we're working on. He was watching DVDs that his wife had thoughtfully provided. I was eating a Dolly Madison raspberry zinger (which, for some reason, was the only thing that sounded good), while I waited for another one of our buddies to get home from his shift at the E.R. so I could describe my symptoms, in excruciatingly vivid detail.
I think we ended the conversation with his anecdote about a college field trip to the Opera, where their professor had told them all about a place on Bardstown Road where the appetizers were so huge and glorious that anyone could make a meal on ten bucks. From the perch of his luxurious academic salary, it must've seemed true, but the students all polished off their 20 bucks somewhere around the amuse bouché while the professor continued on heartily with three or four more courses, and they salivated hungrily from the culinary sidelines.
I slowly finished my raspberry zinger - pensively licking the cream from my fingertips - and resolved to take a brief break from complaining about this town's chain mentality so I could pause to relish the good things we do have.
And I plan to enjoy them all when my appetite has recovered.