Thursday, September 06, 2007

A Duke's Mixture for You

How busy have I been? I started this post three days ago. What was a post on a few interesting things has now become a catchall of miscellany. Whee!

IU Now Offers Food Anthropology Ph.D.: It was only a matter of time. IU has announced it will offer a Ph.D. in food social sciences to support the many studies happening today looking at how we eat, what we eat, and the long-term effects on society. They'll be partnering with the Bloomington Slow Food chapter as well.

Coursework covers prehistory and social change, human evolution and adaptation, health and nutrition, political economy and development, food production and environment, and food and identity. The department is also working to offer a cooperative student exchange with a similarly focused M.A. program at the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies.

"Food connects a host of contemporary issues, ranging from obesity to ecological dead zones to fair-trade coffee to tourism," Brondizio said. "Students will have opportunities to work on a wide range of food-related topics in a department whose menu already offers courses on chocolate's history, primate diets, the social and environmental causes of famine, and many others."

More on the degree program.

Ashley's Opens; Ashley's Closes: Seems like they just opened a few months ago, and owners have announced that far northside eatery Ashley's Steak and Seafood is closing. It's a tough business out there. Via Property Lines.

Popcorn Lung? Consumer groups are now making sure we're avoiding microwave popcorn these days. The culprit? The artificial butter flavor which apparently causes lung problems in factory workers who handle it -- not kidding, called "popcorn lung". ConAgra announced this week it would change its formula (new, more artificial artificial butter flavor!) following a letter from doctors to the federal government drawing attention to the health concerns.

"We're out of that.": Kirts has been taking some flack over at Nuvo for his review of Bada Boomz. When he ordered several items they're supposed to known for (including the ribs), they were out. So he had the item they seem to be pushing hardest these days, the cheeseburger on a glazed doughnut. So, how big a deal is it when a restaurant is out of half their menu? Personally, I think it's a pretty big deal. It sends a message that they are having (at the most) possible financial difficulties or (at the least) management issues. Sure, everyone misses an occasional vendor delivery, but we all know some restaurants (and bars) tend to be out of half the menu on some days. Frank Bruni over at the NY Times' Diner's Journal has questions about the same issue, although he's been running into odder missing pieces -- like bottled water and iced tea. (As he says: How can a place run out of iced tea?) I know my nomination for local restaurant most often out of half of what a customer orders. What's yours?


scubachef said...

"I know my nomination for local restaurant most often out of half of what a customer orders. What's yours?"
Without a doubt, it's Long's Bakery. Unless you get there at the crack of dawn, they are always out of chocolate-covered yeast donuts, strudle, and most danishes. Yet they have chocolate CAKE donuts out the wazoo - so it's not an "econimics of chocolate" issue. I don't get it - why would they not ADJUST their supply to meet demand? I mention this every time I'm in there, and they act like it's all news to them.

scubacheff said...

Oh, and there are SMELT on R-Bistro's menu this week as well. Maybe they'll even have their great Watermelon Soup.

Michelle said...

We tried Bada Boomz on the NW side - same thing. And they've been advertising their kids menu pretty heavily in that area, yet they have no milk or child-appropriate juice. I guess it's not surprising that we were the only people in the restaurant at 6:30 p.m. on a Saturday.

M. Zane Grey said...

I've twice unsuccessfully tried to order a lobster roll at the Barking Dog Café, and some friends have had the same experience. I finally just ended up making my own, and it was wonderful.

terrykirts said...

Frustrating as not getting your lobster roll can be, I have no problems when it's an issue with a hard-to-source, seasonal ingredient or if the staff lets you know it's an issue with getting the quality of an ingredient they want. But when it's steak or ribs or even bread (the Restaurant at the Villa was out of it the last time I ate there, a couple of years ago, and they comped us an appetizer), well, that's inexcusable. I wanted to run out to O'Malia's and get them some bread. Thankfully, I like cake doughnuts better than glazed (not that I eat doughnuts that often unless they're replacing the bun of a burger--and that only once!).

kevin said...

Yats gets my nomination for the restaurant that is constantly running out of everything. At least the one on Mass Ave. does

braingirl said...

I didn't know dogs ate lobster rolls? The wine canine truly is one sophisticated pooch.

M. Zane Grey said...

Oh, I don't know if "sophisticated" is exactly the right word. As a rule, Weimaraners will eat about anything that doesn't run faster than they do.

Anonymous said...

The last two times I've been to Bada they've been out of the menu item I wanted to order ... Doesn't exactly encourage you to come back.