Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Ok, helping an old lady cross the street is still free, but no one is trying to ban helping old ladies across the street...yet.

However, if that old lady is on her way to a nice restaurant in Philadelphia you might have to help her past some loud-mouthed protesters trying to ban Foie Gras, and if they have their way one day you could find yourself being arrested as an accessory to a crime. But now, for the low low price of $5, you can help stop this draconian future from coming to pass and save yourself the expense of hiring a high-priced attorney.

Next week, a group of Philadelphia restaurateurs who have joined forces as Philadelphia Chefs for Choice (sorry, Chicago Chefs for Choice was a bit catchier) are hosting Freedom Foie For Five (ok, now that's catchy.) From Oct. 1-7 all of the participating restaurants will be offering Foie Gras dishes at only $5 a creamy, luscious pop.

The goal of the event is to spread the Foie Gras as far and wide as possible, so those who've never had the opportunity to enjoy it before will spread the word and influence the public opinion needed to keep City Councilman Jack Kelly's proposed Foie Gras ban from coming to pass. Hopefully some of Philly's lobbyists will be happy to shell out the extra fiver when they're out to lunch with other members of the City Council - or at least slip it under the table. Wink, wink.

FoieBlog wishes Philadelphia Chefs for Choice the best of luck. Hugs for Puppies is going to have their work cut out for them next week staying on top of 20 restaurants dishing out more Foie Gras than ever before - up until now they've barely been able to muster up a protest at one eatery at a time.

We also encourage our readers not to look at this as just an opportunity to save a few bucks, but to spread the joy among your friends. Just think about it, for the price you usually pay for Foie Gras, you can introduce 3 or 4 of your gastronomically-naive friends to our favorite dish.

Philadelphia Chefs for Choice say you'll be enjoying the kind of freedom Abe Lincoln would be proud of - we only wish they'd chosen George Washington. Democratic Ducks for a Dollar!

Maybe next year.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


FoieBlog has never seen a restaurant faced with such an onslaught of animal activism as Restaurant Jezebel in Austin, TX. Twice a week for months now, Noah Cooper's gang from Central Texas Animal Defense have continued their annoying protests, threats, and vandalism against Parind Vora's establishment. Nevertheless Parind tells FoieBlog he will never take Foie Gras off his menu, and we have no reason not to believe him. Heck, Foie Gras sales are up as a result of the controversy, so he says.

Now, Vora's plight is finally being recognized nationally, as the Center For Consumer Freedom has thrown it's weight behind him. If only they could get that trans fat ban in NYC overturned, then we'd be really happy.

If FoieBlog gave out an Award for Achievement in Excellence in the Face of Animal Activist Adversity, Parind Vora would be our top candidate this year. In fact, lets go ahead and establish that award right now. Tickets for our gala ball will be on sale later this month, and we'll be sending out invites to all of Hollywood's finest vegetarians just as soon as we get around to it.

I wouldn't expect Moby to be performing at the awards ceremony, but maybe Ted Nugent will be available.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


After a quick chase on Tuesday, Austin police apprehended Josh Rosenberg, the animal rights activist accused of defacing Restaurant Jezebel, as he tried to run out of his backyard. Kudos to the fine officers of the APD for tracking down this creep. Rosenberg now faces felony criminal mischief charges and is being held on $20,000 bail.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


FoieBlog doesn't expect much decorum from animal activists, but this is pretty bad.
According to their website, the illustrious Central Texas Animal Defense has scheduled yet another protest outside of Restaurant Jezebel in Austin for this most solemn of days. No, we are not trying to draw any parallels between the 9/11 terror attacks and the feeble activists of CTAD, but there are days for this sort of thing and and there are days that aren't. 9/11 should not be one of those days. We doubt this will sit well with the residents of 43's home state.
In any event, there could be some action outside of Restaurant Jezebel this evening worthy of an episode of COPS. KVUE reports that Austin police have identified the person responsible for vandalizing the establishment on at least 2 occasions. According to the report, Jezebel's owner, Parind Vora set up a surveillance camera to catch the creep in the act. He did, and the cops cross-referenced the video with one taken at a recent protest outside of the eatery where the suspect, Josh Rosenberg was present. Despite Noah Cooper of CTAD insisting that the ones responsible for the vandalism "are putting themselves and the perception of animal rights activists are risk," it looks like they are a bit closer than Mr. Cooper would otherwise admit.
FoieBlog would also like to thank one of our readers (JS) for pointing out that CTAD has started taking their dog and pony show outside Austin and is now harassing Bistro Vatel in San Antonio. Run by a Damien Watel, who claims to be the descendant of a chef of Louis Quatorze, Bistro Vatel features Foie Gras et Pain Perdu as an appetizer on a very nice-looking bistro menu that also offers Duck Breast with Rhubarb and Sauteed Sweetbreads in Bernaise sauce. Protesters are expected this Saturday, 9/15.
For Watel's sake, FoieBlog hopes the police in San Antonio are as diligent as Austin's finest.

Monday, September 10, 2007


Like a struggling actress in Hollywood looking for her big break, or a simple blogger overwhelmed with bills for website hosting and T1 lines, FoieBlog has taken the inevitable step of going into porn.

We know, whatever sliver of credibility we may have had is history, but when you take a look at the pix, we think you'll be as persuaded as we were.


(Our thanks to MH in upstate NY)

Friday, September 7, 2007


No, we're not talking about the cockroaches.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that our friend, Didier Durand of Chicago's Cyrano's Bistrot was the target of some pests who decided to rat him out to the health department for supposedly serving Foie Gras in defiance of the city's ban.
While they came up empty in their search for the contraband, a few creepy crawlies were found - apparently due to some construction going on elsewhere in the building - and the restaurant was shut down.
FoieBlog hopes whoever the snitch was feels good about what they've done. Not only have they initiated the massacre of some poor helpless creatures (what, you guys don't care about insects, or not soft and cuddly enough for you?) but they put several hard working waitstaff, cooks and dishwashers out of work for a couple of days. Nice to see these lousy activists care so much about their fellow Chicagoans.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007


GrasGuy doesn't get French Thai.

It's not that I don't like the concept. Who wouldn't? Two of the world's great cuisines mixing to create a culinary atom bomb combining the creamy, buttery fatty goodness of traditional French cooking with the powerful, sinus-dissipating spices of traditional Thai, it's hard to imagine a better idea.

No, GrasGuy doesn't get French Thai, because he can't get it, because it pretty much doesn't exist.

Yes, there are "French Thai" restaurants aplenty, but take a look at the menus. More often than not they're straight-up Thai with a Steak au Poivre or Bouillabaisse thrown in for good measure. Maybe the chef even uses a little French technique on his Pad Krapow, but true fusion? Rarely. And that's a shame.

Sure, I'm making a broad generalization, and many of you will disagree. But it's not often I've seen baguettes in Bangkok (so to speak), and if you think about it, you probably haven't either.

So how did Foie Gras end up on the menu of one of my favorite Thai restaurants in New York?

Thai food in Manhattan is very much like Chinese food in Europe. Terrible, and unauthentic to a fault. So I'm not surprised when people tell me they don't like Thai food. Saddened, but not surprised. I'm equally upset when someone tells me they love Thai food, and then tell me where they had it. More often than not its called Thai Somethingorother 3.

Thankfully there are a few exceptions. Places like Kittichai, Pooket, and Land, where you can experience all the wonderful flavors Thai cuisine has to offer, rather than the greasy, bland trash most restaurants dumb down for us Farang.

One restaurant that manages to straddle the line between accessibility and taste is a very lively spot called Highline. No, this isn't your Thai neighbor's grandmother's food, but it's a lot better than Bangkok Thisandthat 5 in Midtown, and just as cheap - a miracle, given the swank ultramodern decor of it's three-level layout, not to mention it's location in the high-priced Meatpacking District. While the menu includes many Thai classics like Basil Beef and Green Curry Chicken, it also takes some chances. Pad Thai Spring Rolls is a signature dish you'll likely find nowhere else, but not as surprising as the recently added Foie Gras Puffs.

Filled with Curried Foie Gras and served with a Smoked Soy Reduction flavored with Tamarind, a bite of one of these flaky babies will knock your proverbial socks off but leave you asking - where's the Foie Gras? There's a familiar flavor in there somewhere, I think, but doused in all that curry it could be anything. After dissecting the insides of one of these, I discovered very small pieces of what I assumed was ground Foie Gras and just decided to leave it at that and bask in the whole of this outstanding $8 appetizer. Then, just as I was about to finish, I poked around one last time and, sure enough, came up with a forkful-sized hunk of Foie Gras. Biting into it I was instantly transported to a far away place from my past - my mother's kitchen, as she handed me a fried piece of the liver that comes in that little bag of giblets you get with an oven stuffer roaster.

Yea, it was that bad. But what do you expect for $8.

I know, it's my own fault. I should've just enjoyed the dish for what it was, but being GrasGuy I just had to go deeper, trying to unwrap the dish and find something clever to say about what I found. As it turns out I'll always remember that last, disappointing bite, rather than the first, which made me say "wow!" Lesson learned.

Would I order it again? Sure would. In fact, I've never had a bad dish at Highline. Their version of red snapper with sweet Thai chili sauce is one of the best in town, and the noodle dishes are spot on. And while I could live without the trendy bed/tables on the upper level, there's nothing like drinking a ginger mojito poolside with a disco ball in your face - head downstairs and you'll know what I'm talking about.

Korp Koon Krap, Highline, Korp Koon Krap.


FoieBlog knows it was just one line, a statement of fact, in fact, but it's placement turned us the wrong way, perhaps with good reason. Turs out we aren't alone.

In an earlier post, we voiced our concern over a line inserted into a Bloomberg News interview with Mark Hix, Chef Director of The Ivy restaurant in London, that went out of it's way to point out that his restaurant had been targeted by anti-Foie Gras protestors - in an article that had nothing to do with the subject. To this date, neither the writer nor the Bloomberg editorial staff has responded to our e-mails. However, sources in the UK culinary community similarly concerned about the article tell us that it was not the work of the writer, Richard Vines. Our apologies for any offenses made to him. On the other hand, we understand that it was the editor of the article that was responsible for its inclusion - which raises even more concerning questions. Was this merely the work of some overzealous newsroom hack trying to look smart, or, worse, make his own point? Or was it that said editor was following an internal directive on the subject?

FoieBlog will continue to try to get to the bottom of this, but we urge our readers to be wary in the meantime, and send in tips on any similar occurrences you come across. History has shown that even one sentence, however small, can have great effects.

"Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall." - Ronald Regan, 1987

"Can't we all just get along?" - Rodney King, 1992

"I'll be back." - The Terminator, as played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, 1984

British restaurants are under a full-on assault from the anti-Foie Gras activists - including many in the liberal media there - and it's going to be up to the restaurateurs themselves to man the battlements. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, "we shall fight in the press."

(OK, doesn't have the same ring without the Cuban cigar and Siren Suit, but you get the point.)

UPDATE: GrasGuy finally heard back from Richard Vines and we can confirm that it was not he who was responsible for the line. While he did protest its inclusion, Mr. Vines says the editors added it for purely "informational" purposes. Again, we apologise for any offenses made to Mr. Vines and appreciate his forthrightness on the issue. We of course still have questions about the editor's motive behind including this "information," but for now will leave the issue alone and keep it in mind while perusing the news outlets of the world.
FoieBlog's motives, of course, remain no mystery.