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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Sunday, November 27

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Restaurant Mon Aug 27 2007

Almost Vegan at Nacional 27

The attentive staff at the elaborately decorated Nacional 27 brought us many little tastings along the way to dinner. They mentioned that each came from the chef. As my dining companion pointed out, that conjured thoughts of the chef watching over our table knowing just what to send out and when. First came two servings of guacamole - each on a long, deeply crispy fried potato chip. Blended into the avocado, smoked chili pepper gave a wonderfully fragrant woodsy flavor. Long and flat cumin-cilantro bread sticks were given to us sticking from a glass. A thick, deep red but mildly spicy chili spread accompanied. They took care of my vegan wishes by offering their Latin vegetable tasting or modern Latin vegetarian rice. The latter filled me well. The kitchen formed corn, mushrooms, roasted peppers and chayote into a tightly formed cone shape. It tasted newly picked. Salsa dotted the perimeter, with larger concentric spots of oil separated out. Another gratis treat had come just before that - a mixture with baby octopus or squid (I don't recall) on small spoons with long, hammered metal handles. Perhaps the chef forgot I was vegan. No worries - my friend told me the finely diced celery in them was amazingly fresh. For dessert, we shared a snifter of richly sweet El Dorado rum. Two cakey chocolate truffles came with. I'm guessing they weren't vegan either, but the gesture was appreciated. I'd return, perhaps for their Friday or Saturday salsa nights as soon as I learn to dance. In the meantime, I'll try their house-made bitters.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

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