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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, December 3

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Random Wed Jul 22 2015

Clean Up Your Menu, Freshii

Anthony Bourdain recently stated that Asian chefs are leading the evolution of American cuisine, a sentiment I believe is well founded given the recent food trends. And yet, I saw the exact opposite of that during my recent trek to Freshii. I was ordering a salad off their menu when I came across the "Ninja." I then proceeded to read the core ingredients:

Ninja: spinach and romaine, cabbage, edamame, carrots, cucumbers, cilantro, crispy wontons, asian sesame dressing

Ah yes, the ubiquitous "Asian" salad found on every menu, except this one wasn't named Mandarin Surprise or Wonton Madness. It was "Ninja," a Japanese term unrelated to any of its Chinese ingredients. If I ordered it, I almost hoped a black-figured man would leap over the counters and hurl razor stars all over the restaurant. Though my only real gripe was that the salad name wasn't more modern and relevant, like the "Doctor" or the "Computer Programmer" or the "Sandra Oh." Even the "Buddha" left me dissatisfied -- imagine a salad called Mohammad or Jesus or Vishnu or Yahweh (challah croutons?!). That would certainly raise heads. And if the Ninja is on Freshii's menu, why not rename the "Fiesta" into something equally exciting, something that Donald Trump would approve.

In 2011, a Brooklyn sandwich shop offered several creative menu options, including the "Butterface," the "Gay Boy" (veggie bacon, veggie cheese, avocado, sprouts), and the "Illegal" (turkey, jalapenos, jack cheese). While Freshii doesn't stoop to that level, the company is also not a hipster cafe begging for a lawsuit.They're international and socially-conscious, meaning public appeal is important. So FYI Freshii, either offend everyone, or don't offend anyone (especially your covert mercenary types).

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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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