It’s finally beginning to happen: The next generation is beginning to make its mark on restaurants and supermarkets/ Today, at Albertson’s Supermarket, I saw a large display of cold beverages featuring Red Bull and Starbucks drinks at $3-4 a pop. I noted to Martine that I pay about $8-10 for a pound of loose Indian black tea that will last me for upwards of eight months, for both cold and hot beverages.
Before going to Albertson’s, we had lunch at Truxton’s American Bistro. Perhaps a more appropriate name would be TSF: “Thirty-Something Food.” The new foodies love to mess around with the menu and its ingredients. Their iced tea was flavored with some chemical extract meant to imitate passion fruit—whatever that tastes like! But you better believe it was called organic, as if that made it taste like tea, which it does not. In fact, it obliterates the taste of the tea, such that I wonder why they bother adding any tea at all. The pizza had fresh basil, but I guess the chef thought it needed salt, a lot more salt. I felt that they were trying just a little too hard to appear unique.
It takes many years of experience to learn how to cook, especially when it comes to herbs and spices. We’ve all seen little kids at self-service soda machines: they try to mix Coke with Seven-Up with Root Beer with Mr. Pibb, with maybe a dash of raspberry iced tea for good measure. The end result of this type of experimentation is usually deplorable. I’m not saying that young chefs are quite in the same category, but sometimes it seems that way.
As the generations change, it is inevitable that the type of foods on offer will change as well. There will be a lot of dishes I will never try because the ingredients fight with one another more than complement one another. On the other hand, there are some successes, such as California Pizza Kitchen. Their chopped salads are superb, and some of their pizzas are excellent (especially the Sicilian). Martine refuses to go there because the menu contains too many of what she considers “experimental” combinations.
I suppose that the ultimate thirty-something places are Starbucks and Jamba Juice and their imitators, neither of which I patronize. I don’t drink coffee; and juice is verboten for all diabetes sufferers (juices concentrate the sugars and carbs and throw out the fiber).