Inedit Owners: We're Doing It "The Way Our Forefathers Did"

Inedit Co-Owner Luis Varela.
In my short timing reviewing Broward County restaurants for the New Times it's been rare that chefs or owners have reached out, even for favorable reviews.

Inedit owners Jose and Luis Varela sent us an impassioned, near angry response to our review in the February 21 issue. It's understandable why. We found the Spanish restaurant's tapas, on which it stakes its pride, lackluster. As we said on weekend evenings the restaurant was full of fun action, which the Varelas said they didn't see. We noted the a great crowd, the speedy service, the fair-priced drinks and a great Flamenco show. Luis said they regularly do around 200 covers on Fridays and Saturdays. "They must like it," he added.

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Elin Trousdale of Le Bistro Responds to the Review

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Steady 70
Chef Andy Trousdale with the infamous kidneys

We review restaurants all the time--almost once a week. But, rarely, do the chefs and restaurants' owners get the opportunity to respond. After this week's review was published, we received a call from Elin Trousdale of Le Bistro. She was concerned with the description of kidneys in a dish, "the metallic, urine-like flavor of innards."

With that, we decided to give her the opportunity to answer back. Her response after the jump.

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Pastrami Wars: A Rebuttal

morrissey via Flickr
Here at New Times, we're accustomed to getting comments on our blog, invitations from PR flacks, and queries from friends wondering whether the food critic might be a tad lonely and need a companion for dinner. But it's not every day that a reader sits down to write a full-fledged literary criticism/rebuttal to a restaurant review.

A gentleman tried to post the following as a comment but had technical difficulties, so he asked me to put it up instead. What the hell -- it can have its own post.

He was responding to this article about a writer's quest for a great Jewish deli.
SUBJECT: Pastrami Wars
LETTER: I tried to submit a response. it doesn't seem like it got through, could you please post?

First you are right, every spot has its shortcomings and long suits. Most likely no way can you find out the hidden treasures or hidden disasters in one sitting.

You take on Zingers with your first meal. The matzo ball soup comment could have been phrased as such: "The Matzo Ball was large enough for a full meal and dominated the cup it came in and because the broth was salty, it gave the Matzo Ball great flavor. I will spend an extra penny next time and try ordering a Bowl, which I expect to share."

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Rosie's Attitude Adjusters

"We've created an environment where everyone feels comfortable," says John Zieba of Rosie's, the restaurant of this week's review that he co-owns with Cliff Mulcahy. "We're where locals go on vacation."

While the most conservative Floridians might not choose Rosie's for its soundtrack, the explosion of color, and the kitsch, it is the kind of place that's hospitable to anyone who crosses the threshold. Every time I've gone solo, I'm sucked in to a stranger's crew. Patrons seem to take on the owners' hospitality.

Part of the schtick, of course, are the T-shirts, which display a variety of observations on the back. They're limited editions, retired when the owners suggest they've run their course.

After the jump, you'll find the sayings on Rosie's T-shirts as well as those retired. Any suggestions for new ones? If so, leave them in the comments. 

And be sure to order Rosie's bloody mary next time you visit for brunch. I'd agree with Zieba that they're quite hardy: breakfast in a glass.

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Why Local Fish Costs As Much As It Does

I'd been hearing about Sushi Bon since the week I moved here as worth the trek an hour north of where I live for fresh, local sushi. I was told to skip the hard copy of the menu and look to the board by the sushi bar. I finally visited several times to see for myself.

I had also heard chef Ebi Hana had been buying fish off the boat, but I was confused. Other chefs had told me buying direct from fishermen is illegal. That most restaurants have to go through fish vendors is part of what keeps the price of local seafood so high. Chef Dean Max of 3030 Ocean, for example, will call his fishermen contacts in Hawaii when the price of local wahoo spikes.

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Sushi Bon

What Makes a Good Butcher? Sharp Knives and Good Customers

My grandfather ran a company in which he made sausages for Italian, Polish, and German immigrants throughout Boston. My father worked there in summers between college. My uncle worked there for decades. I remember my grandfather telling stories about his craft and his customers, scenarios that culled my appreciation for my grandfather, of course, but also for the art of butchering.

My admiration for the craft was renewed when I moved to Washington, D.C., in 2004, when I met the legendary Pam the Butcher, who yields a mean cleaver and likes her whiskey.

I'd often visit her to learn about various cuts, deals, and ways to prepare meats. But her storytelling was also a draw. "I cussed out my first salesman when I was 10," she told the Washington Post in an interview. "My parents went down to Florida to see my dying great-aunt, and I didn't go to school for three days." It's Pam who I've quoted in the headline of this blog.

The rise of the butcher shop had just begun in major cities that first year in D.C.,

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