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  • Article

    Isle Be Loving You

    "All of our restaurants are casual," the owner of the Seaside Inn on Sanibel Island told us, "and none of them is great." On a brief weekend getaway from Miami, I had only a few chances to experience local flavor, so I did something I hardly eve...

    by Jen Karetnick on July 11, 1996
  • Article

    Exorcism by Pasta

    Every night at about ten o'clock, my phone rings just once, as if someone had pinged the bell with a forefinger. If I answer it, I hear only the dial tone. "Power surge," my husband suggests. But I know better, and my psychic agrees: My grandmother p...

    by Jen Karetnick on July 4, 1996
  • Article

    Home Improvement

    I love summer projects, and this year I've taken on a doozy: overhauling our restaurant capsules. Revisiting restaurants I haven't been to lately, checking out places that have undergone alterations in chef, menu, or management. I can't rewrite the c...

    by Jen Karetnick on June 26, 1996
  • Article

    Ever on Sunday

    "It's all about balance," my dinner companion, a fellow writer, said to me over cocktails a few evenings ago. She paused to sip her Cuda Red Ale thoughtfully. "Yes," she said, swallowing appreciatively, holding up her pint glass as if to catch and dr...

    by Jen Karetnick on June 20, 1996
  • Article

    Forever Yeung's

    When I got married, my mother-in-law gave me the family bible --the cookbook her temple had put together as a community fundraiser one year. All of her son's favorite childhood dishes were in there. I thanked her and assured her I'd never let him sta...

    by Jen Karetnick on June 13, 1996
  • Article

    Pig Out

    I have a love/hate relationship with high-priced brunches, buffets, salad bars -- virtually any all-you-can-eat meal. I adore the endless variety, and the idea of sampling, taking little tastes of dishes without being obliged to order or consume an e...

    by Jen Karetnick on June 6, 1996
  • Article

    Flannel, No Grunge

    In the Eighties, when consumerism was at an all-time high, Americans became adventurous, willing to try anything without thought of the consequences. Extreme sports. Junk bonds. And food: sushi. Steak tartare topped with raw egg. In the Nineties...

    by Jen Karetnick on May 30, 1996
  • Article

    My Dinner at Andre

    In order to maintain my anonymity, I caution my guests about being obvious. Don't call me Jen, I warn them. Don't mention New Times. Don't be too enthusiastic about the food. Talk about something -- anything -- else. I've yet to be found out in ...

    by Jen Karetnick on May 23, 1996
  • Article

    All My Bambinos

    Surfside. Bal Harbour. North Bay Village. Bay Harbor Islands. A war brews in the least likely of neighborhoods. Only this one isn't about drugs, guns, or gangs. This fight's about noodles. Prompted by my remark a few columns ago linking Oggi Caf...

    by Jen Karetnick on May 16, 1996
  • Article

    Snoot Camp

    Dedicated to the proposition that all restaurant customers are created equal, I have a recurring dream: I walk into Mark's in the Grove, where I have made a reservation, and don't have to wait more than half an hour for my table, buying seven-dollar ...

    by Jen Karetnick on May 9, 1996
  • Article

    Cheap Thrills

    My husband opened the refrigerator, stuffed with the rich remains of tony meals we couldn't finish. He closed the door and sighed. There was nothing he wanted to eat. "Time to find a dive," he said. My editor marked up yet another in a series of...

    by Jen Karetnick on May 2, 1996
  • Article

    Caribbean Cowboy Junkie

    Like a beacon to the untalented, a white baby grand piano sat in the middle of the terrazzo floor of South Beach's Astor Place Bar & Grill. Next to it was a rowdy table of ten, five guys and their model-type girls. One man, encased in tight black pan...

    by Jen Karetnick on April 25, 1996
  • Article

    Too Much of the Daily Grind

    In a recent article titled "Why I Disapprove of What I Do," New York Times restaurant critic Ruth Reichl reflects on a piece of advice given to her in the Seventies by the late M.F.K. Fisher. To be a restaurant critic, Fisher told her, you have to be...

    by Jen Karetnick on April 18, 1996
  • Article

    Getting Mushy

    I have a friend who likes to order his pasta al dente. I laugh every time we go to a restaurant together. In this age of trend-conscious restaurateuring, springy noodles cooked "to the tooth" are a given, his have-it-my-way directive equivalent to or...

    by Jen Karetnick on April 11, 1996
  • Article

    Let's Get Ready to Gumbo

    I'm homesick for New Orleans, though I've never actually lived there. Moist breezes blowing into sudden summer pyrotechnics. Distinctive architecture housing distinctive modern-art galleries. Tugboats guiding cargo ships up and down the muddy river. ...

    by Jen Karetnick on April 4, 1996
  • Article

    Basque Ball

    Certain candies have commemorative powers for me. I can't see a Heath bar without remembering cramming for college exams, a Milky Way without recalling the Sunday night stuff-my-face ritual before the starvation diets that always began on high school...

    by Jen Karetnick on March 28, 1996
  • Article

    The Doctor Is In

    In last year's movie Safe, Julianne Moore plays a well-to-do homemaker stricken with environmental illness. She becomes allergic to the chemicals floating around her A not just to car exhaust, cleaning solutions, and pesticides sprayed on supermarket...

    by Jen Karetnick on March 21, 1996
  • Article

    Good Enough for Mama

    In my mother's kitchen, I am pupil. I am disciple, apprentice. In my mother's kitchen, I am prep cook and sous chef. And in my mother's kitchen, now that I'm grown, I am also sometimes rival. My mother's kitchen is not only in her house. My moth...

    by Jen Karetnick on March 14, 1996
  • Article

    At Your Disservice

    Midseason, midbeautiful weather, I am, like most Miamians, inundated with houseguests. Which means eating out in my neighborhood almost every night, not for the purposes of writing critical reviews but for pleasure, visiting restaurants I've liked in...

    by Jen Karetnick on March 7, 1996
  • Article

    Masterpiece Feeder

    Fans, by definition, are enthusiastic admirers of someone or something, ardent in their appreciation. You'd think they'd be easy to please, more willing to forgive small lapses than those who are indifferent. But I've found some fans' expectations to...

    by Jen Karetnick on February 29, 1996
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