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Unclassified Info: Making some big, easy improvements

April 18, 2011|By Gary Huerta

A few of you may have noticed I was missing last week. For those of you who were praying that my absence would continue, I am sorry to disappoint. I have returned from a nine-day business trip to New Orleans and will now resume with my regularly scheduled pestering.

This week I thought it might be appropriate to compare and contrast our little corner of the world with the Big Easy — or “Nawlins” as the locals are prone to call it. Come to think of it, I wonder what tourists will call Glendale once we get that long, long, long-awaited brand strategy from that firm in Tennessee. Anyone ever hear anything about that? Or did that notion float away like so much driftwood on the Mississippi River? Oh well, I digress bitterly.

First, let me compare climates. I am pleased to report we win hands down, unless you like sweating profusely from pores you never knew you had. I, for one, am not a big fan of humidity and neither are my lungs.

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I now understand why scores of people in the 1800s were sent west to rid themselves of their unknown lung ailments. By my fifth day abroad, I could feel something was definitely blooming within my chest cavity, and upon my arrival back home I was privileged to bring a hacking cough as one of my souvenirs.

Call me crazy, but I’m giving the food category a tie. Yes, I know that New Orleans is one of the culinary capitals of the world. And I ate at some truly remarkable restaurants and had arguably the best breakfast of my entire life at Brennan’s. The three-course meal included turtle soup, poached eggs over lump crab smothered in brandy-cream sauce and bananas. The meal was so epic that I photographed every course as it arrived just to document its magnificence.

How often does one do that with a meal? I ate Oysters Rockefeller at Antoine’s (the dish was invented there around 1891) and a number of other delicacies, compliments of my corporate expense account. So why give this category a tie? Because we are home to Sedthee Thai Eatery, Far Niente, Carousel and a number of other small restaurants, which may not get world-wide recognition, but nevertheless deliver culinary excellence every day.

And as they say, there is nothing like home cooking. My only wish is that we had just one restaurant that truly excelled at breakfast. Why is it so impossible to get hot eggs to a table?

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