The Inter-Webs

Fighting Food Blog Fatigue in the Dog Days of Dallas Summer.

Thought I’d feature this one again (yes I realize it’s raining – I posted this in August!):

The air is too damn hot! I have REAL work to do! What’s up with all these blogs all the sudden?!

Yes, it’s hot. Yes, I’m extremely busy at my actual job and laser focused on the launch of this little piece of social media magic. And, yes, the for-profit Dallas food blog scene is now crowded with major new players.

These realities had conspired to place TheBrad’s Blog on hiatus, from which it is now returning. Since I do this blog mainly for fun and not for income, I needed to redefine its focus in order to inspire its future. Being less interested in breaking news, scandal, releasing press, or tabloid shenanigans than, say, food porn – is telling. So we’ll get back to the original passion of the blog:

Phoodojournalism.

Sexy pics of food and wine, the environs they occupy, the passionate people behind their creation and presentation – and a few sentence fragments to hold it all together.

I do have some other stuff up my sleeve. I am a filmmaker and am a partner in a major social media management firm, after all – so there are shenanigans of my own design afoot. But the main purpose of this blog is to share with you moments, tastes, spaces that I find exceptional or at least worth your time to seek out.

I have a backlog of literally 70 stories, many too good to let slip by, so I’ll be posting events from the last year or so along with current adventures. In the context of adding to the record I hope you will find this a continually entertaining experience.

Thanks for dropping by, and enjoy!

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^ A fooding frenzy! Breaking news and press media dinners are well covered by other blogger pals, though I attend these events on rare occasion. (This media dinner at Screen Door was .

I frequent many of the establishments that I cover often, and accept invitations to certain charity events to “help the cause,” and… have some fun. Otherwise – I take pics of food that intrigues me – prepared by people who’s talent I respect, and often who’s friendship I cherish.

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^ Inspiration. My friend of 16 years returns to his roots for my B-Day dinner.

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^ Integrity. ThePack.

The Brad’s August Mea Culpa… and some Dallas Foodie Shenanigans!

Hey there! I ask my faithful fans – and curious newcomers – to remember that I maintain this blog with a mix of self-deprecating hubris, legitimate altruism, and great regard for others passionate about the joy of food. (See the "About" blurb on the upper right corner of this page for all you need to know.)

As I am not a journalist by trade, occasionally my real job distracts me from my passion to update my blog.

I ask you, once again, to bear with me. I offer this photo essay to keep you interested. There are fascinating stories behind each and every photo. I will endeavor to relate as many as I can… and I will continue to cache many to come. 

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OK – I'm on it!

Tech Bite: TheBrad on iPad

We got some new toys for our latest venture spark360.tv – so I commandeered one and put it to good use:

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Believe the hype – this thing is sweeeet. I use TypePad – so they will need to do a little work on taking advantage of the extra real estate on the device and create a robust mobile posting interface. Then I'll be one happy blogger.

I blogged Luscher’s The Grape and lived to, well, blog about it…

You may be aware of the flap caused by this post over at Hiller's blog recounting The Grape chef/owner Brian Luscher's feelings on early reviews and casual food blogging.

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I kinda agree with him. I started this blog primarily to showcase the food I like to eat in a way that allows others to experience what it really looks like on the plate, at the table. I go to considerable trouble to be unobtrusive while getting the goods. I use a very small camera that is good in low light (NEVER use the flash) and have some skill in image processing. This allows my peeps to see what they are missing! Generally, the only consternation involves my dining companions enduring the obligatory snaps. "Can I eat now, BRAD!"

My readers also understand that I do not do criticism – it's a food porn blog, with a tale here and there.

Well, Brian and I get along just fine. I was at The Grape during that whole Pat Sharpe Burger business and hung around for an early dinner last summer. I thought it would be fun to share the snaps… (Notice the "dreamy depth of field.")

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Brian and I are cooking up a fun post for the future – stay tuned!

Grape on Urbanspoon

Stay with me! So much More To Come!

I am just crazy-swamped at my real job, but have dozens of posts waiting for some editorial and finishing. I promise to start letting them out! Meanwhile – here:

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…I'll be right with you!

Because She Can.

Today is the birthday of my lovely and talented friend, Carol.

You people like blogs…? Don't even start with me…

Find her here: Alinea at Home …and, previously, here: The French Laundry at Home …and share the love.

TheBrad ♥ TheCarol.  HB, Kiddo.

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^ another day at the office; and our "Twilight" promo snap… (Guess the venue…)

Guilty Pleasure Hangover Cure: Grand Lux Cafe

Yesterday morning I saw this tweet go by: Ruhlman was heading off to the Cheesecake Factory to "see for myself." I thought "Oh here we go, this should be good." It turns out he was challenged by author and journalist Kelly Alexander to go eat the Miso Salmon dish and not enjoy it. (Showing here)

My lunch choice was settled. I have never eaten at a location of the Cheesecake Factory either, but we do have a Grand Lux Cafe down the street. 

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^ …yes, there was a wait at lunch.

Grand Lux Cafe was conceived by Cheesecake founder David Overton when approached by Vegas' Venetian Resort, Hotel and Casino to create an upscale version of his chain. There are now 13 locations across the country. I believe Lux's price point is slightly higher and there are only a few dishes shared with the Factory. What they do have in common: a massive menu, generous (bordering on outrageous) portions, and passionate devotees. When I find myself at a bit of a deficit (let's say due to more research of the Burgundy region's white wines) …this place nicely fits the bill.

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^ The finish-out carries over from the Las Vegas original. The room is huge and the detail is impressive.

A favorite dish is the Max Burger: Angus beef stuffed with short ribs, etc. – but not today.

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^ Short Rib Grilled Cheese: Slow-roasted Short Ribs, Caramelized Onion and Creamy Melted Cheese on Grilled Country Bread, Peperoncini Relish. And the gargantuan Fish and Chips: Fresh Fish Tempura Style, Peanut Cole Slaw, House Tartar Sauce.

The bread on the sandwich was just so and the short ribs, succulent. The fish was well prepared, juicy – the batter crisp and light. And there are, like, six or seven large pieces – insane. I left feeling quite a bit better. Mission accomplished.

Grand Lux Cafe on Urbanspoon

Why I care to do this: A meal w/ friends… Nobu, Dallas.

I write this blog for friends and family… and I'm happy to note that the league of friends interested in my "Adventures in Food" has grown over the last year. There has been some interesting recent discussion regarding food blogs in general, and the question of journalistic integrity relating to independent "foodie" blogs in particular. I direct my readers to the "About" section at the top right of my blog page.

In this spirit, I publish this post. It's not material with whom I dined, nor the circumstances of the evening (interesting as these details may be). This is all about food porn: my initial concept for this blog. I often delay posts in need of getting details from the chef. Screw it. Enjoy.

I asked "Jet" to join me and some friends for a wonderful, meaningful meal at Nobu… we sat in the back corner of the restaurant, at the sushi bar, and let chefs Matt Raso & Mitsuhiro Eguchi dazzle us, as they do. Showing here:

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It's all about crazy good food and all that is associated with it's preparation, presentation, and consumption. Go forth, be passionate… and eat. I'll do my part to get the taste buds twitching.

Nobu on Urbanspoon

Moonlighting.

While Nancy Nichols tromps around Belgium, she asked me and a couple other Dallas food bloggers to pitch in and post some stuff on the D Magazine SideDish blog.  I was tryin' not to slack, so I posted this item: The Tesar Interview.

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Three Musketeers: JT, B-Rad, Teach @ Nobu for Eguchi's omakase.

(BTW: this is not the meal I posted here, you'll see THIS meal featured as part of a multi-chapter exploration of Omakase…)

Hep me! I’m gonna ‘splode!

Ah, c'mon… It was the Super Bowl – what better time to pile on an inter-web phenom and make one of those damned Bacon Explosion deals? It was kinda fun, if somewhat nauseating at times, to prepare. I started by heading out to Central Market – one plan was to jazz up the recipe with pancetta, and specialty sausages – but I decided to stick with the original concept of the dish for this attempt.

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^ Apple-wood Smoked Bacon; check out my bitchin' weave.

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^ Feeling nostalgic (and curious of their foray into commercialization) I tried Salt Lick Dry Rub. The recipe then calls for Italian Sausage – so I went with a mild bulk sausage, and added my own Jalapenos, in the spirit of the whole BBQ thing.

Prep
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^ Here we are with the sausage topped with cooked crumbled Bacon, Jalapenos and drizzled with half Salt Lick Chipotle BBQ Sauce and half Rufus Teague Made Some Sauce Touch o' Heat. Then you roll it up and into the smoker. (I used indirect heat in my gas grill with trays of Mesquite wood chips creating smoke for about 2.5 hrs.)

Result
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You are supposed to glaze it with more BBQ sauce, but I skipped that for the pics. I dunno – it tastes pretty good! I'll have to go on strict Atkins and finish it off!