I’m a butter fanatic. Call it a fetish. I know. I’m freaky.
When I die, in lieu of cremation followed by scattering my ashes off a cliff somewhere — instead, baste me in melted butter. Then, deep fry me like a beignet until golden crisp and deep brown. Next sprinkle me with gobs of powdered sugar. Finally, toss me off a cliff. That way a hungry seagull can clutch, swallow and ultimately shit the last final vestiges of my earthy existence. At least my life will have had some meaning.
The great chef and culinary icon Julia Child also had a thing for butter. It was an obsession, really. She didn’t take any short-cuts inside her kitchen, which became an extension of our own homes. Child’s recipes made their way into our dining rooms and transformed how we looked upon food, not simply as a bodily requirement but as an experience. Accordingly, she didn’t resort to cooking with cheap imitations, nor resort of the use artificial ingredients. Convenience, my ass. Fuck that. Julia Child never used “low-calorie” this, nor “lite” that. Ever. And so according to that most hallowed of gospels, there was nor is no replacement for butter. Authenticity has no substitute. As they say, you can’t fake sincerity.
The last two customers on the final night, with Darcy and Sally at Buzio’s (Rio)
Our fondest memories are of people and places.
For many, Buzio’s at the Rio in Las Vegas was one of the fondest of places because it was full of so many good people. It was more than just a casual restaurant. Buzio’s was a cradle of friendship and bastion of happiness. It was a boardroom of wheeling and dealing. It was a place to gossip, to drown our sorrows, and to celebrate. If the World Series of Poker, held at the Rio each summer since 2005 had an office, a break room, a social club, a watering hole, and a place of reprieve and relaxation — it was most certainly the public alcove in the form of a once-popular seafood restaurant along the so-called “bad beat hallway” leading back to the main casino.
Buzio’s served its final meal on Saturday night — December 12, 2015. After 25 years, the restaurant closed its doors for the last time, in order to make way for a new eatery which will eventually open on the spot where where poker players clamored each night for dinner reservations, where strategy was furiously rehashed and debated, where millions in poker deals were made over shrimp cocktails, where disappointments were doused and gradually forgotten, where tournament survival was toasted, and where innumerable lasting friendships were founded. Hostilities on hold, competitors who tried to outfox each other during the WSOP competing for their livelihoods often dined out together at Buzio’s. Poker doesn’t have many places around like this anymore. Sadly now, it has one less such place.
Hamburgers are for the masses. Most decidedly, I am not a mass.
An ass? Maybe. A mass? Never.
Fact is, it takes a blow-your-dick into-outer-space-great-fucking-hamburger to crowbar me away from my fancy French food and snooty red wine to try out, let alone be so hammerhead and eyes watering impressed with the experience as to write a review about a food joint where the standard fare is burgers and fries, doused with milk shakes and tap beer, where the waitress forgets my iced tea but still calls me “darlin.”
Gee, I thought the barbecue tasted a little funny.
Las Vegas locals who live here on the West Side will undoubtedly remember the name “Memphis Championship Barbecue,” which opened up their family-style restaurant about 15 years ago at 1401 South Rainbow Blvd. Not to be confused with their Henderson sister location which remains open, for reasons unknown, this rib joint just never made a splash.
The story goes, about 40 years ago chef Paul Prudhomme was cooking one afternoon in the kitchen of his New Orleans restaurant, when the phone rang.
Prudhomme accepted the interruption and had no choice than to take the important call. Back in those days that meant steeping into an adjacent office, since wireless mobile phones didn’t exist. Trouble started when the telephone call went way longer than was expected.