I shot the sous chef

Turns out, the person who should have been shot was the guy who wrote up the menu descriptions, for causing this sort of confusion:

I was reading the menu of a new Mexican restaurant here in our happy little burg — they had their soft opening a week ago and some of my friends recommended the place to me — when I noticed that amongst the fillings offered with their homemade tortilla tacos were children and Jamaican jerks. This took me aback; these are not the sort of things anyone would expect to see on a restaurant’s menu, especially a restaurant that hasn’t really opened yet.

Aside: So “soft openings” are a thing now?

The average taco connoisseur expects to see fish, pork, or beef as a filling, although in some places one can get kangaroo, cockatoo, or emu too; I should point out here that I would not actually eat a fish taco if one of my brothers’ lives depended on it — I hate fish with just about every fiber of my being. I hate liver, eggs, and asparagus as well, but I would eat them if one of my brothers’ lives depended on it … maybe. No, not maybe, definitely, sort of, and only if Mom made me. I suppose I should say something about the use of children as a taco filling, but an Irish clergyman of my acquaintance has modestly proposed something along these lines a while ago and so I recommend that you peruse his recommendations. I agree with most of his major points and I see no reason to repeat those points here.

At least that matter was disposed of swiftly. But about those jerks:

This seems to me an act of cultural appropriation on a truly monstrous scale, nothing less than the forced bastardization of two national cuisines that do not derive from the same cultural and culinary sources and share no common traditions. And to what purpose? Like Tex-Mex, chop suey, and Chicago style deep dish pizza, using Jamaican jerks as filling is less a celebration of culinary mestizaje than a surrender to the unyielding demands of Americanization and assimilation, a demand that all the world’s cuisines subsume their cultural autonomy into the black hole of the American melting pot and transform themselves into peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

George Carlin once said that if you nailed together two things that had never been nailed together before, some schmuck would buy it from you. If restaurateurs can make use of this same knowledge, it’s reasonable to assume that they will.

That said, you should take steps to make sure that the Jerk Store is not supplying jerks under false pretenses:

Approximately thirty-five percent of all restaurants advertising Jamaican jerks in their tacos or as a separate menu item were not using Jamaican jerks at all; these restaurants were using locally grown American dumbasses instead. One veteran department investigator told the NPR reporter covering the story that this was one of the most blatant cases of false advertising and consumer fraud that he had ever seen.

Nor is [it] consumer fraud we are dealing with here. The use of American dumbasses in place of Jamaican jerks who should have gotten those jobs is an in your face example of nativist prejudice and racism at its worst. I understand, as does anyone who has to deal with the public everyday, that dealing with jerks of any race or nationality is always a bit trying — jerks wouldn’t be jerks if they weren’t trying — but to deny jerks work simply because they are jerks is un-American in principle and probably a civil rights violation in practice.

A word to the wiseguys is sufficient.





6 comments

  1. fillyjonk »

    7 February 2016 · 8:30 pm

    Now I’m really hoping that somewhere, someone opens up a food joint called “Dumbass Tacos.”

  2. McGehee »

    8 February 2016 · 9:13 am

    If Dumas Walker starts selling tacos — in addition to slaw, burgers, fries and bottles of Ski — would that qualify?

  3. Akaky »

    9 February 2016 · 6:37 pm

    Soft openings are definitely a thing, guy, sort of like Pet Rocks and Leif Garrett were in the 70’s, except without the bad hair.

  4. jsallison »

    9 February 2016 · 9:10 pm

    On a sad note, it appears Revolve restaurant at the corner of Robinson and Main in the new Oklahoman building was apparently unable to make a go of it and shut down last week.

    Expect their business model was flawed in that they were open 7am-7pm 7 days a week. Every other restaurant in the immediate area does breakfast and lunch and shuts down at 2pm and I believe are closed on weekends. Only exceptions are some high end restaurants like Vast and Mahogany or restaurants associated with hotels, like Flint in the Colcord.

    Wish they could’ve made it work. Tasty pizza, reasonable price. Mebbe if they’d tried getting brochures in the local hotels and offered delivery…

  5. CGHill »

    9 February 2016 · 10:01 pm

    Some segments of Twitter were all over the Revolve closing. (Weirdly, the management referred to it as a “restructuring.”) Still, restaurants, and apparently especially downtown restaurants, have a frighteningly high death rate.

  6. jsallison »

    10 February 2016 · 8:57 pm

    Yeah, the sign on their door said they were temporarily restructuring. The same day they were carrying out full coolers and loading up a Qdobo van.

    And the women’s clothing store at 200 Park is having a 50% off going out of business sale. So if you know anyone looking for an LBD…

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