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Numbers 6 and 7 are up on the Features board!

#6 is in more New Jersey shore, Atlantic City and Ocean City. Ocean City sounds like the place to be.

#7 is my favorite so far. He finds amazing treasure in North Philly. I wanna go! Don't miss the pod cast!

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  1. stupendous stuff. i sat down to read the latest edition after a huge meal and got instantaneously ravenous. i wanna go too!

    1 Reply
      1. re: howler

        I'm trying to understand the good vibe and ringing of chowbells Jim says he gets from the outside of a restaurant in Chow Tour #7, for instance at "Taqueria La Veracruzana and again at Sid Booker’s Stinger La Pointe. I wonder what he's looking for? In the case of Taqueria La Veracruzana, everything's in Spanish, so, that would be a signal of authenticity to me. I see the "unfinished" quality he describes at Glatt kosher Maccabeam Restaurant. Does anyone see what else he's picking up on?

        ~TDQ

        1. re: The Dairy Queen

          TDQ, Lots of very authentic Spanish-only Mexican restaurants are awful. "Unfinished" is not necessarily a good thing.

          Keep following along, hopefully you'll sense the requisite groove. Chowhounding can't be done via a specific set of instructions and things-to-look-for. If it were that concrete ("look for green awnings and pizza places with "Tony" in the name), then lousy restaurateurs would quickly latch on and dilute the usefulness of those parameters.

          I'll try to include more how-to info in the reports. I just don't want to make them too didactic...am aiming more for entertainment and vicariousness. In a report I just put together (will go live in a few days), I was driving along and something smelled good. i did a u-turn and found the best hamburgers ever. So a lot of it is 1. awareness and sensitivity to surroundings (this is natural to me, as I'm always trying to look past the prevalent chains - and other drek that would otherwise embitter me - for the glorious exceptions, holdouts, kooks, and geniuses), and 2. energy/passion for following hunches to the nth degree. A lot of people are pretty dead to the world. Chowhounding requires opening up and getting psyched! :)

          1. re: Jim Leff

            Can't wait to read about the hamburgers.

            So much about chowhounding (and life) is about paying attention, no?

            I should point out that, for the restaurant that you described as looking "unfinished" from the outside, you said that you suspected the place would have "misses" as well as hits... So, indeed, not necessarily a good thing. :)

            ~TDQ

            1. re: The Dairy Queen

              "So much about chowhounding (and life) is about paying attention, no? "

              Attention, yes, but also the follow-up energy.

              In the unlikely event that I ever speak at someone's commencement, I'd definitely tell this story.

              One day in about 1985, when I was fresh out of school and looking for work as a trombonist, a guy I didn't know, like, or trust very much told me that he'd attended a jam session somewhere in Roosevelt, Long Island. He said it was decent, but wasn't sure of the address or the night of the jam session.

              Roosevelt was a 45 minute drive from where I lived, it was a scary area for an (at the time) sheltered middle class white kid, and it was no stunning endorsement. But I somehow managed to find the club and find out what night the session was. It was in a crack joint, which was terrifying. I summoned courage, went in, and sat in with the group, and while it was nothing great, I can trace about 75% of my subsequent music career to connections that stemmed from connections that stemmed from connections in that club (where I was hired to play Monday nights, in a white tuxedo, with the Monday Night Smoke-Out Band, dodging in-club gunfire on two occasions.

              Most people wouldn't have even paid attention to the jam session tip, much less work that hard to find the place, much less actually go in. People don't follow up leads; they're too blase!

              Oh, cool note....Eddie Murphy (who is my age) grew up around the corner from that club, and there was a photo in the manager's office saying "From Eddie Murphy to the club where I lost my comedy virginity!"

              The place burned down years ago.

            2. re: Jim Leff

              I'm starting to think that Chowhounds are born, not made.

              1. re: missclaudy

                I think being a chowhound is like being a painter or a musician or a writer.

                Stephen King (of all people) said, "[W]hile it is impossible to make a competent writer out of a bad writer, and while it is equally impossible to make a great writer out of a good one, it is possible, with lots of hard work, dedication, and timely help, to make a good writer out of a merely competent one."

                I think the same applies to chowhounding. I think there are some people who are just going to be awful, no matter what, and some people who are going to be great no matter what. But, I think there's plenty of room to grow and learn for those of us who are simply "competent" at chowhounding and want to become "good."

                ~TDQ

        2. RE: broasted chicken mentioned in ChowTour Report #8--it's alive and well in some parts of the Midwest--try a road trip from the Twin Cities to Omaha, cutting through, say, Des Moines and you'll find a few places along the way that still serve it. I wasn't familiar with it prior to this, so I don't know how it compares to the broasted chicken of the past.

          ~TDQ

          3 Replies
          1. re: The Dairy Queen

            I read an article about it in the Washington Post a couple of years ago, so there's some broasting happening in the DC area, as well.

              1. re: Pat Hammond

                Zesto and Rush's, in central SC, as well.

            1. I went to the glorious crab shack. Read my post on "Read Jim Leff's Report on Philly Food Discoveries" on the Pennsylvannia Board.