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Rachael Ray Tidbits

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jhopp217 May 12, 2008 03:37 PM

Ok, first off this isn't a bash session, just some interesting things I noticed.

1. She is a Dunkin Donuts spokesperson, but thanks Starbucks in her books and makes no mention of Dunkin Donuts.

2. I keep reading threads and articles about how her 15 minutes are up. Didn't people say the same thing about Martha Stewart & Emeril? Heck didn't Martha Stewart just buy Emeril? Which makes me think...if you could buy any food network personality, who would it be? I would love to have Chairman Kaga yell "allez cuisine" right before I poured a bowl of cereal one morning.

3. If you want a good laugh, google Rachael Ray and click images. It's all pictures of her in suggestive clothing....ok it's her head superimposed on other people's body. Too funny!

4. She has 14 cookbooks which sell like hotcakes and she's not a chef. What does this say about the average persons taste buds. Ok, that was mean, I have one of them, but that's because the goodcook.com sent it to me by mistake. Honest.

5. Her Tv show gets 2.3 million viewers. That means if every viewer of each show spends 1 penny on her show she'll make 5.98 million dollars a year. She actually made $6 million from her books and tv show. She now has a contract with Dunkin Donuts and a Cutlery line.

6. She's cute. She may be annoying and overexposed, but she's cute. If she looked like Anthony Bourdain, we wouldn't want to buy into her act. Although I gladly buy into his every second he's on tv...and in a culinary way!

7. She's from a restaurant family, so why shouldn't we believe she knows food? She's more experienced than most of us chowhounders. Isn't she?

8. If she didn't have something to offfer, people wouldn't spend so much time bashing her. I laugh at all the threads criticizing her every move. Don't you people have remotes?

9. Has anyone cooked any of her recipes and had a near death experience? No, because they are simple, and probably rather tasty.

10. In the time it takes you to read this, you could have made a pop tart. Seriously, I live alone and I cook for myself a lot. Do I want to spend more than 30 minutes cooking? Sometimes, but that's a different story. At the end of the day, people want a nice meal and they don't want the hassle of slaving over a hot stove. She gives people an option other than takeout, which as I can say from first hand experience, is slowly killing us.

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    hungrystudent257 RE: jhopp217 May 12, 2008 03:56 PM

    6. Am I the only one who think Anthony Bourdain is crazy hot?

    everything else, I pretty much agree with. Yes, she can be annoying, but she has shown her 2.3 million viewers that the McDonalds drive thru is not their only option at 6pm on a Tuesday night. Anything that gets people off the couch and into the kitchen, not to mention reading books, is ok in my books

    6 Replies
    1. re: hungrystudent257
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      Scortch RE: hungrystudent257 May 13, 2008 06:19 AM

      I'm just real, real curious as to how many of the people who bought her books actually endeavor to cook anything from them and aren't just buying them because they're into her as a personality - y'know, the whole total fan experience syndrome. I would expect, with that many sold in total, there's quite a bit of shelf sitting or at most, auditing.

      I could be wrong, but I do have to put the question forward...

      1. re: Scortch
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        momjamin RE: Scortch May 13, 2008 06:39 AM

        An interesting question. I'm related to a couple people who bought one of her first couple cookbooks, and like them. But I don't know how much they actually use them since the initial purchase. (But that's true for 90+% of my cookbook collection!) .

        Based on their reviews, I checked one of her early books out of the library, thinking maybe reading a recipe would be easier than watching the show, but I found the typography very difficult to read -- which I found fitting, an attempt at retro glam with less thought given to practicality. The recipes also tried to teach you her tips like listing "two turns around the pan" and "a palmful" for measuring oil and spices and such. Cute in a gimmicky way, but the wordiness gets in the way of understanding the recipe. I myself am likely to eyeball oil and spices and such, but I'd rather have the recipe use standards of measurement, since that gives me a better idea of where to start.

        But then, I actually cooked one of her recipes twice, and I haven't cooked anything from our Emeril book, FWIW ;-) Joy of Cooking, Silver Palate, Bittman, Moulton...there are some front-and-center books.

        1. re: Scortch
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          joeyz RE: Scortch May 14, 2008 02:38 AM

          What I want to know is who buys her brand of "EVOO"?

          1. re: joeyz
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            swsidejim RE: joeyz May 14, 2008 10:11 AM

            hilarious, I just saw that this past week at the store, as well as her RR beef stock.. i laughed when I saw it.

        2. re: hungrystudent257
          NYCkaren RE: hungrystudent257 May 13, 2008 09:46 AM

          I definitely could go for Anthony Bourdain. And I find Rachael quite annoying but many of her recipes are fine. I wouldn't buy her books but I was given one as a present and I've cooked from it and lived to tell the tale.

          1. re: hungrystudent257
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            Elyssa RE: hungrystudent257 May 14, 2008 06:22 AM

            Trust me...your not. I am so attracted to him and I can't even begin to explain it.

            And for the record I have about 3 of her books...the earlier ones. When I was in college I cooked from them a lot and so did a lot of my friends. For a new cook they are pretty good. Do I find her annoying---yes...and increasingly so over the years. But if you have a new cook in your family, living on their own, Rachel Ray cook books are a nice present.

          2. Phaedrus RE: jhopp217 May 13, 2008 07:15 AM

            People tout RR and Sandra Lee for their cookbooks because they make it easy and they make it that much more available to the rank amateur. But these are the same people that live and die by the prepared products that are out there, RR not as much as SL. So how is what they make any different from eating out? From a nutrition point of view, you can say that the restaurant foods are possibly better for you if you get frozen or canned foods to prepare the dishes because they are the most convenient.

            From an economic point of view, you can eat out and get two meals out of the one meal with the portions that they serve at these Applelihanday. If you added in time, energy, cleaning, food etc. Is it all that economical? Cooking for the family definitely has its economies of scale argument built in, but how about the single person, which is who I think a majority of RR's marketing is geared toward.

            If people didn't like cooking, are they gaining an appreciation for cooking from the RR and SL cookbooks and shows? Why would someone who dislike cooking buy their cookbooks in the first place? If you are heavily into cooking, why would you waste your time with their particular cookbooks?

            To piggy back on the previous question of who uses the cookbooks other than as a shelve decoration, who buys this stuff and why?

            So what is it that they are giving their fans other than a vicarious thrill?

            3 Replies
            1. re: Phaedrus
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              momjamin RE: Phaedrus May 13, 2008 07:48 AM

              I think there's a vast middle ground between people who love to cook and people who hate to cook, and RR's audience is somewhere in there -- people who are interested in cooking, but not particularly confident. The recipe I enjoyed was a simple stir fry thai chicken -- it got me to try using hoisin sauce and thai fish sauce for the first time, and otherwise used all fresh ingredients (boneless skinless chicken breast, of course, plus some fresh veggies and fresh basil, IIRC).

              This is way better than my mother's fallback cookbook, a certain southern church recipe collection -- she and my grandmother rave about how many recipes they use and like from there. I keep going back to it and looking for what I'm missing, but it all seems to be variations on cream of blank casseroles. Both women are known to be good cooks because they are hospitable and do cook at home rather than pick up takeout for the potluck or somesuch. If either of them would cook RR's recipes, I'd be relatively delighted -- RR is my mother's favorite FN personality.

              I also daresay that people get the books as gifts ;-)

              1. re: Phaedrus
                ccbweb RE: Phaedrus May 13, 2008 01:21 PM

                To lump Rachel Ray and Sandra Lee into the same category isn't fair to Ray. Especially in recent seasons that I've seen of her 30 Minute Meals shows, she uses very few packaged items (mostly boxed broth/stock and canned beans/tomatoes) and a few seasoning blends along with store bought cookies or ice cream on occasion. I was actually surprised after the "buzz" on websites to find that she started with fresh onion, fresh garlic, and fresh herbs quite often. Not liking her food or personality, no quarrels there but she certainly isn't taking the "shortcuts" with processed foods in the same way that Sandra Lee is.

                1. re: ccbweb
                  Icantread RE: ccbweb May 14, 2008 09:03 AM

                  I agree completely and have been meaning to post on that as well. I do find her personality jarring, but she is nowhere near Sandra Lee, which does get watched for comedic/I-feel-bad-about-myself reasons.

              2. r
                Ralphie_in_Boston RE: jhopp217 May 13, 2008 07:25 AM

                1) LOL. that's a big one in the PLUS column for her in my book.

                3) Some of those pictures are REAL, from a shoot for FHM magazine. French maid outfit, licking chocolate off a wooden spoon. I'm pretty sure those are really her.

                5 Replies
                1. re: Ralphie_in_Boston
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                  mkel34 RE: Ralphie_in_Boston May 13, 2008 09:09 AM

                  3. If you want a good laugh, google Rachael Ray and click images. It's all pictures of her in suggestive clothing....ok it's her head superimposed on other people's body. Too funny!

                  Yeap, that her and she only recently became DD spokesperson. When was the last book she had published.

                  1. re: mkel34
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                    joeyz RE: mkel34 May 14, 2008 02:41 AM

                    If her show was more like those FHM pics I would be a regular viewer...

                    1. re: joeyz
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                      Ralphie_in_Boston RE: joeyz May 14, 2008 01:11 PM

                      You know, I seriously wonder why Food Network hasn't done that with at least one of her shows. They've already make most of their programming have the actual food as an afterthought so why not dress RR down a bit.

                      1. re: Ralphie_in_Boston
                        Phaedrus RE: Ralphie_in_Boston May 14, 2008 01:28 PM

                        She doesn't do much for me. Nigella on the other hand....

                        1. re: Phaedrus
                          r
                          Ralphie_in_Boston RE: Phaedrus May 15, 2008 08:19 AM

                          Plenty of room for both in my (cook)book!

                2. Firegoat RE: jhopp217 May 13, 2008 08:11 AM

                  9. Has anyone cooked any of her recipes and had a near death experience? No, because they are simple, and probably rather tasty.

                  One gal apparently cooked every single recipe in her 365 menus book. I don't think she died, and a few apparently were pretty good, but a lot were thrown in the trash after one bite and they ordered pizza.

                  I had that cook book.... surprisingly... also an accident from goodcook.com. LOL. Few photos. Nonsensical directions. And some recipes.... like chopped up hotdogs IN the hamburger..... oh my. I think I'd be better off with a salad from McDonalds.

                  1. n
                    newfie29 RE: jhopp217 May 13, 2008 09:18 AM

                    While on Google, check out the Rachael Ray Drinking Game - it's hilarious, and I bet you couldn't last an hour!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: newfie29
                      mrsjenpeters RE: newfie29 May 15, 2008 12:59 PM

                      holy crap, that was hilarious! i am getting weird looks at work for cracking up!

                    2. Withnail42 RE: jhopp217 May 13, 2008 11:07 AM

                      8. If she didn't have something to offfer, people wouldn't spend so much time bashing her. I laugh at all the threads criticizing her every move.

                      Paris Hilton

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Withnail42
                        LindaWhit RE: Withnail42 May 13, 2008 11:20 AM

                        LOL! Touché!

                        1. re: Withnail42
                          Firegoat RE: Withnail42 May 13, 2008 12:09 PM

                          Too funny!

                        2. k
                          Kagey RE: jhopp217 May 14, 2008 03:36 AM

                          Re 4: Other best-selling cookbook authors who are not chefs: Nigella Lawson, Martha Stewart, Madhur Jaffrey, Claudia Roden...I'm sure there are lots more that I can't think of at the moment. Apart from Martha, I have and love books by all of the above. I think it says I have pretty good taste, actually!

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Kagey
                            ChefJune RE: Kagey May 14, 2008 01:04 PM

                            No they are not chefs, but they ARE culinary educators and/or foodwriters. Madhur Jaffrey, altho she started out as a movie star, is highly regarded in culinary circles, and is the consulting chef at a high end Indian restaurant in New York.

                            Martha started out as a full-service caterer. A very demanding job.

                            1. re: ChefJune
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                              Kagey RE: ChefJune May 15, 2008 01:17 AM

                              As far as I can tell (disclosure: I've never actually seen her show and wouldn't recognize her if she walked up to me), Rachel Ray is a "foodwriter" too, apparently a prolific one. I'm not sure what you mean by "culinary educators," but her popularity seems to suggest that she is teaching people how to cook. And I'm not sure of the relevance of Martha's demanding job in this case. All I'm saying is that you don't have to be a chef to write about food. Nobody says you have to like her, but don't put somebody down on totally spurious grounds just because she's too lowbrow for you.

                          2. a
                            Avalondaughter RE: jhopp217 May 14, 2008 06:13 AM

                            2. I keep reading threads and articles about how her 15 minutes are up. Didn't people say the same thing about Martha Stewart & Emeril?

                            Emeril was cancelled, so yes, his 15 minutes are up. Rachael Ray's recipes are getting old and so is her schtick. Her 15 minutes will end.

                            4. She has 14 cookbooks which sell like hotcakes and she's not a chef. What does this say about the average persons taste buds. Ok, that was mean, I have one of them, but that's because the goodcook.com sent it to me by mistake. Honest.

                            Her cookbooks sell well, but I don't hear a lot of positive things about them. The common complaints are that there is no index, no pictures, no real variety, and the recipes are heavy and greasy. One of the biggest complaints I read is that the ingredients are very expensive. Considering she is supposed to cater to the "average Joe", it seems illogical that she would fill up her recipes with veal, lamb, imported cheeses, and other delicacies.

                            6. She's cute. She may be annoying and overexposed, but she's cute. If she looked like Anthony Bourdain, we wouldn't want to buy into her act. Although I gladly buy into his every second he's on tv...and in a culinary way!

                            Well yeah. Cute sells. The FN execs are not idiots. Still, she's put on a load of weight in the past couple of years, makes questionable fashion choices, and tends to do ugly things with her hair and makeup. A lot of people are getting turned off.

                            7. She's from a restaurant family, so why shouldn't we believe she knows food? She's more experienced than most of us chowhounders. Isn't she?

                            I get the impression that her family's restaurants weren't all that successful, but coming from a restaurant family doesn't mean you took all that much wisdom with you. How many of us are in the same profession as our parents or know that much about what they do?

                            She expresses contempt for learning cooking techniques. She admits to ignorance. If I wanted to learn how to ski or play an instrument or take up any other hobby that requires a certain skill set, I wouldn't take lessons from someone who admits to being mediocre. I'd want knowledge from an expert.

                            8. If she didn't have something to offfer, people wouldn't spend so much time bashing her. I laugh at all the threads criticizing her every move. Don't you people have remotes?

                            I don't follow the logic. People bash her because she has nothing to offer and she pretends she does. Sure everyone has remotes, but you can't walk into a store without seeing her crap. She's everywhere.

                            9. Has anyone cooked any of her recipes and had a near death experience? No, because they are simple, and probably rather tasty.

                            If you like recipes that generally consist of big slabs of meat fried in copious amounts of olive oil and covered in cheese and bacon, then yes they are. If you like subtler, lighter, fare with more delicate flavors, then they're not all that tasty. A big chunk of her recipes are variations on burger and macaroni and cheese or soups.

                            10. In the time it takes you to read this, you could have made a pop tart. Seriously, I live alone and I cook for myself a lot. Do I want to spend more than 30 minutes cooking? Sometimes, but that's a different story. At the end of the day, people want a nice meal and they don't want the hassle of slaving over a hot stove. She gives people an option other than takeout, which as I can say from first hand experience, is slowly killing us.

                            I'm sick of reading this kind of excuse for the Lee/Ray crowd. For one thing, most Ray fans will say her meals take way more than 30 minutes to prepare and take a lot of time to clean up. Rachael Ray (and those like her) is not the only person to make quick and simple meals. She didn't invent the idea. People did it before her and they did it better. They will do it long after she's gone.

                            There is a middle ground between Rachael Ray and advanced cooking techniques. You really don't need Rachael Ray and her "palmfuls" to put together an easy meal. You can also make a quick and simple meal that isn't dripping with fat. Besides, there are things that take a long time to cook, but don't require contsant attention (like a roast chicken or a nice chili) so you can kick back and watch TV or play with your kids or surf the net while your meal cooks. People have been brainwashed into thinking that Rachael Ray is the goddes off the quick meal. It's all about FN marketing. I can cook a meal - a better meal - in 30 minutes without Rachael Ray. FN has convinced some people otherwise.

                            8 Replies
                            1. re: Avalondaughter
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                              dinwiddie RE: Avalondaughter May 14, 2008 08:28 AM

                              Besides, there are things that take a long time to cook, but don't require contsant attention (like a roast chicken or a nice chili) so you can kick back and watch TV or play with your kids or surf the net while your meal cooks.

                              If you are like me and get home at 6pm and want to have dinner on the table at a reasonable hour, a roast chicken isn't an option during the week.

                              While I'm not a big fan of RR, my wife does like some of her recipes and uses them fairly regularly. Let us not forget that RR paid her dues in the trenches of cooking demonstrations etc. Besides there are a lot of chefs who I respect like Mario who actually like her and have respect for her abilities. Is she a great chef, no way, but then she never claims to be. But she can cook tasty meals, and they are not hard to do, And yes I can do them in 30 minutes if I make the kid do the chopping, etc. (He loves to cook so that is no problem, but he hates RR.)

                              What I want to know is who buys her brand of "EVOO"?

                              All the brands used are made up. Even though they buy a product, they change the label to a phony one. I heard her joke on a talk show that she constantly gets questions about where to buy the brand of things she uses. She said she hates to have to tell people that the brand doesn't exist, they are not in the business of advertising products or recommending specific brands on the show, for that she gets paid to do the commericals.

                              1. re: dinwiddie
                                LindaWhit RE: dinwiddie May 14, 2008 08:51 AM

                                I think that the OP was talking about RR's brand of EVOO, not what she uses on the show.

                                As for not advertising products or recommending specific brands? Yeah, they want people to buy HER olive oil and use HER pots and pans.....

                                1. re: LindaWhit
                                  Icantread RE: LindaWhit May 14, 2008 09:05 AM

                                  actually some of her stuff is fairly decent. THERE. I said it. I went there and I'm betting there's quite a few people who agree.

                                  1. re: Icantread
                                    Firegoat RE: Icantread May 14, 2008 09:40 AM

                                    Best $18 plastic bowl I never bought!

                                    1. re: Icantread
                                      LindaWhit RE: Icantread May 14, 2008 10:06 AM

                                      For the prices I see on them at Kohl's and other places, you can get the same thing without her name on it for less. As Firegoat said - best $18 plastic "garbage bowl' I never bought.

                                  2. re: dinwiddie
                                    Phaedrus RE: dinwiddie May 14, 2008 09:03 AM

                                    OK, I gotta ask. You handle, is that from high school spanish in the 1970's?

                                    1. re: dinwiddie
                                      a
                                      Avalondaughter RE: dinwiddie May 15, 2008 09:19 AM

                                      Fine, you don't have to roast a chicken, but you can easily prepare a meal in under 30 minutes without having to take a dry old chicken breast and cover it in oil, cheese, and bacon. There are so many other options out there. Why Rachael Ray when there are so many better cooks out there who can make simple, easy food?

                                    2. re: Avalondaughter
                                      j
                                      jhopp217 RE: Avalondaughter May 14, 2008 04:13 PM

                                      Avalondaughter, come clean. You are really Martha Stewart, haha. Sorry, I just never saw a post that had so much thought put into it that defiles a celebrity chef. Funny thing is you are her paycheck. Based on your thorough synopsis of her life and popularity, you have obviously been somewhat lured into her web. This is entirely my point. She does something well, and wihile we may not understand it, someone over at FN, Channel whatever, XYZ publishing, and Dunking Dnuts did.

                                    3. m
                                      mack184 RE: jhopp217 May 14, 2008 11:10 AM

                                      One thing most people forget about, or don't think about is that while they are indeed cooking on FNTV, it's mostly entertainment. In most cases it's not really about cooking it's about shutting out the daily BS for 30 minutes or an hour. The people on FNTV are there for their personalities, not necessarily because they are the reincarnation of James Beard. Lighten up folks..just relax, and enjoy the entertainment.

                                      6 Replies
                                      1. re: mack184
                                        LindaWhit RE: mack184 May 14, 2008 12:24 PM

                                        If it's not about food, why is still called the Food Network?

                                        And I think most people on this thread already *know* it's turned into an entertainment network vs. what it used to be - about the food.

                                        1. re: LindaWhit
                                          m
                                          mack184 RE: LindaWhit May 14, 2008 12:54 PM

                                          Just remember it's been a very long time since MTV has played music videos. Now they just talk about music...

                                          1. re: mack184
                                            LindaWhit RE: mack184 May 14, 2008 01:03 PM

                                            Yes, I'm fully aware of that as well. And the same derision goes to that channel (which I stopped watching in the late 80s when music stopped being primary on the channel).

                                            1. re: LindaWhit
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                                              ESNY RE: LindaWhit May 15, 2008 12:39 PM

                                              The Food Network is there to make money and I dont think anyone can argue that they are making much more money now then they did 10-15 yrs ago when they first started on air. And MTV doesn't even talk about music any more but have an incredibly successful brand.

                                              1. re: ESNY
                                                LindaWhit RE: ESNY May 15, 2008 01:23 PM

                                                ::::Sigh::::: I know it's all about the money. But it *could still* be about money AND teaching people how to properly cook instead of putting out a show that claims 30 minute meals when many have said they can't be accomplished in 30 minutes; showing people how candy bars were invented, or semi-homade crapola.

                                            2. re: mack184
                                              Phaedrus RE: mack184 May 14, 2008 01:05 PM

                                              So by extrapolation, if the simile is made between FN and MTV...FN will be a channel of people talking about cooking. My God!!! Its going to turn into the Chowhound Channel!!!

                                        2. t
                                          Tom Price RE: jhopp217 May 14, 2008 07:18 PM

                                          I think its funny that all of the food personalities shake their heads and say wow the best ??????? I ever had. Do any of them say "man... that is truly awful, or holy moley Mc Donald's dumpster diving would beat this crap, or even ehh this is pretty average or below average. If I REALLY want to know, I come here (chow.com).

                                          1. alkapal RE: jhopp217 May 15, 2008 05:19 AM

                                            well, yesterday she made root vegetable pancakes that i thought i would like to try.
                                            http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

                                            she is a little over-perky, but she is not bad. some of her quick dishes look fine for weeknight cooking. i love to cook, and spend all sunday afternoon in the kitchen, chopping, cooking, having some wine as i prep, etc. it is good relaxation for me. rr is about quick food -- and much of it looks tasty, and that fits the bill sometimes. it is not "gourmet" dining, but i think we all agree that is not the point of her program. her program is great for the many folks who don't have time or eating-out luxuries.
                                            if you look at the list or recently aired episodes,
                                            http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/show_tm

                                            and the recipes, they almost all sound like something i would like to try. like white burgundy chicken http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

                                            or seared sesame scallops and teriyaki steak with seared cabbage: http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

                                            i wish her well.

                                            5 Replies
                                            1. re: alkapal
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                                              dinwiddie RE: alkapal May 15, 2008 05:36 AM

                                              Let us remember that all of Rachel Ray's shows (and she sure has a lot of them) are aimed at specific audiences. $40 a day is not aimed at me, the mid 50's professional, it is aimed at the younger crowd that travels on a budget. 30 Minute meals is not aimed at the gourmet cook, it is aimed at the harried parent who has to get dinner on the table quickly after a full day at work etc. I did enjoy her vacation shows, mainly because she traveled as she would, a person who has the money to go where she wants and eat where she wants, and didn't apologize about it.

                                              We can bash her all we like, but she has her fans, and those who can't stand her, just like Emeril or Bobby Flay do. (Both of whom I don't particularly like as personalities, but admire their ability to cook fantastic food.)

                                              1. re: alkapal
                                                Firegoat RE: alkapal May 15, 2008 06:52 AM

                                                Who wouldn't get excited at such wonderful recipes like chopped up hotdogs inside hamburgers?

                                                http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

                                                There is a REASON she never puts caloric/nutritional information on any of her recipes like so many other cooks do.

                                                1. re: Firegoat
                                                  d
                                                  dinwiddie RE: Firegoat May 15, 2008 07:24 AM

                                                  Hey, my 12 you nephew loves them.

                                                  1. re: dinwiddie
                                                    Firegoat RE: dinwiddie May 15, 2008 09:48 AM

                                                    Poor thing. A McDonald's happy meal would be healthier.

                                                  2. re: Firegoat
                                                    alkapal RE: Firegoat May 15, 2008 07:29 AM

                                                    gee, i'm not so excited about dogs in the burg. but the reviewers on the site seemed to like it a lot! (of course, some were from the facetious contingent!)

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