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Jan 24, 2012 09:36 AM

Lyle Lovett, Texas, and Bayless.

Apropos to Top Chef Texas being an ongoing show on Bravo, here's an interview with a person "inextricably linked with Texas". Note the last two questions and Lovett's answers. Wow. ;-)

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  1. Love it.

    Love Lyle's music, too -- and this interview kind of reinforces my long-held opinion that he is what he is -- no more, no less, and he could no more put on airs than a pink tutu.

    And I can't say as I can fault with his logic....

    1. First, can I just say I *love* the magazine name? Tee hee!

      Second, Wow is right. How provincial.

      I hope he gets to try Bayless's food. As the 2nd commenter noted on that story: "Chicago has the 4th largest Hispanic population in the US. Yes, over San Antonio, El Paso, and Dallas. And, a person's last name has no bearing on how well they can cook a certain cuisine. He's missing out!"

      6 Replies
      1. re: LindaWhit

        I've tried Bayless's food. Overrated in my opinion. Way overrated.

        1. re: jmckee

          Well, you're one person amongst countless others who do like it.

          1. re: LindaWhit

            by that logic, mcdonald's is the greatest restaurant in the world. just saying.

            1. re: LindaWhit

              I've eaten in Mexican and mex-inspired restaurants in quite a few cities, and Bayless, while obviously talented, is overhyped and overpriced. My local favorite near my home serves more satisfying food than I found his to be.

            2. re: jmckee

              I'm from Chicago, although I don't live there any more. There's been fabulous Mexican food in restaurants there for as long as I can remember. Way before Bayless came on the scene. He's the "trendy" guy, not necessarily the best. For my Mexican fix when I'm in town, I seldom seek out his food. Much better qpr elsewhere, imho.

              1. re: ChefJune

                BLue Agave (Rush Street) and Su Casa (Magnificent Mile) are two that I've liked in the past. The garlic soup at Agave is one of the best things I've ever eaten.

          2. Ouch. You'd hope Lyle would at least *try* Bayless' food before dissing his abilities. Or so I always advise my kids.

            4 Replies
            1. re: tcamp

              Using his assumptions, a guy named Lovett isn't qualified to judge Mexican food anymore than one named Bayless is to cook it.

                1. re: rasputina

                  My thoughts exactly. However I do enjoy Mr Lovett's music and lyrics,some of the smartest and wittiest in any genre of music today as well as Mr Bayless's excellent Frontera .

                  1. re: Duppie

                    Exactly. I like Lyle's music way too much to hold a grudge, but just because I do, doesn't mean I need to take my dining tips from him. And I'd love to try Bayless's food.

              1. I can't tell if Lovett knows who Bayless is, if he has had Bayless' food, or if he was just unintentionally making a very dry joke with no ill intent.

                Edit: Ok, looks like it was an unfortunate mistake and the two have madeup!


                1. Of course Bayless was the one who had the audacity to come to Los Angeles and announce that he was going to show the city what real Mexican food was like. All this without bothering to explore what the city had to offer. He made the assumptions that there was only the usual Mexican American tacos, burritos and gloppy cheese covered combo dishes.

                  Many if not all of the "authentic" dishes he was touting was already being served in for years in many places. There was quite a dust up last year when this occurred. Jonathan Gold among others called him out for it and Bayless got defensive and didn't accept that LA had those dishes already.

                  Bayless has done a world of good introducing people to the more sophisticated dishes in Mexican cuisine but he's not exactly infallible and lacking in ego.

                  10 Replies
                  1. re: Jase

                    Heh. :::biggrin:::

                    You mean this?

                    I found these interesting too:
           [Although the responders/posters there also have a thing or two to say...]
           [The comments are also noteworthy]

                    Oh, I don't think anyone doubts that RB has an ego (don't they all?) and is he is certainly not infallible. :-)

                    1. re: huiray

                      Well, my point was to anyone castigating Lovett for being ignorant about Bayless and Mexican food, Lovett at least is just a regular guy when it comes to food.

                      Much bigger sin for Bayless to do what he did than to jump on Lovett for what seems to be a throwaway dry humor comment in a fluff interview.

                      1. re: Jase

                        if what bayless did was a "sin" we're all in pretty big trouble.

                        1. re: linus

                          I'd classify what he did under the sin of Pride. The severity of the sin I will leave to individual judgment.

                          Still think it was pretty arrogant of him to come marching into Los Angeles and announce he'd show the city what "real" Mexican food was like, without bothering to do any research.

                          1. re: Jase

                            Anything Bayless does tends to be about Bayless, not the food.

                            1. re: jmckee

                              I think that is hyperbole, even if you detest him. ;-)

                              Bayless *has* done some things to propagate knowledge of regional Mexican cooking, at least in various parts of the US; and puts out food worthy of eating, certainly east of the Mississippi, in spite of his having a non-Mexican name. Also regardless of whether he did or did not step on your toes in SoCal. :-)

                              Is your last name McKee? if so, by Lyle Lovett's lights you, too, may not be competent to comment on Mexican food. ;-)

                    2. re: Jase

                      What I find very interesting is that he is now the BIGGEST proponent of what's happening int eh Tijuana/Ensenada corridor. You'd think he discovered it all by himself... ;-) When, in fact, those of us in SoCal have known about the emerging BajaMed trend for some years now.

                      1. re: Jase

                        i know i'm getting to this late, but still have to correct this. bayless lived for many years in los angeles and has visited often, well before he ever thought of consulting for a restaurant here. and i think his point was more along the lines of having one restaurant that demonstrated the diversity of mexico's regional cuisines on a fairly high level, rather than a simple "better than you." but one thing i've learned over the years: americans are incredibly provincial about mexican food. having lived in texas, new mexico, arizona and southern california, each claims to have the true mexican food and none knows much at all about other place's foods. i remember having friends from texas vacation in mexico and come back saying "the food was good, but it wasn't mexican."

                        1. re: FED

                          Hmm, that would be completely contradictory to what he said on record on interviews and follow ups. He specifically said he was introducing real mexican dishes to LA and implied these dishes have never been seen in LA. I and many people never saw it as he saying he would do it better. More of a sheer ignorance on his part to come in and not acknowledge what's already here. He may have lived in Los Angeles but he came across as pretty ignorant of the area's Mexican's cuisine and history.

                          1. re: Jase

                            He nearly opened Frontera Grill - on Melrose before it was trendy - in L.A. and that was 20+ years ago. I think there is definitely a grain of truth, tho', to your comment about what he knows, or doesn't, about the state of Mexican food in Los Angeles.