Pancakes and politics – the finer points of the diner meet and greet
January 9th, 2012
05:30 PM ET
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Steve Kastenbaum is a CNN Radio National Correspondent, currently covering the New Hampshire primary. He previously wrote about the mystique of the Brooklyn bagel.

A presidential candidate wouldn’t dare campaign in New Hampshire without making a stop at a diner. Sometimes they’ll hit several in one day. As they look over the menu to figure out what suits their tastes, patrons size up the presidential candidates here in the same way.

The Red Arrow Diner sits on a side street in the heart of downtown Manchester. The historic landmark has been here since 1923. There’s almost always a wait for a seat. The corned beef hash and the fried haddock sandwich are favorites among the locals and first timers struggle to eat every bite of the generous tall stack of pancakes.

But they also serve politics here and that’s the real draw. The walls of this old diner are lined with photographs of just about every presidential candidate who ran for office over the past few years, Republican and Democrat.

Click to listen to the CNN Radio podcast:

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Filed under: Campaign Trail • Diners • New England • Radio • Restaurants

Alabama vs LSU - feeding a respectful rivalry
January 9th, 2012
01:45 PM ET
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Drew Robinson is the pitmaster at Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q. He previously wrote about serving up gratitude in trouble times and why barbecue matters and the the sacred ritual of the tailgate. We ran this piece in 2012, but it seemed worth surfacing again for the game this weekend. A good rivalry never dies.

There are old traditions and then there are old football traditions. I had the fortune of witnessing one resurrected in my lifetime two years ago when Alabama played Texas in the Rose Bowl for the National Championship. But there are new traditions too.

Alabama vs LSU is not a historic rivalry, it is only really a new tradition because they both have become superpowers in the same division of the same conference. So much so that they have beaten away all of college football for a rematch in the BCS game.

How important is this game to each fan base? My grandfather was born and raised in New Orleans. He loved LSU. He loved Alabama too because that became his adopted home, but he never put the Crimson Tide above the Bengal Tigers.

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Filed under: Alabama • Barbecue • Cultural Identity • Culture • Disaster • Flood • New Orleans • New Orleans • Sports • Tailgating • Tornado

Box lunch: Executive eats and naked nuggets
January 9th, 2012
12:00 PM ET
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Sink your teeth into today's top stories from around the globe.

  • Rosalynn Carter fancied herself a cheese ring while Barbara Bush had a penchant for dry, overcooked fish. Former White House chef Roland Mesnier dishes out some delicious intel. - Washington Post

  • Chick-Fil-A strips down its nuggets and shows off its grill marks. - USA Today

  • Danger! Danger! Market price (whatever that *really* means) ahead! - New York Times

  • Ice wine is delicious ... unless there's no ice. -

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Filed under: Box Lunch • News

Papa John's "extremely concerned to learn of the receipt" with racial slur
January 9th, 2012
11:00 AM ET
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Papa John's Pizza fired a cashier at one of its New York restaurants and apologized to an Asian-American customer for a receipt that identified her as "lady chinky eyes."

"We were extremely concerned to learn of the receipt issued in New York," the company said in a statement posted on its Facebook page Saturday.

Minhee Cho, a communications manager at nonprofit investigative journalism group ProPublica, posted a photo of the receipt on her Twitter account Saturday morning and by the afternoon it was picked up by a local newspaper.

Along with the receipt, Cho tweeted "just FYI my name isn't 'lady chinky eyes.'"

Read the full story - "Papa John's apologizes for receipt's racial slur"

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Filed under: News

Best wines for grilled cheese
January 9th, 2012
10:30 AM ET
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Ray Isle (@islewine on Twitter) is Food & Wine's executive wine editor. We trust his every cork pop and decant – and the man can sniff out a bargain to boot. Take it away, Ray.

Imagine a world without cheese - no pizza, no mac and cheese, no cheeseburgers, no cheesecake, no grilled cheese. It would mean the disintegration of society as we know it! The end of the world! Possibly the complete implosion of the entire known universe!

Well, thankfully, the big oil companies have recently patented the process of “cheese fracking,” insuring that none of us will ever face a future sans cheese. And that means we can go merrily on pairing wine with our grilled cheese sandwiches. And that, my cheese-fanatic friends, is a big relief.

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Filed under: Content Partner • Food and Wine • Grilled Cheese • Sandwiches • Sip • Wine

Best bites in Tokyo 2012
January 9th, 2012
09:30 AM ET
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“I have a little challenge for you,” my editor began, employing the disingenuous tone of an adult trying to convince an eight-year-old that math homework is fun. “I want you to put together a food guide that would reflect what it’s like to eat in Tokyo right now, in 2012.”

I blinked, wondering where to begin. With literally tens of thousands of places to choose from, Tokyo is a food lover’s paradise, and composing a shortlist of restaurants is more than "a little challenge."

These days, the city offers a mind-blowing array of options - from traditional favorites like sushi and tempura to creative, cutting-edge cuisine that’s hard to categorize.

You can find just about anything your heart (and stomach) desires, which is exactly why I love eating in Tokyo, even if it makes my job harder.

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Filed under: Asian • Bite • Cuisines • Feature • Japan • Japan Eats • Japanese • Restaurants

Breakfast buffet: National apricot day
January 9th, 2012
09:00 AM ET
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While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday.

Today's food holiday is hand-picked just for you - January 9 is National Apricot Day!

Pay homage to one of the oldest fruits on the planet today. Consider this fruit a sweet way to start the week off right, or at least observe one serving of fruit to honor your healthy resolutions.

Apricots were cultivated extensively in prehistoric times, and were so popular and widely grown in ancient Armenia, that it was easy to assume the fruit originated there. Other sources claim China and India as other possible origin spots, but Armenia holds on to their claim to fame.

Coffee klatsch
January 9th, 2012
05:00 AM ET
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Pssst! Got a sec to chat?

We are utterly thrilled when readers want to hang out and talk – whether it's amongst themselves or in response to pieces we've posted. We want Eatocracy to be a cozy, spirited online home for those who find their way here.

Consider the daily Coffee Klatsch post as your VIP lounge – the primary comments thread for readers who'd like to chat about topics not related to the articles we're running. That way, everyone knows where to find each other, and each post's comments section remains on topic.

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Filed under: Buzz • Coffee Klatsch

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