It's a big week in the food world, with something for everyone: Mardi Gras, Lunar New Year, Valentine's Day panic. Here are a few stories from this week's food sections:
Old Tradition, New Year by Devra First (Boston Globe): Tet (Vietnamese lunar new year) is tomorrow. Have you bought your rice cakes yet? If anyone has any recommendations on good banh tet, let me know in the comments. I love sticky rice like moss loves a dead tree stump.
For Vietnamese, the Year of the Rat Starts With Lunch by James Hookway (WSJ Online, not sure how long it will be public): As bird flu makes chickens scarce and as humans eat natural predators like snakes and cats (look for "little tiger" on menus), rat meat is growing more popular. Recipes included.
Neck and Neck by John Willoughby (Gourmet.com): You think you're adventurous because you eat oxtail? John Willoughy has so moved on.
Who You Gonna Call? by Bruce Cole (Edible Nation). This one's for the iPhone nation. Instead of printing up those good fish, bad fish, wallet cards that everyone loses, Blue Ocean has launched a website for mobile phones. Plug in the menu item you're contemplating to find out whether you should order it gladly or lecture the chef. (Just kidding, BTW: Don't ever lecture a chef when he or she is working. Remember who's holding the knife.)
And lastly, I have to send a shout out to one of the funniest, most talented restaurant critics in the country, Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl, who leaves the Twin Cities' City Pages after 11 years of living the life. Godspeed.