A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from March 02, 2009
“Never eat Chinese food in Oklahoma”

New York (NY) Times restaurant critic Bryan Miller wrote a list of “Rules of the Road” in his July 16, 1983 column. One rule was: “The Chinese Law: Never eat Chinese food in Oklahoma.”
What’s meant is that you shouldn’t eat Chinese food where there are few Chinese people, where traditional Chinese ingredients might not be available, etc. Miller’s “Chinese Food Law” has been widely quoted.
New York (NY) Times
Published: Saturday, July 16, 1983
The peak vacation season is upon us, as is apparent by the number of overloaded station wagons on the highway with children crammed in the back waving and mugging at other drivers. Anyone who has partaken in this annual ritual knows that it usually isn’t long - 15 minutes to an hour, depending on the ages of the children -before the initial glee of escape dissolves into the grumbles of hunger, and the frightful question must be faced: Where do we eat?
We are never so vulnerable, gastronomically speaking, as when we are on the road during vacations. The highway is replete with culinary land mines disguised as quaint local restaurants that carry such reassuring names such as Millie’s, Pop’s and Capt’n Dick’s. Around every corner lurk greasy Fisherman’s Platters that give children nightmares, Naugahyde minute steaks that put tofuburgers in a favorable light and all those ubiquitous fast-food indigestion huts.
I have assembled my own specific if fallible rules of the road, which will soon will be retested on the battlefield.
The Chinese Law: Never eat Chinese food in Oklahoma.
2 June 1993, Hartford (CT) Courant, “New York Times restaurant critic retires from post” by Linda Giuca, CT Living, pg. A10:
Polyester napkins. Peppermills “the size of Louisville sluggers.” Eighteen daily specials that aren’t written on the menu. Waiters who “pour wine like Gatorade.” Restaurant critic Bryan Miller culled those pet peeves from nine years on the dining out beat for the New York Times. From now on, however, Miller will shake his head at these foibles like any other restaurant patron. Tuesday, the day he was guest of honor at the opening reception of the Heublein Grand Chefs Festival, was Miller’s official retirement from the powerful critic’s job.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Monday, March 02, 2009 • Permalink

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