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MARCH MADNESS and its cures

A bit about 300 local sports bars By Jim Duncan March Madness refers to single elimination basketball tournaments, particularly the NCAA Men’s Tournament,  which this year begins on March 13 and runs through April 2. The name is reinforced by several statistical legends: 1. The opening games played on Thursday and Friday are Las Vegas’ busiest non-holiday weekdays. 2. The Wednesday before the […]

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What is a café?

Des Moines is loaded however you define it By Jim Duncan In many European countries, the words used to describe types of restaurants are precisely defined, sometimes even codified. For instance, in Italy a trattoria is less formal than a ristorante but more formal than an osteria. Usually printed menus are only found in ristorantes and wine is […]

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Bye, bye American pie

A vanishing culinary treasure By Jim Duncan In one of the great examples of American hubris, GI’s in World War II popularized the phrase “American as motherhood and apple pie.” As my German friends like to point out, “Americans think they can nationalize anything simply by claiming it.” In 1902, a New York Times editorial claimed “Pie is the American synonym for prosperity […]

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Holiday gifts for foodies

Chindōgu and practicality By Jim Duncan Holiday gift giving provides opportunities to indulge every kind of whim, from the gratuitous to the farcical. An American version of the holiday dilemma states “What do you give the person who has everything?” The implied answer is never “nothing.” The book “101 Unuseless Japanese Inventions” is a best seller in Asia every time a […]

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EXTREME Tailgating

By Jim Duncan Much more than burgers and beer The best story I have ever heard about extreme tailgating is likely apocryphal. Like the best urban myths, though, hardly anyone doubts it because it perfectly fits most preconceptions, in this case about Oakland Raider fans. Of all the fans of American sports teams, these are usually perceived to be the […]

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