Filled with inspiring stories and photographs,
this heartfelt tribute to the pit bull celebrates one of America’s most popular
yet misunderstood dogs.
Perhaps more than any other breed, the pit bull
has been dogged by negative stereotypes. In truth, pit bulls are innately
wonderful family pets, as capable of love and good deeds as any other type of
dog. Setting the record straight, Ken Foster sings the praises of pit bulls in
I’m a Good Dog, a gorgeously illustrated, tenderly written tribute to this most
misunderstood of canines.
Founder of the Sula Foundation, which promotes
responsible pit bull ownership in New Orleans, and the author of two acclaimed
books about abandoned dogs, Foster has made it his mission to bring overlooked
canines into the limelight. I’m a Good Dog traces the fascinating history of
this particularly maligned breed. A century ago, the pit bull was considered a
family dog, featured in family photos and trusted as loving companions for
children. More recently, pit bulls have been portrayed by the media as
stereotypes of everything they are not. Foster shatters that reputation through
moving profiles of pit bulls that serve as therapy dogs, athletic heroes,
search-and-rescue dogs, and educators, not to mention as loving pets. Foster
also profiles many pit bull lovers, from Helen Keller and Dr. Seuss to actor
Todd Cerveris, who took his pit bull on tour with him for the musical Spring
Proving that there’s much to love and nothing to fear, I’m a
Good Dog restores the pit bull to its rightful place as friend, family member,
athlete and entertainer.
Labeled "Pit Bull mix" puppies, Destroyed.
Cute pups labeled by shelter staff as "pit bull
mix" and killed after three days hold. These brindle, red spotted, fawn mask
white puppies could easily be labeled "boxer mix", "terrier mix" or "hound mix"
or "lab mix" to save their lives and allow adoption. Instead they were killed
based on loose and unneccesary breed "Identification". Complain to
countypets.com about their pit bull and pit bull mix killing policy.
Due to mislabeling this mostly BOXER breed fawn
dog as a "pit bull mix", it will be killed as this pound does not adopt out pit
bulls or mixes. If the pound has a breed killing policy in place, you'd think
the staff deciding who lives or dies based on looks alone could EASILY IDENTIFY
the breed majority. The eye shape, eye placement, earset, muzzle, nose all
scream BOXER. Complain to countypets.com about their pit bull killing policy.
The bartenders at Danny Meyer's wildly popular
restaurants are known for their creative concoctions. Guests at Union Square
Cafe or Gramercy Tavern expect not only the finest cuisine but also Meyer's
special brand of hospitality that often begins with a Venetian Spritz or a
Cranberry Daiquiri. In MIX SHAKE STIR, Meyer offers all the tips and tools
needed to become a masterful mixologist and supplements the cocktail recipes
with gourmet takes on bar snacks. There are over 100 recipes of bar classics,
signature favorites, and original, refreshing libations--from the Modern's
elegant mojito made with champagne and rose water to Tabla's Pomegranate Gimlet.
Shaken or stirred, straight up or on the rocks, these cocktails make this
collection an invaluable resource for elegant entertaining.
bartenders at Danny Meyer's wildly popular restaurants are known for their
creative concoctions. Guests at Union Square Cafe or Gramercy Tavern expect not
only the finest cuisine but also Meyer's special brand of hospitality that often
begins with a Venetian Spritz or a Cranberry Daiquiri. In Mix Shake Stir, Meyer
offers all the tips and tools needed to become a masterful mixologist and
supplements the cocktail recipes with gourmet takes on bar snacks. There are
over 100 recipes of bar classics, signature favorites, and original, refreshing
libations--from the Modern's elegant mojito made with champagne and rose water
to Tabla's Pomegranate Gimlet. Shaken or stirred, straight up or on the rocks,
these cocktails make this collection an invaluable resource for elegant
Straight Up: Talking Cocktails with Danny
As the owner of some of New York's most acclaimed restaurants (with 19 James
Beard Awards between them), restaurateur Danny Meyer has been raising the bar on
hospitality for a generation of diners. In Mix Shake Stir, a gorgeous collection
of creative cocktails, mixology tips, and gourmet nibbles, Meyer extends his
legendary level of service behind the bar, offering readers the ultimate
resource for elegant entertaining at home. Amazon.com senior editor Brad Thomas
Parsons checked in with Meyer to talk about cocktail culture, signature drinks
and spirits, and entertaining at home.
Amazon.com: So I imagine you and
your staff had a grand time testing the recipes for Mix Shake Stir. What are
some of your favorite drinks in the book?
Danny Meyer: I'm fond of
anything that does not include Tequila or Gin. There. Now you know the two
spirits I just can't stomach. Seriously, one of my top favorites is the Dirty
Pete [recipe follows]--so named because it's a dirty martini juiced up with
Texas Pete hot sauce. There's a fun story behind its creation. It fits perfectly
at Blue Smoke.
Amazon.com: In the introduction to the book you ruminate
on the "ritual of cocktail hour" your parents and their friends observed when
you were growing up in St. Louis. There's even a drink in the book, the Mortoni,
in honor of your father. Do you think the at-home cocktail hour will ever regain
its Mad Men-era popularity?
Meyer: Every now and then, one or two--or
more--people find themselves tempted by the idea of a cocktail--even though it
had been the furthest thing from their mind when they arrived. When entertaining
at home I sometimes begin by saying, "I'm having a cocktail--but we also have
wine and beer if you'd prefer." Cocktails will probably not regain their early
dominance--mostly because there weren't as many really good wines back in the
Mad Men era. But they'll always have a place at the table.
What are some of your tips, regarding cocktails, for successful entertaining at
Meyer: Always have plenty of ice on hand, and make sure to have a
bottle of each major spirit--vodka, gin, white and dark rum, scotch, and
bourbon. It helps to have vermouth in case someone might want a martini, and it
can't hurt to have lemon, lime, and green olives.
Amazon.com: I'm a firm
believer that every man should have a go-to drink at the ready when he steps up
to order at the bar. What's yours?
Meyer: The Mortoni. Equal parts
Campari, vodka, and tonic; over lots of ice and garnished with a lime. I named
it for my late father, Morton Meyer, whose go-to drink was a Negroni (which is
classically gin or vodka mixed with Campari and vermouth). I'd drink a Mortoni
over a Negroni any day.
Amazon.com: Do you have a favorite signature
drink at each of your restaurants?
Meyer: I love the Dark and Stormy at
Blue Smoke. And the Martini at Eleven Madison Park (have it mixed tableside!) is
peerless. At Tabla, I'd order the Tablatini, and at Union Square Cafe, I tend to
Amazon.com: I would think that, after the reservationist and
the host or hostess, the bartender plays a pivotal customer-service role in your
organization. What special touches do the bartenders working for your Union
Square Hospitality Group bring to your bars?
Meyer: They are hosts,
listeners, and guides--long before they're mixologists! They need to understand
our food, our service style, and important details about our
Amazon.com: Whether I'm alone or even with a friend, I often
prefer sitting and eating at the bar rather than a table. What's your take on
dining at the bar? Should it be reserved for drinking?
Meyer: No! Going
all the way back to 1985 when Union Square Cafe first opened, we've never even
contemplated building a bar without imagining it full of diners as well as
Amazon.com: With a return to vintage recipes like fizzes,
smashes, swizzles, and slings and housemade infusions, syrups, sodas, and
bitters, many bars and restaurants are displaying a renewed interest the
pre-Prohibition Golden Age of the American cocktail. Do you think this is a
trend that's here to stay?
Meyer: I think for a number of years, peoples'
interest in wine leapfrogged their passion for cocktails. But now cocktails are
enjoying a renaissance in terms of the interest they're generating among
inquisitive hedonists. There will always be adventuresome and aspirational types
who seek what's new, and what is good. For that reason, there's no going
Amazon.com: You also touch upon the importance of ice in the book,
an increasingly popular topic among drink aficionados. Have you installed
Kold-Draft ice machines (the ones that crank out those slow-melting, perfect
1.25 x 1.25 cubes of nearly impurity-free ice) in any of your
Meyer: Yes. Eleven Madison Park and Gramercy Tavern take
their ice especially seriously. And regardless of the ice machine at our places,
we filter the water before it becomes ice.
Amazon.com: Mix Shake Stir
features many drinks inspired by greenmarkets, and more bartenders seem to be
taking cues from kitchen (and vice versa) when creating their cocktails. Your
Heirloom Bloody Mary is a great example. How have your bartenders surprised you
with their renewed attention to using seasonal ingredients?
really not a surprise, because many of our bartenders were once either waiters
or even cooks. They're around good food and ingredients all day, and they want
to use those same quality ingredients they see elsewhere in the restaurant
behind their bars.
Amazon.com: I really admired the use of spirits like
Aperol, Chartreuse, Punt e Mes, and Cherry Heering in the book. What do you
think is an underrated spirit that more people need to pay more attention
Meyer: The one you like the best! Not that it is underrated, but I am
an avowed nut for Campari.
Amazon.com: I like to see a bartender dip a
cocktail straw into a mixed drink to sample it to make sure it's achieved its
proper balance. You mention in the book it's like a chef tasting a dish before
sending out. Do you think enough bartenders are doing this?
important that bar patrons understand what's going on with that straw dip... I
can imagine that for many people it's like, "get your straw out of my cocktail!"
In any case, we owe it to our guests to make sure that food and drinks taste as
good as they’re supposed to. Tasting helps.
Amazon.com: You even include
many nibbles and bar snacks to complement the drinks in Mix Shake Stir but I
have to ask how Blue Smoke's BBQ potato chips and blue cheese dip didn't make
the final cut? If I ask really nicely could you share the recipe?
I'm sorry that I haven’t been able to get Chef Kenny Callaghan to share it. It
is mighty good, though!
Amazon.com: It's been a tough time for many
restaurants, but here in Seattle, with every restaurant that closes there's
another big-buzz debut in the works and many downtown joints are seem to have a
"what recession?" vibe as they're SRO at 9PM on a weeknight. Hospitality seems
more important than ever. What are some keys for a restaurateur to attract and
maintain loyal customers in this economic time?
Meyer: The same as
always: good food, deft service, and a warm, genuine welcome. The recession has
been humbling for everyone. But it's not hard to show humility when you know
that it is harder than ever for people to part with hard-earned dollars in your
restaurant. Extra appreciation goes a long way. I will say that our hospitality
industry never ceases to amaze with can-do entrepreneurs. Behind every fallen
leaf lies a fresh, green bud.
Amazon.com: With Shake Shack, Blue Smoke,
El Verano Taqueria, Box Frites, and the Delta Sky360 Club you're a big part of
the much buzzed-about culinary scene at Citi Field, the Mets' new ballpark. How
has the experience been so far?
Meyer: We have learned an enormous
amount. The team we've fielded there has been remarkable, and I'd reckon they've
created as much fan pleasure with their food and hospitality as the Mets have on
the field! None of us can wait until next year to apply all we’ve learned to
keep improving even further.
Amazon.com: And speaking of Shake Shack, how
does the new Upper West Side outpost compare to the original Madison Park
Meyer: Our Upper West Side Shake Shack--unbelievably--is just
as busy as the original in Madison Square Park. But because we had more space to
work with, we were able to increase the size of our kitchen, and so the line
moves quickly. What I'm proudest of is the incredible level of consistency both
in terms of the food and our team's service and hospitality.