About Me

Why the name?  Twofold – An Endomorph by genetics and an Endocrinologist by training.

Anything else?  Just ask.


61 Responses to About Me

  1. Mike! Extremely random but I was browsing chowhound Chicago and saw your post..and thought..wait a second! How have you been sir? I travel quite a bit through.Ohio for work..we should grab a meal sometime. Hope all is well.

    Jon Lapolla
    Blitz n Destroy…bb.com

  2. Thanks for posting the blog link on Yelp. This site is a foodie treasure trove. Looking forward to reading through your food journeys.

  3. Hi, I live in boston and I was really considering booking the same chef’s table thing that you did in L’espalier. Did you get the chef’s tasting menu?? And how much does it usually go, like 200 per person.? Thanks!

  4. My curiosity has finally gotten the best of me. Why the name uhockey? I love the sport and wonder about your connection.

    Enjoy your posts. I love the New York restaurants more than anything in the whole world. Just visited Seattle so enjoyed your posts on there also.

    • Last name starts with a u.
      Hockey has been my favorite sport since I was 5.
      Created the screenname when I originally signed up for AOL in 1995 and it has stuck ever since. Smilie: :)

      • Did you play hockey? I was a hockey mom for 20 years.
        I’m from North Dakota. Thanks for your reply.

        • I played as a kid. Stopped when I started medical school due to time constraints. Would love to get back at it some day, but age and time away from the game has likely dulled my already average skills. Smilie: :)

  5. Love your website!!

  6. Just thought I would let you know that I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog. You sound intriguing. Sure sounds like you are able to get around quite a bit while maintaining a full time job. Thank you for your descriptive reviews.

  7. LOVED your review of the Julia Child dinner @ Christopher’s/Crush. I enjoyed every morsel right down to the last word. Just curious, what were the “allergies” of your dining guest? I’ve also been to Crush and loved the cheese/charcuterie platter. If you love food radio, checkout Culinary Confessions, AM1440, Mon – Fri @ 11 AM to 1 PM. Or, check them out at http://www.kimanddon.com Bon appetit!

    Foodlovergeneral says:

    I am completely impressed and amazed by your excellent coverage of food. You photos, and writing are excellent. I tend to agree with many of your reviews. I was very impressed with your reviews in Montreal and New York where I know the restaurants pretty well. I was wondering:

    1. How do you stay healthy? It seems if you are eating these meals when you travel, are you going to stay healthy? What tips do you have?
    2. How do you cover so many cities?
    3. What’s “uhockey” refer to ? Are you a big hockey nut?

    • Hello Neal, thanks for stopping by. I find your comments/questions a bit strange, but I shall try my best to field them:

      1) If you read the blog closely you’ll catch the running references repeatedly. If you know me, you’ll realize that I only eat this way when I travel – I have not eaten a processed/packaged/mass-marketed good in ~9 years and I cook everything I eat at home myself – 55% Vegetable, 35% Protein, 10% Fat in most cases. A tip from a man far smarter than I: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle.

      2) I travel to them. It is really quite that simple.

      3) See also many references in my blog. I’ve been a Los Angeles Kings fan since I was 7 years old and I’ve been to 21 NHL Arenas in my 32 years of living so far.

  8. Hi! I love your blog. I was wandering, what is your day job? Do you write food articles for other websites? Your insights must be spread! You seem like you have a great palate since you notice such subtle details with food.

  9. Hi Michael!
    I just wanted to tell you how much I have enjoyed reading your blog and your restaurant reviews. I also appreciate your comments about my desserts. Because we pastry people are nearly always in the background, we have to seek out feedback in order to improve. I take everyones comments to heart and only want to provide them with a happy dessert experience. So, I thank you!
    My only wish is that I could dispel the notion that my chefs are outsourcing their desserts in the commonly accepted notion of “outsourcing” – picking up a pre-fabbed available to anyone dessert, opening the box, putting it on a plate with a little store-bought sauce, etc. Maybe I can explain what we do because it really is different.
    I work personally with each chef/owner to create a unique menu for their venue. Back in my commerical kitchen, my team of pastry cooks and I then prepare every item from scratch- from the sauce to the streusel, from the cake to the ice cream, we make it all, we pack the order and deliver it, put it away, go over it with staff as needed, etc. It’s not unlike what I did when I worked as pastry chef to Cowboy Ciao, Kazimierz, Sea Saw, Digestif and the short-lived Star-Spangled Tavern and Baroque at the same time except I worked for the same company.
    My goal is that each venue has desserts that are uniquely theirs with no overlap. The benefit to the restaurants is reduced overhead, inventory, payroll, regained work space, etc., which following our most recent economic slump was an solution for many including out-of-work me. The great thing is that they really do enjoy the same benefits of having their own pastry chef. For me, it’s a dream come true to work with chefs and owners with whom I have had long term professional relationships and to continue to be part of the dining experience of so many foodies and supporters like you while getting to own my own business, make desserts everyday, and continue to train new talent.
    Thank you so much for your support and I hope that we will meet at some food event or another! In the meantime, keep eating and writing!
    Tracy Dempsey

    • Hello Tracy,

      Thanks for stopping by, and for your comments – I rather assumed that approach to be the case and I certainly cannot fault restaurats for employing your talents; having obviously traveled a bit (along with my substantial sweet tooth) I’ve found many of your creations to be truly outstanding and my mother still raves the Black n’ Tan from Citizen Public House.

      I obviously meant no offense when commenting on the restaurants involved, but at the same time I also value the creativity of all chefs/artists and see ‘outsourcing’ of any sort to be somewhat limiting. No matter how much you try to fit that restaurant’s vision with your creations, it is still a Tracy Dempsey Original whereas a restaurant with their own in-house team brings a whole different artist’s viewpoint.

      I hope that makes sense, but either way, keep up the great work!

      • Hi Michael,

        Absolutely no offense taken. Really, you gave me some excellent food for thought as we continue to grow TDO. I appreciate the insight and your support.

        My reason for writing you now is for some foodie help. I have looked at your city listings and I can’t find anything for Houston, so I am guessing you haven’t been yet, but I’m still going to ask… where would you go if you had 2 days there. Any suggestions for any not-to-be-missed spots- nothing fine dining but just really good food in Houston?

        Thank you so much!

  10. Dr. U.,
    Just wanted to leave a note to let you know how much I have enjoyed your posts. I stumbled across your blog last night while searching the Vegas Chowhound site to plan for an upcoming trip. I couldn’t stop reading and before I knew it, there were only 3 hours left before my alarm was due this morning! Smilie: :)
    I’m from Kansas City, so I was thrilled to see the reports from your meals here. You made some great picks, especially my special occasion favorite, the American Restaurant. How wonderful that you were able to share it with your mother.
    Our upcoming Vegas trip will include Le Cirque and é, and after reading your reports, I’m even more excited than before!
    I’m curious, I saw that you’ve visited many of the Wynn restaurants–have you tried Bartolotta yet? That was the highlight from our last visit and I’m always curious to see how others enjoy it.
    Again, thank you for the wonderful reports. I look forward to more hours spent poring over them. Smilie: :)

    • Hi Monique,

      I’m actually flying to Kansas City for a job interview tomorrow – unfortunately, there will be no fine dining, just meetings and lunch at some Café on the Square place arranged by the hospital.

      I have indeed eaten at Bartolotta, but it was many years ago preceding this blog. It seemed expensive then, but I do need to get back.

      Thanks for reading. Smilie: :-)

  11. Thanks for the link! I’m lost in the archives. Truly fascinating and excellent storytelling.

  12. Heading to Pittsburgh on Saturday. Thinking of making my way to Dave Racicot’s Notion. Have you heard anything about the latest iteration? Having had his cooking in the past, any thoughts? Should I go somewhere else instead?

    • I’ve not heard much about the latest iteration of notion, but have heard good things about Chef Racicot’s cooking. We really didn’t do a lot of fancy dining in Pittsburgh, but I enjoyed what I ate and commented on here in the blog. Lautrec at Nemacolin is a bit out of the way, but truly lovely.

  13. Michael,

    I saw through YELP’s photos that you were recently in Charleston, SC. I am heading there at the end of the month and would love your advice on places I should NOT miss. Thanks for the help.

    -Thomas D.

  14. Hi there!

    I’ve been reading through your blog for well over two years now, and am sorry I haven’t thanked you yet!

    You’ve really gotten around. Lol, your blog covers half my bucket list.

    My fiance and I moved to Las Vegas a couple of years ago, we both love dining in interesting and acclaimed places. I work in the FOH side of the industry, and have found this blog super helpful and damn thorough.

    It sure doesn’t appear that you need any restaurant recommendations in town, but feel free to email me with any questions about Vegas, as I’d be glad to help.

    It seems to me that Vegas is pretty decent landing spot for a gastronome like yourself. Thanks again, and good luck!

    Owen of Owen and Jeff says:

    Hi Mike-
    I hope you remember me, Jeff’s better half. I understand you now live in Las Vegas and I need some advise. If you could email me (above) so I can respond directly to you. Thanks….Owen

  15. I’ve just stumbled upon your website via Chowhound. Amazing stuff, the most complete and descriptive reviews I’ve read to date. Thanks so very much for your writings and ramblings….

    A question about Paris- after eating at every restaurant on my list, I can’t help but wonder where you stay. Clearly you have refined sensibilities, and can’t help but feel it would extend to your hotel of choice. Care to comment?

    • …you would be quite wrong. airbnb.com and wyndhamrewards.com are the only things I use for accommodations…aside from that one time I found myself sleeping in a hostel in Chinatown after a 20+ course extended tasting at Per Se. My goal is to spend as little time as humanly possible in a hotel when I travel. I need a bed, clean water, Wi-Fi, and preferably a gym with a treadmill – no more, no less.

    • We used airbnb and stayed with a woman and her son in the 19th when visiting Paris.

  16. I am a manager of Milo’s Inn at Boulder. At our bed & breakfast in Boulder City we have a small coffee shop open from 7-11am everyday. I would love for you to come visit us and share us on your site.
    Thanks for your time

  17. Been a long time reader of your blog and really enjoy your detailed writing.

    I am going to be in Las Vegas next week for two days. I will have a car and am staying on the strip. Can you give me recommendations for two lunches and breakfasts? I am open to all cuisines and price points.


  18. I’m so, so happy to have found your blog. You tick all the boxes off in “should I trust this person because they have similar attitudes/experiences as I?”:
    – athlete
    – physiology geek
    – avid traveler
    – thrifty by nature
    – pragmatic when not explicitly thrifty
    – coffee hound
    – fan of lots of cities/foods of southwest
    …. and on. Smilie: :-)

    I have not read a ton of your posts yet, but I know I will and wanted to say thank you for all the hard work (including Yelp – wow!) you’ve done to report on restaurants and foods all over the place.

    Cheers and happy eating.

  19. Cool site Mike, thanks.
    But why no address given for each restaurant?

    Alina Dizik says:

    Michael, I’m writing a story for a major publication about 5:30 restaurant reservations — I was hoping to speak with you about your time at Goosefoot. Please let me know.

  20. Michael: I wanted to touch base with you about licensing one of your photographs to use in an editorial feature in our publication. Our print magazine, Meatingplace, is a business publication covering the meat processing industries. We distribute to about 35,000 executives in the business. I am working on a feature about foie gras, and was interested in the wood oven foie gras pizza that you pictured from your visit to Christopher’s in Phoenix. Can we get permission (and a high-resolution version of the photograph)? How much would you charge for one-time editorial use?
    Thank you,
    Lisa M. Keefe
    Editor, Meatingplace

  21. Just a thank you for the thorough and compelling stories about the places you eat. I have read about your Paris visit, your San Francisco trip, and now that we are going to Charleston, loved hearing about your restaurants there last summer. I am in awe of your capacity! Will look forward to more pleasure as I read my way through your incredible blog.

    • That is very kind of you Jane, glad you enjoy it. Smilie: :-) As to the ‘awe’ – I never know whether to take that as a compliment, or as a “what a freakshow,” but in this case I’ll go with the former.

    Sandy Lynne says:

    Hey there I enjoyed reading your reviews! If you ever are in Detroit again and enjoy pizza please try Buddies Pizza. I miss it so much. But I live 2400 miles away now! Whenever I go back to Detroit that’s the first place I go. Take care!

    • I’m originally from Toledo, so I have tried Buddies, though it pre-dates this blog. Will definitely go back when I return to see the new Little Caesar’s Arena.

  22. Hello!
    I’m curious about how you evaluate a restaurant experience- like, aside from how the food tastes, how much does the quality of the service, atmosphere, etc. contribute to your ranking (whether it be yelp stars or the meal’s placement on your “Most Memorable Meals” list)? Also, when people ask for recommendations on where to eat if they’re in a place with a plethora of good options (like a New York, Vegas, or Basque Country for that matter) for only a couple days, how do you decide which restaurants to recommend?

    • In general I think it is pertinent to mitigate bias as much as one can and to try to review a space on its own merits whether it is a Michelin 3* or a Donut Shop. Obviously ingredient quality, the skill with which items are prepared and service play a big part in that, but so too does an experience component as relates to value.

      Regarding the word ‘memorable,’ I think that is more subjective and any Yelp! list is merely a button click. I wouldn’t put much stock in that.

      Regarding how I recommend to others, it depends how well I know them and how well they can suggest what they enjoy.

  23. Hi there! I have not visited your site for awhile – busy traveling in my first retirement year. I am in Mill Valley for 6 weeks and will of course be visiting San Francisco several times, so I thought it would be nice to see what you have to say about their restaurants. Scoma’s is still my all-time fav. By the way, I find it remarkable you have not yet hit Minneapolis, my Home Town!

    • It has been quite some time since I went to the Bay Area, so my thoughts are likely outdated.
      As for Minneapolis, it remains high on my list but always falls short for some reason (cold, mostly.)

  24. Your photos are fantastic and there is a lot of great information in your reviews, but PLEASE learn how to use punctuation!! The reviews are almost painful to read because each sentence is one big run-on sentence stretching an entire paragraph long! A few periods go a long way (this comment is a paragraph long, but you can see how the thoughts are broken up into individual sentences, not strung into one long endless one). I hope you take this as constructive criticism because everything else is wonderful, but the lack of proper punctuation in these reviews truly puts me off reading them.

  25. Hi! I was wondering when you would finally make it to Minneapolis! Nicely done – you chose some good places to visit.

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