Please excuse me, I'm a newcomer here myself.
I'm sure to make many posts in the immediate future which will make you all groan and roll your eyes because you just covered them last week. But I checked the entire length of the message board and saw nothing about this, so I hope I am the first to report here that pp. 42-48 of the current issue of The New Yorker for September 3, 2001 are devoted to a laugh-out-loud Calvin Trillin article about chowhound.com, with many hilarious words from Jim Leff.
You all should know "Bud" Trillin, the author of The Tummy Trilogy, including Alice, Let's Eat! Mr. Trillin is one of the finest prose stylists at large in America, and a considerable chowhound. I had the pleasure of running into him on a downtown street about a year ago, and he graciously chatted for a few minutes with a complete stranger. One of his daughters is now attending a Bay Area college, so he'll probably be showing up here in the near future as well.
It's fascinating to me the way The New Yorker is linked to San Francisco food. There really was very little in the way of spicy Chinese food in America before the publication of a Talk of the Town piece in the mid-1970s about Henry Chang's Hunan restaurant, which was described, with completely atypical overstatement, as "the best Chinese restaurant in America." I date the explosion in Mandarin, Szechuan and Hunanese cuisine in America to that article.
Anyway, you are hereby commended to go get a copy of this week's New Yorker. You'll love it!