I'm not going to offer a full review of trader and quantitative analyst turned philosopher and power-lifter Nassim Nicholas Taleb's new book Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder, other than to say that it is evocative, provocative, bold, brash, learned, and contemptuous -- and if you are at all involved in finance, then you have probably read -- or at least know about -- his previous book, The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable . . . which explains not so much how financial collapses happen, but how to prepare and even profit from them (as Taleb did with his hedge funds) but I'm using his ideas for more selfish reasons; he often uses the restaurant business to flesh out his "anti-fragile" metaphor, as "restaurants are fragile; they compete with each other, but the collective of local restaurants is anti-fragile, for that reason . . . had restaurants been individually robust, hence immortal, then overall business would be either stagnant or weak," and you can see where this is going -- subsidies and intervention will actually destroy the health of a working system . . . and while logical folks know that opening a restaurant is risky business (though not as risky as urban legend has it) we love the fact that people keep trying, and Taleb explains this in his typical hyperbolic fashion: "in order to progress, modern society should be treating ruined entrepreneurs in the same way we honor dead soldiers, perhaps not with as much honor, but using exactly the same logic" because this person has taken heroic risk that is beneficial to others . . . but BEFORE this happens, please patronize the following restaurants, because they are inexpensive, awesome, and BYOB . . . I don't want them to become fallen soldiers . . .
1) El Gallo Giro 2 . . . a Mexican joint on Route 1 in Edison, just past Open Road Honda . . . they have awesome mole sauce and you can get enchiladas with pork or chicken or chorizo smothered in the stuff, their burritos are ridiculously huge and their tacos and guacamole are fantastic as well, this is our replacement for Taqueria la Juquilita, which changed hands and isn't as good as it once was;
2) Cafe La Terrassa, in New Brunswick, which has a new menu and a new take-out menu . . . this place is amazing, but slightly off the beaten path and never as crowded as it should be, and I will be really pissed off if it doesn't make it, so I am relying on you to eat there (and these reviews are totally unsolicited, as I have received no food, drink, coupons, sexual favors, or preferential seating for my favorable opinions).