Moon in the 6th

About Moon in the 6th & Kathy Biehl

“I walked into a bar and…” That’s how my answer begins when people ask how I got started as a food writer. It’s true, too. Some 20 years I walked into The Black Labrador in Houston for a post-rehearsal drink and ran into a guy I’d dated, who told me that the newspaper he worked for was looking for a restaurant reviewer. He thought I had the right style, but I wasn’t interested. The food writing part of my life actually dates to the next morning, when he phoned me at work and patched me into a conversation with his editor. I agreed to give it a shot. Since then…

My food writing has won awards from the Association of Food Journalists and the Houston Press Club. It’s ended up as an exhibit in a lawsuit (after my review outed a chef who’d taken proprietary recipes from his previous employer). It’s gotten me labeled “Pseudo-Food XPert,” on a trailer sign outside a restaurant I’d busted for serving spoiled shrimp and swiping the name and menu of a competitor that was undergoing renovations around the corner. It’s catapulted one wonderful dive I reviewed into its biggest week of business in 40 years of operation, not to mention a visibility that’s escalated into nods from Texas Monthly and Gourmet and a segment on the Food Network. (Speaking of Texas Monthly, I spent two and a half years in the 80s crawling around Houston’s night scene and crafting snappy bar listings for that magazine.) I’ve been cursed out and hung up on by an employee of a self-proclaimed “friendly” Manhattan hot dog chain. I’ve stared down flautas drizzled with Russian dressing, endured a margarita made from lemons and ridden up and down the Jersey Shore in the eight-foot-long-hot-dog-topped van known as the Munchmobile. My credits include reviewing restaurants for the Houston Business Journal (nearly 10 years), the Houston Press, Time Out New York, the TONY Eating & Dining Guide 2000, My Table and Digital City, not to mention writing the Food News department for Diversion (a doctor’s travel and leisure magazine, not the American Express publication) for more years than I can remember. I still cover food trends in the sporadic After Hours column for  The role food plays in our culture and psyches is a favorite and recurring topic of mine, and many of my essays on that have appeared as cover stories in My Table. I meet food on its own terms and am just as happy with unpretentious dining as with refined. (Often happier, actually.) I like dark, divey bars, too, preferably with neighborhood regulars, weird jukeboxes and historic roots.

And the blog name? It refers to my natal astrology chart, which has the moon (representing a person’s attitude toward food, among many other things) in the sixth house of work and daily routine. You could say eating for a living was in the stars for me.

My other blogs spotlight:
Real-life weird The Compendiblog
Current astrology Astro-Insight
Taking an unconventional approach to life Life Outside the Lines (currently heavy on credit card company rants, but soon to resume its intended contours)

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