Thursday, February 14, 2008

Don't Point That Thing at Me...

Not to beat a dead horse, but one last thing about last week's Herald article on food bloggers. I spoke with the editor of the Miami Herald Food Section last Thursday. She called me, actually, in a bold and, I thought, touching move, to take the bullet for her reporter. My complaint was never with the reporter personally, only that he had been assigned a topic about which he obviously knew nothing, and perhaps that led to the superficiality of the piece. So I agree with her, she gets the lion's share of the blame. Her contention was that he's 22, and online all day, so therefore he knows all about blogs. My response was two-fold. First, I'm 53 and I'M online all day. EVERYONE is online all day. Even old Fred Tasker, the Taskmaster, wine columnist and old fart (he's gotta be older than me) has a freakin blog now. That's why TV and Newspapers are dying (not because of Fred, I mean the other thing....Or do I?). Second, would any other section of the paper hire a complete novice to cover a subject like, political blogs? Sports blogs? Gaming blogs? I don't think so. And that is, and always has been my problem with the local newspapers' food sections-they simply don't take their audiences seriously, and treat us like morons. Same old same old, week in, week out.

You know, I was at trade-and-press wine seminars and tastings the last two days, and I can tell you-everyone I spoke to echoed my sentiments. Young, old, male, female. They may not say it for publication, but the disappointment and disillusionment with the food writing establishment here is widespread. Does the press even know who their audience is, anymore?

One last irony, then I'll get on to slamming Wee Klein. The food editor thanked me for pointing out Mark Gibson's BBQ, on NW 46th St and 2nd Ave., and said, “Thanks to your blog, and JD's article, we all went there for ribs and it was great.” First let me say that anyone who ventures to Mark's rib spot deserves praise. And I'm glad he's getting the business. But the funny thing is, I first wrote about this particular rib guy last summer, for, the Herald's own online website Perhaps it's time for the food editor at the Herald to get online herself.

The Miami New Times Restaurant Critic Lee Klein may or may not be a good writer; he may or may not be a good restaurant reviewer, wheezing with delightful alliteration and clever puns, but one thing of which we can all be certain, is that he is a hypocrite. In his latest pompous installment of why he's a superior being, he claims, after not reviewing the rabbit dish at Brosia, “Rabbit stifado, with feta cheese, walnuts, and pearl onions, is the most distinctive menu item, but with apologies to those curious about this dish: I don't eat bunny.” Isn't that why you have dining companions? Isn't that who ate the 'endangered' Chilean Sea Bass a couple of weeks ago? Does this guy realize he's a fucking food critic? Who extols foie gras, one of the cruelest foods on earth, as well as veal? I eat both, but then I choke down everything. Especially when I'm at a restaurant with only seven entrees. That I'm REVIEWING. If you don't eat rabbit, maybe you should find another line of work, pal. Go to work for Vegetarian Times, maybe, reviewing the latest sprout sandwich and wheat grass juice smoothie. He doesn't eat bunny? How about the poor little lamb, or the veal calf, or the unborn quails, or the little quack-quack swimming on the pond? And I'm called the douche?

This guy uses the flaccid metaphor of the flag at Iwo Jima twice in one review. Is he running out of tedious puns, already? It wasn't funny the first time. And stop saying 'plated'. We got it, you know someone in the food business.

I'm so amused by this braying ass that I won't even get into my pet peeves-no mention of the wine list at all, reviewing a restaurant that hasn't even been open three months (it's just not enough time to work out the kinks/see which menu items work/shake out the staff/get rid of the losers, bad cooks, alkies, cokeheads, etc), and then slamming it. What's the point? Unless you just like to swing your big balls around. Iwo Jima? Peter, Paul and Mary? What century is this guy living in?

Incidentally, aside from the rabbit no-show, these are the descriptors Lee uses for the food at Brosia.
'Unremarkable' spears of toast...” No critique of the actual dish containing them.
Chicken was 'partially raw'.
After said chicken came back from the kitchen, it 'impressed'.
Pappardelle was 'toothsome'
Greek Salad is 'tweaked'
Duck leg is 'crisp'
New York Strip is 'paired'.
That is the sum total. Guess he ran out of adjectives drooling over Timo.
(Also didn't like the baklava (who does?), doesn't rate the other three desserts, and hates the sangria-wait-he mentioned wine! I take it all back...)
One question. Did this guy actually eat here? Or did he sleep through the meal? We know he went to the bathroom, because “...I was in the restroom and out of necessity drying my hands with toilet paper.” May I suggest you aim for the urinal next time?

And how about that douche over at the Sun Post? Whatever he's on, I want some of that. Oh wait, here it is. Never mind.

1 comment:

LAX2MIA said...

After reading Lee's review I couldn't wait for your critique. The guy is a turd. There's no other word for him. And as for Miamians being disappointed at local food critics and their pandering to the least educated reader, count me among the disappointed.