Friday, March 7, 2008

Late Night Lee....or, Trouble Brewing?

Now I'm just depressed. Victoria Elliot in the Herald reviewing a neighborhood sushi joint in Homestead (Victoria, what have they done to you?), another Enrique Fernandez piece on some shit no one fucking cares about (“Like many Cuban Americans, I grew up eating [blank]. Fill in the blank yourself, sparky, I have a headache. Then write 500 words about salt cod. Again. Get paid. Take a nap), Linda Bladholm in Hollywood, Fred Tasker on Chardonnay (where have I heard of that grape before?), Jaweed on the Cilantro Martini 'invented' at Andu (people need to stop believing everyone's press, for godssake), and Lee Klein in the New Times on two fast food joints. Well, let's just go with Lee, that always perks me up.

Did you know that Queen Latifah owns a piece of the Fatburger on South Beach? Did you know that the royal ex-rapper “didn't even show up for the opening,” according to one disappointed (and about to be fired for talking to LK) employee? Did you know that Lee is now familiar with 'Sysco', the giant food-supplier, and now must throw that tiny bit of professional knowledge around like a hockey-mask-wearing serial killer wields an axe? He's disappointed in the burgers, but, and here I'm going out on a limb, maybe that's because it's a fucking CHAIN! Why is the lead reviewer for the Miami New Times devoting more precious space to another chain? And people wonder why we can't get the rest of the food world to take us seriously. Incidentally, I was just in New York, at a very hip and exclusive cocktail bar (don't even ask how I got in), and they were going through tons of Sysco's waffle fries. You can't just say 'Sysco' and end the discussion. Even Thomas Keller at Per Se uses frozen fries, and apparently no one's complaining. Sometimes a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. A very little knowledge-a very dangerous thing.

But it gets worse, I'm afraid. Speaking of New York (and why must Kleiny always bring up the city? Is he hankering for a spot at the Voice? Guess what? R. Sietsema blows you out of the water sir, so sit your hick ass down, and get back to writing about shit you don't know about, like pizza), the Wee Man has this doozy at the start of his timely review of the 'year-and-a-half-old' Primo Pizza on South Beach. “What makes a New York slice a New York slice? For one thing, the crust is not crisp. It is floppy-soft, thicker than flatbread but thinner than deep-dish. There are no black char marks on the bottom; if there were, any self-respecting New Yorker would return it and say, "Hey, Einstein, you burned the goddamn pizza!" [I guess Lee thinks that by shoehorning in a 'goddamn' every column, he'll sound much hipper and younger, as opposed to corny and decrepit. Not working.] Plus it is cheesy, and the cheese is chewy.”

First of all, if you told an Italian pie-maker that he just burned your pie, you would probably be about to replace that pie in the oven. Or as an old pizza-maker at Lombardi's once said to my buddy when he asked about the temperature of his pizza oven, “You wanna know how hot it is? Okay. How do you want to go in, feet first or head first?”
Anyway, it would be more like, “Thank you for a great slice, paisano,” because that's how a fucking New York pizza's supposed to look. A little charred on the bottom, the crust should actually be crisp enough to hold when folded in half (it should have that 'snap' when you fold it), so you can eat it wit ya hands. The classic NY pizza places, like Arturo's, Patsy's, Lombardi's, John's, etc., all make pizzas whose crusts have char marks. In fact, contrary to Lee's bullshit, they have thin, crispy/chewy crusts, and not too much cheese (source: Stu Gatz. I owe you one, cugino).

So now I'm wondering, since both Fatburger and Primo Pizza serve pretty late at night, if perhaps Lee 'The Lip' Klein has been staying out a little past his bedtime, maybe chewing on some grappa, looking for trouble? He did mention last week that some food was arranged in almost “snortable lines”. Does that mean what I think it does? Maybe that's what makes the fast food seem so appealing at 5AM. Or maybe the poor guy just needs a little more rest.


Anonymous said...

Two words Ver-Daddy's

LAX2MIA said...

One forgotten gem from Lee's review of Fatburger. To quote "It starts at a third of a pound, but by the time the lard content cooks out, it looks more like a quarter-pounder". From what I understand lard comes exclusively from rendered pig fat and, from what I also understand, Fatburger's hamburger patties are made from beef, not pork.

And no one seems to have caught on to the irony that Queen Latifah (1) opened Fatburger in Miami Beach and (2) she's signed on to be a spokeswoman for Jenny Craig. Hmmmm..