Remember: You are performing a public service. #upinthesky #itsabird #itsaplane #itstastergrrl
Thank you, WR
Negative reviews are fine, as long as they’re accurate and fair. Critics must always be conscious that they are dealing with people’s livelihoods. Negative reviews, especially, should be based on multiple visits and a broad exploration of the restaurant’s menu.

That’s from The Association of Food Journalists’ Guidelines for Critics. 

The problem with that maxim is that it singles out negative restaurant reviews, which are no different, economically, philosophically or socially, from positive restaurant reviews. There is only one category, and that category is called “reviews.” And so it goes that restaurant reviews will always affect people’s livelihoods, regardless of whether they happen to be overwhelmingly critical or disproportionately complimentary.

To say that negative reviews “especially” should be based on multiple visits, as opposed to positive reviews, is hogwash.

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I know how bad it sucks when you’re in the fucking weeds and you ain’t got no one to talk to. So I hope you feel better. And I know you will. And I know you’ll feel bad again. That’s how it always seems to go.
SR, on being a restaurant critic.
ADVICE FOR AN ASPIRING FOOD WRITER

Hi Todd, 

Love your chats. Big fan. Do you have any tips for an aspiring food journalist? 

I recently accepted a journalism internship in Central Asia where part of my duties is to write restaurant reviews. I’ve never done this before, even though I love writing, and love eating out, and love sharing my experiences. I read your column religiously, but do you have any advice for me before I ship out. 

I’d appreciate it very much! 

Todd Kliman:

A few quick words, since I’m running behind, and you can send me a note this afternoon via email to continue the conversation if you like. tkliman@washingtonian.com

Advice. Well, I think the big thing is to remember that it’s a writing job. Not an eating job.

A lot of people have traveled widely, and love to eat, and know a lot about food, and some of them even possess a good palate. But can they write gracefully? With humor? Can they turn a memorable phrase? Can they conjure an atmosphere and put a reader in a place he or she has never been? Do they have a gift for the telling detail — i.e., not swarms of observations but the one small thing that somehow conveys a whole world? Can they meet a deadline? Can they meet a deadline every week? Can they do it for months?

I have other thoughts, but as I said, time is not on my side at the moment. I’ll be happy to chat later today …

Good luck, by the way! It sounds like a terrific adventure. You’re lucky …

Anonymity is not dumb. The only people who say it have lost it.
a food critic 
I’m a Jersey girl. What do I want? A classic Jersey Italian restaurant with my beloved fettuccine Alfredo listed on the menu. Will “Jersey Mike” provide me with that satisfaction at his new DC restaurant? Nope.
Gravy Trained: Mike Isabella’s Jersey-Italian eater is neither Jersey nor Italian. Discuss. [Washington City Paper] 

I’m a Jersey girl. What do I want? A classic Jersey Italian restaurant with my beloved fettuccine Alfredo listed on the menu. Will “Jersey Mike” provide me with that satisfaction at his new DC restaurant? Nope.

Gravy Trained: Mike Isabella’s Jersey-Italian eater is neither Jersey nor Italian. Discuss. [Washington City Paper

...like so many specks of sand at the edge of an outdoor shower drain.

Best (part of a) sentence I’ve read today.

Congrats, McCart!

avocados // nail polish // sunshine // left turns