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Critic-Turned-Cook Catches Up With Baseball Geek-Turned-Critic Kevin Cremin

Leslie Kelly 2 comments

My favorite food critic right now leads an intriguing double life. Kevin Cremin is the longtime radio broadcast producer for the Seattle Mariners. In addition to feeding announcers a steady diet of stats and player trivia, this Oklahoma native does a regular show called Road Eats every Sunday the team's out of town on 710 ESPN. More

Top Critics on the State of the Restaurant World

New York Carey Jones Post a comment

Likes: David Chang, Num Pang. [Nick Solares; Robyn Lee] In checking in on the state of the food world, Grub Street polls a good cross-section of expert critics (including our own Ed Levine) on current trends, important chefs, and... More

Critic Anonymity a Thing of the Past? Most Likely, Yes

Adam Kuban 1 comment

So says Seattle Times food writer Nancy Leson, who once served as that paper's lead critic. Even though she got busted plenty of times, she says, "you'd be surprised how many restaurant folks failed to recognize me when I showed up."... More

Sam Sifton as New York Times' New Restaurant Critic; Serious Eaters Should Be Thrilled

New York Ed Levine 11 comments

It's official. Sam Sifton is the New York Times' new restaurant critic. Serious eaters should be thrilled. Sam is an inspired choice for the job. Before I tell you why I should tell all of you that Sam was the... More

Expect Announcement Of Incoming 'Times' Restaurant Critic This Week

New York Carey Jones Post a comment

Only a few more days on those tenterhooks; we should know outgoing Times critic Frank Bruni's replacement by Friday. “I hope to announce something by the end of the week,” executive editor Bill Keller told the Observer. We hope so,... More

'Am I Obsolete?' Asks 'San Francisco Chronicle' Food Critic Michael Bauer

Carey Jones 16 comments

Image from Between Meals On his blog Between Meals, longtime San Francisco Chronicle food editor and restaurant critic Michael Bauer recounts discussion from a recent forum concerning the changing face of food journalism. Panelists were asked about the rise of Yelp, reviews on OpenTable, and the profusion of food bloggers on the Internet. At one point, Bauer said, “It used to be that newspapers were the only local voices; now we're one among many.” In reflecting on the panel, Bauer asks his readers, “Am I obsolete?” It’s a question that crops up more and more, as user-driven review sites and food-centric blogs take off. Ruth Reichl recently suggested at a Columbia Journalism School lecture that the days of the critic's... More

Zagat vs. Yelp: A Restaurant Review 2.0 Showdown?

Ed Levine 11 comments

Randall Stross compared Yelp and Zagat in the New York Times on Sunday. While he correctly noted that Yelp now covers more restaurants than Zagat, and uses this as a launching pad to compare and contrast the two companies, he leaves out the most relevant points. Most notably, he completely whiffs on recent business goings-on in the world of user-generated restaurant reviews. My first question is what do serious eaters think about both Zagat and Yelp? And while you ponder that, here's what Stross should have pointed out in his comparison.... More

'$25 and Under' Critic Peter Meehan's Parting Words

Adam Kuban Post a comment

Peter Meehan gives an "exit interview" to Eater regarding his departure as the New York Times's "$25 and Under" columnist. I think this passage sums up food-critic wankery perfectly: "But if I've learned anything doing this gig, it's that unless I'm across the table from Frank, bitching about the minor indignities of restaurant reviewing is pretty boring to everybody except the person doing the complaining." Meehan also recommends former Village Voice food blogger Nina Lalli as a replacement.... More

Michelin, Yelp, Zagat: Who Can We Believe?

New York Ed Levine 17 comments

The Wall Street Journal runs an article questioning the validity of online restaurant reviews by writers who are comped their meals. Two days later, Michelin releases its 2008 New York restaurant guide. These two events provide a perfect opportunity to discuss the relative merits of reviews and judgments rendered every which way, from on high (Michelin and the New York Times) to online (Yelp, Zagat, and food blogs). More

In Order That You May Furnish an Account of All These Places

Adam Kuban 3 comments

Via blogger Jason Kottke, a snip from the first restaurant review in the New York Times: Very well," replied the editor-in-chief. "Dine somewhere else to-day and somewhere else to-morrow. I wish you to dine everywhere, -- from the Astor House Restaurant to the smallest description of dining saloon in the City, in order that you may furnish an account of all these places. The cashier will pay your expenses." It dates to New Year's Day 1859, and was unearthed by the blogger shortly after the Times opened up access to the site for free. Here's the full PDF.... More

Restaurant Girl Eats 'Aroused Scallops'

New York Ed Levine 5 comments

The nation's first food blogger-turned-restaurant critic, Danyelle Freeman, comes out swinging in her debut column in the New York Daily News. Freeman, who wants to be our "restaurant concierge," clearly wants to be taken seriously as an arbiter of taste.... More

Man Bites Dog: Serious Critic Reviews a Chain Restaurant

Ed Levine 20 comments

Photographs by Robyn Lee Craig LaBan, restaurant critic at the Philadelphia Inquirer, recently reviewed the first Legal Sea Foods restaurant to open in Philadelphia. He liked much of the food he ate there (the raw bar, chowder, fried clams, fish and chips) but was left cold by other dishes (the "leaden" stuffed shrimp, desserts, "odd" "everything" tuna). What's interesting is that he decided to review it at all. Serious restaurant critics in cities with vibrant independent restaurant scenes like Philly typically thumb their noses at chain restaurants and don't deign to review them. But places like Legal Sea Foods, Houston's, and The Cheesecake Factory, to name three, are in fact decent restaurants that should be taken seriously. I have... More

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