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Peter Lawrence 20-02-2011 09:49 AM

How to tell if a restaurant is pretentious...

Don't know if anyone else read this in Michael Bauer's food blog the other
day, but I think the reader's points are spot on...

A reader of the Chronicle wrote this little epistle to Michael Bauer on how
to spot a pretentious restaurant:

"I know you’ve touted the past year as being one of the best for
restaurants in San Francisco, but I have to disagree. Frankly, I think the
city’s food scene is in decline. Specifically, I believe San Francisco
passed the tipping point last year when, in my opinion, the number of
pretentious restaurants finally surpassed that of unpretentious ones. How,
you may ask, do I determine whether a restaurant qualifies as pretentious?

Following are just a few of my completely objective criteria:

1) If the menu contains the term “house-made”. Homemade was a perfectly
fine word, and precisely as inaccurate as house-made.

2) If anyone on the staff identifies themselves as a “pizzaiolo.”

3) If the restaurant has four wheels and does not serve hot dogs or
tacos. Or if the restaurant is a “pop-up”, period.

4) If the adjective “crusty” is applied to bread anywhere on the menu.
To clarify: “Crusty old waiter” – ok. “House-churned butter served with
crusty bread” – pretentious.

5) If the restaurant has a cocktail “program”, or employs a bartender
under the age of 80 who refers to himself as a “barkeep” and wears sleeve
garters. Bonus points if that bartender brings his own beakers to work.

6) If the menu is broken down into categories other than appetizer,
entree and dessert (i.e. “Nibble”, “Consume”) – Note: Ethnic restaurants get
a pass on this one.

7) If there is a communal f**king table in the restaurant and that
restaurant is not Capp’s Corner.

8) If the number of food bloggers at the restaurant is generally
greater than the number of people who are just there to, um, eat.

9) If the restaurant serves Humphry Slocombe ice cream.

10) If the food can be described as “an upscale version of” anything.
Why does no one ever downscale a type of cuisine?

11) If there is liquid nitrogen in the kitchen. Or if any food item has
been turned into a “foam”.

12) If the menu touts the provenance of every fruit, vegetable, meat
and fish product. Further bonus points if the restaurant puts that idiotic
little disclaimer at the bottom of the menu stating that “everything is
local and organic, where possible.”Doesn’t “where possible” simply mean:
“when we want” or “we hope you don’t think about this too much?” Would you
like some coffee with that chocolate?

I’ll stop there so as not to waste much more of your time, but suffice
to say there are at least five more items solely related to the topic of
salumi. Anyway, I’m still hopeful that it’s not too late to reverse this
awful trend. Thankfully, we are not yet as far gone as vast swaths of
Brooklyn. But it’s important that someone in your position of influence take
a stand. Won’t you help us out?

God I miss Original Joe’s."


- Peter

xuanxanh99 26-02-2011 02:20 PM

when you want go to restaurant before you need look for our information. Yes it's true, mine is a biased review. That's what reviews are - biased. That's the intent of a review, to impart opinion, criticism, and if warranted - accolades. If you want glowing advertorials, I advise you to read the various industry magazines, Like local Eat Magazine. But I caution you, those advertorial-style 'reviews' are as biased, and likely devoid of the kind of honesty I put out there.

pha12ge 16-03-2011 05:44 AM

Its an informative and too helpful post
rally superb work done
thanks a lot for this sharing

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