Filed under: restaurant reviews | Tags: a-holes, Datebook, datebook diner, des moines, Food Blogs, Food Critics, Jersey shore, Kittens, Kula Grill, le bonne Femme, Prison Slop, some other stuff., Trevor fisher
Hello, Tens. I have once again made a small clearing in the haystack of my precious-esque time to bring you a little gripe regarding a poorly performed food review job-type-thing. It has been a while since I have had a complaint about food writing that I deemed worth the energy to spout forth towards your internerd browsing ocular apparati, a fact to be taken not-so-lightly when the news about to be broken to you is finally broken to you in the next paragraph, just after this upcoming title thing. I present to you:
The Great Datebook 2 For $20 Debacle Of Ought 11
Let me re-start by saying that the staff of the Des Moines Register (save for the Illustrious Datebook Diner, who is most likely too busy planning her cooking-book promotional tour of the Greater DMZ this fall to stop by the Farmers’ Market and visit my booth) and DSM Register published Juice magazine have been more than amazing to me during the last few weeks of my fledgling foray into chef/ownership. Thank you to all who have become friends and regular stoppers-by. This debacle has nothing to do with you. Unless one of you happens to be Trevor Fisher. If one of you happens to be TF, please accept my light backhand slap to your face for your writing infractions and continue on with your taco liking.
(Finally) The story: This past Friday I was enjoying a sub-standard breakfast during the course of an unplanned “ride of shame” brought on by hanging out with a very good chef-friend until the wee hours, when I spotted the day-old-doughnut Datebook in the newspaper rack at the never-to-be-named restaurant of choice. It has been a number of weeks since I have peeled apart the pages of DSM’s # 1,2,or3 weekly events magazine, so I said “What the heck.”
I opened up directly to an article written by TF (who I don’t know or recognize, is this guy a regular contributor?) entitled “Two for $20” which is meant to outline a good place to get lunch/dinner/a meal for two human adults for around the $20 price point. TF chose/had chosen for him the task of reviewing American/Bosnian cafe Kula Grill. Here is a link to the original article, in case you are into that sort of stuff.
TF opens up with the standard review fare, and the writing is solid (no Matt Miller-isms here), then we get to the food. Now, before we go forward let me axe you a question. If you were going to review food from a cuisine of which you had no knowledge whatsoever, in the Year Of Our Gourd 2011, the age of Interdork Information Searches, for an ACTUAL PRINTED PUBLICATION WITH A SERIOUS DISTRIBUTION, would you not at least do some research as to what the basics of said cuisine entail so as not to be the one bringing the pointed stick to the gun fight? Not TF. TF don’t need no posse of information, as shown by this excerpt from said infractuous artice:
Possessing no knowledge of, or experience with Bosnian food, we deferred to the waiter, who suggested the goulash if we craved genuine homestyle Bosnian. When in Sarajevo, right?
Un-f’ing-believable. This is just stupid. But it doesn’t even scratch the surface of what comes next, which is the description of Kula Grill’s goulash:
The first thing you notice about Kula’s goulash — mashed potatoes and hunks of beef smothered in a thick gravy — is it resembles prison-cafeteria slop.
What? Seriously? This is printed in our #1 newspaper? NOBODY along the chain of writer-to-printer read this and found anything wrong? Nobody said “um…why does TF know what prison cafeteria slop looks like, and why is he invoking its visual vehemence in the confines of a restaurant review?” Maybe the summary line softened the blow?
Sounds gross, looks worse, tastes great.
Clearly, TF should forego the attempts and restaurant reviews and slip directly into a comfortable marketing executive position.
The rest of the review is of equal tragedy to both the restaurant and to the credibility of TF’s writing career. If you haven’t read it, check it out for yourself.
As a restaurant professional, if I were to read a review of this caliber in a print publication of the food I was serving to the public, I would probably
A. Call my lawyer to ask for legal advice
B. Call the editor of the register and lodge a formal complaint, and request the reviewer be tossed from the nearest window accessible from his/her cubicle.
C. In the words of N.W.A., Start some shit.
I can not believe this review written by someone who possesses even less candor and skill than even the most amateur of amateur food blogists was allowed to be printed in an actual paper. I would expect those words from maybe a cast member of Jersey Shore.
Trevor Fisher, you have just landed yourself an award from Locally Grown. I just can’t remember what we used to call it.
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