Food Wars 2009. With liberal use of scare quotes and “[sic].”

1. Helen, my very favorite foodblogger (indeed, the only foodblogger I like) gets into a war with Esquire’s restaurant “critic” [sic], John Mariani. Here’s her takedown, and the Esquire editor’s response. Then Mariani himself chimes in.

The crux of the matter seems to be that he shows up in full flair with practically a marching band to announce his presence, gives the kitchen a card with his preferred daiquiri recipe (which has three ingredients — lime, sugar, and rum — is it really that special?) takes free meals (why? Is Esquire’s expense account so tiny?), demands hot blonde waitresses, and never writes a negative review (not even if the waitress is a brunette?). Am I choosing sides? Duh. Helen is my friend, and not a “freewheeling, demanding, corrupt and leering lout.” So, you know what? Fuck John Mariani.

2. The always amusing Mike Munger shows up at the worst “Mexican” [sic] restaurant on earth. I gotta say, Mike, you kind of had it coming when you walked into a Mexican restaurant in Germany and expected the waitstaff to be, you know, actual Mexicans like they tend to be in the U.S. There’s a bit of a proximity issue…

The EYM’s eyes are starting to bug out a little. “Um…just pollo is fine.” Waitress turns, goes back, asks guy behind the bar. They talk for a second. She comes back, a little testy: “Pollo is the Spanish word for CHICKEN!” Her tone implies that this is about the stupidest thing she has heard: chicken quesadillas? Unheard of.

3. The on-campus “coffeehouse” [sic] (“Moonbeans”) by the poli sci department at Stanford gets replaced. Tipped off by a friend about how much I hate the current inhabitant of the high-market-power coffee location, the Stanford newspaper called me for some quotes. Those of you who have been reading for a while, or who know me in real life, can easily guess how this ended. Sadly, they did not print any of the really nasty remarks, like my freewheeling speculation about the relationship between the ingredients in Moonbeans products and the knacker’s yard.


4 Responses to “Food Wars 2009. With liberal use of scare quotes and “[sic].””

  1. ben wolfson Says:

    So, regarding the Mariani thing, is there any reason to believe that he is a leering lout? Well, we have Helen’s say-so. But we also have Mariani’s says-not. If it were already known that he’s a lout, we would have reason to dismiss his defense. But that’s what’s at issue.

    (And given that he himself says he’s not a critic, calling him a ‘”critic” [sic]‘ seems pointless.)

  2. Paul Gowder Says:

    Was I pretending to be evenhanded? Nooo…

  3. ben wolfson Says:

    There’s not being evenhanded and there’s not being evenhanded.

  4. DK Says:

    I’m up in the air on this issue, but I’ve got to point out that Helen didn’t, in fact, call him a leering lout, or anything similar. She just put together a long list of *other people* calling him a leering lout. And actually the phrase “leering lout” came from Mariani himself.

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