Sunday, July 23, 2006

Confessions of a bad food critic.

I have gained new respect for food critics. Walk a mile in their Guccis. I tried to write a review of an evening at Biella’s in Excelsior and found myself at a shameless loss for adjectives & adverbs (as they apply to fine dining). “The single room bistro was sunwashed in a warm Medditterenean glow” might have been a better description. I wrote: “The dining room was kind-of yellow/orange”. The same ham handed approach continued as I describe the food.
So it happened I was reading City Pages the other day and food critic Dara Moskowitz really showed me how it was done.

This is Ms. Moskowitz, describing the onion rings at “Pops” of St. Paul:

“The first time I saw the onion rings at Pops, steam shot out of my ears in the manner of Wile E. Coyote, and small birds chirped around my head. After that the sky cracked open, a rainbow beamed down centrally on the plate and little faeries wearing iridescent robes rode down playing small harps and dancing ecstatically, placing their little golden sandles in a special way that I intuitively knew meant: Don’t drown with ketchup. I mean those were some onion rings! Two inches thick, pillowy and plush with golden batter as light as peony blossoms, crisp as fireworks and a rockets red glare. I bit into them, and the captured bubbles of batter tore away to reveal sweet, mild , gently carmelized strips of the noble vegetable in question.”

So you see, I have my task cut out for me. "Taste like chicken" will have to be removed from my culinary lexicon.


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