Sietsema Brutalizes Restaurant Girl, and That’s Just Not RightRobert Sietsema had some hard words about the Restaurant Girl yesterday. It’s rare to see a critic calling out another one so publicly, which probably made the post that much more enjoyable for readers hungering for gore. Sietsema tells Metromix, “Her writing has been improving, but still she seems to take an a priori, frivolous attitude towards the material. And the fact that she did choose to be recognized is, to me, like, really horrible.” Horrible, Bob? Really? That sounds like a cheap shot to us. Freeman was already publicly known as a blogger when she got the Daily News gig, and, in fact, all the major critics are familiar to chefs and restaurateurs, as everybody in the business knows. (Sietsema’s Senegalese soup kitchens wouldn’t know him if he was on the cover of Newsweek, but that’s just his own good fortune.) As for his other charge (“I presume that part of her being non-anonymous is that she goes into a restaurant under her own name, flashes her cleavage, and they just bring her free food”), it’s ugly and ungallant, and someone his age should know better than to say it unless he knows it’s true. As far as we know, it isn’t.
Q&A: Robert Sietsema [Metromix NY]
Back of the House
Josh Eden: Dead HeadMetromix’s “Kitchen Radio” feature on Shorty’s.32 chef Josh Eden is a fine spin on a tired gimmick. The most believable bit? The Dead Head chef claims that the multicolored sea bass with beets and green oil is a psychedelic tribute to his favorite band. But forcing Jean-Georges to listen to bootlegs from 1968? Torture.
Kitchen Radio: Josh Eden [Metromix NY]
Related: Chefs Continue to Rock, and We Reach for the Earplugs
Salute the Gulag Gourmet Movement
If there’s a vein of New York food writing that has gone unmined, it’s Gulag Gourmet — that strata of consumption below even the Cheap Eats genre, where the mere acquisition of food, and the resulting dodging of starvation, counts as a victory. A burger at Resto or a falafel is pheasant under glass compared to the stuff Joshua M. Bernstein ate in his trip down Nostrand Avenue. Canned cuttlefish in ink, hot pea-flour fritters: This is stuff we would pay $1 not to eat. Hence the piece’s genius. But when we find ourselves as broke as the Ten Commandments toward the end of the pay period, we have our own Gulag Gourmet treats. Here are a few.
Metromix Asks a Street VendorFood-blog newcomer Metromix takes it to the street today to interview the Vendy Award nominees in anticipation of the ceremony on Saturday. Even if the Q&As don’t plumb quite as deep into the world of food carts as did New York’s Street Fare package, we get some interesting tidbits: Veronica Julien of Veronica’s Kitchen — who is scouting downtown Manhattan for a restaurant location — rises at 3 a.m. to stew oxtail for three hours, and Muhammed Rahman of Kwik Meal awakens at a schoolgirlish 6 a.m. Word from NY Dosas, the King of Falafel and Shawarma, and Super Tacos, too.
Street Meet [Metromix NY]
Street Fare [NYM]
Back of the House
Chefs Knock Food Blogs to the Latest Food Blog
On the heels of Citysearch’s food-blog launch comes still another source of restaurant news: the NYC debut of Metromix (still in beta, it seems) and its own food blog Deep Dish. The juiciest item so far is a roundup of chef banter from the New York Rising Stars Revue awards. Not that the rising stars seem to have been that deep in their cups when they were interviewed (food blogger rule of thumb: Wait till they’re at the after-after-party), but some of their responses sure are punchy.