Reader & Sun-Times: Conformity Vs. Non-Conformity

What we don’t like about Pat Bruno’s review of Takashi is similar to what we didn’t like about Phil Vettel’s review yesterday for Tallulah. Both amount to a laundry list of the restaurants’ dishes with very little analysis and virtually no criticism. Even if they’re helpful — in the travel guide sense — to diners, they’re awful reviews for the casual reader.

Restaurant reviews without context, be it historical, social, gustatorial or even personal, are really boring. If we want to know how each dish tastes, we’ll go to a blog or message board where we’re likely to find pictures that are even more helpful than the prose. What Vettel and Bruno are doing in these merely descriptive reviews (which is not to say that all of their reviews are like this) doesn’t add much value to the discourse.

Meanwhile, Mike Sula has found an entertaining foil for his Omnivorous piece in the form of Carole Travis-Henikoff, an “independent scholar and gastronomist” who just wrote a scholarly book about cannibalism. Basically, the book argues that cannibalism has been an accepted practice across cultures throughout human history, and as a side note, may have contributed to the downfall of Neanderthals (eat brains, get prions, Mad Neanderthal Disease). We’re left wondering about “gastronomic cannibalism,” all the more titillating for its illegality and immorality and potential deliciousness.

Less controversially, the Reader has a round-up of al fresco dining spots.

Takashi [MenuPages]
Takashi [Official Site]

[Photo: soylent beige, via Vancouver Vegan Association/flickr]

p.s. the title of Sula’s cannibalism article, “From Roast Pig to Long Pig,” is a reference to a slang term for human meat.

Reader & Sun-Times: Conformity Vs. Non-Conformity