Sietsema Calls Brooklyn Bashers Dim-witted

Photo: Helen Rosner

The Voice’s intrepid explorer Robert Sietsema pens an impassioned defense of Brooklyn (“as if it needed defending”). After waxing poetic about the borough’s ethnic foods, he points out that its long been a hub of beer-brewing and gastronomic invention, and it’s home to the best pizza (Totonno’s, Di Fara), the “undisputable best steaks in the world” at Peter Luger (though that’s certainly been disputed), and the “best cheesecake at Junior’s” (also debatable). “Even the bowling alleys,” he says, “have food far superior to that of any lanes in Manhattan” (of course, if he’s talking about Brooklyn Bowl, we have to point out that Blue Ribbon was born in Manhattan, but then again there’s always the egg creams at Maple Lanes). Here’s the piece’s choice paragraph aimed at Cuozzo, Sheraton, Steingarten, et al.

Now several effete food writers (among them a self-hating former Brooklynite and an Italian-American, too, shame on you!) have decided that, like characters in Saturday Night Fever, Brooklyn was never good enough for them — just as every script writer, rock band, and bon vivant in the country has rushed to establish a beachhead there. I suspect Brooklyn’s detractors are simply too lazy to find a subway and board it, their tongues so accustomed to the familiar and prosaic that they don’t want to taste anything else. Their wits so dimmed by self-esteem that they’re unwilling to admit that the culinary world as they know it - a world of French cuisine, heavy silverware, pinkies in the air, and $500 tabs - hardly exists anymore as far as most of us are concerned.

In Defense of Brooklyn — As If It Needed Defending [Fork in the Road/VV]

Sietsema Calls Brooklyn Bashers Dim-witted