The midlife crisis of the American restaurant review

Via Vancouver’s @ScoutMagazine, “An essay in the LA Review of Books on the midlife crisis of the American restaurant review

A lot of this ring true for me. Here in Vancouver’s heavily Asian-influenced dining, most restaurants understand that share plates are a thing. An appetizer-to-dessert review doesn’t make much sense for this.

When traveling elsewhere — it has happened to me in Toronto (farm to table small plates) and Berlin (high end Turkish) — I’ve had servers explain sharing plates to me. It never occurred to me that this is something that needs to be experienced or taught, having grown up with it.

The big media company paid staff writer thing is of course itself something in transition. Food bloggers who don’t reveal when they’re being comped are an even bigger issue.

And then there’s the Chicken Fingers vs Tentacles issue — a “Safe” eater isn’t going to be helpful in recommendations for an “Adventurous” eater. But that heads off into peer recommendations which is a whole other thing ;)

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