I also quite enjoyed a long “bloggers killed the restaurant world” screed that quoted not a single restaurateur pointing a finger at “new” media. It used to be that bad restaurants blamed bad reviews for their failure; now it’s the impossibility of keeping the buzz machine fed? Somehow I just can’t imagine most patrons of a Ducasse joint were making their dining plans based on the noise and not the signal. Far more persuasive was the actual restaurateur who pointed out that the Old Gray Lady ain’t what she used to be. I’m clearly in the minority in actually struggling to read the thing in print, and I can barely find the review in the acres of dull type. Increasingly I think the paperguy has brought me the Des Moines Register. A picnic story with ants in the hed? A picnic story with a tuna sandwich as the photo/recipe? As someone Tweeted, there should be a separate section for readers who don’t go back decades with the section; we never forget while moths fly out.
Apparently Helen Keller was exhumed to redesign DI/DO. What a hot honeyed mess that debut is — the iPad version is actually easier on the eyes, and it’s just a list o’ links. Given that only olds read the damn thing in print, why make it even harder for us? (And I’m RTing myself, but someone really needs to start the equivalent of the bad-sex-writing contest for cheese excess. Some real stinkers were on display, proof that imitation is the sincerest form of stupidity. Besides: Typing about cheese is like dancing about architecture.)
When a chimichanga story is datelined Phoenix, you know you’ll have to read it with a gimlet eye. Make that a double. The chimichanga was essentially the city sandwich of Tucson when I briefly went to college there. But to cawcaw the other silliness: In the age of Chipotle, no one needs to have a burrito defined as a “tortilla wrap.” Burritos are actually king-size versions of the burros I grew up eating, not the other way around. “Fried corn tostada” is redundant, and whatever the hell Taco Bell serves is not a chalupa. And I assume there was a reason the perpetrator of the lobster chimichanga was not identified? As always, I wish the copy desk cutbacks had some benefit for my stock — did no one notice the caption contradicts the text? Mostly, though, you know things are bad when the Schnorrer has done more research. “His” dictionary of American food notes that Diana Kennedy describes chivichangas (cq) in Sonora in one of her early cookbooks. Plus I really kinda doubt anyone’s riled about a deep-fried burro “immigrating,” or thinking naming a state food will help more than recalling a Kkkrazy just did. Poke around on the series of tubes, though, and you’ll be left with the biggest question. When did two restaurants that less than a month ago were united in pushing for state recognition for the chimichanga start fighting over who invented it?