Pilgrims’ pride: Cholent

Now for a bigger question: Was the cat away for the Thanksgiving Eve edition of the section formerly known as DI/DO? The lede story was was so tedious I couldn’t even read it to count errors (although I did detect a punctuation glitch in the caption). The off-lede was so painfully overwritten I wanted to scald my own eyes. And the hoariest cliché ever was actually pressed into crude service for the hed on the review. Or should I call it the turd that finally plunked into the punch bowl? What other restaurant has had so long to get its act together before the starry hammer dropped? From there it was on to the outsized narcissism of a restaurant critic ordaining himself the expert on home cooking, and then the clunky verbiage on alleged restaurant openings. How absurd is “ingredient-driven food” when your lede story is on . . . beyond-esoteric ingredients? And WTFF does “pushes the sports bar envelope” mean? Pigs in a jockstrap blanket?

At least canola’s cheap

Who could be surprised no one wants to ask Panchito about the Chimp, only about restaurants? It’s awkward for everyone to bring up that epic fail. But I was actually on the side of the Section Formerly Known as DI/DO when it came to the nonsense about covering cheaper restaurants. The embarrassing new public editor is really embarrassing, and not just for comparing the food pages to a moribund design magazine. Smart people without money are probably reading the Village Voice (online) rather than wasting $2 a day on a publication that still thinks $25 and Under has meaning 16 years on. Democracy is no mission for a paper with $4,900 bags to sell.

Shake Shack beeper going off on Level Seven

Turns out the soulless Chimp looks to have plagiarized much of his shameless book, but I suspect what @rudepundit is calling the “Ball jar Bush baby” tale is original. It’s just weird enough that the literal son of a bitch would have been warped by a canned fetus. What I want to know is how Panchito missed such a juicy tidbit. Scratch that. I already know. He was sucking and blowing. Or vice versa.

Matt Bai for restaurant critic, tho

I know we’re not supposed to blame the Chimp for anything anymore in the United States of Amnesia, but I do want to note, one more time, that I was not the one who nicknamed Panchito Panchito. But if the diminution fits, why not run with it? I kinda like “Malto,” though. Misspell the second half as Eggo and you’d have a very Boehner-colored frozen waffle to accessorize the Crocs.

Yes, I have no forgiveness

Keith McNally went even higher in my estimation the second I saw Mr. Calamitous Judge of Character has deemed him a horrible person. I’d reserve that adjective for the affable fool who destroyed the economy and dragged the country into endless wars after lying to a very gullible guy. Heckuva job, Panchito.

Brain bleach for flabby thighs

Maybe there is a god. While the Chimp is safely holed up with his Old Grand-Dad, Panchito his enabler is sentenced to hang with the sort who, to paraphrase a very angry man on Bleecker Street one night who had had about enough of the “Sex and the City”  tours, promise: Buy me drinks and you can micturate where the sun don’t shine. Somewhere Johnny Rotten is laughing.

Pretzel illogic

I might not be the only one convinced the hometown paper is killing itself with a 24/365 approach to publishing with no copy editors on board. I read the garbled take on two iPad apps for recipes and went straight to the Google to see if the byline might not be on the take. Instead I saw he had posted that word salad online more than a month before the paper went on sale for $2 a copy. Remind me why I spring for a subscription? (Oh, I know. I like to see the ratio of house ads to paid placements.) But given how stretched everyone appears to be down Señor Slim way, I’m almost saddened to see both the JGold Wannabe and Panchito having to produce even more poorly vetted copy. The former should be able to handle it, fresh as he is to the marathon/megaphone, but the latter is going to be talking to Ralph on the big white telephone on a regular basis. Back to Round One. . .

Stick a Deen in it

I spotted crabmeat from the Gulf at Chelsea Market the other week and realized it might be the last in my lifetime. And no surprise who’s partly responsible for this eco-catastrophe. If only the NYTimes had had Panchito on the eats beat in 2000, not ambling after a failed oilman and spinning him as harmlessly affable. The world might have been spared blackened everything.

When ambling is too fast

I despair every morning on seeing the WSJournal devolve into the NYPost, or worse, but it gets points for beating Panchito to the punch. The piece on an apparent mediocrity clawing her way up to the Food Network had more to say than any 13 long magazine thumb-suckers could about a faded celebrity’s wife cashing in on fame once removed. Hope she at least snapped a towel across his ass the way the Chimp apparently did. It helps so much with character assessment.

One more cup of butter before he comes

Speaking of which, Mme Ami ran a TwitPoll the other day on what the best word is to describe people who are interested in food, rather than the execrable “foodie.” I suggested “normal” but now see it should be “SoBe-shunning.” What in kitchen hell does that clusterfuck have to do with real food? I care less about the Tiger Beat antics there than I do about the way Amex treats its wine writers. But at least we’re seeing a serious divide in this country, between lemmings flocking to culi-gangbangs and people who care about what they eat and who produces it. Give me the New Amsterdam Market over a Smithfield hog promoter any day.

Shellfish cred for Sra. Manzana

I see Panchito is going to be like the poor: always with us. And I wouldn’t have seen that if not for a kerfuffle online over sloppy editing that made one restaurant in Miami seem to be attached to another chef. Which made me notice the hed was a classic save-get: “In Miami, Chefs Are the New Stars.” Change the city and you could tack that sucker onto any restaurant feature. Worse, once I slogged through the piece to get to the offending phrasing, I could only pity the maids in whatever hotel/s he stayed in. That kind of bingeing had to lead to some serious purging.

Style du jour

And I’m really happy it’s not just me losing it over Panchito’s poor successor, flopping around trying to fill those outsized sneakers. First there was the meh mess; 27 years here and I never knew it was a New York expression. And then there’s the new Bruni Digest, a Miami blogger who has nailed the tics big time. You have to read it to get it. While the ghost of Britchky not so gently weeps. . .

Break out the Italian Champale

I have to confess I felt a pang after forging on beyond a cringe-inducing simile and finding a couple of nice turns of phrase by the critic with the small sneakers to fill. Maybe, I thought, he has evolved beyond the old “get out the dick, start pounding the keys” days. Then he had to go and ruin it by letting that T.G.I.Friday’s handout get printed after acres of contorted prose. Forget the Party of No lawn jockey. This guy is the Rich Little of food writers. (I have not done due diligence with Kerouac, but the words on the wall at the outstanding Robert Frank exhibition at the Met did make me suspect yet another fount of imitation.) I always thought he at least has eaten enough to do a credible job, but even that notion came into doubt when I was lured to Diner’s Journal and read the drooling over “lard-fried tortillas.” What is it with NYC “culinary journalists” that makes them so clueless about Mexican food? The manteca belongs in the beans, for chinga’s sake.