GOOD

9 Devastating Quotes From New York's Most Viciously Clever Food Critic

“I was having my second Frogasm of the night when dinner got weird”

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For anyone who enjoys eating food and getting paid, being a food critic probably sounds like the best job on Earth. Such is the case with New York Times food critic Pete Wells, though as Ian Parker recently pointed out in an exhaustive piece for The New Yorker, the job of a lifetime does come with its own unique set of challenges. The first food critic for the Times, Craig Claiborne, expressed guilt for having the power to make or break restaurants, saying that it “burdened [his] conscience.”


Wells seems to at least attempt to wield his power gracefully, giving many eateries credit when it is due and slaying others when the food crimes mount beyond what’s forgivable. His delicate balance between praise and condemnation have not only earned the trust of readers, but grabbed their attention as well.

Pete Wells’ has certainly had some zingers over his career so far; here are some of his best lines from his most revered and controversial restaurant reviews.

On Living The Life We All Wish We Had (from the Señor Frog review)

“All the mixed drinks seemed tame, and the shot that a server squirted into my open mouth when I hopped by in the conga line tasted like orange Gatorade.”

In a close second place comes the opening line: “I was having my second Frogasm of the night when dinner got weird.”

On Pretentious New Yorkers And Their Overpriced Cheese Plates (from the Per Se review)

“It’s a bit of a mystery what pickled carrots, peanuts and a date wrapped in a soft crepe were supposed to do for a slab of Dorset cheese from Consider Bardwell Farm, but a good first step would have been allowing the washed-rind cow’s milk cheese to warm up to a buttery softness; served cold, it was rubbery and flavorless.”

On High-Level Questioning For Guy Fieri (from the Guy’s American Kitchen and Bar review)

“When you saw the burger described as ‘Guy’s Pat LaFrieda custom blend, all-natural Creekstone Farm Black Angus beef patty, LTOP (lettuce, tomato, onion + pickle), SMC (super-melty-cheese) and a slathering of Donkey Sauce on garlic-buttered brioche,’ did your mind touch the void for a minute?”

On The Glory Days Of A Bygone Era (from the Carbone review)

“Carbone’s captains are character actors who have mastered the jokey, swaggering, slightly bossy style that was a New York specialty before waiters began to have the blandly pleasant manners of the young people who carry Bibles and ring doorbells on Saturday mornings.”

On Holding Parent (Companies) Accountable (from the Vaucluse review)

“A critic could run out of new ways to express disappointment in Altamarea Group restaurants if Altamarea didn’t keep coming up with new ways to disappoint.”

On Pork And Emily Dickinson, In A Single Sentence (from the Guy’s American Kitchen and Bar review)

“Why is one of the few things on your menu that can be eaten without fear or regret—a lunch-only sandwich of chopped soy-glazed pork with coleslaw and cucumbers—called a Roasted Pork Bahn Mi, when it resembles that item about as much as you resemble Emily Dickinson?”

On A Particularly Depressing Serving Of Raw Meat (from the Le Cirque review)

“Beef carpaccio, the chilly maroon flesh stretched out below a scattershot application of radish and celery slices that had started to curl, tasted of refrigeration and surrender.”

On The Beauty Of Eating Still-Live Fish (from the review of Sushi Nakazawa)

“Yuzukosho, a paste of bright yuzu peel and burning chiles, bites playfully into the cool sweetness of a sea scallop lopped from its shell just a minute before it’s served, its edges still fluttering.”

On The Philosophical Implications Of Meringue (from the only review you need to read before you die)

“Is the shapeless, structureless baked alaska that droops and slumps and collapses while you eat it, or don’t eat it, supposed to be a representation in sugar and eggs of the experience of going insane?”

Food
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The problem with American Sign Language (ASL) is that over 500,000 people in the U.S. use it, but the country has over 330 million people.

So for those with hearing loss, the chances of coming into contact with someone who uses the language are rare. Especially outside of the deaf community.

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Looking back, the year 1995 seems like such an innocent time. America was in the midst of its longest streak of peace and prosperity. September 11, 2001 was six years away, and the internet didn't seem like much more than a passing fad.

Twenty-four years ago, 18 million U.S. homes had modem-equipped computers, 7 million more than the year before. Most logged in through America Online where they got their email or communicated with random strangers in chat rooms.

According to a Pew Research study that year, only 32% of those who go online say they would miss it "a lot" if no longer available.

Imagine what those poll numbers would look like if the question was asked today.

RELATED: Bill and Melinda Gates had a surprising answer when asked about a 70 percent tax on the wealthiest Americans

"Few see online activities as essential to them, and no single online feature, with the exception of E-Mail, is used with any regularity," the Pew article said. "Consumers have yet to begin purchasing goods and services online, and there is little indication that online news features are changing traditional news consumption patterns."

"Late Night" host David Letterman had Microsoft founder and, at that time the richest man in the world, on his show for an interview in '95 to discuss the "the big new thing."

During the interview Letterman chided Gates about the usefulness of the new technology, comparing it to radio and tape recorders.

Gates seems excited by the internet because it will soon allow people to listen to a baseball game on their computer. To which Letterman smugly replies, "Does radio ring a bell?" to laughter from the crowd.

But Gates presses Letterman saying that the new technology allows you to listen to the game "whenever you want," to which Letterman responds, "Do tape recorders ring a bell?"

Gates then tells Letterman he can keep up with the latest in his favorite hobbies such as cigar smoking or race cars through the internet. Letterman shuts him down saying that he reads about his interests in magazines.

RELATED: Bill Gates has five books he thinks you should read this summer.

The discussion ends with the two laughing over meeting like-minded people in "troubled loner chat room on the internet."

The clip brings to mind a 1994 segment on "The Today Show" where host Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric have a similar discussion.

"What is internet anyway?" an exasperated Gumball asks. "What do you write to it like mail?"

"It's a computer billboard but it's nationwide and it's several universities all joined together and it's getting bigger and bigger all the time," a producer explains from off-stage.





Culture
Photo by Li-An Lim on Unsplash

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A new CBS News poll found that 70% of Americans between 18 and 29 feel climate change is a crisis or a serious problem, while 58% of Americans over the age of 65 share those beliefs. Additionally, younger generations are more likely to feel like it's their personal responsibility to address climate change, as well as think that transitioning to 100% renewable energy is viable. Overall, 25% of Americans feel that climate change is a "crisis," and 35% feel it is a "serious problem." 10% of Americans said they think climate change is a minor problem, and 16% of Americans feel it is not a problem that worries them.

The poll found that concern for the environment isn't a partisan issue – or at least when it comes to younger generations. Two-thirds of Republicans under the age of 45 feel that addressing climate change is their duty, sentiments shared by only 38% of Republicans over the age of 45.

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