This is an old post I wrote but never got around to putting up.
As the grand bon vivant, it is always a pleasure to grace only the finest restaurants with my presence. I delight in the fact that every owner has my picture posted, red pen encircling my face with a warning to host and waiter alike that due reward will be given to anyone able to spot me, should they distinguish me from my alias and disguise. My mere presence when announced sends fear to the owner, and chef quibble prostrate behind kitchen doors wondering how my affable opinion will either make or ruin them. And with show and ostentation, I put the meal on my tab and float out the door, for this has just been another night of fabulous foods and delectable wines for me!
For I am, the Restaurant Critic.
Apparently, this is how some people view me and other food bloggers when we critique restaurants. Which I gotta say, is pretty far from the truth. I mean, eating like this is how I would use a wish on a monkey's paw, only without the curse part preferably.
I recently received an e-mail which basically accused me of being stuffy and perceiving myself as "all deserving to critique food," and it was my ordained task to do so. He was upset that I could "pass judgment on restaurants which work hard and have years of cumulative experience in their staff to create a fine dining scene."
Let's do a reality check for a moment.
I am not Ruth Reichel, Mike Dunne, Kate Washington or Frank Bruni. I am a 24 year old grad student who works in the non-profit arena, writes for a local food magazine, and has a blog. I had hot dogs wrapped in crescent rolls and cheese last night for a quick meal for Christ's sake (which was yumtastic). I was able to interview the new chef at The Firehouse for Edible Sacramento, the whole time knowing I'll never eat there as it's like $200 a meal. It's like I'm freakin' Tantalus or something.
What makes me a "restaurant critic" is that I go out and spend my own money for a fun time out and a good meal with friends. I then write about my experience. That's it. I have been eating food for years and doing my best to educate myself; does that not qualify me to judge the food that I pay for and eat? I think so.
If someone can gain insight to deciding to go out to a certain venue based on my experience, then great. If they disagree then they had a different experience than I did, and that's to be expected. Everyone will experience a meal differently.
But to call me snooty? Gurl, please.
Who doesn't critique the food they eat? Be it mom's home cooking, KFC, or The French F***ng Laundry, I'm going to analyze what's in my mouth (insert dirty joke here). Plus, going out is a special occasion I can do once in a while since I live in a two income household, budget like a crazy cat lady, and have no kids to worry about. Thus, I can go out to eat every so often.
Do I go to the Waterboy every damn night? No, I like to go to small mom and pop places, bars, coffee shops, and everything else that serves food. And far more often than not, I cook at home.
So in response, get over yourself, and maybe go have a nice meal, critique it based on your experience, and have some fun. And I'll bet money, you'll review it to all of your friends the next day.