Well, Slate followed up the wonderful variety meat article with one written by a food critic weenie from England, of all places. Perhaps his wittiest assertion in comparing London’s Chez Whiteys with their counterparts in Los Angeles is: “The reason the food is better at London’s top restaurants is that Britain is closer to France.” Although I kind of doubt that the American chefs would accept losing to kidney pie slingers very graciously. The critic’s self-proclaimed noobosity (18 months on the job) is proven with the following:
However, once you drop down a couple of notches, L.A. knocks London into a cocked hat. The restaurant I’ve been most impressed by so far is the Cheesecake Factory in Brentwood. I had a cobb salad there last week that was every bit as tasty as the cobb salad I had at the Ivy, yet it was brought to my table in half the time and it was a quarter of the price. In Britain – indeed, in France – there just aren’t any midmarket restaurant chains to match the quality of the Cheesecake Factory. And there are dozens of similar chains in this country that are equally first-rate. When it comes to this kind of food?good, solid, dependable fare at reasonable prices?America leads the world.
Cocked hats aside, I think I see where this is going – that’s a big know your bloody place you yankee dogs only half-assedly disguised as a compliment. He’s only admitting that average American chain restaurants make American food better (even though the Cobb is also known as the King of Salads and the Crab Louie Salad, it originates from and was made famous by the west coast). Yeah, well I can only retort that the “average Brit’s ability to skillfully open doors is only offset by their tendency to run their bulbous noses into them first.”
That said, this is a pretty fun article to read. I like the guy’s writing. I just can’t understand why he has such a hard on for the Cheesecake Factory (and for the uninitiated, said restaurant’s cheesecake leaves a lot to be desired).