Alan Richman’s not buying into the hype that’s been larded on to Bill’s Bar & Burger since the press previews that preceded its opening a mere two weeks ago. Richman, writing in GQ, proclaims Bill’s “an ordinary spot in the Meatpacking District, where restaurants with low expectations can endure,” and calls out its overcooked patties: “This was not perfection. This was not the best burger in New York. This was not even a good burger.”
But more interesting than Richman’s feelings about the burgers — which, honestly, one would expect from the endlessly eloquent contrarian — are his feelings about the bloggers who had rushed to elevate them to such impossible heights.
“Judging a restaurant by the food served at press events is like judging a baseball team by the home runs hit during batting practice,” he writes, putting his finger squarely on the problem that afflicts so many members of the food blogging ranks. Coddled by publicists, flattered with free food, and eager to be the first to make their voices heard above the increasing din, bloggers — as well as a few print journalists — are all too often tempted by the call of the wild ethical compromise. And while almost none of us can claim to be blameless in this regard, props to Richman for calling bullshit bullshit — and a mediocre burger a mediocre burger.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 28, 2009