Ask the Critics: What Are Your Guilty Pleasures?


Laura C. asks: What are some restaurants that you’re embarrassed to admit that you like? Tell me your guilty pleasures!

Dear Laura: Well, here goes any shred of culinary cool I have.

It is a ridiculously over-hyped restaurant, and I always feel a little less beautiful when I eat there (not to mention feeling packed like a sardine), but I have a soft spot for Café Habana. What can I say? I love their Mexican corn, the tlacoyos tres maria (corn cakes stuffed with goat cheese and black beans), and the iced café con leche. But lucky for me, they also deliver, which means I can enjoy their food in a much more comfortable setting: my bed!

Another place I’m fairly ashamed to like is Bubble Lounge. But sometimes you just want to sip champagne on a comfy sofa. Perhaps if it were named something else I’d feel slightly less douchey. Though I’d still feel pretty douchey about liking Flute, so maybe not.

Having lived in Vietnam, I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to good Vietnamese food, but for those times when I crave “MSG-laden Asian-ish” cuisine (particularly after several beers), I head to Saigon Grill. The cha gio are oily yet crisp, and the bun xao with shrimp (a ridiculously enormous portion, I might add) always hits the spot — even though it’s really closer in taste to pad Thai.

I also have a penchant for Red Mango and always get the plain yogurt topped with shredded coconut. What kind of twentysomething woman would I be if I didn’t secretly like frozen yogurt? Don’t hate — it’s far better than Pinkberry. Really.

Finally, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. OK, just kidding, I’ve never actually been there. But part of me wishes I had.

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