Of all those few food people who have earned my respect in this town, the mysterious Food Dude is at the top. He's been in the game a long time and he's used his space to create a resource for seriously thorough and even-keeled restaurant criticism. So when he names a Restaurant of the Year I have a tendency to perk up and give the guy my attention:
With the rate that restaurants have opened in the past few years, it’s easy to chase the new and shiny ones, but as you can tell from the reviews I’ve done lately, I haven’t been paying a lot of attention to them. It’s easy to chase the newest shiny ball and I understand why people do that, but I want to see how a restaurant weathers the storm of time. When they first open, the owners keep an eye on everything, the chef is always in the building during service, someone is expediting, the staff is kept on their toes, and less of an eye is being kept on costs. But what happens in a year, or five? Are they on auto-pilot? Does the owner wander in during the morning and rarely come in at night? Has the food and service slowly coasted downhill? In my current mindset, if I go to a place that has been open nine months, I expect it to be good. How about after five years?
What? Oh man! Chasing shiny... Why, I never... Who does he think he is?! That self-righteous so and so!
Okay, okay. Let's all just calm down. It's no Portland's Seven Sexiest Restaurants, but damn if his pick isn't a doozy, and a damn good read to boot. There should be a naked pool party at Paley's tonight! But that's not all, there's a second one on the way.