Jesse Eisenberg’s Other Talent, Danish Skuzz, and Jim Gaffigan on Subway: Eating & Reading

Every week, we’ll let you know what the Washingtonian food staff is reading in the blogosphere and off the bookshelves.

Vegetable lovers, NPR has a list for you. Photograph courtesy of iStockphoto.

Todd Kliman, food and wine editor

•  Hard to argue with some of this. A review of Le Bernardin IS kinda pointless. And a lot of the food world IS a “big circle jerk” these days, wherein every blogger, foodie tweeter and foodie groupie—giddy over the putative glamor of chefs and restaurants—is desperate to be an insider. But what Magary doesn’t say in all his blustery straw-man-thick opining is that a good review isn’t just about the dishes and what to get. It can tell you the story of a place, and how it’s representative of a moment in the culture. It can tell you not just that something is good, but why it’s good. It can place a restaurant in its world and in the world, too. Yelp doesn’t do that—will never do that. Nor will the next social interacto-gizmo that comes along. In that sense, a good review is more like a theater review or a book review. Yeah, you can “info” from a friend or some boob on Twitter. But can that friend or boob or friend-boob put it all into context, and entertain you, and provoke you, and give you all the cultural cross-currents? Food Critics Are Worthless 

•  You wouldn’t think it’s possible that someone out there could speak up in favor of the disgusting-ness that is “pink slime.” Well—it’s possible!: Animal scientist Temple Grandin supports ‘pink slime’

•  Warsaw never comes up in food nerd circles, but that’s probably more a case of New York editors being afraid of Poland—and/or seeing it as essentially un-sexy—than anything else. This round-up of great new restaurants in Warsaw has me wanting to book a trip. I’d love to taste “mini pierogi with lamb and pearl barley, served with powdered pickled gherkin,” not to mention “duck marinated in mead and served with black currant and coffee sauce”: Five of the best: New Polish cuisine in Warsaw

Ann Limpert, food and wine editor

•  As someone who goes through more lemons than probably any other ingredient in my kitchen, I am completely behind Peter Kaminsky’s article—an excerpt from his new book, Culinary Intelligence—in praise of acid. What Does Tartness Do For Food?

•  There’s more to actor Jesse Eisenberg than doing a great Zuck or being a cuddly cat advocate—he also writes pretty funny stuff for McSweeney’s, including this kiddie restaurant review. Bream Gives Me Hiccups: Restaurant Reviews From a Privileged Nine-Year-Old

Jessica Voelker, online dining editor

•  All the punch, none of the church? This is a trend I can get behind. Boozy Sherbet and the Comeback of Church Party Punch

•  Boinkies, Danish Skuzz, and a bowl of Norman Paste: Here’s a Fantastic Fake Twee Brooklyn Restaurant Menu

Sophie Gilbert, associate arts editor

•  LOL at the “low-hanging fruit” pun, NPR. But thank you for pulling together this list of the best vegetarian-friendly cookbooks heading our way. Me and my CSA salute you. Plant Eater’s Paradise: 2012’s Best Summer Cookbooks

•  It’s a good week for coming out of the closet: First Jillian Michaels revealed that she and her partner have two beautiful children, and now Food Network chef Anne Burrell has revealed she’s gay. Says the New York Post: “Sources tell us Burrell’s girlfriend is another top James Beard Award-winning chef.” So basically, you really want to get invited to their house for Thanksgiving. Food Net chef gay & proud

•  HuffPo has this bold list of the ten rules thou shalt not break when it comes to eating quickly. My favorite? “Fried rhymes with died.” Yikes. 10 Weight Control Commandments for Fast Food

Anna Spiegel, assistant food and wine editor

•  With all the focus on Craig Claiborne this week upon the release of Thomas McNamee’s book The Man Who Changed the Way We Eat, it was interesting to get another personal opinion from the doyenne of New York critics, Gael Greene. Craig’s Legacy

•  If you’ve ever seen Jim Gaffigan’s “Hot Pockets” standup, you’ll like this sliver of a clip about the “bit of a disappointment” that is Subway, courtesy of Eater. Jim Gaffigan on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon

•  And for your Friday reading pleasure: Chinese Restaurant Menu Items That Sound Like Titles of Cocteau Twins Songs

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.