Ruth Bourdain, a “Mad Men” Drinking Montage, and Snarky Brits: Eating & Reading

Our tasty roundup of the best stuff we’re reading this week.

Guess which one we watched drink on camera this week? Photographs courtesy of Shutterstock

I love reading the novelist Will Self’s restaurant reviews, even if he makes every last one of them sound inedible, just because of his inimitable and lively prose. It manages to be perfectly understandable and yet sound somehow like a foreign language.

His latest dispatch “on the edible” is a roundup of chain restaurants he visited as a restaurant critic in the 1990s because “the majority of visitors to our shores are unlikely to give a flying fuck about the Fat Duck.” Love his description of his “fashionable wheat intolerance (a legacy of all that focaccia during the Blair regime),” and his dismissal of a dish of chicken—“must have been very free-ranging indeed, because it was a skinny little thing.” [New Statesman]—Todd Kliman

Few tear things apart as eloquently as British critic A.A. Gill. Here, he lets gloriously loose on the Michelin Guide, citing reviews “written in chocolate saliva” and an obsession with “fat, conservative, fussy rooms that use expensive ingredients with ingratiating pomp to serve glossy plutocrats and their speechless rental dates.” [Vanity Fair]—Ann Limpert

Food Porn

These MRI scans of food (in animated GIF form) are oddly mesmerizing. Who knew cabbage could be so beautiful? [Bon Appétit]—Tanya Pai

The Anonymity Issue

“Ruth Bourdain” is not—repeat, not— Robert Sietsema. [New York Times]—TK

Novel or Nasty?

Today in things that are either a dream come true or deeply upsetting, depending on your POV: meat shot glasses (with a bonus slideshow: Things Made of Bacon That Probably Shouldn’t Be). [HuffPo]—TP

The Small Screen

Mostly, I just like laughing at the Knight Rider lunchbox, with its young and dreamy David Hasselhoff staring meaningfully at you, the susceptible prepubescent viewer. [Smithsonian]—TK

File under “awesome” and also “will make your liver hurt”: a supercut of every drink taken by the characters of Mad Men. Even sped up, it’s an impressive five-plus minutes long. [Grub Street]—TP

Top Something Lists

The Royal Society’s top 20 breakthroughs in food and drink reads like a cross between Family Feud and the New England Journal of Medicine. “Ooh, ooh—selective breeding!” [Royal Society]—TK

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 Logan Circle.