Incoherently hateful! Embattled masculinity (Bobby Flay = Liberace, I guess) + racist dogwhistle (Inner city = The Ghetto = Where The Black People Are). It's hard to be both homophobic and racist this efficiently. Maybe this dude does not like the kind of BBQ where you might get sodomized by Omar?
"Don't read the comments" has entered the lexicon alongside truisms like "never eat at a place called Mom's." The thing with truisims is that they are true. I'll go on ahead and add "never listen to words on the radio." On the way home from a fantastic trip to B1G territory, an Mp3 player whose gum was tired led to a tour of the FM dial, where I learned that for one thing, the Clippers players and fans are just as bad as their owner, and also, there is a movement called "grilling while armed." It is exactly what you hope it is not:
It's worth unpacking this just a little bit. Even if we accept the notion that carrying a handgun makes you safer, it seems that your risk just might vary based on where you are. Visiting a crack den? Sure, a gun might be helpful. But cooking out in your own yard? Because intruders might hop your fence and make off with the potato salad? Also, my limited understanding of gun laws suggest that you are encouraged to be sober when carrying a handgun. Thus, by transitivity, when grilling while armed, you are supposed to be sober. Which is to say, that the feeling of security that comes from standing in your yard with a Glock on your waist while you flip burgers is more important than the God-given right to pound a few cold ones while grilling.
Or! These patriots simultaneously exercise the natural right to drink beer while cooking out, and their second amendment right to bear arms. Thereby fulfilling the Founder's vision of backyards from sea to shining sea, with bleary, sunburned dudes on can 15 of Natty Light drawing down on their sister's BF when he accidentally uses the word "BBQ" when he means "cookout." If you can't feel safe in your own damn yard w/o pistol in your belt, the Cod can only conclude that your manhood needs a level of protecting not even Tony Siragusa can offer.
In other news. If you are committed to having a really shitty BBQ (the kind with guns), then Hellman's has the perfect match. BBQ flavored reduced fat mayo. Mostly backyard cookouts are for the weekend, but seems like gun nuts with grills + Tony Siragusa + this condiment abomination would be the perfect way to wrap up another Guiteau Monday.
The menu does change daily, and Tony Maws does work with farmers, but as the map indicates, Craigie on Main is not "a stone's throw from the Harvard campus," but, in fact, 1.3 miles away by the most direct pedestrian route. As it happens, this distance is equivalent to just over 90 consecutive world record shot put throws of 23.12 meters. Even allowing for a smaller rock, it's still a long way from the Harvard campus -- even the unpopular parts. I may be pushing too hard on the literal reading, but it's the kind of carelessly Harvardcentric approach that typifies a certain kind of journalism best confined to inflight magazines. FWIW, if you did want to talk about Craigie's neighborhood, you might want to notice that Craigie is smack-dab in the middle of another university of some renown, and just down the street from Tech Square, whose denizens sometimes get sick of pizza.
The feature itself is interesting, or at least the pictures, even if it is behind swinging doors that do not exist at Craigie. It would definitely be possible to say something interesting about Craigie's move from where it was to where it is now -- from a basement bistro / neighborhood canteen in a neighborhood where all the houses are seven figures, starting with a crooked number, to the site of a former Italian joint in a neighborhood that abuts the old manufacturing district of Cambridge, but not if you don't know where the restaurant is.
To return to the lede -- the Cod may be sensitive b/c he's bracing himself for the end of the semester, but the first sentence of the piece is a prodigy of vacuousness:
"A stone’s throw from the Harvard campus, Craigie on Main is a go-to for Cambridge-ites and Bostonians alike."
We've been through the first part. (Great label, btw!) Tony's restaurant is not a stone's throw from the Harvard campus. The rest of the sentence, though: "Craigie on Main is a go-to for Cambridge-ites and Bostonians alike." The name of the restaurant is correct. But "a go-to"? Literally, sure, people go there. But "go-to" suggests a kind of reliable standby, and Craigie is much more of a destination/special occasion restaurant. It gets worse "for Cambridge-ites and Bostonians alike." The inference here that COM is one of the few things these rival factions of diners agree on? Like it is rare for a diner to cross the Charles to eat? Jesus. It's not like we're discussing Brooklyn and Manhattan here. Finally "Cambridge-ites?" For fuck's sake, it's "Cantabridgians." If you're scoring at home, that's a single sentence with a factual error, two misleading inferences, and a usage error. Better luck next time, Daily Meal.
This is more than anyone wants or needs about a story on a website I'd not heard of before, but whose followers would be a snug fit in the Rose Bowl, but enjoy good food when you can find it, (Tony Maws' restaurants remain a good place to look for it) and enjoy good writing about food when you can find it, b/c it sure ain't here.
The other day there was this very sad message from the firehouse that lost Lt. Edward Walsh and Firefighter Michael Kennedy. Terrible things happen to brave men and women, people want to help, so they bring food. Even firefighters can only eat so much. If you are someone who is inclined to cook when people are sad, sick, or hurt, this message was a reminder of the things that you cannot fix with cooking.
On a brighter note, there are some folks, because they are very talented and work really hard, can cook food that other people will pay money for. Because many of these chefs are generous, they are getting together to have a benefit dinner for the Walsh-Kennedy Memorial fund.
1) You apply via your LinkedIn profile. Not sure if legacy carrier + the social media brand that was Facebook for old people before Facebook was just for old people is the kind of synergy you want, but maybe?
So, yesterday, The Cod wondered if the Backstreets incident, revealing as it does that Yelp is populated by homophobes with complicated relations to poop, might damage the credibility of a restaurant review site that is the forum for the opinions of anyone with a smartphone and two thumbs. Seems as if Yelp has a bigger problem than just actual cyberharassment of a particular place by gun nuts after the owner called them a bad name. Not only are there weird and bad reviews of Backstreets from other folks, but a visit to our local pub, Nick's, revealed that some disgruntled gun nut Yelpers are not only slamming Backstreets, but also giving positive reviews to other spots in town. Here is a not subtle example. (See screenshot below.) Also, this guy, "Joe B," has been posting positive reviews of every other place nearby, comparing them favorably to Backstreets, as in this review of the Islander:
As an occasional patron of The Islander, I'd say that Joe B. has overstated its virtues considerably. So, if one were attempting to use Yelp to, say, find a place to eat, not only are there the false negative reviews of a place that hurt the feelings of gun nuts, but also false positive reviews of nearby places. TripAdvisor has the same problem. Maybe Eater can hire Gael Greene to cover the Clemson beat so we can get trustworthy reviews?
So it looks like self-proclaimed constitutional scholars are putting reviews of the aforementioned anti-gun burger joint in Clemson, SC about as fast as Yelp can scrub them. Not sure what impact these specious reviews will have on Backstreets, but it does reveal some disturbing truths about Yelp. If the folks flooding Yelp w/ baroque scat freak line cook fantasies were joining Yelp specifically to slander an establishment that would prefer they consume their wings and Bud Lites unarmed, that would be one thing. But! The folks posting the negative reviews of Backstreets seem to be regular Yelpers for the most part. For instance, if one were, say, wondering about brunch spots in Vail, you'd be getting advice on that from "Whaledriving W.," who also shares this tidbit from Backstreets:
Per yesterday's post, Yelp has scrubbed most of the reviews from gun nuts of Backstreets, a nondescript college bar in Clemson, SC, with a proprietor w/ the temerity to call gun owners "douchebags." As it happens, the Cod nurtured a Yelp person at his day job, but not sure if that connection led to the scrub.
1) Stand by for the predictable gnashing of teeth about "freedom of speech."
2) "Concealed Weapons," by a late and non-Wolf iteration of J. Geils, is a terrible song. And sexist. Come to think of it, "Centerfold" is iffy that way, too. It would be better if it were "My blood runs cold, because my angel is a centerfold, and I am proud of her, and support her decisions."
It's rare that there is a national food-related story coming out of the very town where The Cod's corporeal host does his day job. But! South Carolina passed a law permitting patrons to bring guns into bars and restaurants, (provided they do not drink) but allowed individual establishments to opt out. So the proprietor of one of the many college bars in Clemson, SC posted the sign at left.
1) The food at Backstreets is fine. It is pretty much like any other flatscreens and pool tables college bar establishment you've been to. Now and again, they get a little bit ambitious w/ their lunch special.
2) Can a restaurant be cyber-bullied? If so, this one sure is.
3) Related: Many of the Yelpers seem to feel that the worst thing they can say about Backstreets is that it caters to gays.* There are probably some folks in town who would welcome a local alternative to The Woodshed, but if they do have a glory hole, they've added it since the last time I ate there.
4) This is a terrible law. I mean, for the obvious reasons that nobody has ever been in a bar in SC and thought, "geez, some guns would make this a better environment." But also, it puts bar and restaurant owners in a terrible position. This law does not just cover wing spots in college towns, but also serious restaurants, including those in Greenville, (John Mariani's favorite restaurant town), and Charleston (which has reached the point where the local paper gets huffy when no CHS chef gets shortlisted for Best Chef). It's not hard to imagine that some folks -- The Cod included -- would be more comfortable eating in an establishment with unarmed patrons. It would not be hard for patrons to ask if a place allowed weapons when making a reservation, and then book a table at a place with a no guns rule. But if the person calling your restaurant happens to be a gun nut, then you lose their business for banning guns, and invite a Yelp-driven shitstorm. Indeed if I were a talented restaurateur considering a new venture, I might look somewhere besides a state where I have to tussle with a gun shibboleth. Gov. Haley talks a lot about promoting business in the state. It's a shame that she didn't consider that kowtowing to gun nuts would make opening a restaurant in South Carolina an untenable proposition.
*Nick's is probably a better bet for your gay-friendly Clemson college bar experience.