Life as a Food Critic

Alison Arnetwrites about her job: never finishing her plate, eating tiramisu repeatedly, memorizing stuff so she can write about it later.

I don’t take notes at the table – I need to be a regular diner and not call attention to myself. For a while, I used a tape recorder on the drive home, but the sound of my voice when I replayed the tape was too embarrassing. As soon as I get home, no matter how late it is or how tired I am, I retrieve my mental images and write pages and pages of notes. It’s tedious, but, who knows, all that mental work may stave off Alzheimer’s.

I like that. Restaurant eating and reviewing as cure for Alzheimer’s.

There are funny memories – the waitress who tripped, sending my son’s Shirley Temple and a glass of wine into my lap. Or annoying ones – the waitress who literally ripped a menu out of my hands at the Barnstable Restaurant and Tavern recently to give to her friends who’d just walked in (I walked out)

Makes you wonder what kind of review they got. Or maybe not. She published this in The Boston Globe. The restaurant is named to God and everyone.

She takes friends with her when she goes out to eat. Three the first time, three the second.

Those invited on the first visit are the lucky ones; I might give some direction, but generally they can order the herb-crusted rack of lamb or savor the pan-seared duck breast that they desire. The next round of diners, though, gets marching orders – “no lamb, no duck, no striped bass with chanterelle mushrooms” – whispered by me across the table. This can cause discord – sometimes heated arguments – and I have had friends pout for months over the loss of the pork tenderloin with fruit chutney and mashed potatoes.

She would need to be sure her friends weren’t picky eaters. I mean, I don’t do sea food. If the only options left on the menu were seafood, I’d be getting an appetizer or two and dessert. That would mess up her eight choices of entrees.

Despite the fact that she can only eat a few bites of every single thing on the table, it sounds fun. Of course, she has to eat a few bites of everything on the table. That would let me out.

I found this article via Constrained Vision.