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May 22, 2008

Yes, I taste everything

IsOneMe.jpgPiano Rob asked a question this morning that deserves a separate entry. I may have touched on this before, but if so it's been awhile. Here's what he said:

SusanWNAJ brought up an interesting point: "You could then tell them that you got a part-time job as a restaurant reviewer and it's important that you try all the foods."

This may have been discussed elsewhere on D@L over the past year, or even in a feature story. How do you go about writing about all of the dishes during a restaurant visit? Do you sample from everyone's plate or rely on their own opinions? Just wondering. Thanks! ...


I never rely on anyone's opinions but my own. If they want to tell me, I'll listen, but mostly my companions know that all they have to do is order what I tell them to. This is harder than it sounds sometimes when you're craving a salad for a first course and I make you order the crispy sweetbreads with apples, raisin spoon bread, a Sauternes sauce and bacon oil. (Yes, this is an actual appetizer on Meli's menu.)

I do sample from everyone's plate. I try to do it as discreetly as possible, but I never write about anything I haven't tasted.

The reason I don't ask what my guests think is that some readers tend to agree with me, and others find my reviews useful because they almost always disagree with me. But at least I'm consistent. The one exception is that if one of us loves something and another hates it, I might mention that (making it clear which side I'm on) to show that it's a controversial dish.


(Photo of Cynthia's in Severna Park by Algerina Perna/Sun photographer) 

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 11:43 AM | | Comments (20)


EL - Thank you for the enlightenment. I especially liked the sentence "mostly my companions know that all they have to do is order what I tell them to." Why wouldn't they? They're not paying and I'm sure they know the parameters of dining with you. Now, if you persisted in this practice everytime you dined out not on the Sun's dime, I think there'd be trouble - LOL!

Why wouldn't they? You'd be surprised even with free food how often people really want something else than what has to be ordered. I know I would in their place. Those who aren't good at hiding their disappointment don't get asked again. :-) EL

I make you order the crispy sweetbreads with apples, raisin spoon bread, a Sauternes sauce and bacon oil.

You'd have to make someone order this? I know it's not just because I haven't had lunch yet that I'm drooling...

Is it just me or is the formatting on this post messed up? The stuff that's usually on the side is at the bottom.

Is it still for you? I thought I had fixed it, but it's DIY techie time at The Sun. I go in and take out coding and put other coding in that I don't even know what it does but just hope. EL

"Those who aren't good at hiding their disappointment don't get asked again. :-) EL "

So how do I get asked?

Still messed up.

Well, close Opera and try Firefox or IE. EL

I can llive with it. It's just this one page.

Firefox is messed up too. Sorry.

Oh come now.

We all know LIZ stopped tasting food years ago.

As Baltimore's most powerful and well-renown food writer, she doesn't have to. Playing by the rules has never been her style.

Hmmm.... Only this topic is messed up.

Is there a conspiracy theory to explain this?

Sorry this page and the main page are messed up, too. I'm slogging through the others.

I would never complain about having sweetbreads instead of a salad

Take me with you and i'll eat what ever you say order.

Perhaps we could have some sort of drawing to select one lucky sandbox denizen to accompany our fearless food editor to a restaurant of her choice to order whatever she selects.

I'm in!

Mr. Old Fart wrote, So how do I get asked?

What, you don't see the signup sheet for joining E-Liz for future dinners? Oh, wait, maybe it's the formatting problem some people have seen.

If you just follow the link to the following pag$&DD(SU-!!#(#%!!! you can get signed up...


I've been offering my tasting services ever since Lady E started this blog, and she hasn't taken me up on it. Not gonna happen. ;-

Zevonista, I went to the page and I'm number 379! I'm an Old Fart. At the rate the Devine Ms. E chooses from the list, I might not live that long.

I ahve a feeling that the code was messed up just to distract everyone from jumping up and down and yelling, "Pick me, pick me" at Elizabeth. She can't take one of us since then we'd know what she looks like.

Now here's a little secret. If someone goes through their complete collection of Sunpapers, neatly piled in rows up and down the living room, dining room, spare bedrooms and basement, when Her Majesty was a mere editor, her postage stamp size photo was in the paper. ; )

Quite the cutey, as I recall.

I'm willing to eat with a bag over my head. Although that might tip off others in the restaurant ...

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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