Eater’s Editor’s Rather Spectacular Takedown of a Ridiculous Review
In this newsletter’s two-plus years of existence, I can’t remember delaying its delivery because of a developing story. Turns out there’s a first for everything, and worth the wait. Eater feature editor Helen Rosner took to Twitter today to review a review of “New York’s most fashionable eateries,” penned by Tanya Gold in Harper’s.
Essentially, the writer mocks some high-profile New York spots, including Per Se, Chef’s Table, Eleven Madison Park, and Masa. (I wouldn’t call these “New York’s most fashionable eateries” either, but they are high-profile enough to be relatively familiar to those not entrenched in the New York or even US dining scene.) But with decent reputations and the price tag to go with them, I’d expect she might have a few nice things to say. The result, instead, is a tirade on the restaurants, their layout, and even the people who run them. (Thomas Keller’s charm does not cross international borders, I suppose.)
Ire about the piece aside, @hels’s tweetstorm does a fantastic job of singling out ridiculous — and, in some cases, wrong — information. One of my favorite tweets in the series: “The chef came by but I was peeing, so I’ll make something up.”
Also of note: the writer took notes on her iPhone, but it “scrubbed itself,” which Rosner, along with this writer, believe means she accidentally deleted them. Drunk… on power, I suppose. Silly technology.
GoodEggs Scales Back
Some sad news: online local food hub GoodEggs announced in a blog post that it’s scaling back operations in a big way. The company, which grew quickly after taking $53 million in investment, has closed its operations in Brooklyn, Los Angeles, and New Orleans and will scale back in its hometown of San Francisco. This news, and the GoodEggs model, generally, are a good reminder of the challenge of taking something that is inherently offline (in this case, the process of buying food from smaller, local producers) to online success.
Food+Tech Connect has a good piece outlining what went wrong and the fundamental challenges behind the company’s troubles. Worth a read for anyone interested in startups (or the local food movement, really.) For now, GoodEggs will continue to operate in San Francisco as it attempts to grow, once again. GoodEggs is a great company and a great resource. Here’s hoping its success comes back around.
Look! It’s Cover 2.0
Cover, one of my favorite restaurant+tech apps and definitely my favorite way to pay without asking for the check has a brand new app. The company details what’s new in a blog post, covering everything from new app design (it’s lovely and bright) to new technology (they use beacons now, which means you’ll need to enable notifications and Bluetooth on your phone.) They’ve also included a new restaurant discovery feature, which lets you browse Cover-friendly restaurants nearby or by feature.
Read more about the new design from the company’s Design Lead on Medium. And make sure you look at the “in-restaurant actions vs. out-of-restaurant actions” venn diagram which is probably my favorite infographic of the year.
#NotCreepy: These Robots Serve You Beer
Straight outta MIT: beer-serving robots. A team at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory built a team of cooperative robots that serve beer. Well, in cans. Mostly they just move it from one place to another, but still. According to a piece in FWx, “what’s unique is their ability to navigate a space and take and deliver orders, all without duplicating orders.” Smarties.
- San Francisco is the best food city in the country — Bon Appetit
- How millennials drive the digital cooking revolution (we already learned this, but it’s a good piece) —National Geographic
- What’s sexier in this movie trailer? Bradley Cooper or the food porn? — Delish
- Self-promotion: ICYMI, a recent favorite: my observations on the humor of dining alone in Paris —Medium