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The Pete Wells Thread


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#46 mitchells

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 09:51 PM

Its a sous vide Italian Meatloaf Sandwich.

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#47 chopjwu12

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 09:52 PM

This is my problem with this. I dont give a shit what anyone sais the perception of the stars is what it is. So by that your saying that parm and Lets just use lincoln as an example are the same level of place. Now if you go by what the times sais and stars are reflective of price then to me at least, they got short changed. Your saying that they are a slightly better then average sandwich shop. So which one is it? Are they lincoln or are they a slightly better then average sandwich shop? Because i have had a lot of their stuff and its dam good. They do what they do and they arent reinventing anything. But they are doing what they are very very well. I will never understand that grey area of nonsense

#48 Lippy

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 09:57 PM

Sort has Wells already lost all credibility with this crowd? Oh good, another thread I needn't bother to read.

I refer you to the first post on this thread.

#49 Adrian

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 10:09 PM

So, it's an italian meatloaf sandwich?


It's a hamburger.

I think you need to interpret what I'm saying in a reasonable way.


#50 Wilfrid

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 10:13 PM

Sort has Wells already lost all credibility with this crowd? Oh good, another thread I needn't bother to read.


For myself, I hope I can write something people disagree with without losing "all credibility."

#51 Sneakeater

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 10:34 PM

There's writing something people disagree with -- and then there's giving two stars to Parm.
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#52 Wilfrid

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 03:26 AM

Well, one problem is that it's going to throw out his future ratings. Once you've given two stars to a presumably good sandwich shop with some hot dishes, you've made a problem for yourself.

#53 Adrian

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 04:38 AM

This review is, like, totally awesome in about twenty different ways. First person to (legitimately and honestly) admit that the review would have been 100xs more totally awesome if the body of it consisted of Sifton's recollection of the first time he ate a chicken parm sandwich on Mulberry St. gets lunch on me when they visit Toronto.

I think you need to interpret what I'm saying in a reasonable way.


#54 Sneakeater

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 05:05 AM

Second prize: two lunches in Toronto.
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#55 oakapple

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 01:41 PM

Well, one problem is that it's going to throw out his future ratings. Once you've given two stars to a presumably good sandwich shop with some hot dishes, you've made a problem for yourself.

For the rest of his tenure, people are going to be asking, "If Parm got 2 stars, then why not __________?" Or, "If Parm is a 2-star restaurant, how can _________ (e.g., Lincoln) NOT have three?"

With Wells giving 2 stars in three of his first four reviews, it seems we're back to the BruniCurve™. Any endearing, cute, casual restaurant with one or two boffo dishes will get 2 stars, which means the one-star reviews will ALWAYS be negative. No one will EVER be happy to get one star — even though one star supposedly means "good" in the NYT system — unless it's an out-of-the-way place in the outer boroughs that (under normal circumstances) would never have been reviewed at all.
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#56 Steve R.

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 02:36 PM


Well, one problem is that it's going to throw out his future ratings. Once you've given two stars to a presumably good sandwich shop with some hot dishes, you've made a problem for yourself.

For the rest of his tenure, people are going to be asking, "If Parm got 2 stars, then why not __________?" Or, "If Parm is a 2-star restaurant, how can _________ (e.g., Lincoln) NOT have three?"

With Wells giving 2 stars in three of his first four reviews, it seems we're back to the BruniCurve™. Any endearing, cute, casual restaurant with one or two boffo dishes will get 2 stars, which means the one-star reviews will ALWAYS be negative. No one will EVER be happy to get one star — even though one star supposedly means "good" in the NYT system — unless it's an out-of-the-way place in the outer boroughs that (under normal circumstances) would never have been reviewed at all.


Okay, I know its sacrilege for someone as active on food boards as me, but I gotta admit that I wont have this problem. I take each review on its own and try to discern what the reviewer is telling me, for the sole purpose of whether I then go or not. So, a 2 star here tells me how he sizes the place up enjoyability wise but I dont compare it to how many stars he gives any other place. Each is a snowflake, unique unto itself.

Frankly, I think this comparative thing is only interesting to those in the industry, including those who write about it. I've never had a friend wonder why 2 very different places got the same star rating. Just my 2 cents here.... I dont expect you to agree.

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#57 SethG

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 02:43 PM

Steve, surely the stars have to be understood to have some consistent application if they are to have any meaning at all, right? Even if neither you nor your friends are consciously comparing two-star restaurants to each other, you still will have more difficulty understanding the meaning of the rating if it is given out with abandon to random sandwich shops, won't you?
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#58 Stone

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 02:58 PM

Putting aside two stars given to a good sandwich shop, SteveR is obviously correct. Bruni gave Sripraphai 2 stars 7 years ago. Sifton gave Lincoln 2 stars. Does anyone really lose sleep trying to figure out the difference?

I can see that if someone knows nothing about the restaurants other than seeing a list starred NYT restaurants and genre, someone might choose between Sri & Lincoln expecting them to be of the same ilk. But I'm sure anyone with the slightest bit of extra information can figure it all out pretty easy. Lincoln was a disappointing attempt at fine dining. Sri is a great local Thai place.

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#59 Orik

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 03:00 PM

A good analogy would be if the times gave the burrito version of Ssam Bar two stars.

And in case P. Wells is wondering why "

Italian-American cuisine is not beloved by the arbiters of good taste" - well, let me explain:



It's garbage, fucking garbage, garbage ingredients, garbage recipes, made by grandmas who can't cook for grandchildren who just want huge piles of too sweet garbage.



And if you cook it in a CVAp oven... it's steamed garbage.


sandwiches that are large and filling and do not contain tuna or prawns

#60 oakapple

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 03:12 PM

Putting aside two stars given to a good sandwich shop, SteveR is obviously correct. Bruni gave Sripraphai 2 stars 7 years ago. Sifton gave Lincoln 2 stars. Does anyone really lose sleep trying to figure out the difference?

I can see that if someone knows nothing about the restaurants other than seeing a list starred NYT restaurants and genre, someone might choose between Sri & Lincoln expecting them to be of the same ilk. But I'm sure anyone with the slightest bit of extra information can figure it all out pretty easy. Lincoln was a disappointing attempt at fine dining. Sri is a great local Thai place.

With due respect to Steve, I HAVE had friends and acquaintances "wonder why 2 very different places got the same star rating" — and I'm talking about people who are casual readers of the NYT, not food-obsessed types like us.

The fact that Sri and Lincoln have the same rating is easily explainable. The Times has ALWAYS given 2 stars to casual ethnic places like Sripraphai that define their genre. Bruni was not the first to do so. But I haven't seen the case that Parm fills a comparable niche.
Marc Shepherd
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