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The Pete Wells Thread


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30 minutes ago, Sneakeater said:

But they should jettison the stars, which only fuck things up.

They should change the name of the column if it’s not about reviewing restaurants. 

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According to Eater   Let the grumbling begin.

Even now when everybody has seen pictures of all the major reviewers, there's hope for anonymous restaurant reviewing.

You're conflating two different issues that I made the mistake of including in the same post. 1. Stars are useful to some people. 2. I'd rather read mostly facts with a little opinion than t

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I can’t know if I have eaten more lechon than anyone else here, but I tip my hat to anyone who can compete. I have been eating it in this city for more than 20 years; in at least four boros, in homes, at lunch counters, for Thanksgiving, for quinceaneras, at school pot lucks, and yes from food trucks.

Either this guy has worked some magic to deserve those stars - and if he has, the review should give us some idea what it is - or he’s a funny Salt Bae-type character and Pete wants some attention. 

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When you go to a place like Elsa la Reina del Chicharron, you can tell it’s extraordinary without having tried every Dominican counter in New York.  It’s enough to have tried several.

 I’m sure Wells didn’t randomly happen upon this truck but heard about ot through a grapevine, the same way everybody heard about say Noodletown in the ‘80s or Ali’s in the ‘90s. 

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On 6/21/2022 at 11:35 PM, Wilfrid said:

The below is Wells. This is just pandering clickbait and it’s embarrassing.

F7E16C7A-342C-4D2B-BC6F-BBB056A4D64C.png

That was years ago. And this truck isn’t a hot dog cart.

 I do agree with you of course that Wells is engaging in point-making. 

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I don’t guess Wells wanted to bring stars back.  Certainly not in their prior configuration.

And I don’t think they will be particularly meaningful (or at least legible) any more. 

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Another thing.  I think Wells is assuming readers have been reading the reviews he’s been writing for the last two years.  He’s reviewed PLENTY of food trucks.  So there’s PLENTY of context for this review—if you’ve been reading him. 

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8 hours ago, Wilfrid said:

Whole Foods is not a restaurant chain. The taco truck down the street is not a restaurant. The corner deli is not a restaurant. Shake Shack in JFK is not a restaurant. Someone offering delivery only is not running a restaurant.

This is what you think is not a restaurant. I would like to know what you think is a restaurant. Because if it's this:

51 minutes ago, sweatshorts said:

I do think that a "restaurant" needs to have a bathroom.

then Whole Foods (while not a restaurant chain) contains a restaurant. Or at least a cafeteria, which is a kind of restaurant.

Taco trucks and corner delis and the Shake Shack in JFK provide no place to eat your food (which was one of my criteria), although you can probably find one pretty easily.

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10 hours ago, Sneakeater said:

When you go to a place like Elsa la Reina del Chicharron, you can tell it’s extraordinary without having tried every Dominican counter in New York.  It’s enough to have tried several.

 I’m sure Wells didn’t randomly happen upon this truck but heard about ot through a grapevine, the same way everybody heard about say Noodletown in the ‘80s or Ali’s in the ‘90s. 

Yes -- in addition to other food media folks, Chris Crowley (who is from the Bronx) has been singing its praises since before he was at Grub Street.

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9 hours ago, Sneakeater said:

Another thing.  I think Wells is assuming readers have been reading the reviews he’s been writing for the last two years.  He’s reviewed PLENTY of food trucks.  So there’s PLENTY of context for this review—if you’ve been reading him. 

What moved me to comment was not the existence of the review -- I know that battle is lost -- but the outlandish three star rating, for which there's no real explanation in the article. The most detailed description of the lechon is "the yielding meat, the dripping fat and the hard-candy crackle on the skin" which to be honest describes almost any version you might eat. Sure, you can find tough, dry meat out there and rubbery skin, but overcoming that hurdle shouldn't get you a third star.

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16 hours ago, Sneakeater said:

So on the one hand, stars are back.

On the other hand, three stars for a food truck.

I wonder how Wells is going to make sense of this going forward.

I wish he’s go back and assign stars to EMP. Given his review, it’s a pretty sure bet Humm wouldn’t retain the four stars and probably not even get three stars which this food truck/trailer chef received.

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I just noticed Wells has been restaurant critic for 11 years. Beats Bryan Miller and only Claiborne did it longer. Heck of a run.

ETA: Craig Claiborne, 1957 - 1972: Claiborne, the first man to run a dining section at an American newspaper, reviewed important restaurants here and there, but he didn't begin the tradition of a weekly review, based on multiple, anonymous visits, until 1963. He stayed on as editor until 1986.

So if Claiborne was a regular reviewer only from 1963 to 1972, Wells becomes the longest reigning regularTimes restaurant critic. 

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