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It’s Hard to Eat With a Paper Bag Over My Head
by Naomi Wise

I arrived in San Diego nine years ago, a well-spoiled food snob coming down (pun intended) from San Francisco like the culinary marshal sent in to clean up an untamed border town. Now, I find myself cheerleading for San Diego restaurants (the ones I like, and there are an increasing number of these): Instead of spinning Colt six-shooters in both hands, I’m twirling batons of Chino Farms carrots and pompoms of local-caught sea urchins. It’s not that I’ve lowered my standards, only that San Diego dining has changed. So I’m thrilled whenever I see increasingly frequent mentions of local restaurants in national publications — whereas in 2000, San Diego eateries were nearly terra incognita on the national scene. If New York was the Big Apple, then San Diego was the Big Fish Taco. {+more]


My Delicious Ed-ucation
by Ed Bedford

When Judith Moore suggested that because my buddy Hank and I were eating mostly cheapo street food anyway, why not write about it, I thought, “Yes, but how many ways can you describe a burger? And what do I know about cooking?” She gave me a Mona Lisa smile. “You’ll soon find out.” [+more]


You Can So Eat Well in San Diego
by Ambrose Martin

Juvenile? Sure. But it’s not like I ever intended it to see print. For the two years that I pounded out pinch-hit restaurant reviews for the estimable Ms. Wise here at the Reader, that tagline lived only as a silly in-joke between myself and my partner in food criticism, aka The Wife. It was one way of keeping ourselves grounded — for me, airy, acrobatic food writing gets dull even quicker than trudging, “I ate this, and then I ate this” food writing. It was also, I realize, most of the reason I selected such a hifalutin’ pseudonym — the boys in Monty Python weren’t above mixing fart jokes with aristocratic English reserve, and neither was I. What I didn’t realize was that it was funny because it was true — at least in this sense: when it came to restaurant criticism, I just didn’t have the stomach for it. Or maybe it would be better to say I didn’t have the guts. [+more]

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