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Jan. 12 2010 - 10:18 pm | 222 views | 0 recommendations | 2 comments

Diarrhea Strikes NY Times Dining Critic, It Seems

NEW YORK - JULY 23:  Copies of the New York Ti...

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Sam Sifton is the new New York Times food critic, and from the sound of it, a pig’s foot at one of Manhattan’s hottest new eateries kicked him straight in the colon.

It’s not often that while reading a restaurant review in the New York Times thoughts of the scatological nature occur. Maxim or even Esquire I could understand… but the Grey Lady?  So, you can understand why Sifton’s references to the gnarly aftermath of a pig’s foot at hip new April Bloomfield eatery The Breslin really got me intrigued. The explosive (heh) quotes after the jump!

“That said, there is the pig’s foot. Regardless of what it will do to you later, it is a non-negotiable one-time order for those who eat feet.”

Vague enough, but did a New York Times writer really just allude to an assplosion? For those who aren’t convinced, the bowel vagaries return later in Sifton’s (surprisingly glowing) 1 star review. While discussing that The Breslin is located inside the Ace Hotel and allows for room service delivery of certain items, Sifton scribbles about ordering the burger:

“It’s faster to sleep that way, for one thing, and since there’s no pig’s foot on the room-service menu, there actually will be sleep.”

So not only did it cause him some, uh, discomfort… it kept him churning all night? TMI, Mr. Sifton. TMI. Or, now that I think about it, perhaps this is just enough information and Sam should be awarded for his honesty and pain. If there’s anything that will allow a reader to trust a critic, it’s by taking his tips to avoid a diarrhea attack. Kudos (and feel better!), Sam.


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  1. collapse expand

    I want to make the argument that in some circumstances, I think we don’t get enough information about the gastrointestinal consequences of being a food critic. Did you read the Jonathan Gold profile in the New Yorker back in November? How does that guy not travel around Los Angeles with a box of Depends? What I’m saying is, I think there’s nothing wrong with wondering more about the literal logistics of being a food critic.

    • collapse expand

      Precisely the realization I came around to towards at the end of the post. I’d much rather know about the bathroom ramifications of a dish than which farm it came from or where the owner bought the fabric for the banquettes. I’m sure Bourdain and Zimmern have had some howling nights thanks to random and shady meals, but if the blasts occur following a meal at a hugely popular place, please, let us know, critics!

      In response to another comment. See in context »
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    Oysters. Bone Marrow. Spanish hams. Fish tacos. Shanghai soup dumplings. Sea urchin. Summer tomatoes still warm from the sun. There, my favorite foods are out of the way. To cut to the chase, food is in my genes. My father, grandfather and great grandfather were butchers. I've cooked for fun and pay since I can remember, helping out at my dad's catering company/butcher shop and eventually the catering wing of Zagat's highest-rated restaurant in the country (you've never heard of it). Why am I not a chef or caterer? I'm just too much of a pansy. I didn't want the hours/heat/instability to ruin my love for cooking, so now it's pure recreation. Since ditching the chef idea, I've written for many major news networks and magazines, spanning everything from a blood-soaked Marine invasion into Fallujah to Britney Spears' underwear (lack of, actually) to properly sourcing pork. I hope to share the deliciousness of life with you. Also, pancakes suck.

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