I'm writing a "First Bites" preview of two new restaurants this week. I'm struggling with one of them, a restaurant that has been so disappointing that the prospect of a second bite makes me want to tender my resignation.
But, really, I'm resigned to sharing my experiences with you; I am, after all, paid to be your surrogate stomach.
"First Bites" are previews, not reviews. "First Bites" are supposed to be samplers -- brief tastes of menus, decor and overall vibes of new restaurants. "First Bites" are generally written within a month of restaurants' openings. Actual reviews often follow about two months later.
As for the restaurant that's currently giving me Eaters' Block (an affliction that spreads among food critics like cooties at summer camp) ... well, I'm not sure what to say.
Porterhouse tasted like liver.
Steak-cut fries were watery-wet, semi-raw and potatoey-pale.
Halibut smelled old and tasted older.
The floor sagged.
A waiter looked and smelled dirty on a Monday morning.
The vending machine by the pool tables spit out four pistachios for a quarter.
I liked the French toast.
I don't want to go back.
What more do you want or need to know?