The Meal that Ended My Career as a Restaurant Critic

Boing Boing pal Steve Silberman wrote a fun piece on his "last supper" as a food critic for a glossy magazine in San Francisco in the 1980s. "Being a critic in one of the great restaurant cities on Earth felt like getting paid to have sex with someone you love," he explains, as he describes the meal that ended his run 25 years ago. The prose is as delicious as the meal must have been:


I returned just as the chirpy waiter brought the coup de grâce, which looked like evidence from a crime scene: a dish of angry red flesh with a knob of pale bone jutting out of it. This, apparently, was my "grilled veal chop with wild forest mushrooms."

I had ordered the chop medium-rare, but it arrived bleu, as the French say; ultra-rare, chilly in the center (calf sashimi, if you will), with crimson blood pooling on top, drowning the chanterelles, porcini, Hen O' The Woods or whatever they were in the unmistakable taste of pennies: copper-laden hemoglobin. This was like veal à la Dexter.

Having only recently re-embraced meat-eating, it was as if all the gluttonous karma of the West took its revenge on a lapsed vegetarian in a single meal. I feared that if I tried to choke down all that raw meat, I'd end up strangling — spewing bloody chunks of calf, clots of cream, and skeins of raw fettucine across the starched tablecloth as a horrified busboy tried to administer the Heimlich maneuver.

Enough! Check, please.

The Meal that Ended My Career as a Restaurant Critic