November 13, 2013

Seeing Red

For readers just joining us, a little bit of context: the completely irrational and unjustified superiority complex New Yorkers have about how great their city is drives me up the wall.

I also like to exaggerate my anger, often with gratuitous profanity, for comic effect and/or to emphasize my opinion.

Okay, now that we're all on the same page, let's get started.

From The New Yorker: Hannah Goldfield: Toro’s Uneven Tapas

(The following is the opening line of the article.)
Aside from the occasional outfielder, there’s not much Boston has that New York wants.
OHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Well I've got news for you: there's not a whole goddamn lot New York has that Boston wants, either. I know, I know, you have SO many great restaurants, and we're real fucking jealous, but all this irritating humility and realistic perspective on what's important in life is just keeping us too busy to do anything about it.
But ever since Toro, the popular South End tapas restaurant, opened a location on the West Side Highway several weeks ago, New Yorkers can’t seem to get enough. The hundred-and-twenty-seat dining room, which takes reservations, is consistently booked, and the line at the door is long with hopeful walk-ins.
Heavens! What could possibly be wrong with them? Will any rube overlook the stinking taint of Bostonianness just to taste James Beard-nominated cooking these days? It's positively ghastly.
The paella de langostino, with its mess of gummy, over-seasoned rice and measly scattering of lobster chunks and Brussels-sprout leaves, is, at ninety dollars (in a lobster glut!), downright insulting... and it’s disappointing to discover that the grilled Catalan sea cucumbers you just paid twenty-seven dollars for amount to a tiny tangle of bland, shredded muscle, drowning in butter. In a city with so much great, affordable food, not to mention transcendent, expensive food, it’s a little hard to understand this uneven newcomer’s appeal.
Really? I think it's pretty easy. Here's what happened in the Toro head office last year:
AWARD-WINNING CHEF KEN ORINGER: Man, running these numerous nationally acclaimed restaurants is hard work.

AWARD-WINNING CHEF JAMIE BISSONNETTE: I hear you, buddy.

KO: But I guess I just can't ever feel successful until I have a restaurant in New York. I mean, it is the greatest city in the world and has all the greatest restaurants in the world.

JB: Um...

KO: That's funny, I can't feel the right side of my face.

[later, in hospital]

KO: Seriously, though. We should open a restaurant in New York. Did you know those idiots will pay $90 for fucking paella?

JB: Let's toss some foreskins in butter and call them sea cucumbers and you've got a deal!
But no, wait, what am I saying? There is obviously a much simpler explanation for Toro's popularity in New York: Bostonians dress badly.
You could chalk it up to buzz—or maybe those people clamoring for tables are actually all homesick Bostonians. On a recent evening, one particularly jovial diner was wearing pants patterned with large, colorful sailboats.
So, to recap: Boston is a shitty city; the numerous national critics who think Toro's chefs are amazing probably just didn't realize that Toro is in Boston, and thank god they had some snotty New Yorker to point it out to them; expensive food is bad unless it's expensive food served by a New York restaurant, in which case it's transcendent; and people in Boston wear trousers with sailboats on them, and/or/hence/because they don't know anything about truly good food. Obviously.

No doubt any New Yorkers reading this... Well, no doubt they're not real New Yorkers, because what kind of self-respecting New Yorker would read a blog by someone who used to live in Boston? But if any real New Yorkers were to accidentally stumble into this Dantesque circle of the internet, they would no doubt say I'm only providing another classic example of how insecure Bostonians are, and how they feel the need to lash out at even the slightest suggestion they're not capable of competing with New York.

So let me clarify for you: that is not the issue here. Frankly, I couldn't give a fuck how Boston compares to New York on anything. But then, it's usually not the Bostonians making the comparison, is it?

1 comment:

Christopher Dye said...

The main problem with Boston is that their hockey team is an embarrassment to the universe. The whole city is contaminated by electrons that have at one point bound with atoms connected to the inside of Boston Gardens, which makes everything look, feel and taste like failure. That's why its restaurants aren't good.

Post a Comment