Sunday, February 04, 2007

Sharp Bites

Fairfax brought this article to my attention. It's a New York Times article about food bloggers (no, not me or Rachel or Hungover Gourmet or any of the rest of us, just the ones up in New York). Money quote (to borrow the term from political commentator Andrew Sullivan):

There is a new food game in the city that never stops grazing. A proliferation of blogs treating every menu revision, construction permit, clash of egos and suspiciously easy-to-get reservation as high drama is changing the rules of the restaurant world and forcing everyone from owners to chefs to publicists to get used to the added

Diners hungry for the next, the newest, the best, and with no patience to wait for the annual Zagat Guide, are benefiting.

I guess the folks up in New York are a bit less, well, civil than we are in Charm City. NB:

Unlike an earlier wave of food blogs focused on home cooking, recipes and basic restaurant recommendations, the new breed is gossipy and competitive; it trafficks in pointed restaurant criticism and tidbits of news — Craftsteak has installed a new stove! Emmerite beans have been added to the menu at Tasting Room! — and is unsettling the ground of the restaurant industry.

I didn't know it was such a proliferation! And apparently, these food blogs are truly having an effect up in the Big Apple. Not so much with the ones here, I guess (otherwise the Grill Art Cafe would've closed down long ago). But it does hit me (and this'll sound a wee bit George Clooneyish): we really do have the power, however small, to give Bawlamorons a heads up about a great place. At least for the folks who like to read our blogs. It's just like New York-based restaraunteur David Chang (of Momofuku Noodle Bar in Manhattan) notes in this same article:

“It’s instant marketing...[The bloggers] get the notice out there. It’s a more egalitarian thing.”

And no, I doubt I have the power to put anyone out of business, God forbid. But if we can warn somebody about an awful place, that's a good thing, too :)

BTW: Also see this related article, Where the Foodies Are on the Web, again specifically NYC-related. My favorite non-Bawlmer-based foodie, the Amateur Gourmet, is referenced in this bloglist.