Goodnight Portland

Please note: This was an April Fool’s joke!

It’s no secret to many of you that I have had considerable health problems over the years. I’m sure you have noticed that the frequency of posts has slowed considerably. While I was blaming the lack of reviews on the poor economy and the corresponding drop in donations, the truth is, I’m just not up to it anymore. For this reason, I’ll have one quick review later this week, and a week after that, the site will go dark.

I started this site in late 2004. At some point or another I have managed to alienate every reader at least once. Private emails frequently follow. I have collected a good amount of my favorite comments and a few stories. I thought I’d throw in a few of them. Spelling errors are intact, all are from 2006:

  • You are a stupid idiot. As a matter of fact you are dummer then an idiot.
  • A trout is smarter then you are. Even a salmon!
  • You site is nothing short of a festival of self-obsessed lonely people publicly masturbating.
  • So what is it for you? Obviously you’d prefer your wait staff to coddle to their bosses than serve their clientele. Your credibilty just tanked.
  • What you have just done with selectivily copying and featuring Joe and I’s posting with our friends (yes, that is where we can let our hair down with many of our friends–most of whom have gone to colllege and some even with multiple degrees, even, including myself) is really indicative of just how insular, snide and self-important your site have become.
  • I hope you can eventually swallow some pill of the responsibility you took in setting the tone for all this. It really was pointless and petty.
  • Yikes! The idea of your head getting any bigger is really very frightening. You’ll have to trade in your BMW sedan for a convertible and drive with the top down all year long!
  • Your readers can be such snobs! Commenting on your blog is like throwing water on a cat!
  • You are totally in the pocket of the restaurateurs and have lost whatever credibility you ever had

Regarding commenting; the best ones arrive late at night, not long after the bars close. Here is one from someone who had admittedly been indulging:

How much of this amounts to a sort of masturbation? Maybe it’s a question of participating vs. observing? I’m little more than a neophyte, and I’ve been at it a while, but I’m having a hard time differentiating between the efficiency of Reaganomics and slow food; which is to say, if a greater value is placed on the status than the methodology , where does the value ultimately lie? A good number of us can be dilletantes while both the artists and the unwitting starve–I’m not so interested in diatribe as dialogue, and quite possibly the methodology is made clear in the execution–I’m just wondering about your opinion–when the raft is jettisoned, what do you consider consomme? Maybe Mr. Hebberoy would call it “meatball soup” (or a thin sugo?) in the interests of appreciating all the resources, and kudos to him if he would, but who is his audience, and why call it a sugo if it really amounts to sauce or a soup, for that purely hypothetical matter? Food. Nourishment–body and soul–isn’t it possible to undermine the TGIFridays of this world with real, simple, or classic, or innovative, but not exclusive, good food?

I never understood much of it, but am thinking if I read it again after drinking considerable amounts, it might make perfect sense.

There are so many stories I could tell, but here are a couple I pulled out of old emails, that may make you smile.

  • Last night was at Gotham Tavern with friends of a friend. After making sure they knew it was very important to me that I was anonymous, one of them told the waiter, “Make sure he get’s an itemized receipt. He’s an important reviewer and has to have it”.
  • “I was having a meal at an Italian restaurant, a last minute invite with seven people I didn’t really know. One of them was some guy fresh off the boat from Italy, who desperately needed an enema. When the appetizers arrived, he stood up in the restaurant and screamed “This is not Italian”, and then stormed directly into the kitchen. He was screaming so loudly, we could hear him from our table. When you are trying to make as little of an impression as possible so you aren’t remembered, this makes it difficult. Fortunately the reservation was not under my name, so I left cash on the table and slunk out the door before the entrees came –  and went to Taco Bell.”
  • A Balvo story. “I was having a quiet little dinner last night (the week they opened). At the end of the meal, when the waitress came around to refill my coffee, the top which hadn’t been screwed on  fell off, and a hot waterfall poured across the table and into my lap. The entire restaurant came to a stop. One word – Ouch. No, I won’t let it effect my review – the restaurant is so bad I don’t need the extra material, and besides, things happen.”

I’ll save the rest for my book ;)

Some of my favorite things are the reams of gossip I’ve gotten over the years from people in all walks of life. Much of it was hearsay, or plain lies, but it made for darn entertaining reading. The best always comes from restaurant employees, frequently chefs, always with the caveat, “Please don’t tell anyone you got this from me… or have ever even communicated with me!” Don’t worry; your secret is safe with me.


Your thoughts are welcome

  1. one swell foop says

    Food Dude…You’re the man…in the best of ways.
    I, too, must admit, I’ve had quite a bit to drink..should probably reserve commenting until a more sober date, but liquid courage says otherwise.

    I’ll miss your site. I don’t know where I’ll direct discriminating diners that sit in my section after this. Typically, I tell them about yelp (if they don’t know) with the disclaimer that everyone and their brother posts there. Then I tell the ones I really like about your site, and the forums. For better or for worse, I also tell them that people with a palate, and educated one at that, post here.

    Props to you for what you contributed to the food community in Portland directly, and by hosting a forum in which people like myself can debate.

    Go you!


  2. Laurel Barton says

    Good one, Dude. You had me going until the link to “News for 4-1-07.” Your service would be missed, especially your ability to start a conversation. But I think you will arise to serve another day.

  3. Rg says

    Dude, Respect is what I have for those that have the nuts to put ideas out that contribute to great dialogue about a wildly varying topic. You won’t always be right on but at least you will be right by stirring the pot, something all good cooks do.

    Your site will be missed, certainly by those that loved to sling back at you but more importantly by those looking to engage in one of this towns greatest gifts, the food.

    Lastly and seriously most importantly, we all hope your health improves and that you somehow find that fountain of health in a great meal at a great restaurant. May the peace of the loaf be always with you.

  4. pdx_yogi says

    Happy April Fools!
    It was obvious long before the links to previous AF stories.
    Very funny, FD.
    The site isn’t “going dark” next week, people.

  5. pdx_yogi says

    And I loved the new Burgerville milk shakes, especially the Morel Madness. I really think that would fly!

  6. says

    Food Dude! Sorry to here of your retirement, but of course I wish you all the best. Thanks for all the great news, information, menus, and of course, reviews. Best of luck with your health and book if you decide to write one.

  7. Shonna says

    Wow. You had me all the way until I read the “shared posts” at the bottom! Ha! Glad to see you are not going anywhere.

  8. rye says

    You totally got me, Dude! I’m sick today and my head is cloudy… eyes started tearing up at the loss of one of my few pleasures in life (geez, how much does that say for my life? No offense, but…..). I didn’t even realize the truth until I started reading the comments! Good one, and don’t you ever scare me like that again!

  9. Jeff Shultz says

    That was very well done… hopefully people aren’t taking you out of their bookmarks and RSS files thinking that you really are going dark.

  10. pdx_yogi says

    Judging from some of these replies, I am guessing some people are doing just that!

  11. devlyn says

    Argh… you totally had me until I read the La Campana review. Fantastic. I was really scared there for a minute (then proceeded to have dreams of becoming a food critic myself.. hahah).

  12. Lur Kerr says

    That is so mean! I actually got teary for you! AAArrrggghhhhh! Please write something condescending and send it to yourself on my behalf…

  13. MyNextMeal says

    Dude – this is just plain mean – not a good joke at all. I’m someone who barely registers major holidays much less minor holidays (St Pats, etc) – I hate April Fools – but it makes me appreciate your site (and the writing therein). Donation time…

    Thumbing through this site is one of my favorite diversions at work…

  14. Morris says

    Is this where I confess to finally understanding what that weird-assed post about silverware on plates was all about?

  15. aps says

    geeze…totally got me.i was bereft…til i continued on & read the comments. thank heavens you aren’t leaving.i am an avid fan. i send everyone i meet to your site.

  16. farmgirl says

    Food Dude just wants to know how much we love him.

    Food Dude: Love you, and what you are doing, which I see a a unique voice in the critical world, and providing a forum for conversation about restaurants. I allow you and your contributors’ the sometime wayward comment or review, as a signifier of being real. Keep it up.

    Today seems to be the tip of the hyperbolic curve of your writing career, however. It seems you can’t top lines like “Precisely timed for maximum upsuck”, or “Cone of Lava Lamp Farms Refried Beans” for creativity. Where will you get the nerve or fodder to top this?

    Note to self, determine if comment about upcoming book is real…then swat self for being an idiot also.

  17. Paul Gerald says

    Thanks for letting me know! I had set aside a $10,000 donation for the site, but gave it to the Papa John’s Community Involvement Fund instead.

  18. one swell foop says

    Yep….didn’t check my dates and times. A better, and more sober me is going to go off and be embarrassed now.

  19. amanda says

    I agree with thebean! I hope you are in good health and will keep publishing for a very long time.

  20. fooddemon says

    That was a good one Food Dude! Had me going for a while. Even used the UFKS on my servers at our pre-shift meeting! Told them all that they had to memorize the new signals by the weekend. Of course when they started reading the descriptions the gig was up. But had them going for a bit. Glad you are not going anywhere soon!

  21. Jack Yoss says

    I love the review of Campana. It is actually one of our favorite restaurants in the states. Keep it up dude, you are a funny man.

  22. Kristin says

    Sorry you aren’t feeling well and also sorry that a well-placed grammatical error on my part over 3 years ago is considered a highlight of your career.

    Wish I would have had time to check my posts back then for my sake, but if it gave you a little joy, good!

    Great site, for the most part!

  23. Olivia says

    I love this site and I’ve been reading your reviews and the forum for about three years now. I will miss it terribly :(. I wish you the best for your next journey.