Monday, May 5, 2008

Urban Elites mount anthropological expedition to the Outback (Steakhouse)

It looks like there is widespread bemused incredulity at the New York Times latest attempt to paint itself as the paper of latte sippin' out-of-touch elites. Basically, the premise is that the NYT food critics took trips out to suburban chain restaurants to report on how the natives could subsist on such fare... and, yes, it really is that arrogant and insulting. To give an example, one reviewer expresses confusion at how "those coasterlike disks that light up when your table has been called" work. Uhm, right. So what's the punch line? They found out that suburban chain restaurants really aren't that bad (except for Applebees whose customers they essentially call simple minded children).

Now, I certainly make a habit of not eating at chain restaurants whenever I'm in a decent sized city... and since I live in one of those cities, I can't remember when was the last time I ate at a national chain... maybe an Outback Steakhouse for somebody's birthday 4 or 5 years ago. Regardless, I know how they work and that, for the most part, they are decent places to eat and it's not some sort of black mark on your soul to live in a place where national chains are the only reliable option. It seriously strains credibility to assert that these places are complete mysteries to our sophisticated reporters, when in fact, these chains are all over New York City.

Honestly, if you wanted to parody Sneering Elites, then this would pretty much be the text book example.