After years of being thought lost to the world, the diary of retired food critic Todd Ramsey was discovered in an uncharacteristic place for the renowned reviewer -- the bathroom stall of a roadside Waffle House. In it are full accounts into the origin of his greatest pieces, giving back story to not only the man himself, but insight on his unique take on fine dining and cuisine. His career sent him around the world in search of gourmet meals, but this latest discovery unveils a stark contrast to the elegant writer Ramsey was known as on the surface. Here are is a section of his entries:
Château de L'excès
Location: New York Cuisine types: Southern French country styles; focused in Marseilles-style seafood Chef: Clément Baillarger Duration open at time of review: 14 months Average rating globally: 3.75 of 4 stars
I can't believe I'm being sent to another damn French restaurant. The mag gives me 12 reviews out of the year and they want to waste four of them on this. I mean who thinks Americanized versions of this stuff is worth it? It's as French as Pepe Le Pew. Totes eating mini bar snacks tonight. Maybe there are some Funyuns. Those things are the best.
There's a line of snarky trust funders outside the building. I’m sure each person is so unique. Case in point: I overhear three "smart" conversations about "Annie Hall," two of which highlighting his ability to break the fourth wall and talk to the audience. "Weekend at Bernie's," now there's a movie. Totally underrated. Which makes me wonder -- what is Jonathan Silverman doing these days?
The location isn't much to look at. And why the hell would they name this place Chateau? It means castle, and it's wedged between a bodega and bookstore. It's hardly the masonry marvel they're claiming. Thank God I can eat an actual dinner at the Armenian-run pizza place down the street.
The place is bustling inside. Or is it bursting? Anyway, the waiter hands me the menu without making eye contact; it's obvious this place is so popular that they don’t have to focus on service. First look at the menu seems complicated/overdone. Snails that are cooked twice, before being fire roasted and then stuffed into duck? Makes no sense, but then again neither did them sending us the Statue of Liberty. I’m ordering it anyways.
But seriously, what happened to all the stereotypical french foods? Now you can bury a burger in a beurre blanc sauce and it's automatically haute French cuisine. Is it so much to ask for people to keep it simple and go back to the basics? Regardless, this place is automatically losing points for no frog legs or a even a bowl of French onion soup. God, a slice of cheese on some french fries sounds great right now.
Worst moment of the night: Seeing my second proposal of the night. This time the ring was in a white chocolate and truffle creme brulee.
Waiter drops dish at my table, still not making eye contact. Dafuq is this? Everything on this plate is covered in sauce. "Ooo la la, look at me. I'm French." Give me a break. It’s extremely salty; the duck tastes like old people look; and I can’t find any of the snail in this cream sauce.
Side note: I wonder how Wu Tang pieced together “C.R.E.A.M.?” Like, did RZA and GZA just get everybody in the same room with their own stuff and just make it happen? I should research that.
Andrew Plock is a blogging intern and a Level 2 student at Dallas Comedy House. When he’s not impersonating everything in earshot, he is cracking a whip as the Managing Editor for THWRD Magazine in Dallas.