Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Getting Brunied: Waiting For a New York Restaurant To Get an Overly FRANK review

Can A So-So Review Convince The Crowds To Go Elsewhere At Freeman's?, a blog that does a workmanlike job of covering the comings and goings at New York's five zillion restaurants, had contributions recently from an owner of Freeman 's, a popular Lower East Side hangout most notable for being in an alley. You gotta know where to find it and plenty of hipsters and wannabe hipsters have done just that over the last two years.
So has New York Times restaurant slayer Frank Bruni. The missives on Eater from William Tigertt of Freeman's dwelled first on when Bruni was spotted in the restaurant, fretting over the menu and then hoping for the best after Bruni called with some questions along with Times fact-checkers.
He wrote on Monday:

It makes me sad to think that tomorrow night I will sitting in my office in front of a computer clicking reload on the New York Times webpage until carpal tunnel syndrome sets in. I would much rather be carousing dive bars with my co-workers, self-medicating our jitters, and celebrating whatever victories and setbacks the past two years of New York has thrown at us.

Which is why it will be interesting to see what Tigertt will write next, given that Bruni's review in today's Times gave the restaurant zero stars, saddling it with the kiss-of-death "satisfactory" rating. Such reviews make for good reading if not eating.

The folks at Eater, unabashed fans of Freeman's are fulminating. They had been expecting a one-star review, with a two-star assessment a distant possibility. "[H]is sticking Freemans with a Satisfactory this week is somewhat inexplicable in that it reads mostly as an "I told you so" wrist slap."

But the thinking at Eater is Freeman's has a healthy coat of Teflon to fend off even the worst Bruni barbs. Keep that order of grilled Cheddar toast warm for me, in the meantime.

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