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Jun 28, 2006 12:37 PM

[SAT] -- In case you haven't picked up your NYT this morning...

R.W. Apple fawns over La Reve:

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  1. Great read! It may be time for an overnight roadtrip to SA!

    1. Newspapers? We don’t need no stinkin’ papers! We’re chowhounds!

      From the Chowhound FAQ:

      " ~ Isn't [a chowhound] the same thing as a foodie?

      Definitely not. Foodies eat where they're told. They get excited about the hot new restaurant/cookbook/ingredient. They'll go to unfamiliar neighborhoods to eat, but only with their Zagat securely in hand to guide them to The Accepted Places.

      Chowhounds, by contrast, are iconoclasts who spurn trends and established opinion and sniff out secret deliciousness on their own. The places they find and frequent today will show up in newspaper reviews in two years and in Zagat in four (by which time the restaurants usually will have grown crowded, overpriced, and lousy)."

      What an obnoxious article—-from the perspective of a local 'hound. We don’t need the New York Times to tell us where to find good food. (By the way, Biga on the Banks is totally overrated.) And I love the way the reviewer all but spelled out that Le Rêve’s food is too good for San Antonio, which is exactly what Chef Weissman said that he hates to hear.

      3 Replies
      1. re: MPH


        Apple is hardly a food snob. He's written extensively on chowhound-ish topics.

        Here's an article from when he covered the closing NOLA's Uglesich's.

        He's also very tight with Calvin Trillan, and that's enough for me.


        1. re: ebraun

          Thanks for the link, eb.

          Some context for my post above: I responded to the OP when this was on the Texas board. The “now it’s official that the food is good” angle is especially irksome to (some of) us locals because we’ve known about Le Rêve all along. In addition, I'm offended by the marveling tone of much press coverage of out-of-town restaurants. You know, the whole "sometimes the most beautiful flowers can bloom even in impoverished soil" bit.

          When I lived in Brooklyn, the NYT wasn't my favorite source for chow tips, though some of the reviews are very well-written. But I've got nothing against this guy in particular. And it’s always satisfying when a good place gets good press.

          You’re the first chowhound to lure me off the Texas board. Thanks for inviting the exchange.


          1. re: MPH


            Oh yeah, I understand what you mean about that. I've lived in "fly-over" territory my whole life, including 7 years in Austin and the last 3 in Ann Arbor.

            Johnny Apple is just one of my favorite food writers out there. I just wouldn't dismiss him for being a little condescending in this instance.

      2. True dat, MPH.

        But don't forget this from the FAQs, too.

        "Chowhounds go way out of their way to find good food at any price. They’re savvy enough to appreciate value. Why buy rugelach at Balducci's when it’s available at the baker's outlet in Brooklyn at a fraction of the cost? But they also know certain pleasures come at a price -- foie gras ain't cheap, and Chateau Margaux is one terrific drink. No pleasure is gladly missed."

        Johnny Apple may not be the official arbiter of Chowhound tastes, but, personally, I won't ignore any recommendation for good food ... NYT's or MPH's.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Kirk

          I'm with you there, Kirk. I hate it when people assume that chowhounds only eat food that costs less than $10 a plate. We're obsessed with finding the best versions of every kind of chow.

          And I love Le Rêve.

          I don't mean to imply that interesting food recs should be ignored. But I am wary of the opinions of many "food experts." Finding out about new places or unique dishes from fellow ‘hounds is what I love about this board.

          And I really don’t like that surprised, condescending tone when the out-of-town press finally discovers how good our best can be.

          1. re: MPH

            I must confess, I have lived in Texas all my life and when I ate at Le Reve I, too, was surprised that a place that great was in San Antonio. Live and learn I guess. I didn't think Apple's piece was condescending at all. It just pointed out the same feelings I had about the restaurant.

        2. You mean, the "OhmyGod, lookat this...noteveryoneinTexaswearcowboyhatsandeatsTacoBell" attitude?

          I am with you on that, MPH.

          1. You mean some people still read The New York Times?

            1 Reply
            1. re: Leper

              Apparently, based on the SWIFT story reaction, the White House and most of the conservatives columnists in the country do!