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Aug 27, 2008 11:07 AM

Whither Dale Rice?

Will we survive?

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  1. Who will be replacing Dale as the food critic for the statesman?

    2 Replies
    1. re: foodcoyote

      Who knows even if there will be a Statesman. Cox is divesting of several papers and the Statesmen is one of them.

      1. He has been a great testimonial to the Statesman's languishing mediocrity for many, many years. It's not easy to replace an icon like that.

        1. Who cares? Does anybody take him seriously anyway? I mean, a purported restaurant critic who doesn't drink - and thus can't sample and report on what is for many a very important part of the meal - give me a break!

          1. I'll chime in: I'm Addie Broyles, the food writer who replaced Kitty Crider in May. I will NOT be replacing Dale Rice; in fact, restaurant criticism isn't something I'm particularly interesting in. (I leave that up to you all!) I'm here to write the stories behind the food: the chefs, the ingredients, the tools, cooking at home, eating together, eating alone. You get the idea.

            Agree or disagree with Dale, he'll be hard to replace, and though I'm assured there are plans to replace him, I don't know who or when. It is possible, however, that I might do a few reviews to tide us over.

            And yes, the newspaper is for sale, but our jobs haven't changed. We're still reporting, writing and providing news to Central Texas readers, both in print and online. No one will deny that the future of print is murky, but you'd be surprised how Web saavy this newsroom is; if you haven't been to or in awhile, you might check it out.

            If you have any other questions, feel free to e-mail me:

            Happy chowing!

            3 Replies
            1. re: albatx

              Albatx, Thank you for joining in with your very interesting comments. I have enjoyed what you write for the AAS. I don't want to stray too far off topic but I believe in having a restuarant reviewer. Just like movie reviewers, even if you don't agree with them, at least they provide a metric upon which to base a decision of some sort. However, with regard to Austin360, the reason a lot of us are here on Chowhound is because they dispensed with their similar eating discussion group. Also, and I think I am correct in this, DR's restuarant were in chronological order till one day I called them and advised them that it would be so useful to put them in alpabetical order. Also there were times when the title of his review would not contain the name of the place they reviewed and I requested that the name be added. Soon after my call, it seems they took my advice. With all due respect, since it has been a while that I have looked at the food section, I felt from the beginning that Austin360 conisted of more flash than substance. Thank you, JW

              1. re: singlemalt

                Agreed with singlmalt. The graphic-laden, garishly colored site wreaks havoc on my rods and cones. And, it's quite a chore to find substantive content.

                That being said, I'm not sure I fully get the utility of a local restaurant reviewer. It seems a bit anachronistic. So much of a diner's response to a particular dish is so visceral and subjective that I tend to not rely heavily on the musings of a single data point. Sites that aggregate user-generated reviews of local culinary offerings are far more valuable, in my opinion, than the opinions of an anointed gastronomy-king.

                1. re: jackietreehorn

                  The site is annoying, and the newspaper in general is pretty useless. There are a couple of writers there I still like (Michael Corcoran in particular), but really, people trust the Chronicle so much more, and frankly, this site is even better. That said, I wish Broyles luck--she might turn out to be one of the good ones.

                  One thing I will say is one of the reasons the reviewers tend to be irrelevant is most of us find it rather transparent that the reviews are generally geared (in both local papers) to advertising. The only bad review I can ever recall in the Statesman (which I heartily agreed with, btw) is of Casa De Luz.

            2. I love reading food critics and restaurant reviews but the Statesman's have not interested me for many, many years. I normally don't bother to see what restaurant they're reviewing anymore.

              On the other hand, the Austin Chronicle dining section is wonderful. They provide many of the sophisticated details of a restaurant that the Statesman misses. I feel very confident also that a Chronicle reviewer will be anonymous. The Statesman liked to pretend that Dale Rice dined in anonymity but in actuality either the chef/owner would know what he looked like (because Rice liked to keep a high profile around town at foodie events) or because the restaurant was a regular advertiser and would be told what day and time to expect Rice's visit.