Ed Levine at Serious Eats spends more time on diners than anyone rightly should.
Diners, or proto-diner establishments, have been a part of American life for more than 140 years now […] They have played a significant role in art high and low, from Edward Hopper’s ‘Nighthawks’ painting to Barry Levinson’s Diner movie. You’d be hard pressed to find a year in American television and film that doesn’t have at least one scene set in a diner. I’d even go so far as to call it the quintessentially American restaurant.
He even goes on to recommend some NYC diners and which dish to get at them, which, to me, defeats the purpose of the diner…they are not destination establishments, but purely about convenience.
Brian Palmer at Slate makes a fairly convincing argument to abolish tipping in America.
Tipping does not incentivize hard work. The factors that correlate most strongly to tip size have virtually nothing to do with the quality of service. Credit card tips are larger than cash tips. Large parties with sizable bills leave disproportionately small tips. We tip servers more if they tell us their names, touch us on the arm, or draw smiley faces on our checks. Quality of service has a laughably small impact on tip size. According to a 2000 study, a customer’s assessment of the server’s work only accounts for between 1 and 5 percent of the variation in tips at a restaurant.
He makes several good points, however, most foreigners I’ve spoken with absolutely love the service they get while in American restaurants, and they believe that tipping is a huge part of that.
The Times’ Pete Wells reviews Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar in Times Square:
GUY FIERI, have you eaten at your new restaurant in Times Square? Have you pulled up one of the 500 seats at Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar and ordered a meal? Did you eat the food? Did it live up to your expectations?
When you hung that sign by the entrance that says, WELCOME TO FLAVOR TOWN!, were you just messing with our heads?
EVERYTHING about this review is just so so awesome.
Eater has posted the harshest lines of the review with pictures of cats.
UPDATE: The Times Public Editor weighed in on whether such overwhelmingly negative reviews should be written, saying:
Is it ever really acceptable for criticism to be so over the top, considering that there are human beings behind every venture? I think it is. That kind of brutal honesty is sometimes necessary. If it is entertaining, all the better. The exuberant pan should be an arrow in the critic’s quiver, but reached for only rarely.
6. Frat boys, drunk chicks, bachelorettes, and hammered CEO’s: please stop doing cocaine and throwing up in our bathrooms. Go to a house party or your hotel room if you need to get wasted.
9. Drinking melted ice and calling it a cocktail. I’m sorry, you already drank your cocktail. Now you’re just drinking a memory.
I’m glad I’m not guilty of any of them (so far).