How the Institutional Racism of Yesterday Still Reverberates Today
When the Oregonian dismissed food critic Roger Porter in August, the fear was the Portland's lone daily would highlight "home-grown chains" instead of, you know, good restaurants. Well, those fears were right. So horribly, horribly right. As mentioned in Good Morning News today, the "non-foodies food guide" hit the streets in what is either a misguided shot across the bow at Portland's nationally respected food community or just the worst article you will read in a long time. Perhaps both! The Palin-esque, aw-shucks introduction is a good hint of what is to come in this Lee Williams-penned piece:
I am not a foodie.
To me, food is what you eat, not what you pray to.
Was that an Eat Pray Love joke? Regardless, it gets worse from there as the article highlights—without being ironic—such establishments Dutch Bros. Coffee, Old Spaghetti Factory, Sayler's Old Country Kitchen, Shari's, and Taco Time. All of which are fine, but Williams praises them more for what they are not (hip, elitist, covered by those rascally food bloggers) than for what they are.
"Twist my arm for a place that sells pie 24 hours," says painter Rich Gagne, 41, from his booth at Shari's on Northeast Airport Way, where he's indulging in a slice of apple pie. "I like food, but I don't spend my time going to the 'It' restaurants.
Listen, this isn't a foodie vs. non-foodie issue. No human on earth should have access to pie 24 hours a day. I'm not going to twist your gravy-filled arm over it, but don't praise Shari's food when their accessibility is their lone virtue. Besides, if you want pie at 1am, go to Whiffles. It's better than Shari's, probably cheaper, and equally as unhealthy.
But make no mistake, Williams is no square, he is totes hip to the Twitters and the rock and/or roll:
Did you hear about the latest foodie craze? Gourmet taco trucks.
Often, they don't have a set site: The owners announce where they'll be serving their high-end grub on Twitter (see, for example, twitter.com/koifusionpdx). Foodies follow them around like 'tweens with Bieber fever.
Zing! Wait, what? Why would you call out Koi Fusion, when their tacos are just as affordable as the Crispy Juan taco that Taco Time slings? Or is the argument that a Twitter presence makes Koi Fusion's food elitist when Taco Time seems to use Twitter just fine?
Note to the the Taco Time franchise owner who claims their food will pass a "blind taste-test" with authentic Mexican carts—you know, the kind run by actual Mexicans, not a guy named Todd Pedersen. You, sir, are insane. Bring it on. Maybe you can post about it on Twitter for those of us with the Bieber fever.
Get the best of the Mercury each week in your inbox!