Leffing New York: Sayeth Leff, “Don’t Use My Book!”

Last week, I began a new category: “Leffing New York.” In it, I planned to use Jim Leff’s “Eclectic Gourmet Guide to Greater New York City” to find cool and interesting places to eat. Since then I received an e-mail from noneother than the man himself, the founder of Chowhound–Mr. Jim Leff.

Here is a snippet from his e-mail that I hope he doesn’t mind me sharing:

” I’m flattered at your kind mention, but THIS BOOK IS FIVE YEARS OLD, an eternity in the chow world. The tips therein are staler than hell. You may still hit the odd success, but I in NO way recommend using it as your guide, much less recommending it to others.”

Point taken! Since then, though, we’ve had a friendly correspondence. He sent me an addendum to the book that basically says every place in it burned down. He then made the following offer:

“If you want to continue working through the book and even reporting on it, great BUT please note to your readers and yourself that it’s ancient. Use this updated information. Double check with Chowhound. Or, if you want, shoot me an email and I’ll say thumbs up or thumbs down or give you a confused shrug and anxiously await your updated findings. Sort of like chow archaeology!”

You heard it here first, folks: I am now Jim Leff’s personal gastroarcheological research assistant. (How’s that for a job description?) Leffing under the hand of Leff: it doesn’t get any better than that. To quote Sonny and Chef: “And the Leff Leffs on…”

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