Mimi Sheraton Responds To Le Bernardin, Mabel Responds To My Pancakes

In the comments of my Q&A with Le Bernardin, I noticed a response from Mimi Sheraton, former dining critic for The New York Times:

“Since when do chefs, maitre d’s, restaurateurs, etc. decide what makes a 4-star restaurant? I gave 4-stars to a few restaurants that had no dress code and would again.

Does that mean a terrific sushi place cannot get 4 stars? Or a bbq place? Or a steak house?

Ridiculous.”

Meanwhile, on my Strawberry Pancake post, self-described pancake critic Mabel has this to say:

“If my pancaks looked like that i would throw them in the trash. I would never serve then to anyone.”

The internet is a harsh place, man.

25 comments

  1. I thought your pancakes looked delicious. I’ll have to take pictures of some of my monstrosities so you’ll feel better about yours.

  2. A nice-looking pancake is great and all, but I’d rather they taste good, personally. It’s a *pancake*.

  3. While I agree with Mabel, on the look of your pancakes (sorry Adam), I’ve also changed my stance on dress code since you last blogged about it (and I last responded to it). I thought about it. I am coming into the city for the gourmet food show this weekend, and wanted to pick a nice place to eat possibly lunch or dinner at. Then I thought about it, all the places I want to go have a dress code and there is no way this bridge-tunnel-what-exit-new-jerseyite is going to suit up, schlep through the city all day at the gourmet food show, then hit up dinner. Fiance said “pick one or the other, fine dinning or food show, but no way am I schepping in heels and a dress all day on a Sunday”.

    For the bridge/tunnel crowd going into the city and spending all day being a “tourist” for a day (yep, still considered a tourist even though I train it in to the office everyday), it somewhat stinks that I can’t enjoy some restaurants, I can’t necessarily back a suit in my backpack.

  4. Sorry Adam, I almost always love your food photos and think they look awesome but these pancakes are not doing it for me.

  5. I might not serve them to people who thought presentation matters, but most of the people I feed only care about how it tastes. In fact, most of them don’t let the food sit on the plate long enough to notice how it looks.

  6. Adam, I have been silently reading your blog for a year and a half now, I always find it witty and refreshing and completely lovely. It’s one of my favorite things to read every day. I think your pancakes look like pancakes, and I like pancakes. I think what ms mabel said was rude, I’d eat your pancakes anytime:)

  7. I’m puzzled by Mabel. I’m thinking she might just be a jealous vicious hater-ish type who doesn’t know how to spell pancakes. Except for the fact that a few of the pancakes might be a little too dark (and some people like them that way), they have that lovely crisp edge that’s exactly what a lot of us go for in pancakes. I personally hate those big generic wagon wheel pancakes. I like little lacy crisp-edged ones like yours much better.

    Which is why it’s so frustrating that the link is broken, and I can’t see your recipe.

  8. I personally hate those big generic wagon wheel pancakes. I like little lacy crisp-edged ones like yours much better.

    Agreed, Julie. Typical internet posturing on the part of people like Mabel to pretend there is One True Way of pancakes that all must aspire to or be deemed failures.

  9. For what it is worth I would dig those pancakes out of Mabel’s trash…nothing a little more powdered sugar couldn’t fix! I would be delighted if someone served such pancakes to me.

  10. There is nothing wrong with your pancakes, they just have a “rustic” look of pancakes that you make while camping. I think they are one of the food items where that is perfectly acceptable.

  11. Mabel’s right.

    The internet isn’t harsh, just truthful.Take a lesson from the new-agers. Think of her advise as a “gift.”

  12. I think Mabel was just confused. You were talking about pancakes, but she was thinking of pancaks. In which case, I’d agree with her. Those are some crappy looking pancaks. But for pancakes, I wouldn’t turn up my nose at them :)

  13. Wow… harsh people! I don’t see any of them posting photos of their perfect, lovely non-burned circular pancakes on the internet. I am not a pancake person, nor breakfast good of any sort. But if I were to make them, they certainly would look much worse than yours.

  14. Sadly, you can’t choose your audience when you’re on the internet. There will always be nay-sayers, some more prolific than others and sometimes by people who can actually spell and cook!

    My mantra is: if you want to be intimidated by me..go ahead enjoy yourself! Mabel obviously doesn’t have a blog where she could post pictures of her “perfect” pancaks!

  15. As to the pancakes, you just need to rename them as Blackened Strawberry Pancakes. New Orleans style. :)

  16. At the heart of the argument is why we go to a restaurant. Purely for the food? Or for the experience?

    If purely for the food then Mimi Sheraton is totally correct. I tend to agree with that line of thinking.

    If it is for the experience, then perhaps if one person who dresses in jeans would ruin the experience for someone else? And maybe that’s why the French joints pamper you with service. And let’s take the argument all the way through, if the actions of one person (in this case dressing not up to par) can ruin a perfect dining experience, then so would photography in a restaurant. And then the apostles of that famed restaurant in the east village would seem to be contradicting itself when saying, “it’s food, eat it.”

    Also at the end of the day, restaurants are no different than Home Depot or Walmart. They do it because the repeat customers want it.

  17. AG, Mabel’s rant is a compliment. You are now a full fledged CELEBRITY and everyone is gonna want to take a hit at you. Your next banner should be reflective of this newfound status – maybe the likes of flying Angelinas, Brittneys, Toms and Oprahs should appear along with your pancaks.

  18. Well….you are the Amateur Gourmet….how long have you even been cooking for yourself? Maybe she’s been making pancakes since she was 10….I bet you were an Eggo waffle kind of kid.

  19. Well, as long as we’re being bi*chy, if that’s a direct quote from Mabel, maybe she should have spent more time on her spelling than her pancake-making.

  20. I thought the pancakes looked like the ones my grandma used to make. I’d eat those in a heartbeat. I, too, am left wondering about all the haters…

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