Shonna Milliken Humphrey's recent four and a half star review of Standard Gastropub raised a few questions: Did the Maine Sunday Telegram switch to a 10-star scale? If not, how can the following review excerpts be reconciled with a rating that stands midway between "excellent" and "extraordinary" and should be reserved for only the finest dining experiences in the state?
· "The space itself is a work in progress ... "
· "No desserts, yet, but [the server/owner] described why (summer competition with the local ice cream places), and his rationale made sense."
· "It's not really a pub though, and joint doesn't quite do it justice. Restaurant is too formal, and snack bar can't begin to describe the level of food quality. It's just ... food in a gas station."
The review was so mind-boggling, it left Joe Ricchio with no option but to write a parody of it on his Food Coma blog. Here's a bit from his version, which is safe for work as long as you work in place that embraces the F-word and group sex references:
"Before I get started on describing my hands-down favorite thing, I will preface that by telling you I would, as Cyndi Lauper once said, 'Drive all night' just for another opportunity to tongue-jack a mason jar full of macaroni and cheese."
In other (related?) news, the Maine Sunday Telegram is looking for a new restaurant critic. Dust off that resume, Joe.
UPDATE: Nancy Heiser, who shares the restaurant critic duties with Humphrey, responded to an email from Eater Maine and said that she is the reviewer that will be departing the Maine Sunday Telegram. She writes: "I leave by choice. It's my idea and decision. I have totally loved this gig, the newspaper has been great to work for, there are no bad feelings. I have a tough skin, so no concerns there, either. It's simply that it's been almost three years for me, and I feel the column's freshness is important. I am ready for something new, and I know there are capable writers and food lovers in Maine ready to step in."
· It's Well Worth the Drive to Refuel at Standard Gastropub [MST]
· The Press Herald Strikes Again: Standard Gastropub [Food Coma]
· Maine Sunday Telegram Seeks New Restaurant Critic [PPH]