I have had a lot of pleasant dining experiences during my lifetime, but being an “amateur foodie” was one of the greatest.
Normally you just select a favorite restaurant to dine with friends or business associates and if you liked the place, you went back, if not, then…. But being a temporary food critic was fun.
Even though I didn’t gain respect from Lee Klein, restaurant “critic” for The Miami New Times, I’m not worried. I didn’t go to these places to trash them; I went to critique the food, the service, the ambiance, etc. and that’s what I did. I really did like the ones I went to, even though one could have used larger wine glasses.
I have been to hundreds of four and five star restaurants in many cities across the country over the last 50 years and some were great, some were mediocre and others were just plain junk. But I never trashed the places because that’s not what I do. Criticism does not have to be unkind.
By the way, Mr. Klein, you may like Simon Cowell and his kind, but I think he is a crass, uncouth, ill-tempered bully whose snooty, “I’m better than you” attitude is just a camouflage for a timid little coward who was unloved growing up.
Now was that critique good enough for you, Mr. Klein?
But I digress! Being a temporary food critic was great; but just being a part of the whole Check, Please! experience was really très cool.
If someone had asked me fifty years ago what I wanted to do in my lifetime, sitting at Michelle’s table drinking great wine discussing food and restaurant ambiance would not have been one of them.
But there I was, having the time of my life which was only heightened several days later when a nice lady came up to me at Wal-Mart and asked, “Didn’t I see you on TV?”
I have been seen on TV before many times, but it has normally been at a political or fund-raising event and the persons commenting on seeing me usually were friends.
But here I was walking out of Wal-Mart, minding my own business and a perfect stranger recognizes me from, of all things, Check, Please!
Fan....tastic! Now do I have to start worrying about Paparazzi? Très cool!!
-- Barbara Howard, Guest on Check, Please! South Florida, Episode 101