Young and Hungry

Critics Attacking Critics Attacking Critics. Where Will It End? Not Here.

Earlier this week, I posted an item on NBC Washington naming Lauriol Plaza as the "Best Mexican" joint in D.C., which has generated a fair number of comments, pro and con, on the Tex-Mex behemoth. But some of the better commentary has come from other sources, including my own Gmail account, where a friend back in Texas insists I went soft on NBC Washington's Sery Kim:

"Dude! Where's the snark? You're not filing an amicus curiae brief here. You're entertaining the burrito-gobbling masses! I think I need to come up to D.C. and teach you how to be a bitch, Bitch..."

Now, this insult comes from a friend, mind you. This morning, however, Editor Andrew forwarded this item from the Examiner where Jasmine Touton (who, ahem, "itches to discover unique eateries with raw authenticity") thinks I was a little harsh on Kim. Touton writes:

Carman proceeds to insult Kim's knowledge of South of the Border cuisine by naming where all of his synapses must have skipped a beat. [Y&H aside to Touton: I believe Kim is a woman.]

Eek. Let the food fight begin, I'm stepping out of the cafeteria.

Not so fast there, Touton. You don't drop a bag of flaming dog crap on my porch and just run away. That's not the way it works here at Food Critics Central.

OK, for some reason, you want to move from Mexican food to Salvadoran food, as if, I guess, all Latin food were the same. Europeans, of course, think the same thing about their cuisines. But I'll play along: If you want a good pupusa, check out the ones at Sabor Carry Out in Silver Spring. Or check out the whole pupusa truck story we did earlier this year.

As far as good Mexican eats in the District, you can't get much better than this pair: Taqueria Nacional on Capitol Hill and the two outlets of Taqueria Distrito Federal, one in Columbia Heights and the other in Petworth. I'd also throw Mixtec into the mix (though I risk the wrath of Loose Lips, who insists on ordering shitty burritos from a Oaxacan-oriented restaurant). Oyamel, of course, is a no brainer.

Other decent options include these suburban purveyors: El Golfo (which is one of the better restaurants at melding Mexican and Salvadoran) and Samantha's (ditto), both in Silver Spring. I'm also a fan of Guajillo in Arlington, which is owned by the same folks who run Casa Oaxaca in Adams Morgan.

Satisfied yet, Jasmine?

  • Jeff

    I think you elevated Ms. Kim to a level not really deserved in writing an entry about her review. I'm sure there have been many positive reviews written in different publications around town and you only chose to quote the bad ones to make your case.

    Reviews are opinions, which will differ. By writing on Ms. Kim's review, which is one step above a blog, you opened yourself up to criticism. It really is irrelevant how bad the food is a LP, even if the other places you quote are clearly better.

    Did Ms. Kim have to quote other restaurants in comparison in her review? I don't see you doing that in yours.

    No pity from me......

  • Tim Carman


    I don't think you have to make comparisons to other restaurants when reviewing, but I think if you're going to call one restaurant the best of any genre, particularly one that gets routinely bashed, you must perform a better accounting than NBC Washington did.

    But I agree with you on this: Kim's post probably didn't deserve all the attention it has received. But, hey, that's the nature of the blogosphere or, as I call it, the gasbagosphere.

  • Jeff

    Appreciate the reply, Tim. I'll say that at the very least, this is all very entertaining!

  • Jasmine

    This is more of what I was looking for. Satisfied? yes.