In advance of Gretchen Kurtz's debut next week as the new Cafe critic, we asked some of our previous restaurant reviewers to weigh in -- and given their jobs, we do mean weigh in -- with advice for our new newest critic. Kyle Wagner, our reviewer for close to a decade who's now the travel editor at the Denver Post, served up her thoughts first; Laura Shunk followed yesterday.
And now we have advice from John Kessler, who left Westword for a gig at the Post and is now at the Atlanta Journal Constitution:
1) Don't sweat your first Best Of, even if they ask you to name the best hot dog in Denver and the only one you recall having eaten in the past year was at 7/Eleven.
2) Don't sweat your first hate mail. It will come early and will probably be about that 7/Eleven hot dog.
3) Don't freak out when you notice a reader has taken one of your first print reviews and sent it back to an editor with teeny tiny notations all over that prove you're a sexual deviant who can't be trusted. If you do freak out, let Calhoun buy you beers.
4) Don't be surprised when you mention the existence of a child at your table and all the comments on your post will be about baby hellions in restaurants.
5) Don't distrust your bullshit detector. If that plate of fried pig tails garnished with a weird foamy substance isn't working for you, there's a reason.
6) Don't forget the cheesy theme restaurants when you find you can't write about weird foamy substances any more. Is Casa Bonita still there?
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