Gretchen Kurtz on Hunger Pains and the Restaurant Reviewer's Role

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

When I put away my wigs (as if!) and pseudonyms at the end of 2015, I thought I was retiring as a restaurant critic. I loved the job, but after nearly five years of reviewing, both at Westword and a previous publication, it was time for a break. My kids needed to see their mom. My cholesterol needed some TLC. Hell, I needed to see if I was still human, or if all the stored-up calories had turned me into some previously unseen species capable of going without eating for months at a time.

At some point, though, a funny thing happened. I think they call it a hunger pang. My appetite for reviewing, both literally and figuratively, had returned. Retirement, it turns out, was only a sabbatical.

Rest assured that my mission as a professional critic is unchanged: honesty, anonymity and a little fun along the way. Because I respect and admire the hardworking souls who staff our city’s restaurants — from dishwashers to servers to executive chefs — as much as I do the readers asking where to eat tonight, my reviews will always be a no-spin zone. My role is simply to praise what is working and point out what isn’t, trusting that candor will help our city’s excellent food scene get even stronger.

So join me as I seek out the spots — some new, some old — that delight, entertain and nourish us. Got a restaurant you think is worthy of being reviewed? Let me know at gretchen.kurtz@westword.com.

Read Gretchen Kurtz's critique of The Preservery, the first restaurant she reviewed in her revived role.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.