Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The reviews are in

This Saturday I bought a copy of the Hamilton Spectator – the only time I do that is when I or someone I know is featured. Or, you know, when I have to pack breakables or line a hamster cage.

This time it was for the review of The Alex – the restaurant in Burlington that you should have tried by now. The review was glowing and that’s all great, but for me, it was sullied by the embarrassing writing style of the reviewer.


John Kernaghan does the reviews and I wish the article had supplied a picture of him (yes, I’m just too lazy to go find it online) because I find that when I hate someone’s writing, I need to know what they look like. The same thing is true when I’m driving behind someone really slow or oblivious. That’s why there are plenty of pictures of my mug on this site, so if you hate it, you can match the annoyance with my pretty face.

Here are some of the literary gem nuggets (n.b. ‘literary gem nuggets’ being one on its own):

“Chef Matthew Kershaw has fashioned a menu with interesting twists and turns producing excellent results.” This reads like a M. Night Shyamalan movie review. A bad one. It’s such a cheesy sentence.

“They jumped with flavour and sat on coarse mango slaw enlivened with a lime-mint-honey dressing.” I hate when people describe cooked food with verbs. If my shrimp is still jumping around, there are larger fish to fry.

“The meat was tender in two-bite pieces with a lush potato pillow … with a delightful chorus of tomato, fennel and bacon.” This sentence bugs me the most. Was it really necessary to indicate how big the pieces of pork were? Will he next tell me, in his opinion, how many chews it will take to finish the pieces? I can’t think of a more ridiculous phrase than “lush potato pillow”. It’s gnocchi, John, stop making it so sensual. Chorus?!? Come on!! Argh.

“A third item left fast-food bacon features in its lively dust.” Well, I should hope so. Are you comparing The Alex’s Trio of Bacon to Wendy’s Baconator? Are you!?!?

It’s just all so phony. Listen, people, the gist of this post is:
Go to The Alex. It’s awesome. But, if you ask for the lush potato pillows or to have your bacon livened up, I should hope that you’ll be asked to leave.

Oh, and yes, for those who are sitting there thinking, “Wow, she’s such a bitch. I doubt she could write something better” well, you’re both right and wrong. I am and I can.
I will.


  1. Glad to see "The Alex" featured in the Spec. But agreed, terrible review. I was more focused his use of words than on the topic at hand.

  2. I'm still waiting for you're better-written review... just saying =)