Pete Wells Lances Javelina

NYT restaurant critic rings this margarita assignment with shade.

Twitter has been going crazy today for New York Times critic Pete Wellsreview of Gramercy Park Tex-Mex joint Javelina, and as soon as you read just a few paragraphs, you’ll understand why. It’s one master stroke of upside-down praise after another.

Here’s one of our favorite backhanded tips of the sombrero:

At most restaurants, you are served what you ask for so routinely that your eyes glaze over with boredom. Javelina does not fall into the trap of dull predictability. One night after I left, I realized the guacamole I’d ordered had never arrived; it’s not every restaurant that gives you something to think about on your way home. Meanwhile, people at the next table were presented with a dish they insisted they hadn’t asked for. “You didn’t order brisket?” the server asked, keeping up the playful spirit.

It will be interesting to see if Wells, as he has done before, eventually gets asked to comment on the review’s reception. By the way, the headline for tomorrow’s print-editions version of the article is entirely different; it reads “A Riddle Wrapped in a Tortilla.”

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@hollywoodspin Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.