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A good friend to Chowhound – food writer Jonathan Kauffman leaves Berkeley for Seattle.


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A good friend to Chowhound – food writer Jonathan Kauffman leaves Berkeley for Seattle.

rworange | Jul 7, 2006 06:28 AM

This is a heads-up to Seattle that they are about to eat more deliciously.

It is a tip just like letting Chowhounds know about those restaurants that are hidden gems. The point is to help Chowhounds eat better. Read Kauffman and you will.

When the Chowhound SF Guide was published, the East Bay Express food writer, Jonathan Kauffman, was one of the first writers to give it a plug in his column. Over the years he has given the nod to Chowhound every now and then.

His last column for the SF Bay Area was this week and he will be moving on to the Seattle Weekly.

Seattle is getting one of the most entertaining, witty, knowledgeable, passionate food writers in the country. You are about to start to eat even more deliciously.

Not only is Kauffman a beautiful writer he is spot-on.

I’ve never found his reviews to be anything but honest. He writes about the big places and the little places with equal respect and often goes where few other reviewers tread.

He has introduced the Bay Area to different cuisines and if he is not familiar with a cuisine, he’s honest about it and doesn’t try to be the expert. One of my favorite reviews was about a Persian restaurant where he wrote ...

‘It's hard not to become swept up in the romance of Persian cuisine. Just browsing through a good restaurant's menu ... is like reading the Song of Solomon or The Thousand and One Nights ... Shiraz in San Ramon, specialize almost exclusively in kebabs. Kebabs we know.”

He is also one of the kindest reviewers. He doesn’t rip apart a restaurant for a laugh. He has a talent for pointing out that the food isn’t good without embarrassing the restaurant.

I am far from a professional writer and don’t pretend to be even to myself, but I try to emulate some of Kauffman’s class when writing about food that isn’t very good. There’s a way to say things without being mean.

Kauffman reads Chowhound. He would shine more light on worthy little restaurants, helping to throw a little more attention and business their way which kept the doors to little-known Chowhound favorites open.

He picked up on one of my posts ... listen this isn’t delusion, the place has been in business years and NO one mentioned it, not even the yellow pages or citysearch.

It is a Salvadorian joint and while he didn’t share my lofty opinion of the pupusas, he amused me to no end when he tried the lizard on the menu that I was too chicken to try ... he said it DID taste like chicken ... and he would order it again ... and it was "ranched", sustainably-raised iguana. His wonderful description almost made me order it ... almost ... but I did try another dish he recommended and it was great.

So Seattle Chowhounds, you are some lucky dogs to have Kauffman writing about the food scene in your city.

Try those restaurants ... and then don't forget to report back on Chowhound about your opinion of restaurants you find through Kauffman ... not all Chowhounds might read the Seattle Weekly and may need another pointer to the great chow ... and the more opinions, the better.

Here is his last East Bay Express Review

*** Note: Edited July 07, 2006 at about 8:30 am for spelling and grammar errors. No content change. If you read it, no need to re-read.

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