I was reading Jims comments on ethnic food (review and on other boards), that said Grimes and Asimov are placed in competitive positions, and the next time I read the Times I was struck by the layout of the restaurant review page. Im reading a lot about Freud at the moment and this is what I thought, silly as it might be.
First, isnt it funny that humans think in threes? App, mains, dessert. Heaven, earth, hell. Id, ego, superego.The review page is in three sections.
Anyway, on top of the restaurant review page is the posh, more expensive restaurant, with color photo and all. Stars (from heaven?) are assigned to the food at these restaurants. This is the place you want to be seen especially if it has been bestowed 4 stars; youll feel youve arrived. This is the place you ought to go to. This is "super ego" dining.
Next in the middle of the page is a thin gossip section about restaurants that are closing or opening, chefs coming and going. This covers "ego" matterseveryday consciousness, being up to date with whats going on.
At the bottom (pun intended) of the page we have Asimovs review of basic, cheap ("$25 or less") places. No stars are given to the poor souls who run these places. This is "id" dining, that is, restaurants where you satisfy one of your most basic of drives, the need to eat. No photos either, and this gives the impression they are dark, dank shacks.
My simplistic analysis of this coverage leads me to ask a couple of questions. What if Asimov is given the meal of his life? The review up top would still outshine his. Why doesnt Asimovs section have the same star rating system? Why dont Grimes and Asimov change positions from time to time? Finally, am I taking chowhounding a little too seriously?!
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