Want to be Bauer’s buddy? In his latest blog entry, San Fran’s top restaurant critic reveals what it takes to be his plus-one when he’s making the rounds of the Bay Area’s best tables.

Because while being a restaurant critic may seem like a dream job, the truly sweet gig is being the critic’s best bud. Free eats, excellent wines, bragging rights from the hottest spots in town, all with no risk of a restaurant-owner fatwa afterwards: it’s no surprise that the San Francisco Chronicle’s lead reviewer is constantly fielding the question “How can I become one of your dining companions?”

But Bauer does break the news on Between Meals that eating out professionally isn’t all foie gras and rib-eyes: nope, eat with Bauer and you better be ready to sink a fork into the tripe and rabbit, especially if it’s his third or fourth go-round through the menu. And no sauce on the side: whatever you order, you’ll take it and like it, exactly as the restaurant plates it. But while readers may be envious of Bauer’s king-of-the-table position (as one poster commented, “At least you have an excuse like your job to squelch picky eaters! I hate going out with them!”), how can they miss the real reason any enthusiastic eater becomes a pro: for the dates! Yes, it’s the truth: being a critic is the best way to get a hottie to go out to dinner with you. Because after all, it’s not a hook-up, it’s your job! Trust us: it works.

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