I’m obsessed with Cedichou’s obsession with SF Weekly restaurant critic and memoirist Meredith Brody, which he chronicles weekly in Le Blog de San Francisco. (I only recently realized that Ced was the person who wrote the first, deservedly nasty anti-Meredith letter that SF Weekly published, more than two years and 100 narcissistic Meredith columns ago.)
While my disdain for Meredith has always been her brutally self-indulgent prose – her writing formula is: “600 words about me, 400 words about the restaurant(s), 100 more words about me” – Ced’s equally concerned with her choices of establishments to review.
Well, I’ve been tracking Meredith all year, and Ced, you’re right.
Nerdily, nerdily, I’ve been keeping score of the locations of Meredith’s grazing this year, awarding one “appearance” for a review and equal parts of an “appearance” for a shared review. Then I grouped the locations together into regions. And here are the mid-season results:
Indeed, the heavily-touristed quadrant of North Beach, Downtown, Chinatown, and Union Square has occupied more than one out of three of Meredith’s reviews this year, including multiple trips to the Ferry Building and the expense-account alleys of the Financial District.
From reading Meredith this year, you might also think that Pac Heights had sunk into the ocean, or that the last bistro in the Mission had shuttered. (The latter only got two-fifths of a meandering review of Cuban vittles.)
I've got a proposition for Meredith: Here in San Francisco, we have this wonderful light-rail/subway system called MUNI. There’s a stop just a block away from the Ferry Building, so you should have little trouble finding it. Pay your $1.25 and get on a train, any train, from F to N, heading outbound. Sit on it for at least 20 minutes, and before you know it, you’ll be surrounded with excellent and unusual restaurants, some of which may even be listed in that Fodor’s San Francisco you seem to rely on. Go ahead and sample the cuisines, then write another 1,100 words of nothing. You’ll get paid either way, but at least you might open your own horizon to the 75% of the city you’ve given up on.
(I'll issue a final 2005 report in January.)
Update: Ced did a little quant work himself last September. Well done.
Update: Greeting SFist readers. Click here for more Rangelife.