Earlier today I got into a discussion online with one of my Baton Rouge friends about this Thai place up there called Rama.
Personally, I was never all that into the place. Lots of my friends loved it and I could never see the big deal -- I mean, the food wasn't bad or anything, but there were other Thai restaurants up there that I liked better. And I had some disappointing run-ins with their green curry chicken, which always seemed to overcompensate for the lack of actual chicken with an abundance of diced eggplant. Like, as far as restaurants go, to me it was okay and I would eat there and essentially have a good time, but I never went out of my way for it or got any craving to go there.
Anyway, after discussing the merits of various Thai restaurants in Baton Rouge (like you do when you're obsessed with food) with this friend, I went to look up reviews on Yelp just to get an idea of general consensus about the place.
LO AND BEHOLD, BUT WHO SHOULD I SEE CHIMING IN AT THE VERY TOP:
I immediately felt shame-faced that my opinion of the place isn't much higher than hers. Of course, given that my opinion has everything to do with the food and little to do with the percieved attractiveness of others who eat there, the ethnicity of the waitstaff, or all the other things she picks on WITHOUT EVER ACTUALLY GETTING AROUND TO THE FOOD QUALITY, I still believe my opinion holds much more water than hers and is in no way equal.
Having discovered this veritable motherlode
of offensive giblets, I immediately clicked to see her further musings on BR's (admittedly pretty limited) restaurant scene. Oh boy, did I get what I thought I would.
Oh-so-predictably, she rips it apart piece by piece. And even includes some middling reviews of New Orleans restaurants for good measure (New Orleans, of course, being world-famous for having what most would agree are SLIGHTLY MORE THAN MIDDLING restaurants). And, naturally, hardly any of them actually focus on the quality of the food. But there are plenty of nasty comments about completely irrelevant stuff. Like this nugget from a review of a NOLA restaurant:"On that note, two of my single friends remarked on the cute guys there, and I had to agree-- that's something I don't see a whole lot of in Southern Louisiana."
Now, before we dismiss this comment (merely one of many
disparaging remarks about the supposed hordes of unattractive yokels that she & hers stand apart from like shining beacons of classical beauty) off as simply the nasty, irrelevant lookism of a nasty, irrelevant person, let us remember that this particular narrow-minded individual -- being the type who is convinced that the overall attractiveness of people in south (nay, everywhere) is defined by the number of cracker hipsters and the clothes they wear -- is probably largely unaware of a local phenomenon known colloquially as "black men", many of whom are, like, really really really attractive
. So, let us please consider the latent racism and bigoted regionalism of such claims as "GOD SOUTHERN PEOPLE ARE SO UGLY" before we write her off as a mean-spirited idiot. It would be unfair not to!
Some more nuggets:"To add insult to a disgusting mouthful of sawdust, the sandwiches were too expensive-- SEVEN dollars. Are they kidding? A falafel sandwich at one of my favorite Middle Eastern places in New York City is $4"
File under: YOU LOST YOUR FASHIONABLE ZIP CODE, GET THE FUCK OVER IT.
Don't worry though. Like any good New Yorker who touts the abundance of cheap, delicious hilal food up there, it's not like she's full of shit or anything.
OH, WAIT:"I always found this place on the dirty side (as in sticky tables), but it served the purpose for a quick falafel lunch near campus ... I would've issued another star until my final meal there today, when I noticed the nasty state of all the hot sauce bottles within view ... you can spring for new hot sauce, Atcha, rather than disgusting your customers."
(To illustrate her point on this UNACCEPTABLE HOT SAUCE SITUATION!!! she uploads a picture she took of a completely normal, half-empty hot sauce bottle. Given the oh-so-high cleanliness factor one typically encounters with the hilal street carts up there that she touts in her previous review, I'm sure we can all understand milady's disgust.)
Another one:While seating us, the hostess gave us a rude attitude, which just went to show, my friend pointed out, that frigging ATTITUDE you get from some people in BR. I had to agree, we had seen many instances of this in our times out together. My crawfish wontons were not bad, but of course deep fried.
YOU?! Caught ATTITUDE?! In BATON ROUGE?! I couldn't possibly imagine why
And OH MY GOD -- I can't believe they DEEP FRIED your fucking crawfish
WONTONS! If my hand ever stops clutching my pearls over this severe affront to good taste and the traditional Sichuan cuisine
you obviously feel so passionately about, it might break off! QUICK! SOMEONE GET THE SMELLING SALTS!
She also gives three stars to a French restaurant here in NOLA called Cafe Degas, which is actually rather positive and never really gets around to what cost it those other two stars.
There is, however, one review which sums up her attitude entirely. It says absolutely nothing about why she disliked the restaurant in question, but loads about her own pissy turd attitude:Oh, Baton Rouge. Sigh.
Yep, that's about it.
The problem with these restaurants is not their food. The problem with these restaurants is that they are in Baton Rouge. If one could airlift any of these places and plop them immediately off the Bedford L stop, I'm sure her grievances would entirely disappear. But you see, they're in South Louisiana and Baton Rouge offers our heroine no reprieve from her explosively toxic status anxiety.
It's cool though. She's finally moved back to Brooklyn, where the Lebanese restaurants are always clean, the white boys are always cute, the wontons are never fried, there's no such thing as an overpriced sandwich, no one wears baseball caps, the hole-in-the-wall ethnic eateries have beautiful windows and the waitresses are the right kind
Or maybe not, since she left most of these negative reviews after she moved back there
GOOD. LORD. How I wish Divine, Edie, and Crackers could be resurrected to curse this asshole's house!