Sky Full of Bacon

LTH GNRs 86 WPG, OK 98%

Reviewing 47 possible candidates for Great Neighborhood Restaurant award renewal, the august board of GNR voting members has… denied renewal to one, White Palace Grill. Officially, everything else is still great.

Personally, I’d take a good look at how long it’s been since the last actual post reflective of an actual visit to any place I had doubts about.  A lot of the info on LTHForum is getting a bit long in the tooth, what with the board increasingly concentrating on revisits to the same handful of places and the official insistence that places that have clearly and unequivocally gone downhill— such as Salam— were merely caught on an off day.  (I think my last on day at Salam was in 2006.)

Those caveats aside, it is still a key list to the many of the notable ethnic restaurants in town, it just takes a little more sorting through these days to separate the actually good from the sentimental favorites that need to be put out to pasture.  Let’s join Dicksond in thanking those responsible for the program… well, most of them, anyway.

UPDATE: Helen at MenuPages links (thanks!) and says I cry foul. Well, more like unforced error. The excitement in a list like this comes from the real chance that something you like might not be measured as being good enough. When all the children are above average, there’s no drama (and consequently little media interest)— and the list becomes less trustworthy when it grows and grows with virtually no pruning.

In a way this goes back to the issue raised a couple of weeks ago about the Chicago Reader’s Best of here and here, which were, to no small extent, an LTHForum best of since LTHers chose many of the places and wrote about them. Information moves so fast in our foodie community that it’s easy for places to become old hat fast— discover Sun Wah this week, get tired of it next week. Now, I think there’s still value in writing about some of these places because the masses out there, who don’t read the foodie stuff obsessively, won’t have picked up on things by the time we’re tired of them. But, you need to approach them with a critical eye, have a certain ruthlessness about replacing older places with newer ones, be ever more vigilant for new and interesting. The problem is not that there are still some 2004 choices on the GNR list, but that it seems so heavily weighted to 2004 choices, it seems like a 2004 list. Clean out the old, be on the lookout for the new, and it will be a better list.

That is, assuming there still is real interest at LTHForum for looking out for the new…

UPDATE 2: Credit Where Credit Is Due Dept.: Something new is actually posted on LTHForum.

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