Category Archives: Commentary

Robin Garr’s musings about food and restaurant matters that don’t fit neatly into the “review” category.

Imagine No Vacation; I Wonder If You Can

This week a friend and fellow food journalist posted a thread on Facebook about hard work paying off in the hospitality industry. Many testimonials followed, with a lot of local chefs back-patting each other and lots of war stories about how many hours they all used to work at two or three jobs, some while still going to college. Continue reading Imagine No Vacation; I Wonder If You Can

This Should Never Have Happened

It’s Derby Week, and I should be writing a pithy column about how to score the best reservation and where to get the best box lunch to take with you to the track. I should be schooling you on how to sneak your liquor into the infield, via fake breast implants and/or false-bottom cooler magic.

However: a five year old child died in an Atlanta restaurant last Friday. Continue reading This Should Never Have Happened

Line Cooks – What do they do all day?

I attended culinary school in a night and weekend program that lasted most of three years, while still working full time at a bank job where I had employer-assisted health insurance, paid sick days and vacation. Sometimes I look back and laugh at the fact I was putting myself in years of debt to be trained to work a job that nearly always pays less than a full-time office position, and rarely has any benefits like insurance or paid time off, but that’s a subject for another column. Continue reading Line Cooks – What do they do all day?

A Tribe Called Us

Recently, I got a call about a memorial wake for a fellow industry worker who had died unexpectedly while working at a city he’d moved to out west. The man who died wasn’t elderly, but he had been feeling poorly in the weeks leading up to his death. He didn’t seek medical help because he didn’t have health insurance. Continue reading A Tribe Called Us

Consistency is Key

I recently saw a Facebook post directed to the chef of a newish popular restaurant. A patron was enthusing about a meal he’d had at the restaurant the night before. I’m paraphrasing, but the exchange went something like this:

“Hey, Chef, we ate at your place last night, it was wonderful, I didn’t manage to catch a glimpse of you, unfortunately. I wanted to say hello. But I’m sure you were busy; the dining room certainly was!” Continue reading Consistency is Key