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It’s not just the juicy and impossible Chodorow complaint. Now Philadelphia Inquirer restaurant critic Craig LaBan has actually been sued by the owner of Chops, a steakhouse in Bala Cynwyd, PA, over a three-sentence review. I was hoping the review’s brevity meant this was a “tonstant weader fwowed up” kind of situation, but it turns out the review is just a squib in the sidebar at the end of a much longer review. In any case, according to Chops owner Alex Plotkin, LaBan mistakenly reviewed their steak sandwich, not the strip steak, and called it “miserably tough and fatty.” Plotkin claims LaBan admitted the confusion, but would not publish a retraction, hence: litigation. The fact that LaBan is known for going to great lengths to preserve his anonymity seems to be what’s making this interesting to people, other than (like the Bruni thing) the fact that it’s about a powerful critic being charged at on his throne.
Maybe restaurant reviews really should be shorter and of the “shit sandwich” variety. Might make things more interesting.