Flamin’ Raven: Bon Appetit, YK

Such terrible food. And such small portions.

SATIRE | Flamin’ Raven

It’s a golden age for foodies here in Yellowknife, which is seeing an unprecedented wave of new eateries. From fried chicken to… fried chicken, locals looking to complain about the places they dine at are having an all-you-can-eat experience right now.

“Yellowknifers are passionate about their food, unless they are serving it – in which case, screw it, whatever,” jokes Frankie Brunni, frequent contributor to foodie group Eat a D____ Yellowknife. “Quite honestly, it gives me a thrill every time a waiter messes up my order or I notice that the fries are McCain. I feel the witty quips and cutting bon mots a-rising, and I can’t wait to share them with my online pals.”

You can practically smell the culinary anticipation in the air (mmmm, tangy!) as locals line up to venture into brand-new eateries and develop snap opinions on the long-term sustainability of businesses based on one chicken-caesar-wrap-and-sweet-potato-fry-lunch combo, served up opening day.

Social media is already abuzz with insightful posts such as: “Oooh, I hear we might be getting a Montana’s! I hope their wait-times will be inhumane!” and “Can’t wait to see how slovenly the counter staff at the new Mary Brown’s will be.

Local food blogger Dorothy Melonrind (YourRestaurantIsWorthless.org) understands the phenomenon all too well. “In smaller cities, one’s palate gets a tad weary of throwing the same ornately acidic language at the same pathetic businesses week after week. So tedious. Especially for a specialty critic like me.” Friendless and childless, Dorothy specializes in reviewing family restaurants negatively based on the high number of families with children that frequent them. “My advice to all up-and-coming social media critics is to do what you love; and in my case that’s eating in places that I inherently hate.”

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Restaurateurs, on the other hand, say the rush of harsh criticisms is hurting the industry.

Local food truck owner Gordon Hamsay believes people may end up doing themselves harm in the long run by trashing a business before it gets a chance to really disappoint them.

“Customers wield an unusual amount of power now, because of the internet. But what some of them don’t realize is that if you leave a restaurant alone for a while, give it a chance to settle in, work out the kinks, tighten up the menu, find the right combination of staff — well, then you’re going to get a place that will last long enough to develop some really top-notch health standards violations. That’s when things get interesting. That’s when you get salmonella and trichinosis, and maybe even Avian Flu, if you’re lucky.”

But for foodies like Frankie Brunni, that’s just splitting hairs she’s hoping she’ll find in her soup.

“It’s the best of all possible worlds, this instant-critic universe. I never thought there would be time in Yellowknife when I could eviscerate the wait-staff, food and bartenders at two medieval-themed pubs on the same street,” she gushed.

“What a time to be alive.”

None of the above — well, most of the above — is not true.


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