Welcome to ColemanWatch, a weekly feature in which we parse the particularly florid stylings of the Portland Mercury's resident food critic, Patrick Alan Coleman. Seen a sentence we've missed? Log on to your bright, burning email screen, and wend a grandiloquent email our way.
This week, resident Eater mascot Patrick Alan Coleman takes on the newly bright-and-shiny downtown restaurant Nel Centro, David Machado's latest local contribution. Let's do this one backwards. From the food descriptions--"the gnocchi was permeated with the rich, meaty, red-wine-and-garlic tanginess of the ragu"--to that intimacy that makes Coleman just so special--"a potato, fennel, and leek soup, for instance, is easily slurped at either seating"--our man is back in top-form action.
But so. What else makes this review different from all other reviews? It's the particular humanity that we're witnessing here, a sense that Coleman is not just a reviewer, not just a power player, not just a slurper of noodles and a ponderer of dry foccaccia. No, readers, Coleman is a man. A man with a past. A sometimes-sordid past.
THE LAST TIME I was in the space currently occupied by Nel Centro, it was an inner-city motel dive bar. I was visiting from out of town on "business," smoking heavily and stirring up an affair in a naugahyde booth.Smoking heavily? Affair?? ZOMG!
The Good Old Days! [Portland Mercury]