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, Eater Mascot Patrick Alan Coleman, mercifully still employed, checks out the Slingshot Lounge, decides that it's decidedly not a gastropub, but rather just a bar with very good food. Run-downs of thrills like a tomato toast and a shockingly good calamari salad, more viscerally described in terms of What It Is Not ("deep-fried in a cocoon of panko and week-old grease") than What It Is (Flavorful. Tender. Understated.) are what makes this generally brilliant Coleman, but what makes this ColemanWatch is the ability, no, interest, in reading between the lines.
On ambience: "The place is one smidgen of respectability beyond a dive."
On the veggie burger: "Frustrating."
On bleachy prawns: "Frustrating."
On the good parts of the menu: "Much to be truly jazzed about."
BREAK. Did Coleman just say jazzed? Does the pope [redacted] in the woods? Is this the greatest day of all time, when Coleman takes the single best descriptor ever, and uses it on himself? (These are, ahem, rhetorical.)
And besides, let's get to the real heart of the lines-reading.
Either our beloved Coleman is a party animal par exemple, or the damn things have learned to swim.
On chicken soup: "Just what you need when you're on a bender."
On breakfast: "There are the standard post-bender breakfast options..."
On Slingshot's primary purpose: "The main purpose of the joint is to drink and have a good time."
On best ever: "A jukebox full of rock and roll, a generous bartender..."
And so. Either Coleman is just rocking face and this is as per usual, or there's something particularly salient about the particulars of this moment's Slingshot. No catapult, please, PAC. The world needs you.
·Anti-Bar Food [Portland Mercury]