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.
The lead-up to this week's Eater Mascot review started with a Tuesday clue and yesterday's self-awareness, but nothing could have prepared editorial operatives for the sheer nuggets of brilliance hidden in Patrick Alan Coleman's review of "pan-Germanic cocktail lounge alehouse restaurant" Spints Alehouse.
This isn't Coleman's first run-around a Sauerbraten, mit Kloß, only Soße, but where previously he found himself a little bit less perhaps, well, on the legitimate train to Germantown as on one of those fancypants German carriages that puts vegetables in their spaetzle and mushroom gravy on their chicken schnitzel (it hurts, Mutti, it hurts!), this time it's so resolutely pan-Germanic that no one has to care that Spints is serving fried oysters and seafood mousseline.
What does matter comes between the lines. Or, in this case, in the first line.
Obviously, I have a thing for cephalopods. The darlings at the end of my fork are like fleshy flowers, with delicate tentacles spun in intricate curlicues. It's almost a shame to consume these dainty octopuses, but they taste so good.They sure do, homeslice. They also mate for life. Repeat: FOR LIFE.
But we are not here to pass judgment. (We also like octopus.) We are here to find the gems, the moments of wisdom, the episodes of pure delight.
Like when he describes dragging little octopi (who, just fyi, mate for life - FOR LIFE) through a sauce and calls it "preciously barbaric." Or when he describes "traveling through the keyhole" i.e. K-hole i.e. yeah you don't need an i.e. for that one. Or when he describes the "dirty pretzel" as "like eating a chicken club with all the unwanted contents removed... dipped in gravy."
The proof is in the freebie, though. Which is found in possibly the best ColemanWatch line, to date. "Best bets include a crock of house-made 'cocktail wienies'," he says. "They are big, meaty, and too much for one person." Finished without commentary.
·Of Cephalopods and Sauerkraut [Portland Mercury]
·Coleman... Mit Schlag! [EaterPDX]