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Mimi Sheraton Perfects The 140-Character Restaurant Review (Live)

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Dec 21, 2015

This week's episode of The Sporkful podcast is up! Listen through the player or iTunes/Podcasts app. (And please subscribe!)

Mimi Sheraton built her reputation as a fearless food critic on her strong opinions. As the New York Times' first female restaurant reviewer, she ruffled more than a few feathers in famous kitchens.

“There were confrontations, there were lawsuits, there was an insanely angry Italian restaurateur who came storming into the New York Times,” she recalled when she joined Dan live on stage in Brooklyn last month.

(Hear more about Mimi's life and work in food in her prior appearance on The Sporkful: "Legendary Food Critic Mimi Sheraton Hasn't Been Hungry In 60 Years.")

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She's nearly 90 now, but Mimi's opinions remain as sharp as ever -- though she has adapted her famously thorough reviews for the era of social media.

“I can make so many people mad in 140 characters,” she told Dan at The Bell House. "[I'm] trying to perfect the 140-character restaurant review." For instance...

This week on The Sporkful, Mimi offers her take on questions about eating from Sporkful listeners -- in front of a live audience at at The Bell House in Brooklyn.

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Laurel in Seattle asks if all spicy foods -- like salsa -- be labeled consistently?

Mimi's answer: emphatically no!

"I think everyone should have his or her own opinion of what is hot," she argues. "We can’t legislate spiciness."

And Mark in Indiana wonders if carrot sticks should be cut into uniform sizes to ensure constant carrot-to-dip ratios.

Mimi doesn't hold back:

"Well, I don’t like carrot sticks -- but I certainly don’t want them to be all the same size because that indicates that they’ve been industrialized," she says. "Uneven carrot sticks would give me a little faith in the world."

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But will Brandon in Michigan stump the great critic with his query about bite sequencing?

"I’ve never thought about it before this minute -- you can believe it," Mimi admits.

Listen in to the full episode to hear Mimi's take on when in a meal to take the perfect bite and her advice to chefs who receive negative restaurant reviews.

This week's episode of The Sporkful podcast is up! Listen through the player or iTunes/Podcasts app. (And please subscribe!)

Connect with me on TwitterInstagram and Facebook!

Music in this episode courtesy of Mamie Minch.

Photos: Scott Bleicher and FlickrCC/Geof Wilson

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