Monday, March 10, 2014

Bridgegate scandal darkens Christie's image

In Hackensack, Euclid Avenue residents are still waiting for the crews who are supposedly out filling potholes, above and below.


Governor Christie's poor performance on delivering Sandy aid gets a good working over in two stories in The Record today, including a Page 1 story listing "a litany of grant-funding problems" (A-1 and A-3).

Before the Bridgegate scandal broke in January, Staff Writers Melissa Hayes and Herb Jackson, among other reporters, spent most of their time reporting on how Christie's every action or inaction affected his presidential ambitions.

The A-1 story on applicants' complaints by Hayes and Staff Writer Karen Sudol, and the A-3 NJ/DC column on flood insurance misinformation from Christie don't even mention his White House potential.

Thank God.

Lots of Passaic news

Today's Local section shortchanges Bergen County readers, who find four Passaic County stories (L-3, L-5, L-6 and L-7).

Two of the stories are from Woodland Park, where The Record's newsroom found a home in a nondescript office building overlooking Route 80 after fleeing Hackensack in 2009.

Don't miss the riveting account of an increase in Woodland Park water bills (L-5).

Restaurant promoters

The Better Living editors have been knocking themselves out promoting restaurants and trying to get readers to feel sorry for their many wealthy owners, hoping for lots of advertising revenue in return.

Today, the cover story on Cafe Matisse and other fine-dining places ending their bread service to save money and cut down on waste ignores the practice in many Manhattan restaurants that continue to serve bread for free (BL-1).

A staffer circulates with a large basket of rolls or sliced bread and focaccia, and offers customers one or two at a time.

This story, and Sunday's BL-1 column on customers who steal "stuff" from restaurants, is among the anti-consumer propaganda The Record has published for years.


As the paper's chief restaurant reviewer, Staff Writer Elisa Ung, who reported thefts from The Dog and Cask in Rochelle Park, is supposed to represent customers who want to know where their food comes from and how it is raised.

But in many of her appraisals, Ung seems not to know or care whether the humongous steak she ate was grass fed and raised without harmful additives.

Why should she worry?

She thinks she is going to live forever, and The Record always pays the tab, even if that hunk of meat costs more than $50.

Really low pay

The pieces today and Sunday also serve to keep the focus off the starvation wages restaurants pay their servers, and how customers are expected to tip generously to make up the difference.  

How much did restaurant owners contribute to candidates for office to institutionalize that scam? 

Fishy rating

On Friday, Ung again gave a "Good" rating to a restaurant where she experienced major problems, including shrimp ($20) and sea bass ($25) that "both smelled and tasted past their prime."

When she told chef-owner Todd Villani of Terre a Terre in Carlstadt about the smelly seafood, he said the shrimp and sea bass had come to the restaurant right "from the docks." 

Something is wrong here, though I'm not sure whether it is with Ung or the chef.

Then, she recommends sticking to meat and vegetable dishes, and praises a pork chop, beef tartare and short ribs, but says nothing about how they were raised.


Eye on The Record's search function is working again, as is the search function on my food blog.


  1. How do you keep fish from smelling? Cut off its nose!

    1. I had the fish at the restaurant you speak of. it was amazing. she didnt mention that the fish was smoked and could have gave her that impression of "past its prime" The chef came from aquavit so alot of his menu is smoking pickling and curing. She did go into lengthy detail about him coming to the table to prick an egg. Who cares tell me about the food......And do your homework before you write and hurt a business thats been open only 3 months.


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