Every week, we take our turn with Lady Luck on the BruniBetting odds as posted by Eater. Just for kicks, we track Eater’s bet too, and see who is better at guessing what the unpredictable Bruni will do. We track our sins with an imaginary $1 bet every week.
Zero Stars: 2-1 √√
One Star: 4-1
Two Stars: 8-1
Three Stars: 75-1
Four Stars: 25,000-1
The Skinny: I guess Frank is formally auditioning for the $25-and-under beat. For the second week in a row, he’s reviewing a place that probably doesn’t even belong in the fine dining critic’s territory. Eater thinks Bruni will award zero stars, which would be a harsh verdict indeed. What are we to make of this?
In the first place, zero-star reviews are fairly uncommon—as they should be—and we’re only four weeks removed from Frank’s last bagel, Max Brenner.
In the second place, this is clearly not a review that’s demanding to get written. Katz’s was founded in 1888, and as far as I know, has never been given a rated review. Frank normally doesn’t pick review targets out of nowhere, only to trash them. Actually, when Frank chooses the review target—as he clearly has done here—it is usually a rave. (Max Brenner was the exception to that rule.)
In the third place, Frank is a confirmed carnivore, and he clearly prefers casual food to formality and luxury. When Frank is reviewing one of his favored cuisines, a positive review is usually the outcome.
And lastly, does Frank Bruni really have the balls to give the goose-egg to a revered institution like Katz’s?
The Bet: Lately, we’ve been getting clobbered whenever we bet against the oddsmakers. Nevertheless, we once again think Eater’s got this one wrong. We predict that Frank Bruni will award one star to Katz’s Deli.