Byron Crawford spent six years as a prolific music blogger for XXL Magazine before he was unceremoniously fired in 2011. What has the literary talent and notorious Internet troll been up to since that time (besides writing and publishing his tome, Kanye West Superstar)? From the looks of it, he’s been out there eating Captain D’s-quality food all across St. Louis and writing middlebrow Yelp reviews about it.
We know what you’re thinking: Great, another wannabe Frank Bruni spilling ink about his bland chicken wings and dairy allergies on Yelp. But not everyone has the sharp wit and humor of Crawford.
Case in point: Crawford declares that mild wings are “for children, the elderly, and people with high-stress jobs answering phones” (this statement is 100 percent accurate, mind you), and drops lines like “Exxon Valdez-like layer of maple syrup” when talking about sweet potato fries. The guy is on fire.
In a world where food publications tend to praise the same 10 media-backed restaurants over and over, it’s refreshing to hear a voice heralding the fried chicken and “t-rav” at a place called “Joey B’s On The Hill.”
Here are six reasons why Crawford should be the next New York Times restaurant critic (taken from his 40+ Yelp reviews).
He’s a man of the people.
“Walking past, I’m half tempted to lick the ground beneath it, like a dog, to see if it tastes like barbecue. If I were homeless, I’d curl up in the fetal position and sleep next to it. The radiant heat, in addition to the warm feeling I get inside from the very idea of barbecue, might be enough to get me through even the harshest winters.”
He’s not fazed by the rats at Little Caesars.
“I’m not the kind of brother who’s about to toss $5 worth of pizza (including a 20 oz. Pepsi product) just because a rat may have nibbled on it before they handed it to me. I had lunch in the parking lot, right next to the Orkin guy’s truck. He actually returned to his truck with the culprit while I was still sitting there. He must be pretty good at what he does.”
He knows when to order entrees under $10.
“I’m not sure if I’d feel safe eating an entree that costs less than $10, in 2K15. I’d only recommend ordering one if you’re trying to impress the kind of girl who’s never eaten in a proper sit-down restaurant, i.e. someone Allen Iverson might date, in which case I’d recommend trying to get one of those deals where you get two entrees, an appetizer and a dessert for like $20… If you play it right, it could be the best $20 you ever spend.”
He thinks about his public persona.
“I never want to eat anything in restaurants other than a bacon cheeseburger, but I only order it about half the time, because I don’t want to look like an eight-year-old and/or someone with extreme OCD.”
He uses eating techniques popularized by Guy Fieri.
“With all that shit piled on it, the burger is too big to fit in your mouth (ayo) without running the risk of dislocating your jaw, and there’s always the risk of huge, nasty globs of processed cheese falling from it and ruining your shirt. Your best bet is to use a stance known as the Hunch, popularized by my idol Guy Fieri.“
He has the mindset of a CHAMPION.
“There’s never been a time in my life when I couldn’t have eaten more food if I wanted to.”