Today's notes on national stories, local trends, random tastes, and other bycatch dredged up from the food media.
I tend to study critics' lists and guidebooks the way some people search for meaning in baseball stats ― I argue with the author in my head, rethink my own opinions, vow to visit places I haven't tried. That these lists are limited, subjective, and controversial is their selling point. The pleasure is reading them ― the Michelin guide, the Eater 38, Michael Bauer's annual Top 100 list in the San Francisco Chronicle ― as a topography of the authors' tastes as well as a map of the zeitgeist.
So of course I enjoyed checking out the Chron's 2011 Top 100, which came out on Sunday and is now online. As I read, though, something about the scope of the list, rather than Bauer's individual choices, nagged at me. So I did some counting: