Sorta-new food critic

Funny how things work out.

In April 2006, I was proofreading this very paper on Mondays and Tuesdays, then delivering issues to state buildings the rest of the week in a last-legs Acura Legend. It was the job—or so I thought at the time.

Apparently, I wanted something more. Which lead to a third part-time gig, doing editing work for a glossy rag called Midtown/Downtown Monthly. This was one of those awkward, slumber-inducing community newspapers where one overworked, undertalented writer (me) does most of the stories. The thought of going back and reading those issues is tantamount to dental work. But it was one of those learning experiences—while it lasted (three months).

The publishing brass that owned the paper did, however, actually allow me to hire one regular writer: a food critic, Becky Grunewald.

Becky stuck with Midtown/Downtown as the rag quickly grew up under the leadership of more Sacto-savvy editors, and thankfully got a new name: Midtown Monthly. She went on to ink dozens of restaurant reviews during her six-year run.

And now, this week, it’s dining déjà vu: I’m in an editor chair again, and the first writer to be hired is none other than Becky.

The coincidences abound: Her debut review (see page 35) is of Asian Café, a modest Thai-Laotian spot off the beaten trail a few miles from this paper’s Del Paso Boulevard headquarters. SN&R’s Cosmo Garvin, what with his schnoz for a winning and underappreciated lunch spot, was lost in north Sacramento a couple of summers ago before stumbling across this gem in a rundown Noralto strip mall. It’s now our favorite, not-secret-for-much-longer destination.

I’d ask my new co-editor, Rachel Leibrock—who’ll take over this Editor’s Note every-other week—to lunch here. But I know better than to invite a vegetarian out for chicken gizzards.