Burying The Hatchet – In Trumps Signature Eatery

Graham doesn’t want to bash Trump …

… well, not always, and so no, this is not another hate-Trump fest. But it is undeniable that his election has generated substantial verbiage, some of it very sharp indeed. Still, as they almost said in public school, sometimes what’s most needed is a sound trashing. Take this little gem of a hatchet job, that earned the twin honour of both a spluttering 3 am tweet from its ur-subject, and a spike in Vanity Fair subscriptions.

Donald Trump is “a poor person’s idea of a rich person,” Fran Lebowitz recently observed at The Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit. “They see him. They think, ‘If I were rich, I’d have a fabulous tie like that.’” Nowhere, perhaps, does this reflection appear more accurate than at Trump Grill (which is occasionally spelled Grille on various pieces of signage). … Our table nevertheless ordered the Ivanka’s Salad, a chopped approximation of a Greek salad, smothered in melting goat cheese and dressing and missing the promised olives, that seemed unlikely to appetize a SoulCycle-obsessed, smoothie-guzzling heiress. (Instead, it looked like a salad made by someone who believes that rich women only eat vegetables.) … Renowned butcher Pat LaFrieda once dared me to eat an eyeball that he himself popped out of the skull of a roasted pig. That eyeball tasted better than the Trump Grill’s (Grille’s) Gold Label Burger, a Pat LaFrieda–branded short-rib burger blend molded into a sad little meat thing, sitting in the center of a massive, rapidly staling brioche bun, hiding its shame under a slice of melted orange cheese. It came with overcooked woody batons called “fries”—how can someone mess up fries?—and ketchup masquerading as Heinz. … The one thing required to save the meal—booze—turned into its greatest disappointment. Trump himself does not drink alcohol, a possible explanation for why the cocktails seemed to be concocted by a college freshman experimenting in their dorm room. … The Fifth Avenue—Grey Goose with Cointreau and a “splash of cranberry”—tasted like vodka mixed with Crystal Light, the ultimate drink for an 18-year-old pledging a sorority. …when I read previous reviews of the Trump Grill before he became a presidential front-runner, I was shocked to discover that the food back then was bland, mediocre, and as Eater’s Robert Sietsema once wrote, “for timid people with digestive problems’. In other words, it was a culinary marvel lightyears beyond the rich-man slop we ate at the Trump Grill weeks after the election. I reflexively want to be generous in my assessment of what the post-election Trump Grill says about the Trump presidency. Perhaps it’s a sign that Trump is in over his head, and a shallow, mediocre man who runs a shallow, mediocre business empire (and restaurant) would sink and implode, crushing the expectations of millions of his hopeful supporters.

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John is guessing …

… he will keep the grill(e) open – as more and more establishments put up signs like this …