With reports of a "perfect martini" found in the heart of Iowa, the reporters at the New York Times may have finally realized that the people of the Midwest are more than ham-fisted, meat-eating, troglodytes and they too deserve nice things to eat and drink. Jeremy Peters, a media and political reporter for the paper, dabbled into the dining section today with a paean to the perfect martini but not before documenting the debacles along the way. "A restaurant in New Hampshire served an editor friend of mine his martini in a wineglass," wrote Peters, adding: "It was a different setting entirely from the bar in the north concourse at the Omaha airport, where I was given Bombay in a nine-ounce plastic cup." As Daily Intel's Joe Coscarelli hypothesizes, "The New York Times has a history of elitist reportage that seeks out the spoils of the Manhattan kingdom among the simple people across the rest of the country, where they might not understand the finer points of something like vegetarianism or cocktails." Coscarelli is of course referring to the vegetarian plight of one AG Sulzburger. The drama, such that it was, in both of these pieces turns on the amazing discovery by Peters and Sulzberger that there are actually good eats to be found in the great middle swath of the country if you look hard enough. (Call it a "Manhattanite Bites Midwest Food, Doesn't Recoil in Horror" story.)
But we wondered: just how difficult is to find these hidden gems while driving through Iowa and MissourI? So we compared the New York Times' gourmand newsgatherers against the hoi polloi in the local Yelp reviews. You can judge for yourself on whether discovering a fine martini in Cedar Rapids qualifies as a feat of gastronomy.