SAD!

“A poor person’s idea of a rich person”: Vanity Fair hits Donald Trump where it hurts

Classy!
Classy!
Image: Reuters/Joe Skipper
We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Most New Yorkers were barely through breakfast this morning when president-elect Donald Trump broadcast his latest beef through his Twitter account:

Where’s the gripe, you ask? The tweet looks like a random swipe at one of the country’s most respected magazines. In fact, it’s a response to a cutting review of Trump Grill, a steakhouse in New York’s Trump Tower, published yesterday by Vanity Fair.

In the review, written by Tina Nguyen, a staff writer who normally covers politics, the Trump Grill is described as possibly “the worst restaurant in America,” and one that reveals everything you need to know about the next president of the United States. The entertaining read, however, unfortunately also reveals everything you need to know about the elitism and snobbery that’s so common in New York. Nguyen begins by quoting author and critic Fran Lebowitz, who called Trump “a poor person’s idea of a rich person.” Nguyen then proceeds to illustrate how the same is true of Trump Grill: “It seems like a cheap version of rich,” she says.

According to Nguyen, the Grill’s tackiness is evident in its popularity with tourists, “French-ish” paintings, and inconsistent use of an extra “e” at the end of “Grill.” Perhaps even worse, there’s this: “Like all exclusive bastions of haute cuisine, there is a sandwich board in front advertising two great prix fixe deals.”

Pity the midwesterner—or middle manager from Yonkers, for that matter—who wanders into her condescending gaze, unaware that it’s gauche to top soy sauce with truffle oil, or that crostini should not be served with both hummus and ricotta because they are “two exotic ingredients that should still never be combined.”

On the other hand, if the food is anything like what Nguyen describes with revolting, hilarious detail, a lot of tourists are getting ripped off. For instance, she writes:

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.

The writer also references the taco bowl that Trump proudly posed with for a Cinco de Mayo photo op this summer. The blatant display of racism—”I love Hispanics!” Trump declared—was one of the moments when Trump’s campaign should have died, but didn’t. (Ironically, the taco bowl was the most adequate dish at the journalist’s table.)

Vanity Fair is expected to be elitist, of course. That’s its brand. But the president-elect of the US isn’t supposed to be reactionary and defensive of his already contentious business interests. Most people would prefer their future presidents be preoccupied with real issues—not the glossies.

But Donald Trump has a sore spot for Vanity Fair and its editor, who is thought to have started the ongoing joke about the size of Trump’s hands. As Yahoo news editor Colin Campbell points out, though Trump constantly blasts the press in general, he has paid special attention to his old enemy: