Another day, another recommendation: If you haven’t seen the goals from the weekend’s NWSL playoff semifinals, you should go look for them because there were some genuine bangers.
Ramble of the Day
Sergio Reguílon took time out during the international break to do what all footballers of a certain status seem to do: visit one of Salt Bae’s restaurants. It wasn’t his first time and he didn’t venture far for it, eating at the Nusr-et Steakhouse in London.
It made me wonder: Are Salt Bae’s restaurants any good? (Alternatively, I also wondered if it’s good enough food to justify an unsanctioned trip during a pandemic before vaccines were available to the masses.)
I decided to look into three of the many Nusr-et steakhouses around the world — New York, London, and Dubai — plus a burger joint in New York. I picked the New York locations because those were the first reviews of his eateries that I’d seen. The only reviews of any of his restaurants on his Wikipedia page are from New York based critics ravaging the food at his steakhouse. The only thing I knew about any Salt Bae restaurant ahead of writing this was a negative review from Eater describing the food as overpriced and, honestly, a little weird. (The New York steakhouse is better reviewed on Google, boasting 4.3 out of 5 stars.)
It made me wonder if New York critics were particularly tough, so I picked out London and Dubai — footballers frequent those two restaurants, and I already mentioned those two. (If you didn’t click on the link, the unsanctioned vacation was Willian going to Dubai last year during an international break and getting caught when Salt Bae posted a picture of them together.) The London steakhouse has a whopping 2.5 stars out of 5 on Trip Advisor and Google, and according to the Evening Standard, dishes are described as “sloppy” and again, overpriced; a cappuccino costs £50.
I couldn’t find as much information on the Dubai steakhouse, which I chalk up to the fact that a lot of the stuff written about it is probably not written in a language I can read. What I did find is a Trip Advisor page dedicated to it, which has 4 stars out of 5.
It’s a small sample size and not a particularly comprehensive search, so I’ll rule for now that the results are mixed. One thing was consistent in almost every review of a Salt Bae restaurant I read, though: a trip to a Nusr-et Steakhouse is always an experience. I imagine the entertainment value is why people go, and particularly rich people. (The other consistency is that the food is overpriced.)
No better way to start the year than with a dash of salt and a visit to my Turkish brother #SaltBae #fr7 #ELHAMDOULILLAH ♥️ pic.twitter.com/O5ztj4mueq— Franck Ribéry (@FranckRibery) January 3, 2019
It seems like a lot of money to spend solely on experience without having a quality dinner. Then again, I’m not a rich person. I don’t doubt that the spectacle isn’t entertaining or cool in some way; there’s a reason why restaurants where the chefs do some amount of cooking or preparing in front of you are popular. I’m always going to take my food seriously, though, and if I’m not going to actually enjoy the food, I won’t be able to respect it. It seems like it’s possible you might be able to find something good at a Nusr-et Steakhouse somewhere in the world, which is a good thing. Hopefully his success rate is higher than the reviews in New York and London imply.
tl;dr: I looked around a little bit to see if Salt Bae’s restaurants are any good, and the nicest thing I can say is that reviews are mixed.
Stay informed, read this: Nathan Solis on gymnast Suni Lee, who said she was pepper-sprayed in a racist attack last month for the Los Angeles Times
Links of the Day
England and Switzerland qualified for the 2022 World Cup.
French prosecutors will question ex-France international Eric Abidal in relation to an attack on PSG’s Kheira Hamraoui earlier this month.
UEFA banned West Ham supporters from traveling to the team’s Europa League tie at Rapid Vienna after causing disturbances during West Ham’s match at Genk.
Norwich hired Dean Smith as the team’s new manager.
A longer read: Ben Fisher interviews Wales players past and present on Gareth Bale’s impact for the national team ahead of his 100th cap for the Guardian