President-elect Donald Trump has a lot on his plate right now, but he managed to carve out critical time to launch a food fight with Vanity Fair after the magazine published a scathing review of his Trump Tower restaurant.
“Trump Grill Could Be the Worst Restaurant in America” was the headline of the Wednesday piece, and it went downhill from there. The reviewer, political reporter Tina Nguyen, said the dumplings were filled with “flaccid gray innards” and the steak was “overcooked and mealy,” slumped against the potatoes like “a dead body inside a T-boned minivan.”
Trump’s “pledge to ‘make America great again’ suddenly appeared not very promising,” quipped Nguyen. Ouch.
But seriously, the food was “so bad” that Nguyen had to curl up in bed when she returned home “until the nausea passed,” she wrote.
The “allure of Trump’s restaurant, like the candidate, is that it seems like a cheap version of rich,” noted Nguyen.
Trump lambasted the magazine Thursday, calling publisher Graydon Carter “no talent,” and insisting Vanity Fair circulation numbers were “way down, big trouble, dead!”
The throw-down was only the latest in a long-running feud between Trump and Carter, who famously slammed Trump in the 1980s as a “short-fingered vulgarian” in Spy magazine (he had earlier noted Trump’s “remarkably small hands” in an article in GQ).
Trump has tweeted over the years that Carter is “dopey,” a “sissy” and a “real loser,” one of the president-elect’s favorite insults.
Carter has tended to take the slams in stride, and he hasn’t yet issued a rejoinder to the latest Trump tweet. Carter talked about Trump’s “vulgarity” again last month in the magazine in a piece called “The Ugly American.” He recounted how Swedish model Vendela Kirsebom came to him “practically in tears” begging to be moved from her seat next to Trump at a 1993 Vanity Fair dinner because of Trump’s relentless ranking of women at the event and discussion of their legs and breasts. The publisher recalled that Kirsebom told him Trump is “the most vulgar man I have ever met.”
Vanity Fair currently seems to be taking advantage of the feud, touting on its website that it’s the “magazine Trump doesn’t want you to read,” adding: “Subscribe now!”
The Vanity Fair review is the latest example of criticism that has distracted the thin-skinned president-elect, who is apparently more concerned about personal insults than a spike in hate crimes in the wake of the election. He has repeatedly taken out time from a busy schedule to blast “Saturday Night Live” parodies of himself, and insisted the cast of “Hamilton” apologize for addressing Vice President-elect Mike Pence from the stage. Although Trump knocked Hamilton, CNN Situation Room host Wolf Blitzer pointed out on air last month, he “doesn’t seem to go out of the way to express his outrage over people hailing him with Nazi salutes.”