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Meet The New New Times Food Critic, Melissa McCart

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After going six-plus months without a food critic in-house, New Times has hired a gem: Melissa McCart, who will be leaving Washington, DC to join us.

Her resume is nothing shabby. She began her career as a high school English teacher working in New York, Virginia, and even Berlin. Eventually she abandoned that gig to become a not-quite-starving artist, writing freelance articles about food for the Washington Post, Washington City Paper, NBC's The Feast, Gourmet.com, and Martha Stewart Living. She also wrote a blog, cleverly titled Counter Intelligence, and worked on a book about chefs.

Her favorite foods are oysters, artichokes, crostada, crab, mussels, and

pate: things that can be broken open, split apart, slurped, and spread.

"I am so excited to be in a real city," she said via phone, confusing us because we typically think of Washington as a major city, especially compared to the humble burg of Fort Liquordale (not to dis its status as "The Venice of America"). She explained, "Washington is a collection of wonky people from all over the country," contrasting its population of power-suited zombies with the fascinating variety of characters who have collected in South Florida naturally, like so many specks of sand at the edge of an outdoor shower drain.

"I'm also looking forward to the weather, after a couple years of brutal snowstorms here," McCart said. And food-wise? She'll be devouring seafood. "My father's retirement job is fishing, I grew up fishing, and just being by the shore will be so wonderful."  She's also looking forward to discovering our vast array of ethnic eateries -- even if they are tucked in suburban shopping plazas and not fancy downtown skyscrapers. "Florida seems to have much more interesting -- especially lowbrow and mid-range -- options. DC does well with fine dining but there are many gaps. It's hard to get a good taco in DC."

Look for her to begin in early August.  She'll be writing our weekly

long-form restaurant reviews and blogging frequently here on

CleanPlateCharlie.com.


Follow Clean Plate Charlie on Facebook and on Twitter: @CleanPlateBPB.

Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.

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Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in South Florida.