Who needs restaurant critics?

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These days, anyone who can chew their food and type on a computer can review a restaurant. (Think I’m exaggerating? Have you looked at Yelp?) So where does that leave the professional? Is there still a need for an experienced critic who has eaten widely and well, pays for his or her own meals, and knows how to write a complete sentence? That’s what a panel argued at New York University last weekend. Francis Lam synopsizes it on Salon. Perhaps surprisingly, with a few very pointed exceptions, the readers who commented after the article may sound more positive than the critics themselves. What do you think?

-- Russ Parsons