The review is the latest in a blizzard of coverage for the local media mogul’s first restaurant, which was met first with excitement and then a firestorm of criticism after Zimmern made several inflammatory comments in an interview released days after the restaurant first opened.
Emily Cassel’s review celebrates the joy that comes from drinking a powerful boozy slushie at the restaurant, but is mostly a shoulder shrug towards the mediocre mall food she discovers there. Here are just some of the zingers from the review.
- “Eater’s Twin Cities-based division contrasted promotional photos from the website with ones of the food that actually landed on tables—a “spot-the-difference” challenge that would have been the easiest ever published by Highlights Magazine.”
- “Like a restaurant in the third-floor kitsch corner at the Mall of America, Lucky Cricket is the kind of place that wants to make you feel that fun is mandatory. In fact, with the thatched straw hanging over the tiki bar, dangling fishing baskets in the dining room, a bamboo roof, and a neon-green bartop, it’s all but directly situated at the center of a Margaritaville/Rainforest Cafe/Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Venn diagram.”
- “Right now, the not-so-lucky restaurant’s rating sits at three stars—same as the Taco Bell on Lake Street.”
- “Dinner at Lucky Cricket is similarly hit or miss—something ‘yay,’ something ‘boo,’ something ‘okay,’ something ‘ew.’”
- “We knew what Zimmern wanted was to make an over-the-top Chinese restaurant/tiki bar chain. They’re selling T-shirts! There’s a giant head spewing out slushies behind the bar! They’re playing ska, for chrissakes! It didn’t need to be so serious.”
- “He fucked up when he positioned himself as Lo Mein Jesus and made this a battle for our souls.”
- “If you’re looking to down a Mai Tai or two before a movie, or need to stop for a bite somewhere after you return a shirt to Anthropologie, you could do worse.”