Denny’s Daily Zinger: Going Incognito Is Good

Some people relish notoriety and their 15 minutes (or lifetime) of fame.

“I love being famous,” said Chris Rock. “It’s almost like being white.”

Success in two professions demands absolute invisibility: spies and restaurant critics.

I was once invited out to lunch with iconic New York restaurant critic Mimi Sheraton. She told me to make a reservation at “21” under my name, because she always dined out incognito. Otherwise she would get special service and could not write an honest review.

When Denny Hatch and his nameless companion arrived at “21” we were shown to the upstairs dining room. Standing by the table to greet us were the owner and the chef. So much for incognito.

The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Craig LaBan is the town’s secret gustatory curmudgeon. Because he’s invisible, he has saved a lot of people a lot of misery.

Philly has become foodie heaven with dozens of trendy, upmarket eateries.

In my old age I have given up drinking (alcohol puts me to sleep) and morphed into a food-is-fuel guy. My favorite: peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Bor-ING!

However, we do go out sometimes and I am always fascinated with new Philly eateries that have invested millions on furnishings, food and hype. The latest is Ocean Prime on 15th Street.

All I can say is, “Thank goodness for Craig LaBan.”

Incognito is good.

Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at

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