THUMB AWARD UNDERGROUND AND UNDERHANDED

Thumbs Down to The Underground Shopper. We don’t want to fly off the handle using words like “plagiarism,” so we’ll just submit to your own judgment the following coincidental facts. We featured 44 inexpen-sive restaurants in our July cover story, “Cheap Eats.” Twenty-four of those same restaurants are listed in the “Cheap Chow” section of the new Underground Shopper. At 20 of those restaurants, the Shopper reviewers have chosen to list, coin-cidentally, the same menu items listed in our “Cheap Eats,” which was published long before this edition of the Shopper. And to take the coincidence a step further, the 20 similar listings in the Shopper refer only to menu items that were in the D Magazine reviews of those restaurants. We find it strange, for instance, that the Shopper staff decided to order three soft tacos and a tamale at Taqueria Mexicana (same as us), diced chicken with cashew nuts at Szechuan (same as us), an oyster loaf sandwich at S & D Oyster Co. (same again), a ham and cheese sandwich and a shake at Highland Park Pharmacy (ditto) and a falafel sandwich and tabouli salad at Pita Place (same as our listing). We’d never accuse the Shopper of simply rewriting our reviews to save the time and money it would take to visit the restaurants themselves, but we’ll always have to wonder about the 20 coincidences. Amazing.

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