Photo by Paul Parent
Photo by Paul Parent

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Washington Post food critic Tom Sietsema has an arsenal of aliases he uses when dining around town for his pithy reviews. But Paul Parent, a retired teacher who lives in Silver Spring, has a fresh suggestion for the scribe: Tom Peepsma.

“Restaurant Review by Tom Peepsma” is the title of the diorama that Parent entered in our inaugural Peeps diorama contest.

“I’ve been entering this contest for five or six years now,” Parent says. “I just think it’s hilarious, it’s great fun, and in this world, we need more of this.”

The diorama features a sample dish from Skewers Ka-Peeps Bistro II in Silver Spring—a neighborhood some might say the real Sietsema doesn’t visit enough. “We have great places here in Silver Spring,” Parent says. “I live across the street from Mrs. K’s Toll House Restaurant.” 

Parent even penned a review that appears in the diorama. He matches not only the format and style of Sietsema’s reviews but also tries to match the font the Post Magazine uses.

“Uber drivers still look perplexed when I give them 9200 Carnauba in Silver Spring as my destination,” Peepsma writes. “But Peeps-kabob enthusiasts will recognize the address as one of the best places for that specialized, increasingly popular cuisine.”

Parent is a D.C. area native and has long been reading Sietsema. “I get a kick out of the reviews, and it’s like when you read wine reviews. The things that people say about food, I wouldn’t think to say sometimes.”

While “Restaurant Review by Tom Peepsma” ultimately didn’t place as one of the winners, it stole our hearts. Parent says the diorama took him about two hours to complete, and he plans a re-Peep performance next year.