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He was once San Francisco’s most feared food critic. Today, Michael Bauer reveals his secrets.

The thing that surprises Michael Bauer, three years after leaving his position as restaurant critic at the San Francisco Chronicle, is that people are still nice to him. 

Now that Bauer is finally making reservations under his own name and isn’t donning a series of disguises to write his restaurant reviews — more on that later — he professes to feeling shocked that “they don’t hate me.”