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What makes a mixed martial artist qualified to be a food critic? That’s the question many have lobbed at Keith Lee, a Las Vegas–based TikTok creator with 15.3 million followers who reviews takeout orders from restaurants around the country.After a controversial tour of Atlanta in October that ruffled the feathers of local restaurateurs and celebrities alike, Lee visited Houston after Thanksgiving, leaving the city with an anxious buzz. Training and credentials aside, Lee’s good reviews have been known to elevate a restaurant’s popularity. It’s what some call the Keith Lee effect.Lee, 27, first began using TikTok in 2020 to combat social anxiety, then started posting restaurant reviews in 2021. He and his family mostly visit Black-owned restaurants, soliciting suggestions for mom-and-pop places that have good…
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