Friday, October 3, 2014

The Best Comments on DSideDish's Article About a Competitor Food Critic Being Refused

I rarely read the comment section on food news websites because they are normally full of Internet trolls, but there is a wide variety of comment gems in the D SideDish article about their competitor, Dallas Morning News' (DMN), Food Critic, Leslie Brenner, having her money refused by restaurant owners who do not want her to write a review about them. The public news of their refusal puts Leslie in a quandary whereby she can no longer write an "anonymous" review of their restaurant, which is what her position requires, according to the news story/commenters.

The article comments have all the elements of a mini-drama, ranging from LOL-humor, to poetry, to real insight and food for thought (pardon the pun). I cut out the trolls for you…

Someone should frame this last phrase and sell it: 


Poetic insights overfloweth:

Good, but unrelated point:

> "Best of Dallas" lists on news sites are not just for ads dollars; they are click bait to drive repeat traffic ("vote daily!") to their websites.

The real point:

My response:

  • Everyone is entitled to their own opinion about food.
  • Star ratings mean different things to different people. Even one person can vary their meanings and apply them arbitrarily without realizing it. Stars are meaningless overall. That's why I don't use them.
  • With camera phones and social media everywhere, anonymity is nearly impossible.
  • Anonymous reviews are also not necessary if you're fair, honest, consistent, make repeat visits, and consider the opinions of others whom you know apply the same qualities.
  • You might not always agree with a critic, but when you follow a critic who is consistent, you will learn where your differences and similarities are so you can read the review and know whether you might like the same item, even if the critic didn't. 
As for me, I have been attending restaurant media events for three+ years. I have met many chefs, owners, bartenders, and waitstaff, yet I go unrecognized 98% of the time when I'm dining outside of media events. And if I do get recognized, most people don't seem to try to change anything they were doing. I hope that's because they trust I'll be writing a fair commentary.

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