'Worst. Meatballs. Ever.'
January 25th, 2013
07:30 PM ET
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I have absolutely no business reviewing restaurants. Consider the facts: I like Ramen noodles. I burn my meat. And I'm pretty sure the Klondike Bar is the pinnacle of modern cuisine.

I've also heard good things about Applebee's.

But when it comes to restaurant feedback, someone like me can just go online and write literally anything. And people might actually read it.

"Let's avoid that new Italian place, Diane. It says here the meatballs are made from baby seals."

Nevertheless, amateur reviews on sites like Yelp do play an important role in the restaurant industry, and there are plenty of well-intentioned people who actually provide decent feedback.

"The meatballs are amazing! Definitely not made from baby seals."

Still, just being a prolific amateur reviewer doesn't qualify someone for special treatment when he or she goes out to eat.
Or does it?

Read - Apparently This Matters: ReviewerCard

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Filed under: Critics • Restaurant News

soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Keepalowprofile

    This really isn't just about meatballs is it?

    February 22, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
  2. twiz123

    Well I for one am a devout believer in sites like Yelp and Urban Spoon versus professional foodies. I do not always trust people's reviews of food, unless of course there is a pattern to a complaint well documented by numerous reviewers, but I do pay very close attention to service related issues on the posts. These almost always turn out to have some foundation of truth to them. Taste is in the eye of the beholder...there are those with 5 star french palates and then those with 5 star hamburger palates and each can be as brutal in their specific area of preference...but bad service is bad service regardless of the type of restaurant.

    January 28, 2013 at 11:08 pm |
  3. Evil Grin

    I don't know. I don't always trust the professional reviews. Maybe because I like ramen, too. I'm not a professional eater, so I care more about if the restaurant is clean, if the service was good, if the food was reasonably good. I don't really expect miracles when I go out, as long as the price is reasonable. (If it's expensive, I do expect better.)

    Professional reviewers often harp on things that wouldn't bother me. "The wine sauce wasn't reduced enough for the full impact of flavor." Well, that might be true, but would I know the difference? Eh, probably not, and it still tastes good.

    Sometimes yelp will give you a good base to expect for the overall experience.

    Do I think an amateur reviewer with a large following should get special treatment? Why not? A restaurant treats professional reviewers well to save its reputation. If you can damage it as much as a professional, it's in their best interest to make sure you're happy.

    But maybe no one should expect preferential treatment.

    January 28, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
    • Anonymous

      I don't read reviews...I find them generally unhelpful. In my local paper, every restaurant the guy reviews is fantastic; totally untrue, so perhaps HE gets preferential treatment...

      January 29, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
  4. AleeD®

    I don't write reviews about restaurants nor do I read them. Like voting or going to a movie, it's a personal choice based on my own experiences, taste and research.
    FTR, I'm partial to Magnum's dbl chocolate ice cream on a stick; hubby prefers Haagen Dazs chocolate-on-chocolate ice cream onna schteeck. ^_^

    January 28, 2013 at 7:29 am |
  5. Truth™

    Could not agree more about Klondike Bars. The only thing better is Klondike Bars on sale...

    January 26, 2013 at 9:42 pm |
  6. Shirely U Jest

    Bloody Hell, I've been there. In general more people, like me are ready to hctib about their food experiences than tell all what a great experience they've had. Sometimes you have to just jump in the muddy pond to find the good tihs.

    January 25, 2013 at 8:42 pm |
    • Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

      For every 2 compliments a person has, they will have 10 complaints. The nature of today's "I'm better than you" attitude.

      January 26, 2013 at 10:29 am |
      • twiz123

        I totally disagree. In fact I rarely leave a bad review unless it is REALLY bad and even then I often will wait until my second trip before I lay down the hammer on them...because one bad waiter or one accidentally overcooked meal should not be a measure of the restaurant. On the other hand a FANTASTIC meal will get immediate reflection in my posts...so don't brush the public with such a broad negative stroke. The restaurant biz is hard and people who really respect good eats know that.

        January 28, 2013 at 11:10 pm |
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