Restaurant reviews have become a national staple, fun for foodies but too often a death knell for hard-working chefs and servers. Reviewers get to be critical, ironic, funny and picky – even if they have no idea of what they’re talking about. And that brings us to the essential flaw represented by online restaurant reviews: The reviews are one-sided, there’s no training, sobriety, experience or mental stability required to post and – most importantly – restaurants don’t get to rate the reviewers, to give the restaurant’s side of the story.
It’s the last point we need to address. Wouldn’t online review sites be so much better if chefs and servers could critique their patrons? Aren’t a little fairness and equality overdue?
Review: All I can say is, overrated! I was expecting something great and cheap like the subs at the fast food place on Main, but all this place had was steak and seafood. And it was expensive. You would have thought they killed the damn cow yesterday. I give it one star, for good parking.
Manager: The patron was a boorish nose-picker who also tried to pick-up the server. He did not appear to have success with either. After being rebuffed four times, we had our floor manager act as the server so the restaurant would not be sued for sexual harassment. As it happens an enlightened soul — surely not us — called the police and asked if per chance they were looking for a blue Mustang with a particular license plate. This apparently set off a parking lot dispute which resulted in our patron having an immediate need to resolve 28 outstanding citations. We have promised to bring breakfast to the jail in the morning — if we remember….
It’s Time To Rate Restaurant Reviews
Review: Flavorless and drab is the best I can say for the shrimp. When we complained that the steak was lukewarm, the server explained that “of course, Luke the chef likes it this way.” The waiter was apparently an Olympic track star, able to remove dishes with world-class speed, even if the food was not finished. The pork chop was lean to the point of being alive and the salmon had the flavor of wood chips. On a scale of one to five, this place is a zero.
Server: It’s fairly unusual to have a patron sit down for dinner after four hours at the bar – or to sit at all. He started off the evening by asking for a magnum of Chateau Potemkin 1910, a liquid so foul its single intended use is to lubricate Russian tanks. He then complained that the restaurant was too loud, followed by claims that the walls were moving, there was a zebra in the kitchen, and that his doggie bag contained an actual puppy. We called a cab so he could vomit in peace somewhere else.
Review: Long ago I ate in France’s best restaurant, a place where the leek soup was filtered through the chin hairs of an Andean sloth. This place ain’t in France and it ain’t very good. We went for my wife’s birthday and the service was so slow she aged another year. The hot food was cold and the cold food was warm. The hostess had a neck brace and some sort of tic. I didn’t know whether to call the health department or the Centers for Disease Control. Warning: stay away. No stars.
Manager: The patron was promptly seated and then demanded to see the chef to ask about the Moules à la crème Deauville and the Bleu des Causses. He said the mussels had to come from an area two miles west of the casino in Deauville to warrant their label while the cheese needed to be 21 percent blue, no more, no less, neither of which seemed true in his opinion. He noted that the tablecloths were “cheap and tawdry” and lacked the proper thread count. This went on for about 20 minutes.
The chef then went back to the kitchen and emerged with what appeared to be a long stick. He asked the patron if he, the patron, an obvious authority, knew what the chef was holding. The patron said no. The chef then explained, in so many words, that he was “holding a buffalo penis and if the patron didn’t stop mouthing off the same thing could happen to him.”
We’re happy to report that the patron — suddenly satisfied for reasons we cannot possibly explain — quietly enjoyed his dinner thereafter and left a substantial tip.
The review seems curiously at odds with the very enthusiastic compliments offered in person. We believe a retraction is in order and certainly the patron is welcome to return and once-again chat at length with the chef, perhaps on a Wednesday morning when the chef is butchering a side of beef with a large cleaver, a very large cleaver, a cleaver that can also slice through frankfurters, hot dogs and wieners of any size.
Review: Rudy and I went out Friday night. It’s been a tough week at the plant and we were happy for the break. Rudy had the sausage grinder while I had the triple-decker club. Doris was our waitress and it was good to see her. We loved the food and got home in time for a movie.
Doris: Hi guys. Thanks so much. Always good to see you also. Please come by again, I have some blueberry cheese cake I want you to try. On the house, natch.
So how about it? If you’re a chef, server or manager would you welcome the chance to rate your reviewers? Tell me what you think.
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