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  1. MaxH


    IMO, it even READS pretty! :-)
  2. Why so? Same situation. Rare ingredients can make a big difference in food. When restaurants began following the lead of cynical truffle packagers a few years ago and passing off cheap unflavorful minor Tuber species as "black truffles" (very obvious if you know truffles, since they look different inside) -- in my experience it included some surprising restaurants, with chefs of taste and, in other areas, principles -- I found no difficulty calling them on it just as you describe for cigars. Their response has been embarassment and apology. It is possible that this reminds those kitchens t
  3. I agree, and certainly some of us are talking about it. To clarify what I posted earlier, in citing the naming history of North American wines and cheeses, my point was that some copy-cat food-product names had less cynical motives, they were a pragmatic choice among alternatives that all have serious drawbacks. I know little about the beef industry though, nor if any such extenuation can be argued in the cases cited in this thread.
  4. Thanks for the comments, Bill. As you may know if you have spent some time reading this particular eGullet forum, the subject of online restaurant ratings and commentaries has long history here, including a recent detailed discussion of strengths and weaknesses. As a user of such sites I remain curious about how, specifically, you differentiate yours from others, very well established, that invite restaurant listings and ratings. For example the metropolitan US Restaurant Guides sites (middle-late 1990s), Chowhound (since late 1990s), and Yelp (since 2006) all also fit the description quote
  5. Note, I'm not inquiring about this site's evident one or two attempts to post on eG -- what I saw was a not very informative invitation saying little at all about the site, its concept, who is behind it, etc. But as an avid follower of restaurant commentary sites online (and their history), before looking into this one further, I wonder if any eG regular or other third party knows more (like the points I mentioned, since the poster from "ahha box" did not evidently offer such basic info). Quick Google check discloses pitches posted in various US food-related fora online; also one automated
  6. A huge point, with vast history in the US of course. Rotuts cited the excellent example of Black Angus, now euphemizing half the beef in US supermarkets. US (and not just US!) use of "genre" labels for wines and cheeses has long history. In fairness, it has also long been controversial in the US wine industry; Schoonmaker and Marvel's US wines book lambasted the practice 70 years ago. It's also helpful to understand a less cynical motivation, at least in wines and cheeses; the wine book I mentioned dwells on this. New-world industries struggle with utter lack of the kind of recognized produc
  7. Emily makes an excellent point, though I wouldn't be surprised if Steven's opening premise here is accurate too. I was reflecting on different kinds of traditional "food writers." There have been, and never very many, serious reference food writers (Alan Davidson, Mariani, Harold McGee), and food historians or essayists (including authors of all those o-the-times critiques of the US food scene around the 1970s, possibly its gastronomic low point indeed). But I gather our focus is periodical writers. Not so long ago, the prominent ones (like the authors of other food works I just mentioned)
  8. In the current thread on aggregated online reviews, I mentioned bumping into variations of that. Some of my experience (clarified by quizzing restaurateurs) is of prominent restaurants accustomed to buttering up shoppers (less actually journalists, from what I learned, than researchers for guide books, the regional tourist board or even Chamber of Commerce literature). But also, in late years restaurateurs have increasingly vented about bloggers greedy to cash in on their influence (even if just self-perceived) by lining up shamelessly at this trough. When, as often true, the blogger is unk
  9. SJMitch, I gather that you, like me, take time to study Yelp comments and try to sort wheat from chaff. I also don't know what fraction of busy readers actually do that, desirable though it may indeed make them as customers. I find it challenging to sort out quality comments from the hundreds posted per restaurant when I'm exploring new territory -- how many people actually do that? And I also notice the type of petty or sleazy attacks that Edward J mentioned, pure smear with no concrete information; they impair the site's utility to me as a customer too. I too notice that "the new [restaur
  10. In my experience FWIW, it's exactly the real journalists who know enough about things like libel principles and evidence standards that they do not get into jams like this in the first place. Fundamentally or not, I think many people can tell the difference. Again I wonder about overfine distinctions in discussions such as ("but not limited to!") this one and the one about "real" chefs -- a preoccupation with trees that obscures the forest. People have always eagerly labeled themselves things like "artist" or "writer" from precisely the one viewpoint least capable of objectivity and detachme
  11. Whatever hair-splitting arguments people may enjoy, there's also a long commonsense understanding of "journalism" as associated with things like "journals." I think that understanding may be more to the point than formalities of definition. Though like most folks I like to put words out on the Internet, the self-selected self-edited self-accountable -- one could almost summarize a little harshly as self-absorbed -- nature of online comments has always struck me as more conceptually like tract printing or vanity book publication: the public offering up of ideas without the accoutrements of an
  12. Welcome to the realities of being an attentive restaurant diner. I'm coming up on 20 years now of restaurants noticing that I was paying close attention, or was introduced by someone they knew such as a local journalist, then second-guessing that I must be a professional shopper, and offering payola, unsolicited. (Once at a high-end restaurant in Europe where I was simply learning about the cuisine, this even led to a stand-off, resolved eventually with all dignities intact, by a compromise bill.) I find this annoying, as though assuming my good opinion is for sale for a few dollars or a f
  13. I think IndyRob's comment and topic gets at the very core issue in consumer restaurant guidance. Here are some observations, maybe familiar to many other restaurant customers, who have also struggled with these information sources. "Aggregated" restaurant rating sites, like the one IndyRob checked, arrived on the Internet soon after HTTP tools and "browsers." A very serious one operated here in the SF Bay area (and a few other metro regions with large online populations) in the middle 1990s, a little early for the general public, but it showed exactly the same issues. (FYI in the 15 years
  14. My last comments were meant, and are relevant, only for the particular context that I wrote to, explicitly ("traditional media as well, when the paper can't, or won't, pay for the meals").
  15. I wouldn't respect it either -- though am very hard-pressed to conjure real examples, within my own adult experience (four food-conscious US metropolitan areas since the 1970s all with local print media both "high" and "low"). Someone else might have significant examples, but in my world the meal-cadging media restaurant critic has been basically a theoretical concept, even though one often mentioned. I believe there are causative reasons for that. Even the smaller, local, tabloid papers, as here in the SF Bay Area, sometimes harbor excellent critics, "excellent" meaning widely respected, wi
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