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lizziee

Tom Sietsema's Online Chat

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You all sound like an old boss that I had that made me wear a suit to pull LAN cables under raised floor at a customer sight.  Of couse he got the dry cleaning bill.  :biggrin:

Mike was so adept at laying cable that they hired him to circumnavigate the equator the day after a particularly heavy meal at Oceanaire.

Here he is at the beginning of his 25,000-mile odyssey.

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Don, this is a good place to re-introduce an earlier discussion we had. I maintain that it is very difficult to follow threads of discussion on eG. In fact I would argue that Chowhound (which I no longer post on) attracts a much larger audience because of their Hot Posts as well as their simplistic, archaic formatting.

Specifically, the last fifteen or twenty posts derive from the "catch all" topic, Tom Sietsema's chats. But there are so many subtopics within this thread that it is impossible to really know what a recent post is referring to. I am suggesting that EACH chat of Tom's generates a response from week to week and each of these responses almost always represents a new topic. In this thread Sietsema's chat hasn't been mentioned for ten or so posts and has long been forgotten. Were this its own thread the chat would merely have been used as an introduction to the topic, not as a continuim where many wanting to join in wouldn't have the vaguest idea of knowing what was contained within a post or what the thread was now focusing on.

Yes, I realize I am introducing a topic that is really off topic, having spun off from the original thought. But so was that which started this. As were so many other responses from numerous weeks of chats. In fact within the "Tom Sietsema" chat thread there may be 10, even 15 or more individual topics that could/should have its own thread.

I sincerely believe that the quality of responses on eG is superior, often far superior (especially on the International board) to Chowhound. Yet, I cannot tell you how many people I know who have looked at this board since I "moved over" and find it extremely difficult to navigate. Yes, CH is simplistic, but its simplicity is its strength.

I believe that eG could easilyovertake it but it must be made more user friendly to the average person who looks in once or twice. It is not enough to say there are far more options on eG. It is that the average person will take a quick look at how threads, topics are arranged and make a quick decision before taking the time to explore other options.

My apologies but I felt this was a very good place to introduce this since the discussion of appropriate dress in a restaurant surprised me, lurking in a thread about Tom Sietsema's chats. Of course with 225 replies and 17,000 views in the two years since the topic was first introduced I'm not certain why I would have found anything even remotely related to the particular thought that first introduced it.

For that matter, Ray's the Steaks has 338 posts and 27,000 views in the 8 months since it was first introduced. My wife and I had dinner there last Friday and were surprised that our entree was served within 90 seconds of the appetizer being removed and the dessert was served within 120 seconds of the entree leaving the table. There is no separate thread on Ray's discussing whether anyone else felt "rushed" through their meal. In looking through 338 posts I did find several where people shared the same surprise/disapproval that I did feeling, for myself, that a seriously good dinner was compromised because of this as well as the 90 minute "limit" placed on dining. (The "insurance" that we would be served fast enough to be in and "comfortably out" will cause me not to return because of this. For the $150 the two of us spent at Ray's I personally would rather spend $50-75 more at the Captial Grille where I do not feel that I MUST be gone within 90 minutes. I view this as a very real loss since the scallops, rib eye and key lime pie were superb and the ambience had as much in common with the French Quarter as it did with Florence-I liked it. But I cannot stomach courses served so close together that I cannot relax for even a few minutes between them. Especially with $29.95 for an entree.) I thought about posting a separate topic to discuss this and then, after finishing the 338 posts, decided that I didn't want to risk having it taken down and incorporated, banished as post #339. I also know that I am probably the only person on this board which has a legion of Ray's fans as well as the owner. Still, I feel the way I do. Also, so no one thnks that I am singling out Ray's for this very personal criticism one of my more infamous posts on Chowhound was this: http://www.chowhound.com/midatlantic/board...ages/32271.html

Ray's beat the Prime Rib with minutes to spare....

Before anyone responds to my comments about Ray's please read this post. It speaks volumes about my personal tastes and many, if not most of you, may strongly disagree with me.

Yes, I know that I am rambling here and have introduced a third topic under the same thread. But this is exactly my point: so many of these threads are so long and unwieldly and nonspecific that focus is lost. There is also a conversational aspect to many of them that introduces their own divergencies. For many, first visiting eG, these are real distractions or real inconveniences in following current topics.

Last, restaurants change. A topic started two years ago, one year ago even eight mnths ago may have little in common with what it is today.

Please understand the spirit with which I write this. I would love to see eG attract more regula contributors than CH. I also know many, many people who would enjoy posting regularly on here yet find the board to be not very user friendly. For many it is not about the many options and the overall flexibility that eG offers; rather it is the archaic simplicity that allows CH to continue since so many who post only relate to or understand that very simplicity.

Finally, the way topics are arranged on CH it is easy to respond directly to the initiating topic. On eG there will be specific responses to this post that may be 20, 30, 40-three pages away. Yes, an excerpt may be included in a response but sometimes you have to read the whole post for the "flavor" of the overall piece. For anyone who has ever been quoted out of context in a newspaper they will undersand exactly my point here.

Last, before passing final judgment on the propriety of including so much here, please scroll back through the 335 previous posts and see if you don't find several that deviate and ramble just as much. If it is too much to scroll that far back then I have made a point of sorts.

Thanks.

Joe

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Joe,

I have mentioned this before. When you sign on to the board, click VIEW NEW POSTS, and the software will show all posts since your last visit. If you check the board once a day, you can stay current.


Mark

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...I maintain that it is very difficult to follow threads of discussion on eG... 

I suppose any reply to Joe in this Sietsema thread will perpetuate the very thing he is criticizing, but...

I actually find eG easier to navigate than CH, simply because things are divided up into overall threads rather than splashed arbitrarily in blog order. Also, posts at CH expire after a short time and are then harder to retrieve. The search functions and different view options also add to eG's better maneuverability. My two cents as someone relatively new here.


Edited by banco (log)

Don’t you have a machine that puts food into the mouth and pushes it down?

--Nikita Khrushchev to Richard Nixon during the "Kitchen Debate" in Moscow, 1959

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I would disagree with having several separate threads on the same restaurant for the same reason I personally find Chowhound hard to deal with. It is too much work to find a comprehensive overview of a particular restaurant. On CH you need to scroll through months and months of posts to find relevant information. On eG, it is all in one thread. I don't think there are many restaurants on the board that have enough threads to warrant any splitting.

This is related to the reason that I like the idea that a thread on eG can be a little more free-wheeling and occasionally veer off-topic (often against the wishes of management higher up than DonRocks). What one person might view as thread-drift, others (myself included) might consider thought-provoking and often leading to more nuanced discussion.

Of course sometimes it is juvenile and completely useless chatter by a bunch of asshats - but you take the good with the bad.


Edited by bilrus (log)

Bill Russell

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Mark, it shows the new posts but doesn't tell me what is IN the posts. That is why I intentionally included three separate topics in my original "response" to Don. This is an attempt on my part-a feeble one, albeit-to illustrate that threads with so many responses, spanning huge lengths of time are, for me self defeating.

When I look at various message boards on the Internet there are many that use similar or the same software. Other than a hs football board in Cincinnati I haven't found any that allow nearly as many responses on one topic. Noting that you've responded in the past 24 hours to the "Tom Sietsema" threaddoesn't tell me what is being talked about on it since the topic title hasn't changed in two years.

I'm offering this as a suggestion to change a practice which will allow more casual users to more efficiently and easily follow current topics, or at least to know what is really being talked about in a particular thread rather than just a general "catch all."

Of course it's been my experience that there is little in life that I have had much effect on changing so.....

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By the way, does Lizzee, who started this thread two years ago still post on eG?

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As an example of what I am talking about - a recent new thread was started titled "jackie's in silver spring" and asking whether anyone had been there lately and whether the service has improved.

I'm not being critical of negroni, a brand new user - welcome, negroni. But wouldn't this be better included in a thread that allows someone to learn about what Jackie's is, what the service complaints are, and whether the food is any good.


Bill Russell

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By the way, does Lizzee, who started this thread two years ago still post on eG?

No. She is now a "legacy participant". Ask Rocks what that means.


Mark

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I find CH laid out in a way that I would describe as "incredibly amateurish and incompetent." To compare it to eG is simply unkind to the designers of CH and I would object to them even being mentioned in the same list of online resources. It takes forever for a page to load. You have to go back who knows how many pages that you have to look through, increasing your optometric bills in the future, no doubt, to locate something even remotely relevant. The list goes on and on.

I used to read CH before I found eG. I don't read CH anymore because it causes me too much aggravation and a bout of carpal syndrome.

I would argue that having 11 pages on the same restaurant is a benefit. Don't like reading through 11 pages? Tough cookies to you. What's with this obsession with instant gratification? If you have time to write a lengthy post, you have time to read through 11 pages. If you want to bring up being rushed from a table at a particular restaurant, guess what? You can start a topic on being rushed from tableS at restaurantS and comment to your heart's delight.

Besides, if you are unfamiliar with the restaurant, it gives you very nice background. I've never eaten at Firefly, but I can easily name three dishes they have on the menu, courtesy of the extralong thread.

But then again, I like to read :cool:


Resident Twizzlebum

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As an example of what I am talking about - a recent new thread was started titled "jackie's in silver spring" and asking whether anyone had been there lately and whether the service has improved.

I'm not being critical of negroni, a brand new user - welcome, negroni.  But wouldn't this be better included in a thread that allows someone to learn about what Jackie's is, what the service complaints are, and whether the food is any good.

He probably just didn't see the original thread. I'd link it but I'm on anancient apple over dial up right now , typing with one hand as i have a squirmy baby in the other.


If someone writes a book about restaurants and nobody reads it, will it produce a 10 page thread?

Joe W

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"Don't like reading through 11 pages? Tough cookies to you. What's with this obsession with instant gratification? If you have time to write a lengthy post, you have time to read through 11 pages. If you want to bring up being rushed from a table at a particular restaurant, guess what? You can start a topic on being rushed from tableS at restaurantS and comment to your heart's delight."

I type 110-120 words a minute and don't proofread. It took me four or five minutes to type the post. It took 30 minutes to scroll through the many posts. Mostly, though, I find your post to be rather mean-spirited and feel that comments like "tough cookies" and "obsession with instant gratification" are not called for. If you have a problem with me or my post I would rather you contact me directly at wwthrills@aol.com and tell me what you don't like. I have no problem with your disagreeing with my many opinions. And, yes, I have many. But I have many problems when you assume the tone you have. I believe it is uncalled for on here.

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"Don't like reading through 11 pages? Tough cookies to you. What's with this obsession with instant gratification? If you have time to write a lengthy post, you have time to read through 11 pages. If you want to bring up being rushed from a table at a particular restaurant, guess what? You can start a topic on being rushed from tableS at restaurantS and comment to your heart's delight."

I type 110-120 words a minute and don't proofread.  It took me four or five minutes to type the post.  It took 30 minutes to scroll through the many posts.  Mostly, though, I find your post to be rather mean-spirited and feel that comments like "tough cookies" and "obsession with instant gratification" are not called for.  If you have a problem with me or my post I would rather you contact me directly at wwthrills@aol.com and tell me what you don't like.  I have no problem with your disagreeing with my many opinions.  And, yes, I have many.  But I have many problems when you assume the tone you have.  I believe it is uncalled for on here.

I actually read Nadya's post and completely agreed. But when I read it, I didn't take it as though she was talking to you directly, JoeH. I felt she was just speaking in general about anyone who may not want to take the time to read 11 pages. I get kinda testy about people who don't even make an effort to search threads on a subject before asking about it.

Nevertheless, I agree with you about something like Tom's chats. I can't see a problem with a separate thread with a date in the subtitle for a recurring item like that, where something new happens pretty regularly.

On the other hand, I don't see a problem with 11 pages of posts going back two years for a single restaurant. I think that history says a lot about a place and informs to current date.

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Joe, come on. Her tone was fine. You do have strong opinions which we all appreciate. But when you favor the CH web interface over this one, its like saying TGI Fridays is better than Maestro. Its just not true on any level. This system is so much more advanced, user-friendly and capable than CH. The fact that you favor CH indicates you just got used to it or you are terribly web-phobic.

While I assume you had good intentions, your posting style can really come off as egotistical. You experiences are valued here but you are just one memeber of the DelMarVa community. With that in mind your massive missive on how to improve EG probably rubs many people the wrong way. Your long posts on why DC is a top restaurant town are interesting, this last post just seems to be writing for the sake of being the 'expert' on everything.

I hope you do not take offense as I really do enjoy your thoughts on fine dining.

"Don't like reading through 11 pages? Tough cookies to you. What's with this obsession with instant gratification? If you have time to write a lengthy post, you have time to read through 11 pages. If you want to bring up being rushed from a table at a particular restaurant, guess what? You can start a topic on being rushed from tableS at restaurantS and comment to your heart's delight."

I type 110-120 words a minute and don't proofread.  It took me four or five minutes to type the post.  It took 30 minutes to scroll through the many posts.  Mostly, though, I find your post to be rather mean-spirited and feel that comments like "tough cookies" and "obsession with instant gratification" are not called for.  If you have a problem with me or my post I would rather you contact me directly at wwthrills@aol.com and tell me what you don't like.  I have no problem with your disagreeing with my many opinions.  And, yes, I have many.  But I have many problems when you assume the tone you have.  I believe it is uncalled for on here.

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Actually, I kind of glad that Joe H will not be returning to Ray's the Steaks. It will just be that much easier for the rest of us to get a table. A few negative vibes could have a silver lining. And perhaps he is sour enough on the operation to stay away from the upcoming Ray's Classic as well. Joe, you just can't accept a small neighborhood place for what it is and its desire to serve as many eager customers as with what you yourself describe as a superior product. Michael only has 12 tables. Lighten up, will you.

Edited to add: This thread should be renamed "Joe H vs. the Volcano."


Edited by mnebergall (log)

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Yes, I realize I am introducing a topic that is really off topic, having spun off from the original thought.  But so was that which started this.  As were so many other responses from numerous weeks of chats.  In fact within the "Tom Sietsema" chat thread there may be 10, even 15 or more individual topics that could/should have its own thread.

Joe, while I think you may have a point in general, I'd have to disagree as regards this particular topic. The reason the Sietsema thread covers so much territory is that it responds to the weekly chats, which also cover a lot of territory. When I check the new posts in this thread, I expect them to be about the current chat in some way or other.

On the topic of the dress code, I personally enjoy getting dressed up to go out to eat. My husband does not, and it's frequently a nagfest. While he's okay with the jacket and tie for Citronelle or Laboratorio, I sure get the evil eye from him when I push the jacket and/or tie and we end up at a place where the other male diners are in jeans and collarless shirts :sad::wink: .

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"Don't like reading through 11 pages? Tough cookies to you. What's with this obsession with instant gratification? If you have time to write a lengthy post, you have time to read through 11 pages. If you want to bring up being rushed from a table at a particular restaurant, guess what? You can start a topic on being rushed from tableS at restaurantS and comment to your heart's delight."

I type 110-120 words a minute and don't proofread.  It took me four or five minutes to type the post.  It took 30 minutes to scroll through the many posts.  Mostly, though, I find your post to be rather mean-spirited and feel that comments like "tough cookies" and "obsession with instant gratification" are not called for.  If you have a problem with me or my post I would rather you contact me directly at wwthrills@aol.com and tell me what you don't like.  I have no problem with your disagreeing with my many opinions.  And, yes, I have many.  But I have many problems when you assume the tone you have.  I believe it is uncalled for on here.

JoeH, no offense meant to you or anyone else. When I wrote "you", of course, what I meant was "If ONE has time to write a lengthy post, ONE has time to read through 11 pages." It was not directed at you specifically. Please chalk it off my command of English that's not up to the native level yet (being a stranger in this country and all.) I regret hurting any feelings.

Content-wise, I stand by what was said.


Resident Twizzlebum

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I finally got to read this week's chat this evening, and I'm actually surprised no one has commented yet. I, for one, give kudos to Michael for his response. (Must've been murder, though...I'm sure a wry, dry, sarcastic retort was just waiting to burst out!) :laugh:

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I think the discussion of the alleged "90 minute" time limit at Ray's is now finally over with Michael's thorough explanation in this week's chat. Let's leave the steak in its heart.

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I think the discussion of the alleged "90 minute" time limit at Ray's is now finally over with Michael's thorough explanation in this week's chat.  Let's leave the steak in its heart.

Hear Hear....that reminds me I have to make some reservations........

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What Mr Sietsema said about The Ugly Mug on Capitol Hill was right on the money. The service there is virtually non-existent.


peak performance is predicated on proper pan preparation...

-- A.B.

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What Mr Sietsema said about The Ugly Mug on Capitol Hill was right on the money. The service there is virtually non-existent.

Yes. I just attempted going there recently, and GACK. The service was awful. I really want to support 8th Street and Hill businesses, but this was bad. Eventually I may try again--because I do that--but this was bad.

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Anyone think Sietsema is compensating this week for his rush of blood last week? Etrusco got three stars on a two-star review and Oakville Grille got one star on a two-star review. Karmic balance restored.


"Mine goes off like a rocket." -- Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, Feb. 16.

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Shouldn't he just give a review and star it accordingly? Every review I read of his makes me wonder if this quantifying, "star label" is arbitrarily arrived at or maybe "Tom's Magic Star Dart Board" or even if there is a numeric scale that a restaurant has to hit to climb up the magic star ladder. He certainly writes well. Now if only the stars matched the reviews...


Edited by sdelgato (log)

"I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully."

—George W. Bush in Saginaw, Mich., Sept. 29, 2000

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Etrusco got three stars on a two-star review and Oakville Grille got one star on a two-star review. Karmic balance restored.

I thought it read pretty much like a one star review. Go for the fish, don't try much else. I've never been to the restaurant, but will probably not add it to my list.

But I agree with sdelgato, the star system has flaws. But its good for a quick reference. Having no reference system means no arguments about 3 vs 1 vs what have you... but it also means you can't get a quick and dirty lowdown easily.

K

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