People on Yelp: Why do you all suck?

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by kwilkinson, Jul 15, 2009.

  1. gdl203

    gdl203 Affiliate Vendor Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    I have had good a success rate (~ 70%) at restaurants that were based on yelp reviews. Also, I have had good success rate trying dishes that were highly recommended by many reviewers.

    Although I agree that there are a lot of morons on it that pretend to be real food critics, that is pretty much the case with any review site. The trick is to try and gauge a really good review from total tripe, and as always, take everything with a grain of salt.


    But why go through such a headache when there are perfectly fine and experienced critics that will give you an unbiased, well documented review of the dining experience at that establishment. Especially, if you tend to like a specific critic's taste and passed reviews, it gives even more comfort in the relevance of his other reviews to you. I know I will like any place well rated by Bruni or Platt, without a doubt.
     


  2. Ochowie

    Ochowie Well-Known Member

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    But why go through such a headache when there are perfectly fine and experienced critics that will give you an unbiased, well documented review of the dining experience at that establishment. Especially, if you tend to like a specific critic's taste and passed reviews, it gives even more comfort in the relevance of his other reviews to you. I know I will like any place well rated by Bruni or Platt, without a doubt.

    It's interesting that you cited Bruni and Platt as your go to critics when they are two of the most polarizing critics that have ever been at their respective posts. Bruni's biases toward Italian cooking are particularly well known. However, I tend to agree that Yelp restaurant reviews are in general awful, though not as bad as the menupages reviews.
     


  3. gdl203

    gdl203 Affiliate Vendor Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    It's interesting that you cited Bruni and Platt as your go to critics when they are two of the most polarizing critics that have ever been at their respective posts. Bruni's biases toward Italian cooking are particularly well known. However, I tend to agree that Yelp restaurant reviews are in general awful, though not as bad as the menupages reviews.

    I don't know if I would call preferences for particular cuisines a "bias" but I see your point. Hence my qualifier to pick critics which taste you share. Bruni is polarizing in his style and delivery - I personally find his reviews hilarious and really enjoyable to read. I never really thought of Adam Platt as polarizing in any way.
     


  4. CTGuy

    CTGuy Made Guy

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    i like yelp....at times. most reviews are kind of accurate.

    Yelp can be helpful. You have to make a judgment as to whether people are just whiners or if they truly had a bad experience. I had some experience making reservations for mother's day where I didn't really know the area where I found the site useful.
     


  5. Ochowie

    Ochowie Well-Known Member

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    I don't know if I would call preferences for particular cuisines a "bias" but I see your point. Hence my qualifier to pick critics which taste you share. Bruni is polarizing in his style and delivery - I personally find his reviews hilarious and really enjoyable to read. I never really thought of Adam Platt as polarizing in any way.

    The thing with Platt, and this was also true with Bruni, that I've heard was their aversion to classical service. This shows up in their reviews of restaurants such as ADNY and the fact that Bruni gave the Bar Room at the Modern 3 stars while giving the main restaurant 2.
     


  6. gdl203

    gdl203 Affiliate Vendor Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    The thing with Platt, and this was also true with Bruni, that I've heard was their aversion to classical service. This shows up in their reviews of restaurants such as ADNY and the fact that Bruni gave the Bar Room at the Modern 3 stars while giving the main restaurant 2.
    I don't know that they're averse to classical service as much as they are averse to a very formal service matched with food that doesn't live up to it. I remember his article about testing a waiter's patience (was it at Fiamma?) and making fun of over-bearing service. I always read it as a complaint about the mismatch between setting and caliber of the food. I actually agree with the Modern ranking - the main room is lovely but the service is very cold and formal, which along with the beautiful views and room raised our expectations, only to be slightly disappointed by what was on the plate. The Bar Room is actually a more pleasant setting IMO as well - and I did enjoy my meal there more than in the main room.
     


  7. Piobaire

    Piobaire Not left of center?

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    The liberalization of knowledge creates network effects (I'm ashamed I just used the words "network effects"). In other words spreading it helps it's development.

    I'm pleased you decided to pick me to reply to in this thread, even if we are going OT.

    The original concept being stated was that, as an example, the quality of the cut and adherence to technique of the cooking of a steak, is not determined through anonymous voting on the internet, but actually can be objectively defined through set criteria. Meaning, just because 1k schleps say "the steak sucks" does not mean the steaks do not fall under USDA Prime and have not been properly aged, nor does it mean the cook has not fired it properly. It merely means the schleps fail to discern the steak was a cut of meat that complied with USDA "Prime" standards, was aged under the proper conditions for the proper period of time, and was fired in a manner consistent with good culinary technique.

    I would agree, that if true knowledge were being spread, this would be a positive thing, creating postive network effects. I rather think the OPs initial premise was, that knowledge was not being spread, but rather faulty judgments.
     


  8. feynmix

    feynmix Senior member

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    But why go through such a headache when there are perfectly fine and experienced critics that will give you an unbiased, well documented review of the dining experience at that establishment. Especially, if you tend to like a specific critic's taste and passed reviews, it gives even more comfort in the relevance of his other reviews to you. I know I will like any place well rated by Bruni or Platt, without a doubt.
    Personally, there are two issues here: 1) I am a vegetarian and based on my limited NYC dining experience, I tend to prefer the Indian, Greek/Lebanese/Turkish, Mexican, and Thai cuisine more than Italian and French only because there are a lot more dishes for me to try out and eat in the former cuisines. Most of the must try Italian restaurants in NYC have very few, if any vegetarian options. 2) I don't know of too many food critics that cater to my palette. If any particular critic comes to mind, please let me know.
     


  9. Meis

    Meis Senior member

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    I always get annoyed with the people who's reviews are something like.."the food was great but the service wasn't abso-fucking-lutely amazing...sooo 1 star" and its always someone who has only been to the restuarant once (and its never some place you should be expecting incredible service in the first place).
     


  10. gdl203

    gdl203 Affiliate Vendor Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    Personally, there are two issues here: 1) I am a vegetarian and based on my limited NYC dining experience, I tend to prefer the Indian, Greek/Lebanese/Turkish, Mexican, and Thai cuisine more than Italian and French only because there are a lot more dishes for me to try out and eat in the former cuisines. Most of the must try Italian restaurants in NYC have very few, if any vegetarian options. 2) I don't know of too many food critics that cater to my palette. If any particular critic comes to mind, please let me know.

    I understand. I can't think of a vegetarian critic but I'm not sure it really matters. You can use other sources to locate vegetarian options, then check professional reviews of said places, from critics you generally trust.
     


  11. HORNS

    HORNS Senior member

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    There's a coffee place here in the Bay Area called Blue Bottle. Excellent Coffee. They are a very small establishment and really just sell at the farmer's market and at a little kiosk in town. This wingnut gets on to Yelp and gives them one star along with a statement that he doesn't drink coffee (just tea) and then goes on a diatribe about the cost of fossil fuels to ship coffee from around the world to here - as if tea grows in ditches and along fencelines here in San Francisco.
     


  12. jet

    jet Persian Bro

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    ^smh
     


  13. kwilkinson

    kwilkinson Having a Ball

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    There's a coffee place here in the Bay Area called Blue Bottle. Excellent Coffee. They are a very small establishment and really just sell at the farmer's market and at a little kiosk in town. This wingnut gets on to Yelp and gives them one star along with a statement that he doesn't drink coffee (just tea) and then goes on a diatribe about the cost of fossil fuels to ship coffee from around the world to here - as if tea grows in ditches and along fencelines here in San Francisco.

    I've heard tons of good things about Blue Bottle. Mostly from the guy who runs linecook @ blogspot and a guy who runs a blog called hot food porn. They're both in love with Blue Bottle. I can't wait to get out there in a few weeks and try it.
     


  14. Roikins

    Roikins Senior member

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    I've heard tons of good things about Blue Bottle. Mostly from the guy who runs linecook @ blogspot and a guy who runs a blog called hot food porn. They're both in love with Blue Bottle. I can't wait to get out there in a few weeks and try it.


    Mmm, I do enjoy it whenever I'm in SF and have time to stand in the long lines that always seem to be there.
     


  15. unjung

    unjung Senior member

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    I'm pleased you decided to pick me to reply to in this thread, even if we are going OT. The original concept being stated was that, as an example, the quality of the cut and adherence to technique of the cooking of a steak, is not determined through anonymous voting on the internet, but actually can be objectively defined through set criteria. Meaning, just because 1k schleps say "the steak sucks" does not mean the steaks do not fall under USDA Prime and have not been properly aged, nor does it mean the cook has not fired it properly. It merely means the schleps fail to discern the steak was a cut of meat that complied with USDA "Prime" standards, was aged under the proper conditions for the proper period of time, and was fired in a manner consistent with good culinary technique. I would agree, that if true knowledge were being spread, this would be a positive thing, creating postive network effects. I rather think the OPs initial premise was, that knowledge was not being spread, but rather faulty judgments.
    Christ Fuuma, I find myself agreeing with Pio more and more. I'm not even going to try to elaborate on my post. Pio is there. You should be too. Worst things on the intertubes, in order: CBC.ca comments; Yahoo Answers; Yelp; Youtube comments; SF CE.
     


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