I make no secret of my love for food, whether it’s home cooking, baking, or eating out. However, and excluding my daily meal posts which are more about tracking my improvement in the kitchen, I don’t write food or restaurant reviews.
There are already excellent blogs and services that are a lot more qualified than me to do that- so I don’t want to compete with them. I also find it really time consuming and hard to maintain. Plus I will take a home cooked meal over anything else any day.
But like so many other people, I read those reviews and ratings and use them as a guidance of what to try and what to avoid. It works sometimes, especially when the opinions are firmly negative or positive.
It doesn’t when the opinions are mixed.
Like what happened with The Butcher Shop and Grill.
I had been meaning to try the steakhouse since it opened its doors recently so my (early) birthday dinner seemed like the best opportunity to do so. Yet we came in unsure about the experience would turn out because the reviews were mixed. Our group debated the orders for a long time, considering what the internet had to say.
But you know what, it wasn’t as bad as they made it out to be. Both steak and burger orders turned out great and everyone left the eatery as a satisfied customer.
Now can the meat be cooked better? Yes. I don’t think they nailed the medium well part but it was still okay. Was the portion a bit on the smaller side and lacking a salad option? I agree. But maybe I shouldn’t have gone for the ladies’ cut because real women are not fooled by a tiny piece of meat.
I feel that reviews should be taken at face value, without giving them much insight- they are after all subjective and depend on each person’s tastes and preferences. And knowing the local community, everyone thinks he or she is a critic on MasterChef.
But food is an acquired taste (no pun intended) and getting to critique a restaurant should be a privellege and left to the experts. Meanwhile let’s give places a chance to present their offerings without coming in with preconceived notions.
You never know, they might surprise you.