LockedA food critic that knows her stuff!

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Greymo
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2009/04/17 15:28:23 (permalink)

A food critic that knows her stuff!

It is hard to belive that this gal has written restaurant reviews for years.  I find this particular one very offensive  as she is in an area with many very nice independent Italian restaurants.  This is one reason that I do not pay much attention to local newspaper reviews.
 
http://www.syracuse.com/yolanda/index.ssf?/base/entertainment-0/123987215298370.xml&coll=1
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    jman
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    Re:A food critic that knows her stuff! 2009/04/17 15:44:42 (permalink)
    It's offensive because you're not a fan of Olive Garden?  Her opinions don't count because you think there are better Italian restaurants? Heaven forbid any reviewer have something good to say about a, gasp, chain.
    #2
    joclyn
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    Re:A food critic that knows her stuff! 2009/04/17 15:59:29 (permalink)
    i don't see anything offensive in the article.  at all.

    she provides just what is supposed to be in a food review: lots of detailed info about the food (offerings, prices and quality of what was eaten), the service and the ambiance and does so in a manner that is simply being factual (not tempered with personal opinion). 

    there's just that one personal comment about the one dish and that's certainly acceptable when doing a food review.

    grey, what is it that is, about the article, that is offensive to you?
     

    #3
    Greymo
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    Re:A food critic that knows her stuff! 2009/04/17 16:05:05 (permalink)
    Maybe offensive is the wrong word.  But why would any critic review a chain restaurant that has been in that area for years?  What makes this Olive Garden different than any other one?

    There are dozens and dozens of Italian restaurants in the area that should be reviewed.  I think her time and the reader's time would be much better spent reviewing little known local restaurants. 
    #4
    John A
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    Re:A food critic that knows her stuff! 2009/04/17 17:24:52 (permalink)
    jman

    It's offensive because you're not a fan of Olive Garden?  Her opinions don't count because you think there are better Italian restaurants? Heaven forbid any reviewer have something good to say about a, gasp, chain.


     
    #5
    ann peeples
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    Re:A food critic that knows her stuff! 2009/04/17 17:39:31 (permalink)
    I have been accused ( in fun only) by my sister-in-law, of not liking chain restaurants such as Olive Garden, Bonefish grill, etc.I will go along on an obligatory request by the b-day person,etc.They are all okay.But Having grown up in a different generation( she is 10 years younger), I pointed out that back in the early 80's, where we lived and she was just 10, the only fast food pizza was Pizza Hut.( which I didnt like) But we were surrounded by excellent Mom and Pop places with great food.Thats where we ate.So now-20 years later, thats what I still like.We will drive 10 miles to get our favorite food, as opposed to all the chains around here.Simply put, I think the review is just the sign of the times.
    #6
    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:A food critic that knows her stuff! 2009/04/17 18:21:28 (permalink)
    jman

    It's offensive because you're not a fan of Olive Garden?  Her opinions don't count because you think there are better Italian restaurants? Heaven forbid any reviewer have something good to say about a, gasp, chain.


    It's merely stupid to review this chain restaurant that serves faux Italian food. What's next? Burger King?
     
    #7
    stricken_detective
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    Re:A food critic that knows her stuff! 2009/04/17 18:25:26 (permalink)
    Greymo

    Maybe offensive is the wrong word.  But why would any critic review a chain restaurant that has been in that area for years?  What makes this Olive Garden different than any other one?

    There are dozens and dozens of Italian restaurants in the area that should be reviewed.  I think her time and the reader's time would be much better spent reviewing little known local restaurants. 


    Not to mention, is there really anyone out there who doesn't know what the Olive Garden offers? (sodium) Or what their food tastes like? (sodium) I think you have a very valid point. It would be like running a review of McDonald's cheeseburgers.
    #8
    carolina bob
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    Re:A food critic that knows her stuff! 2009/04/17 18:35:50 (permalink)
    I wonder if I could get Ms. Wright to advise me as to the the proper wine to accompany my sliders at White Castle. 
    #9
    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:A food critic that knows her stuff! 2009/04/17 19:07:33 (permalink)
    nocarolina

    I wonder if I could get Ms. Wright to advise me as to the the proper wine to accompany my sliders at White Castle. 


    My personal preference is Paisano.
    #10
    Wabbit
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    Re:A food critic that knows her stuff! 2009/04/17 19:49:37 (permalink)
    nocarolina

    I wonder if I could get Ms. Wright to advise me as to the the proper wine to accompany my sliders at White Castle. 


    That's funny!  IMHO may I sugest MD20/20 or perhaps a Boones Farm selection? I prefer my slyders with a Ice Tea or Cola, But then again I am not a paid critic.. so I don't have the educated palate as some. :>)
    #11
    jman
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    Re:A food critic that knows her stuff! 2009/04/17 20:49:07 (permalink)
    Michael Hoffman

    jman

    It's offensive because you're not a fan of Olive Garden?  Her opinions don't count because you think there are better Italian restaurants? Heaven forbid any reviewer have something good to say about a, gasp, chain.


    It's merely stupid to review this chain restaurant that serves faux Italian food. What's next? Burger King?
     


    Maybe she knows what her readership wants to see her review.
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    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:A food critic that knows her stuff! 2009/04/17 20:55:45 (permalink)
    jman

    Michael Hoffman

    jman

    It's offensive because you're not a fan of Olive Garden?  Her opinions don't count because you think there are better Italian restaurants? Heaven forbid any reviewer have something good to say about a, gasp, chain.


    It's merely stupid to review this chain restaurant that serves faux Italian food. What's next? Burger King?



    Maybe she knows what her readership wants to see her review.

    A critic's job is to educate his or her readers, not pander to them.

    #13
    jman
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    Re:A food critic that knows her stuff! 2009/04/17 21:01:08 (permalink)
    Michael Hoffman

    A critic's job is to educate his or her readers, not pander to them.


    A critic's job is also to review businesses that her readership may want to visit.  Her job isn't to pander to elitists posting on a message board.  It's such a shame that the unwashed masses can't visit here to get instructions on where they should or should not eat, or to be told what they should or shouldn't like.


    #14
    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:A food critic that knows her stuff! 2009/04/17 21:13:22 (permalink)
    jman

    Michael Hoffman

    A critic's job is to educate his or her readers, not pander to them.


    A critic's job is also to review businesses that her readership may want to visit.

    A critic's job, in part,  is to warn people away from bad things and tell them about good things. There is nothing elite about it. You want to go to a make-believe Italian place, have at it. tell your friends.


     
    #15
    Wabbit
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    Re:A food critic that knows her stuff! 2009/04/17 23:54:47 (permalink)
    I do not comment too often but I do have a issue with the comment "the unwashed masses" That is a insult to many, Who are the so called unwashed masses??? I am not trying to upset the apple cart ,,, but I am far from rich, I love good food. Mr Wabbit is a fan of good food . He has had the gift of great food all over the world,, thanks to the Air Force. As we are not people with a great income , but love great food .. in your book , where do we rank... Don't lump people toegther ,and don't assume people with a lesser income don't have knoledge of good food. This is my HO I don't expect evertone to agree.. but I do not think a stereotype applys..
    #16
    stricken_detective
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    Re:A food critic that knows her stuff! 2009/04/18 02:31:17 (permalink)
    jman

    Michael Hoffman

    A critic's job is to educate his or her readers, not pander to them.


    A critic's job is also to review businesses that her readership may want to visit.  Her job isn't to pander to elitists posting on a message board.  It's such a shame that the unwashed masses can't visit here to get instructions on where they should or should not eat, or to be told what they should or shouldn't like.


    Why would anyone want to go there? Punishment? "If your grades don't come up, we are going to the Olive Garden!" aaaaahahahahaa  Dude. I am SO not an elitist. If hating the Olive Garden is wrong, then I don't want to be right.

    (you just pushed my hot button & therefore you get the speech I give to my girlfriends when they want to go there for Girls Night Out)

    It has to do with being raised by people who learned how to make meals from their immigrant parents. They fed it to me, slapped an apron on me when I was little & taught me how to make them too. I'm not eating at the censoreding Olive Garden. I don't care how much you like their bleeping breadsticks. In conclusion: My ancestors didn't get on that boat over in Rome so I could eat at the freaking Olive Garden.

    These unwashed masses you mention ("you people"?) are eating at mom & pop places. They're cheaper & the food is way better. And next time I'm there, I will make sure my hair is washed.

    I don't mean to make you any madder but life is too short to eat at the Olive Garden more than a few times. Since everyone else loooooves it, I think this reviewer would be hard pressed to find someone in her readership who actually hasn't been there, or knows someone who looooooooves it.
    post edited by stricken_detective - 2009/04/18 02:33:37
    #17
    tkitna
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    Re:A food critic that knows her stuff! 2009/04/18 04:06:33 (permalink)
    Again with Olive Garden, you'll be ok if you dont order anything with red sauce. I was surprised to read that the critic thought the lasgna was good.
    #18
    carolina bob
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    Re:A food critic that knows her stuff! 2009/04/18 04:14:40 (permalink)
    I've had the lasagna at Olive Garden. Bad, bad news. One of the numerous reasons why I'll never step foot in an OG again.
    #19
    MiamiDon
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    Re:A food critic that knows her stuff! 2009/04/18 07:18:57 (permalink)
    stricken_detective

    It has to do with being raised by people who learned how to make meals from their immigrant parents. They fed it to me, slapped an apron on me when I was little & taught me how to make them too. I'm not eating at the censoreding Olive Garden. I don't care how much you like their bleeping breadsticks. In conclusion: My ancestors didn't get on that boat over in Rome so I could eat at the freaking Olive Garden. [emphasis added]



    Well written!
    #20
    mr chips
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    Re:A food critic that knows her stuff! 2009/04/18 07:49:08 (permalink)
    Wow! Im not a food elitist but I think a food critic's job is to find interesting places(I like cheap) that serve good food. I prefer the cheap eats sections of newspaper and use them as a guide to find places. Life is too short to eat crud and odds are that you will not have a memorable food experience while eating at The Olive Garden.
    #21
    jman
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    Re:A food critic that knows her stuff! 2009/04/18 08:13:22 (permalink)
    stricken_detective

    In conclusion: My ancestors didn't get on that boat over in Rome so I could eat at the freaking Olive Garden.



    It could be that your ancestors got on a boat so that you could eat wherever you want and even to give you the opportunity to even start a chain restaurant, without having someone ridicule you over your choices.

    Face it, not all mom & pops that serve "authentic" Italian food appeal to everyone.  Our local Italian eatery pretty much sucks.  Their food is inconsistent and overpriced.  The only thing that keeps them in business is that the closest Olive Garden is 40 miles away.

    I guess I just don't understand why some of you on this board are so quick to criticize a restaurant that appeals to so many people, even if those people are ignorant in your eyes.  A company like Olive Garden succeeds not because they get people in their door the first time.  They succeed because they get people to come back. People come back because, generally, they were happy with their previous visit.

    It's almost comical to watch any thread about either a chain or FF place.  It doesn't take long for the nattering nabobs of negativity to show up and tell the rest of us just how lacking our tastes are.  I guess it's a good thing we all have different tastes.;)


    #22
    mr chips
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    Re:A food critic that knows her stuff! 2009/04/18 09:03:46 (permalink)
    Jman, I appreciate some of your frustration and will try to answer you.
        Many of us came to these boards in search of independent places that serve good food and offer interesting culinary experiences. I personally love trying out regional foods and/or finding places that serve good food wherever they are. I have enjoyed the personal and on-line friendship of fellow searchers of good food. And the most common experience is that of seeking the new.
         Olive Garden and other chains make a fetish of predictability. The goal is to make the meal in Berea exactly the same as the meal in Portland, Oregon, Portland, Maine or Miami. If predictability is your pleasure then you should eat at Olive Garden.
          I personally seek the quirky or idiosyncratic. I love the  grits at  Francis restaurant in Portland, the chile cheese fries at El Burrito Loco, the Monte Cristo french toast and the dog menu at The Tin Shed here in Portland.
           I am not a snob. I will eat at McDonald's or Burger King but I'm not going to post about it simply because the experience is not unique and it will be the same for almost anyone who eats anywhere in the U.S at one of these places. And I'm lucky that Portland features Burgerville, an outstanding local chain that has won much praise from the Sterns and others for its food so I can indulge in fast food that is quite good and keep my roadfood cred.
       I continue to seek new dining experiences, some of which turn out very well(fried grasshoppers at La Calaca Comelona), some of which turn out horrible(bitter melon at a Filipino restaurant best forgotten). I dislike Olive Garden and Appleby's because they are boring and predictable and that is not what i am seeking when I eat out.
    #23
    jman
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    Re:A food critic that knows her stuff! 2009/04/18 09:35:35 (permalink)
    mr chips

    Jman, I appreciate some of your frustration and will try to answer you.
        Many of us came to these boards in search of independent places that serve good food and offer interesting culinary experiences. I personally love trying out regional foods and/or finding places that serve good food wherever they are. I have enjoyed the personal and on-line friendship of fellow searchers of good food. And the most common experience is that of seeking the new.
         Olive Garden and other chains make a fetish of predictability. The goal is to make the meal in Berea exactly the same as the meal in Portland, Oregon, Portland, Maine or Miami. If predictability is your pleasure then you should eat at Olive Garden.
          I personally seek the quirky or idiosyncratic. I love the  grits at  Francis restaurant in Portland, the chile cheese fries at El Burrito Loco, the Monte Cristo french toast and the dog menu at The Tin Shed here in Portland.
           I am not a snob. I will eat at McDonald's or Burger King but I'm not going to post about it simply because the experience is not unique and it will be the same for almost anyone who eats anywhere in the U.S at one of these places. And I'm lucky that Portland features Burgerville, an outstanding local chain that has won much praise from the Sterns and others for its food so I can indulge in fast food that is quite good and keep my roadfood cred.
       I continue to seek new dining experiences, some of which turn out very well(fried grasshoppers at La Calaca Comelona), some of which turn out horrible(bitter melon at a Filipino restaurant best forgotten). I dislike Olive Garden and Appleby's because they are boring and predictable and that is not what i am seeking when I eat out.


    I, too, love to eat at new and unique places.  A few years ago, my job took me all over the country and my wife swore that I went to eat rather than to work.  My one rule was to never eat at a restaurant that I could find at home.  When given the opportunity to try someplace new, I take it.  When I find a place that I like, I go back, even if it is a chain.  If someplace is convenient and the food is at least palletable, I'll eat there occasionally.

    I've had some great dining experiences at indies.  I've also had some less than pleasant experiences at indies.

    My point is simple.  Many people are happy with what they get at chains.  That's why they return.  Many of those same people, myself included, also enjoy going to independent restaurants.  Some people on here find it necessary to always jump in with their worn-out criticisms of the various chains.  We get it.  Why is it necessary to continually criticize those of us who may like a particular chain?  I occasionally eat at an Olive Garden.  Is it the best food I've ever eaten?  No, but it's certainly not the worst either.

    This board is well organized and no one is forced to visit a category for which they have no interest or liking.  No one is forced to post on any thread.  However, this doesn't seem to stop those self-appointed food police to tell us where we should or should not like to eat.  Everyone has different tastes.  That doesn't make any of us wrong.

    Some may take offense at what I've said, but that's OK.  I just don't think that I need someone to continually tell me, and millions of others, how lacking my tastes are.

    Now, excuse me.  I'm heading out shortly to go to Ramsey's, a roadfood indy, for a hot brown.  If they're too busy, we may jaunt over to the Olive Garden to try one of their new faux Italian dishes. ;)   


    #24
    mr chips
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    Re:A food critic that knows her stuff! 2009/04/18 10:22:31 (permalink)
    Have fun. Thanks for listening. I appreciated the dialogue.
    post edited by mr chips - 2009/04/18 11:16:14
    #25
    felix4067
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    Re:A food critic that knows her stuff! 2009/04/18 10:53:35 (permalink)
    mr chipsOlive Garden and other chains make a fetish of predictability. The goal is to make the meal in Berea exactly the same as the meal in Portland, Oregon, Portland, Maine or Miami.


    That's the entire point.  If I'm in a strange city, on limited funds and time, and hungry, I'd rather trust my money to a chain where I know exactly what I'm getting than risk eating at one of the large number of truly horrible independents.  Why would I want to risk not having edible affordable sustenance when I don't have the time or funds to get something else if it's awful?  If I have time, money, know I can get something else somewhere else if it's inedible, and have had time to come here before I go (another big factor...I get sent out of town at the drop of a hat) to figure out what is recommended, then I would always prefer to eat at a Roadfood-type place.  Shoot...I drove about 80 miles out of my way to eat BBQ in Tennessee only to find the place was closed when I got there on recommendation from this board.  What did I eat when I couldn't get there?  I think it was McDonald's, because they were open and I didn't have time after the fruitless detour for roadfood.  Might have been Burger King.  It happens.

    What I cannot stand is the holier-than-thou attitude that anyone who eats at a chain of any kind is stupid, ignorant, and pretty much doesn't deserve to breathe the same air as some people here.  In and of itself that attitude is stupid, ignorant, and I would prefer not to breathe the same air.  People are different, with different tastes.  That's what makes the world an interesting place.  Figure if we're on this website at all, we get it.  Just because we also eat at chains (some of us more frequently than others) does not make anyone better than anyone else.  And jman hit it right on the head...if someone is so horribly offended by chains that they spew vitriol at whoever mentions them, why do they put themselves through the blood-pressure-raising process of reading those threads, or really even clicking on this forum at all?  Me, I avoid things that I know will upset me, because it's not worth it.
    post edited by felix4067 - 2009/04/18 10:55:36
    #26
    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:A food critic that knows her stuff! 2009/04/18 11:26:04 (permalink)
    Well I for one would never consider eating at a chain, except, perhaps, for Waffle House, White Castle, McDonald's, Burger King, Taco Bell, Chipotle and Huddle House. I won't eat at an Applebee's, Chili's, Olive Pit, Red Lobster, or any other theme place.
    #27
    drpep
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    Re:A food critic that knows her stuff! 2009/04/18 15:32:20 (permalink)
     Well said felix4067. I've found myself in strange towns because of work and after arriving at 7pm, especially if it is dark, I'm not about to go looking for a local place when I'm not sure of price, quality and even safety of location (I've ended up in some scary areas while looking beyond the chains). If I have time to research I'll go local but if hunger sets in and Texas Roadhouse or Olive Garden is across the street then I'm there.
     As for roadfood members who would never set foot in a fast food place or chain why even come to this thread? I hate Mexican food nor am I restaurant professional so I stay away from those threads.
    #28
    Greymo
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    Re:A food critic that knows her stuff! 2009/04/18 15:55:23 (permalink)
    I do not believe that one poster on this thread ever said that they never went to a chain restaurant.

    My gripe is that a reviewer for a newspaper would review a restauant which has been in area for years..........she reviewed it not only once but twice with in a 3 year period

    A good reviewer would realize that the local media should spend their time reviewing the restaurants that make thier particular area a special  place to eat.

    Incidentally,  I had a dollar double burger  (or whatever they are called) yesterday at McDonalds.  It was not picture worthy but filled the hole in my stomach.
    #29
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