Mixed review question!!!

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chickenplucker
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2014/05/22 11:51:31 (permalink)

Mixed review question!!!

So how much stock do you put into the other major review forums before deciding to visit a place? There is a diner in Atlanta that I'm gonna visit soon but each review site is very mixed on it. But in the reviews the writer almost always says I couldnt find a parking spot and the place was crowded as heck. Well that makes me just wanna go that much worse. What do you think?
#1

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    wanderingjew
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    Re:Mixed review question!!! 2014/05/22 12:00:46 (permalink)
    It depends on the content of the mixed reviews.

    I automatically ignore  any review that refers to "outdated decor" or that the "menu needs to be updated"
     
    Anyone who complains about the fish at a Steak House is also ignored. 
     
    I also ignore reviews from those who have only reviewed 1 or 2 places, especially when the 2nd restaurant is "McDonald's" or "Burger King" or  a competing restaurant with glowing reviews compared to the one that was reviewed negatively  
     
    post edited by wanderingjew - 2014/05/22 13:48:09
    #2
    ScreamingChicken
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    Re:Mixed review question!!! 2014/05/22 12:02:42 (permalink)
    I definitely read the reviews but concentrate on the most recent ones, and then look closely at the reasoning.  Reviews that include lots of "OMG", "!!!!", and Twitter/text abbreviations are given less credence than those that are coherently written.
    #3
    love2bake
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    Re:Mixed review question!!! 2014/05/22 13:23:50 (permalink)
    I agree on the above comments.  
     
    Also, on Yelp I like to see if a really high or low review is from someone who always gushes about places or conversely is perpetually negative.  That can happen a lot on Yelp, but I still find it a useful resource.
    #4
    hatteras04
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    Re:Mixed review question!!! 2014/05/22 14:11:49 (permalink)
    The ones I love are the ones that give one star and the reason is that the restaurant failed to seat a party of 17 people at 7:00 on a Saturday night for a birthday party.
    #5
    mlm
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    Re:Mixed review question!!! 2014/05/22 16:55:41 (permalink)
    I remember reading a roadfood review for one of the new england 'eating in the rough' outside seafood restaurants in which the reviewer complained that there was bird poop lying around. Well, yeah, outside there are birds, birds poop, so therefore.......  So what else is new? Others complain of high prices or a lack of sides. So after a while, I think, didn't you do your research before you went? For various BBQ joints, people sometimes carry on when the BBQ is not the type that they're used to. Again, research is so easy. I do have considerably more sympathy when it turns out that the reviewer was taken to the restaurant as a guest and maybe didn't have any choice in the selection of the restaurant. Even then, the truth may not be that the restaurant is bad but that the reviewer was unprepared for the experience.
    #6
    lleechef
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    Re:Mixed review question!!! 2014/05/22 17:22:08 (permalink)
    I have two sources:  buffetbuster and wanderingjew.  Works for me.
    #7
    mlm
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    Re:Mixed review question!!! 2014/05/22 17:38:32 (permalink)
    Amen.
    #8
    EdSails
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    Re:Mixed review question!!! 2014/05/22 17:50:41 (permalink)
    I automatically discount reviews where:
    • The main complaint is that they waited too long for a seat
    • They didn't like their hamburger that they got at a New England clam and lobster joint
    • They thought a Mexican place was terrible because the tacos didn't have hard shells, yellow cheese and ground beef
    • The wait staff didn't act like they were the only ones in the restaurant
    #9
    Buffalo Tarheel
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    Re:Mixed review question!!! 2014/05/22 18:06:12 (permalink)
    Whenever I study reviews from Brand X, I try to read all the reviews for a restaurant to get a sense of the overall impressions left on guests.  I throw out the outliers: usually the ultra-negative or unltra-positive postings, although sometimes the outliers might be more moderate if there are a lot of impassioned reviews.  Like others have said, I discount anything by someone with few reviews, although I know they have to start somewhere.  For particular reviews that jump out at me, I read other ones by the author to get a sense of his style and see whether his work is trustworthy. 
     
    Like others have said, I try to stay in a restaurant's sweet spot: no looking for a filet mignon at an eastern NC gas station style barbeque joint, for example.
     
    Even with all that effort - can you tell I am a numbers geek and an engineer? - it often comes down to going out on a limb and hoping for a good experience.
    #10
    Foodbme
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    Re:Mixed review question!!! 2014/05/22 18:21:36 (permalink)
    What's the name of this place anyway????????????
    Just MAYBE a Hundred Roadfooders have eaten there and can give you their honest opinion!!
    #11
    Keysey42
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    Re:Mixed review question!!! 2014/05/22 18:58:09 (permalink)
    All of the above are good rules. Generally, I'm wary of reviews on sites like Urban Spoon and Trip Advisor, preferring to use those sites (actually, I have iPad apps for both) simply to find places I think might be interesting in a city I'm planning to visit.

    If it's a city I've been to and eaten in before, I'll look at the reviews for places I've been to and enjoyed to see how those reviews match up to my own experience. Then, if I see a person who gave a negative review to a place I love, and I see the same person giving a negative review to a place I'm thinking about trying, I'll give it less weight.

    Once I've picked some places that seem interesting, I'll check to see if they have a web page or, at the very least, a Facebook page, to get a feel for what's on the menu.

    But the bottom line is, you're never really going to know if you'll like a place until you try it yourself. Even Roadfooders, while a source I'd trust more than most, are not 100% reliable — after all, everyone has different tastes, and a place one person raves about may not be everyone's cup of coffee.
    #12
    Heartbreaksoup
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    Re:Mixed review question!!! 2014/05/22 19:06:02 (permalink)
    Avoid Yelp, use Urbanspoon, read the blogger and critic reviews only.  That's the best way to zero out the shills and the drive-by hit jobs.
    #13
    chickenplucker
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    Re:Mixed review question!!! 2014/05/22 19:45:20 (permalink)
    Thanks for all the insightfull answers and opinions. The diner I am referring to is The Majestic Diner on Ponce DeLeon. I have found several old recommendations in threads from 2005-2007 from Ort.Carlton. but no reviews. I am sure someone has been there recently. I have been by several times, its always busy and just looks like a cool place.
     http://majesticdiner.com/
    My search skills on here leave a lot to be desired. So, Who here has been?
    #14
    Foodbme
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    Re:Mixed review question!!! 2014/05/22 22:49:11 (permalink)
    chickenplucker
    Thanks for all the insightfull answers and opinions. The diner I am referring to is The Majestic Diner on Ponce DeLeon. I have found several old recommendations in threads from 2005-2007 from Ort.Carlton. but no reviews. I am sure someone has been there recently. I have been by several times, its always busy and just looks like a cool place.
    http://majesticdiner.com/
    My search skills on here leave a lot to be desired. So, Who here has been?

    Ort. Carlton gives it good marks and it's a favorite of Rachel Ray.
    Give it a try.
    #15
    bartl
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    Re:Mixed review question!!! 2014/05/23 08:37:32 (permalink)
    I recall how, through a trip through the South, I got a bunch of reviews that never steered me wrong. I just went to google, typed out the city name, and the modifier: site:roadfood.com (I also used a different than usual browser so that my "last visit time" wouldn't get screwed up).
     
    Bart
    #16
    wanderingjew
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    Re:Mixed review question!!! 2014/05/23 08:44:38 (permalink)
    chickenplucker

    Thanks for all the insightfull answers and opinions. The diner I am referring to is The Majestic Diner on Ponce DeLeon. I have found several old recommendations in threads from 2005-2007 from Ort.Carlton. but no reviews. I am sure someone has been there recently. I have been by several times, its always busy and just looks like a cool place.
    http://majesticdiner.com/
    My search skills on here leave a lot to be desired. So, Who here has been?


    I did visit about 25 years ago. Sorry, don't remember anything memorable about the place nor do I really have a desire to return.
    #17
    ScreamingChicken
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    Re:Mixed review question!!! 2014/06/06 09:43:55 (permalink)
    EdSails

    I automatically discount reviews where:
    • The main complaint is that they waited too long for a seat
    • They didn't like their hamburger that they got at a New England clam and lobster joint
    • They thought a Mexican place was terrible because the tacos didn't have hard shells, yellow cheese and ground beef
    • The wait staff didn't act like they were the only ones in the restaurant
    I was just reading some online reviews and realized there's one more type I tend to ignore: the "been going there for years, everything always great, had one bad experience, won't go back" post.  Seriously, a place has been that good for that long and you're writing it off because of one misstep?
    #18
    ScreamingChicken
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    Re:Mixed review question!!! 2014/06/06 09:45:35 (permalink)
    EdSails

    I automatically discount reviews where:
    • The main complaint is that they waited too long for a seat
    • They didn't like their hamburger that they got at a New England clam and lobster joint
    • They thought a Mexican place was terrible because the tacos didn't have hard shells, yellow cheese and ground beef
    • The wait staff didn't act like they were the only ones in the restaurant
    I was just reading some online reviews and realized there's one more kind of review I tend to ignore: the "been going there for years, everything always great, had one bad experience, won't go back" post.  Seriously, a place has been that good for that long and you're writing it off because of one misstep?
    #19
    ScreamingChicken
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    Re:Mixed review question!!! 2014/06/06 09:46:00 (permalink)
    EdSails

    I automatically discount reviews where:
    • The main complaint is that they waited too long for a seat
    • They didn't like their hamburger that they got at a New England clam and lobster joint
    • They thought a Mexican place was terrible because the tacos didn't have hard shells, yellow cheese and ground beef
    • The wait staff didn't act like they were the only ones in the restaurant
    I was just reading some online reviews and realized there's one more type I tend to ignore: the "been going there for years, everything always great, had one bad experience, won't go back" post.  Seriously, a place has been that good for that long and you're writing it off because of one misstep?
    #20
    JRPfeff
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    Re:Mixed review question!!! 2014/06/06 10:17:29 (permalink)
    lleechef

    I have two sources:  buffetbuster and wanderingjew.  Works for me.

    There's some truth to that. I give every Roadfood.com member the benefit of the doubt with their opinions. I do not look at other social media restaurant review sites.
    #21
    JRPfeff
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    Re:Mixed review question!!! 2014/06/06 10:20:47 (permalink)
    chickenplucker

    Thanks for all the insightfull answers and opinions. The diner I am referring to is The Majestic Diner on Ponce DeLeon. I have found several old recommendations in threads from 2005-2007 from Ort.Carlton. but no reviews. I am sure someone has been there recently. I have been by several times, its always busy and just looks like a cool place.
    http://majesticdiner.com/
    My search skills on here leave a lot to be desired. So, Who here has been?

    chickenplucker - I think you are over-thinking this. We need you to go to Majestic Diner and provide your review for us. I would trust your opinion before one from 5+ years ago or anything ever from yelp/urbanspoon/etc.
    #22
    bartl
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    Re:Mixed review question!!! 2014/06/06 11:19:10 (permalink)
    To get a 1 star Yelp review from me, you have to go above and beyond the duty of being impolite; you have to screw me over AND be completely unapologetic about it. At least once, a post-Yelp review gesture got me to remove the bad review, but that was when new management took over the place, apologized, and did not request that I take away the review. Only two restaurants have earned this; both cheated me, in both cases employees lied to my face about it when confronted by it (which is what elevated them from "made a mistake" to "cheated"), and in both cases management refused to even talk to me about it.
     
    Bart
    #23
    EdSails
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    Re:Mixed review question!!! 2014/06/06 12:16:56 (permalink)
    ScreamingChicken

    EdSails

    I automatically discount reviews where:
    • The main complaint is that they waited too long for a seat
    • They didn't like their hamburger that they got at a New England clam and lobster joint
    • They thought a Mexican place was terrible because the tacos didn't have hard shells, yellow cheese and ground beef
    • The wait staff didn't act like they were the only ones in the restaurant
    I was just reading some online reviews and realized there's one more type I tend to ignore: the "been going there for years, everything always great, had one bad experience, won't go back" post.  Seriously, a place has been that good for that long and you're writing it off because of one misstep?

    Good call, ScreamingChicken. I usually will give a place 2 to 3 times if they have good food. I also cut them some slack if they try and are not the greatest because of a language problem but you can tell they are sincere in trying. The places where I go, however, and they use language to say "American won't like that flavor" usually start off with two strikes.
    #24
    missandree
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    Re:Mixed review question!!! 2014/06/07 18:11:11 (permalink)
    The Majestic has been around since....forever. Tried and true, steady eddie. It's not your last meal and you need to add the experience to your repertoire of old school Atlanta standards. While the local color has changed dramatically over the last 20 years the food remains constant. You can never go wrong at breakfast, unless you're competing for that precious weekend morning table and your brain's trying to punch it's way out of your skull- in which case I recommend an emergency trip to Waffle House. I recently enjoyed a very early morning breakfast with my brother at the Majestic. My coffee was good, my eggs perfect, the hash was happy and the experience- priceless.
    #25
    JRPfeff
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    Re:Mixed review question!!! 2014/06/07 19:28:53 (permalink)
    Nice report missandree. Thank you.
    #26
    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:Mixed review question!!! 2014/06/07 20:30:30 (permalink)
    Jim's right missandree. Nice. And I thank you, too.
    #27
    Davidsanders
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    Re:Mixed review question!!! 2014/06/08 21:35:18 (permalink)
    May I ask how you find blogger and critic reviews of specific places you are thinking about going to try? Just curious.

    I was appalled to see a review of Stephenson's bbq in Willow Spring, NC that loved the food but 'couldn't believe the location, in the middle of nowhere'. I read a Roadfood review of it, and most of the other reviews are great. I'll be starting my trip in August there, because it's closest to the Raleigh Airport.

    Heartbreaksoup

    Avoid Yelp, use Urbanspoon, read the blogger and critic reviews only.  That's the best way to zero out the shills and the drive-by hit jobs.


    #28
    chickenplucker
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    Re:Mixed review question!!! 2014/06/08 23:05:48 (permalink)
    Thanks for all the replys and input. I  will be trying The Majestic very soon and will let you know good or bad.
    #29
    Heartbreaksoup
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    Re:Mixed review question!!! 2014/06/09 14:35:13 (permalink)
    Davidsanders, Urbanspoon lets you toggle between user reviews, blogger reviews, and critic reviews.  So, for the Majestic, just Google the name of the restaurant + Urbanspoon:
     
    http://www.urbanspoon.com...Majestic-Diner-Atlanta
     
    Just click on "blog posts" and it brings up the five bloggers who have featured the joint and let Urbanspoon know that we're out here via a reciprocal link.
    #30
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