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 Owner sneaks free review onto Roadfood.com

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JimInKy

  • Total Posts: 599
  • Joined: 11/29/2000
  • Location: Lexington, KY
Owner sneaks free review onto Roadfood.com Mon, 02/2/04 4:29 PM (permalink)
When a review and photo for John G's Bar-B-Que and Steakhouse in Cleveland, Tennessee showed up on the Roadfood.com home page last night, I took note that it was probably placed there by the restaurant's owner. Why did I think so?

On January 29 (3 days before the John G's review), neonjohn wrote the following post to a forum titled "I- 75 BBQ????"

From neonjohn:
" This reply may be a little late but...

You should stop by my place, John G's BBQ on your next trip. Located in downtown Cleveland, TN, about 3 miles off I-75 at the 20 mile marker north of Chattanooga. Little hole-in-the-wall place. Old fashioned open pit. Shoulders only. Everything homemade. Yadayadayada.... I make neon signs as a hobby so there's plenty of neon in the place too. Phone is 423 479-7885. Open tues-Sat.

Get off at exit 30 and turn east. Go to the Blue Springs Road exit. Take a right. Road splits into one-way and becomes Ocoee St. Just past the first light on the left. RV/truck parking on the right.

John "


Fellow members, this John/neonjohn is clearly the "John" person posting the John G's restaurant review. Do read the review and see for yourselves.

Do registered members want Roadfood.com to become a free advertising venue for restaurant owners? I think the answer is a resounding NO. We look here for reviews we trust from Jane and Michael Stern, their representatives and for reviews from peers who are looking out for us.

The February 1 restaurant review is so transparent, it had to have accidentally slipped by staff. Had I not read the I-75 BBQ???? post a few days ago, I suppose it could have slipped by me.

I do not fault neonjohn for promoting his business, but I condemn his falseness and dishonesty in this stealth review. This is not the place for his self promotion, and any such effort contradicts the very purpose of a community such as this. I guess the fact that he managed to self-promote in a forum discussion encouraged him to go for the full review w/photo.

I trust staff will remove the review immediately (and perhaps the forum post as well). If proprietors should be allowed to free advertise here under the guise of "reviews", such content should be boldly identified as advertising and placed in a different section, called Yellow Pages or something. Personally, I hope the Web owners will not allow free advertising, period, and will post a policy statement clarifying who can and cannot submit reviews.

Seeing this review really bothers me. Let's protect the integrity of this special community and say no to phony and false reviews by people with proprietary interests, and no to anything else that threatens the quality and trust members place in the Sterns, this Web site and the Roadfood community.

Please speak out here, everyone, and also write to the Sterns. Let's thwart this destructive behavior before it poisons the well.
 
#1
    Route 11

    • Total Posts: 752
    • Joined: 5/28/2003
    • Location: Howardsville, VA
    RE: Owner sneaks free review onto Roadfood.com Mon, 02/2/04 5:11 PM (permalink)
    Hmmm...good catch!
     
    #2
      Michael Stern

      RE: Owner sneaks free review onto Roadfood.com Mon, 02/2/04 5:12 PM (permalink)
      I have to agree with Jim. It's the deception that's troubling. I wouldn't be nearly as bothered if the review said, "I am the owner of John G.'s restaurant, and here is why I think my place is worth visiting... " But even that does seem to go against the spirit of this site. In the past, when restaurateurs have written to ask how they can be included here, I suggest they have someone write a review and submit it. Of course, there's no way to police who that reviewer is, or even if it's the restaurateur himself in disguise. It IS troubling, but I'm not sure exactly how we can keep Roadfood as open as possible and also prevent this sort of free advertising.
       
      #3
        Stephen Rushmore Jr.

        RE: Owner sneaks free review onto Roadfood.com Mon, 02/2/04 5:22 PM (permalink)
        I also agree with everyones points, and I clearly missed this when I was approving his review. His restaurant and photos will remain, but his review will not.
         
        #4
          Rusty246

          • Total Posts: 2413
          • Joined: 7/15/2003
          • Location: Newberry, FL
          RE: Owner sneaks free review onto Roadfood.com Mon, 02/2/04 5:27 PM (permalink)
          Abra-cadabra...... the only review he had was his own.
           
          #5
            Bushie

            • Total Posts: 2902
            • Joined: 4/21/2001
            • Location: Round Rock, TX
            RE: Owner sneaks free review onto Roadfood.com Mon, 02/2/04 5:39 PM (permalink)
            Good catch, Jim.
             
            #6
              Biscuit

              • Total Posts: 73
              • Joined: 6/3/2003
              • Location: Denver , CO
              RE: Owner sneaks free review onto Roadfood.com Mon, 02/2/04 5:54 PM (permalink)
              I vote for Jim's elevation to honorary "Health Inspector" status! Good eye
               
              #7
                Grampy

                • Total Posts: 1559
                • Joined: 10/14/2002
                • Location: Greenfield, MA
                RE: Owner sneaks free review onto Roadfood.com Mon, 02/2/04 6:24 PM (permalink)
                Hey, Eat at Grampy's!

                Of course, it's just my house, but everyone is welcome.
                 
                #8
                  Route 11

                  • Total Posts: 752
                  • Joined: 5/28/2003
                  • Location: Howardsville, VA
                  RE: Owner sneaks free review onto Roadfood.com Mon, 02/2/04 8:09 PM (permalink)
                  I don't sponsor anything.

                  But I do want to let you guys know a new BBQ place has opened on Rt.29 just by the Fairfax/Fauqier border in VA.

                  Hurray!
                   
                  #9
                    i95

                    • Total Posts: 2500
                    • Joined: 7/14/2003
                    • Location: Sin City, VA
                    RE: Owner sneaks free review onto Roadfood.com Mon, 02/2/04 8:29 PM (permalink)
                    You're right, Lynne! It's on the right hand-side of Route 29-211 as you head south between Gainesville and New Baltimore, Virginia (likely Prince William County). I've forgotten its name but the gigantic grill / smoker they use is literally the size of the joint's front porch. Let me know if you ever check it out. It smells great as I motor pass it too early en route to Richmond.
                     
                    #10
                      tiki

                      • Total Posts: 4135
                      • Joined: 7/7/2003
                      • Location: Rentiesville, OK
                      RE: Owner sneaks free review onto Roadfood.com Mon, 02/2/04 8:30 PM (permalink)
                      And he's not the only one trying to cash in of this board-"Best Brats and Ruebans in Bigfork,Montana" This guy Michael and NeonJohn must have been in the same fraternity! its kind of insulting to those who habituate this board who DONT use it to future their own ventures when i KNOW some COULD. It all boils down to this--if we had been INVITED to come by and make our own reviews, it would probably get alot more of us in there!
                       
                      #11
                        LegalLady

                        • Total Posts: 404
                        • Joined: 1/3/2004
                        • Location: Oshkosh, NE
                        RE: Owner sneaks free review onto Roadfood.com Mon, 02/2/04 9:12 PM (permalink)
                        That's what I like about Roadfood.com - They take care of business and do what needs done!
                         
                        #12
                          Ort. Carlton.

                          • Total Posts: 3589
                          • Joined: 4/9/2003
                          • Location: Athens, GA
                          RE: Owner sneaks free review onto Roadfood.com Mon, 02/2/04 9:40 PM (permalink)
                          Dearfolk,
                          I agree that owner-posted (or other such "snuck-in") reviews need to be deleted - if only for the ETHOS of it all, but there's only one weak link in the thought chain here... WHAT IF the place really is outstanding once one of us gets there to be sure?
                          At first, I thought "Stephen, why leave even the photos?" and then I realized that perhaps this one post could be impetus for some of us in the area (and there are several regular posters here who are far closer to Cleveland, Tennessee than I am) to check it out. Hey, just in case it really is Roadfood worthy ("Sternable" is the aphorism that I use), we've already got good photos to accompany the new review!....
                          My thought is - in this particular case - we just might have a winner, folks. Just a ten-cent hunch, you might call it.
                          Curiouser And Curiouser, Ort. Carlton in Too-Cold-And-Rainy-To-Risk-The-Drive-Up-There-Right-Now Athens, Georgia.
                           
                          #13
                            The Travelin Man

                            • Total Posts: 3698
                            • Joined: 3/25/2003
                            • Location: Central FL
                            RE: Owner sneaks free review onto Roadfood.com Mon, 02/2/04 10:21 PM (permalink)
                            Mad props to Jim for the unlikeliest of catches. Not to look like a complete suck up, but I think Michael Stern also hit it on the head when he referred to the deceptive nature of the post. I think this site does a really good job of self-policing, and while there are relatively few "don't eat at Mom's Diner" (or wherever) posts here (chains being the main exception), if someone posted a "review" of their own place, and someone else were to try it, I think the word would get around quick enough.

                            Steve
                             
                            #14
                              RibDog

                              • Total Posts: 593
                              • Joined: 6/6/2003
                              • Location: St. Petersburg, FL
                              RE: Owner sneaks free review onto Roadfood.com Mon, 02/2/04 10:41 PM (permalink)
                              I agree with JiminKY about not allowing self-promotion of a restaurant by someone with a financial interest in that establishment. While it is up to Jane and Michael to determine whether this should be allowed, I believe it is appropriate to bring it to their attention.

                              But on a side note, anyone who states that ribs should not be cooked on a low and slow basis does not really understand BBQ. BBQ is a multi-faceted technique for cooking and smoking. NeonJohn gave me a strange feeling when he stated this on the "Barbecue Problems" thread.

                              Good catch Jim.

                              John
                               
                              #15
                                jvsmom

                                • Total Posts: 462
                                • Joined: 5/11/2001
                                • Location: Braintree, MA
                                RE: Owner sneaks free review onto Roadfood.com Tue, 02/3/04 12:18 AM (permalink)
                                For what it's worth, I agree with Jim and Michael.
                                 
                                #16
                                  Brahma Bob

                                  • Total Posts: 46
                                  • Joined: 11/27/2003
                                  • Location: Sacramento, CA
                                  RE: Owner sneaks free review onto Roadfood.com Tue, 02/3/04 12:38 AM (permalink)
                                  quote:
                                  Originally posted by Michael Stern

                                  I have to agree with Jim. It's the deception that's troubling. I wouldn't be nearly as bothered if the review said, "I am the owner of John G.'s restaurant, and here is why I think my place is worth visiting... "

                                  This is exactly what I've been thinking. I had to laugh out loud at that guy from Montana that Tiki mentioned. He was found out so fast I bet his head is still spinning. I can see where this tactic of announcing oneself as the owner of xxx restaurant could get out of hand. Can you imagine 50 owners all posting "Please eat at my place"? Jim, right on. We all have every reason to be annoyed.
                                   
                                  #17
                                    lleechef

                                    • Total Posts: 6228
                                    • Joined: 3/22/2003
                                    • Location: Gahanna, OH
                                    RE: Owner sneaks free review onto Roadfood.com Tue, 02/3/04 12:38 AM (permalink)
                                    Good catch, Jim. I've been "out of the loop" a little these past couple of weeks since I'm on vacation in SoCal but this is not a place to advertize.
                                     
                                    #18
                                      meowzart

                                      • Total Posts: 773
                                      • Joined: 3/28/2001
                                      • Location: Laurel, MD
                                      RE: Owner sneaks free review onto Roadfood.com Tue, 02/3/04 9:42 AM (permalink)
                                      What I don't get is that he was honest in his posts (all two of them). Why not be honest in his "review"? (quotes because it is NO review if the owner writes it--it is an advertisement) I also think that if he was a bit more active on the boards and talked about more than just his place, we might be a bit more forgiving of his rev-ad.
                                       
                                      #19
                                        Sundancer7

                                        RE: Owner sneaks free review onto Roadfood.com Fri, 02/6/04 4:13 PM (permalink)
                                        Jim and Meowzart: Since I am going to Birchwood tomorrow to see 13,000 Sandhill cranes at the wildlife refuge, I will stop at Cleveland Tennessee to visit the rogue BBQ place.

                                        http://wildlifewatcher.com/se/hiwassee.phtml

                                        Since he sneaked in through the back door, I will review his "que" I will report back my findings.

                                        I recoginize that I am not a professional judge and I certainly am not qualified to be a professional reviewer, but I will report my opinion.


                                        After all, I have to get tuned up for the southwestern Tennessee trip with Poverty, Pogo, JimInKy and the Mayor.

                                        I attached a pic and website of the wildlife refuge I will be visiting there. The sandhill cranes are enormous.

                                        Paul E. Smith
                                        Knoxville, TN
                                         
                                        #20
                                          Bushie

                                          • Total Posts: 2902
                                          • Joined: 4/21/2001
                                          • Location: Round Rock, TX
                                          RE: Owner sneaks free review onto Roadfood.com Fri, 02/6/04 4:39 PM (permalink)
                                          quote:
                                          Originally posted by Sundancer7

                                          Since I am going to Birchwood tomorrow to see 13,000 Sandhill cranes at the wildlife refuge, I will stop at Cleveland Tennessee to visit the rogue BBQ place.

                                          Better yet, Sundance, take him one of those cranes and see what he can do with it. That'll test his skills!

                                          Mmmmmmm. Nothing better than BBQ'd Sandhill Crane.
                                           
                                          #21
                                            Ort. Carlton.

                                            • Total Posts: 3589
                                            • Joined: 4/9/2003
                                            • Location: Athens, GA
                                            RE: Owner sneaks free review onto Roadfood.com Fri, 02/6/04 5:21 PM (permalink)
                                            quote:
                                            Originally posted by clothier

                                            Good call Bushie.

                                            I wonder what the best part of the crane is?


                                            Dearfolk,
                                            The winch, perhaps?
                                            Ratchattily, Ort. Carlton in 30601.
                                            P. S. Gracious... I thought Sandhill Cranes lived in Florida! I've sure seen gobs of them in the wilds of Hardee and Polk Counties down there.
                                            P. P. S. My bet is that the BBQ place in Cleveland, TN. is of Sternable quality. I'll be watching to see what you post, Paul.
                                             
                                            #22
                                              Cakes

                                              • Total Posts: 562
                                              • Joined: 9/11/2003
                                              • Location: Sarasota, FL
                                              RE: Owner sneaks free review onto Roadfood.com Fri, 02/6/04 5:24 PM (permalink)
                                              quote:
                                              Originally posted by clothier

                                              Good call Bushie.

                                              I wonder what the best part of the crane is?


                                              Probably the anti-two-block or the outrigger.

                                              Cakes
                                               
                                              #23
                                                Sundancer7

                                                RE: Owner sneaks free review onto Roadfood.com Fri, 02/6/04 5:41 PM (permalink)
                                                Bushie: To even disturb one of those cranes on a wildlife refuge gets you a free trip to jail. In addition I have serious doubts that a crane no matter how well cooked would make even the most serious outdoorsman puke.

                                                Regardless the sight of so many migratory giants is a ornanthological event. I have visited this site for better than 20 years in a row. I have seen as many as 10,000 in a field. If you have ever seen a great blue hereon, these are almost man size at four feet tall. The noise is overwhelming.

                                                I promise a review of the BBQ place in Cleveland tomorrow evening

                                                Paul E. Smith
                                                Knoxville, TN
                                                 
                                                #24
                                                  TJ Jackson

                                                  • Total Posts: 4482
                                                  • Joined: 7/26/2003
                                                  • Location: Cincinnati, OH
                                                  RE: Owner sneaks free review onto Roadfood.com Fri, 02/6/04 5:49 PM (permalink)
                                                  Coming home via Cincinnati?

                                                  I figure Cincinnati is on the way back to Tennessee from Cleveland, if you happen to be driving....
                                                   
                                                  #25
                                                    Sundancer7

                                                    RE: Owner sneaks free review onto Roadfood.com Fri, 02/6/04 5:56 PM (permalink)
                                                    quote:
                                                    Originally posted by TJ Jackson

                                                    Coming home via Cincinnati?

                                                    I figure Cincinnati is on the way back to Tennessee from Cleveland, if you happen to be driving....


                                                    Sorry TJ:

                                                    Cleveland Tennessee is about 70 miles south of Knoxville on I-75. I should have been more specific. I guess I thought most on the forum had been following the thread on BBQ.

                                                    Paul E. Smith
                                                    Knoxville, TN
                                                     
                                                    #26
                                                      JimInKy

                                                      • Total Posts: 599
                                                      • Joined: 11/29/2000
                                                      • Location: Lexington, KY
                                                      RE: Owner sneaks free review onto Roadfood.com Fri, 02/6/04 6:37 PM (permalink)
                                                      Paul, if you take a photo (at least one), you can do the formal review thing. The place is still listed under restaurant reviews with neonjohn's photos, but no review. May as well put your review there.
                                                       
                                                      #27
                                                        Sundancer7

                                                        RE: Owner sneaks free review onto Roadfood.com Fri, 02/6/04 6:43 PM (permalink)
                                                        The Sundancer has got a digital and I will take a pic and give the site my best. I will have to send to Bushie for it to be on site. I do not know how to put my verbage on it.

                                                        By noon tomorrow, I will have tasted what they have. I will let you all know.

                                                        Paul E. Smith
                                                        Knoxville, TN
                                                         
                                                        #28
                                                          Sundancer7

                                                          RE: Owner sneaks free review onto Roadfood.com Fri, 02/6/04 7:43 PM (permalink)
                                                          Since I posted this one hour ago, there has been 100 hits. I guess there is a interest in the review of the rogue site BBQ place in Cleveland, TN.

                                                          I will post tomorrow evening the results of my visit to this BBQ site.

                                                          Paul E. Smith
                                                          Knoxville, TN
                                                           
                                                          #29
                                                            Rick F.

                                                            • Total Posts: 1736
                                                            • Joined: 8/16/2002
                                                            • Location: Natchitoches, LA
                                                            RE: Owner sneaks free review onto Roadfood.com Sat, 02/7/04 1:04 AM (permalink)
                                                            Unlike my usual posts, this one is serious. On another thread I recently recommended a source for a food item. It is a commercial source and I identified it as such, though the company is owned by a friend of mine and I heartily recommend his product based on personal experience. Now: does this violate our policies? I ask because I do want to ensure the integrity of the site. Opinions, please?
                                                             
                                                            #30
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