finally, a thread on this ;) i do expect that the chowhound moderaters will move this because in the overall scheme of things, its not simply a phoenix issue.
there's something that has really been bothering me about food blogging/foodie sites in general lately. it seems to me that at some point the tenor of some posts have changed from food enthusiast to entitled foodie.
while i think it's great to talk about food, because its pretty much all i do, and my friends will tell you that ;), it's just talking. great conversations, but it is just talking.
i hear from restaurateurs that its gotten to the point where people will announce 'i'm a food blogger, my user name/web page is so and so' before a meal with the implication, as one restaurant owner told me 'to dare them to either not kiss their ass or give them something free'. and, sadly, ive read of other yelpers as well as chowhounds, who are blatant about calling ahead for freebies before meals in lieu of nice comments, etc etc
there is power in saying that a restaurant sucks. or is great. i find out about alot of places from chowhound posters that i really trust. i think we can all recognize a shill poster on here when we see them.
so when posts on chowhound seem to turn to out and out call outs of a particular restaurant, or even begin to question their reasoning behind a particular policy or dish, or make prognostications that a particular place is alienating the foodie community, what does that mean exactly?
there's no official club of foodies. there's no litmus test for who has a decent palate.
there's no objective criteria about what is too much salt. there's no inalienable right to the bottomless bread basket. there's no license to do what you want in a restaurant, or for a particular place to cater to any person's particular taste or whim.
it's great that owners come to sites like this and read what people have to say.
but i often wonder at some point when the backlash itself is going to start to kick in. why listen to on-line food enthusiast types when there isn't a consensus of opinion? why pay attention when sometimes the critiques come across as nit picking and whining? why consider what someone says on-line when there's no accountability to the words? are some reviews, positive or negative, truly even impartial?
maybe it's just me. but i can't imagine any other business context telling someone they should change the color of their interior, alter how they do business, announce all their policies in fine print on both the menu, website and to everyone who calls the phone, and on and on.
we're foodies. we love food. we don't have a consensus of opinion on anything. we're not ENTITLED to anything either, whether its that the website change, i can take pix, or that it will even be the perfect meal.
each business has its own business model, and the right to run it exactly how they want. they don't have to defend choices to us, because clearly we're not seeing the whole picture.
i'm just really tired of people judging restaurants on whatever prosaic criteria they think should be involved in the restaurant itself and less on the food they are served. not what you wish was served, but what was served.
restaurateurs are open to doing what they want, when they want, and how they want. and we're free to eat there. or not. i hope i never get to the point where i feel like i'm self-important enough to think any restaurant should change what they are doing based on what I THINK.