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Pro food critics who know nothing about a cuisine - helpful or harmful?


Food Media 59

Pro food critics who know nothing about a cuisine - helpful or harmful?

rworange | Sep 6, 2007 03:28 PM

I'm a little sensitive about reviewers who write about Eastern European food in the SF Bay Area.

There's not that much available and, for the most part, what is here is mediocre at best.

Yet becuase of its exotic nature in the area, the reviews of the few mediocre places usually are enthusiastic. This recent review set me off, primarily because it starts out factually inaccurate. There are four or five Russian restaurants in the area and a Polish Deli across the street. All of those places are better, IMO, than the joint reviewed.

What annoys me is that by writing positively, people might be turned off entirely by a particular cuisine ... if that's the best there is ... we don't like Polish, Russian ...etc cuisine.

I can verify that the cabbage rolls here are bland and the bread was stale. They even had a few moldy loaves on the shelves.

On the other hand, maybe some attention is better than none at all. Also, this might be the way people unfamiliar with the food might react to tasting it.

That's not to say this deli is without merit. They have sausages and cold cuts from Chicago. However, the prepared food isn't the strong point here.

I know I get enthusiastic trying an unfamiliar-to-me cuisine. When I learn a lot more about it, I often cringe and my initial positive posts. However, this is not my job, just an interest. I'm not getting paid. Shouldn't we expect more from a professional?

IMO, at the least if someone is getting paid for a review they should bring along someone with them who knows the cuisine and is qualified to say if it is a good example or not.

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