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Diner kicked out for confronting shouty chef...


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As a chef, that is one of my biggest beefs with the blogging world. I don't want to get into a whole convo about that, but most bloggers--especially the Jersey ones--don't know what the f@ck they are talking about. Yet, they clearly drive traffic in the state. However, they don't feel the need to get things right, because they hide behind the notion of "this is just a blog post, not a real review." Rings a little hollow if they skewer you and get the facts wrong...When they are taking pictures and describing ingredients and cooking methods, they should make an attempt to get the details correct. In my view, that goes beyond coming on here and saying, "I had a shit meal at XYZ last night."

This is not (I hope) an equilibrium. Eventually people will learn to not trust everything they read on the internet. Everyone's still too enamored with this whole blogging thing to separate out people who are knowledgeable from people who aren't.

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Oakapple hits on an important aspect of blogging from the Times' perspective. By coincidence, I was in a meeting at the Times last week, and was talking to an editor about this very topic. What she emphasized - and she said it was hard for some trained journalists to get used to this - was that blog posts are not fully reported in the way that article's are. Blog posts can be used to alert readers that something is happening, and as a way of developing the inflow of information. As oakie says, the blog can be updated until the story is fully formed, checked and confirmed. The ideal for the print edition is that stories are checked before they are published.

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This is not (I hope) an equilibrium. Eventually people will learn to not trust everything they read on the internet. Everyone's still too enamored with this whole blogging thing to separate out people who are knowledgeable from people who aren't.

If you read CH or Yelp you've always needed to do it. It's nothing new.

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As a chef, that is one of my biggest beefs with the blogging world. I don't want to get into a whole convo about that, but most bloggers--especially the Jersey ones--don't know what the f@ck they are talking about. Yet, they clearly drive traffic in the state. However, they don't feel the need to get things right, because they hide behind the notion of "this is just a blog post, not a real review." Rings a little hollow if they skewer you and get the facts wrong...When they are taking pictures and describing ingredients and cooking methods, they should make an attempt to get the details correct. In my view, that goes beyond coming on here and saying, "I had a shit meal at XYZ last night."

 

I can't argue with any of that. But, despite the strictures on fact-checking in the eG Code of Ethics, bloggers in New York do face practical problems. I do fact check occasionally with respect to ingredients or methods, if it's important to my review and if I am concerned I might have it wrong.

 

Unless I'm in touch with the restaurant's PR - and 95% of the time I'm not - what this means in practice is calling the restaurant and trying to get someone to go into the kitchen and ask one of the chefs, and however hard one tries, it always seems to be the middle of a meeting or service about to start. To be fair, most restaurants are good about this. I've had call backs or e-mails almost every time. But it's a chore for them: and just imagine if every blogger in New York was doing the same thing.

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This is not (I hope) an equilibrium. Eventually people will learn to not trust everything they read on the internet. Everyone's still too enamored with this whole blogging thing to separate out people who are knowledgeable from people who aren't.

If you read CH or Yelp you've always needed to do it. It's nothing new.

 

True. But, even within CH or Yelp, or MFF, there are varying awards of credibility earned by individual posters. There are some people whose reports are exceptionally well documented, and rarely in error. Other posters clearly indicate a chip or boulder was carried in on the shoulder...

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Has anyone told Lieber about Shopsin's?

Maybe we need a new thread on "Places We Avoid Because the Chef Behaves Like an A-hole in Front of the Customers"?

 

I'll start:

 

Shopsin's

DiFara

any of the Momofuckyou places in the EV

 

 

remind me never to get you mad. ;)

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This is not (I hope) an equilibrium. Eventually people will learn to not trust everything they read on the internet. Everyone's still too enamored with this whole blogging thing to separate out people who are knowledgeable from people who aren't.

If you read CH or Yelp you've always needed to do it. It's nothing new.

 

True. But, even within CH or Yelp, or MFF, there are varying awards of credibility earned by individual posters. There are some people whose reports are exceptionally well documented, and rarely in error. Other posters clearly indicate a chip or boulder was carried in on the shoulder...

That was my point. Credibility varies enormously on those sites. I said this last year -

I will give CH it's due. They've got a large number of people roaming the streets who ferret out interesting, and sometimes great, ethnic restaurants. These places show up on their radar screens long before they are noticed by Sietsema or the NY Times. Grand Sichuan House is an example. When you read those threads carefully it's apparent that there really is something worthwhile underneath all that enthusiasm.

 

CH is like a radio station that plays a lot of bad music but occasionally plays something wonderful that you can't hear anywhere else. I make fun of them but I still listen.

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This is not (I hope) an equilibrium. Eventually people will learn to not trust everything they read on the internet. Everyone's still too enamored with this whole blogging thing to separate out people who are knowledgeable from people who aren't.

If you read CH or Yelp you've always needed to do it. It's nothing new.

True. But, even within CH or Yelp, or MFF, there are varying awards of credibility earned by individual posters. There are some people whose reports are exceptionally well documented, and rarely in error. Other posters clearly indicate a chip or boulder was carried in on the shoulder...

Regular readers of the Pink Pig and New York Journal will have a pretty good sense of whether Wilfrid and I are credible. But many readers find our reviews via google searches. They're just parachuting in, and reading a review in isolation because they happen to be curious about a particular restaurant.

 

Although I understand marauder's frustration, his complaint about factual accuracy is somewhat beside the point. It's not that I am condoning inaccurate bloggers. Suppose I write, "the braised pork shoulder was over-cooked and dry." Maybe it wasn't braised, and maybe it wasn't shoulder. But if you correct those errors, I'm not going to suddenly decide that I loved the dish, after all. What marauder is really complaining about is the tone of a review. If someone didn't like your food, correcting them as to the ingredients or the method of preparation isn't going to turn them into fans.

 

Of course, when you write a positive review, chefs never question your qualifications.

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This is not (I hope) an equilibrium. Eventually people will learn to not trust everything they read on the internet. Everyone's still too enamored with this whole blogging thing to separate out people who are knowledgeable from people who aren't.

If you read CH or Yelp you've always needed to do it. It's nothing new.

True. But, even within CH or Yelp, or MFF, there are varying awards of credibility earned by individual posters. There are some people whose reports are exceptionally well documented, and rarely in error. Other posters clearly indicate a chip or boulder was carried in on the shoulder...

Regular readers of the Pink Pig and New York Journal will have a pretty good sense of whether Wilfrid and I are credible. But many readers find our reviews via google searches. They're just parachuting in, and reading a review in isolation because they happen to be curious about a particular restaurant.

 

Although I understand marauder's frustration, his complaint about factual accuracy is somewhat beside the point. It's not that I am condoning inaccurate bloggers. Suppose I write, "the braised pork shoulder was over-cooked and dry." Maybe it wasn't braised, and maybe it wasn't shoulder. But if you correct those errors, I'm not going to suddenly decide that I loved the dish, after all. What marauder is really complaining about is the tone of a review. If someone didn't like your food, correcting them as to the ingredients or the method of preparation isn't going to turn them into fans.

 

Of course, when you write a positive review, chefs never question your qualifications.

The problem, I think, is just the asymmetry between positive and negative reviews. It's the phenomenon you've mentioned of people typically being unwilling to give a place a second chance, of essentially the fundamental attribution error, where poor experiences are always blamed on the restaurant being inherently bad rather than just an off night or inconsistency. And in general people are a lot more vocal when disappointed than when satisfied...

 

So I think it is fairly difficult to correct for that in reading things like blog posts, but also fairly important to do so to appropriately make use of such data.

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This is not (I hope) an equilibrium. Eventually people will learn to not trust everything they read on the internet. Everyone's still too enamored with this whole blogging thing to separate out people who are knowledgeable from people who aren't.

If you read CH or Yelp you've always needed to do it. It's nothing new.

True. But, even within CH or Yelp, or MFF, there are varying awards of credibility earned by individual posters. There are some people whose reports are exceptionally well documented, and rarely in error. Other posters clearly indicate a chip or boulder was carried in on the shoulder...

Regular readers of the Pink Pig and New York Journal will have a pretty good sense of whether Wilfrid and I are credible. But many readers find our reviews via google searches. They're just parachuting in, and reading a review in isolation because they happen to be curious about a particular restaurant.

 

Although I understand marauder's frustration, his complaint about factual accuracy is somewhat beside the point. It's not that I am condoning inaccurate bloggers. Suppose I write, "the braised pork shoulder was over-cooked and dry." Maybe it wasn't braised, and maybe it wasn't shoulder. But if you correct those errors, I'm not going to suddenly decide that I loved the dish, after all. What marauder is really complaining about is the tone of a review. If someone didn't like your food, correcting them as to the ingredients or the method of preparation isn't going to turn them into fans.

 

Of course, when you write a positive review, chefs never question your qualifications.

The problem, I think, is just the asymmetry between positive and negative reviews. It's the phenomenon you've mentioned of people typically being unwilling to give a place a second chance, of essentially the fundamental attribution error, where poor experiences are always blamed on the restaurant being inherently bad rather than just an off night or inconsistency. And in general people are a lot more vocal when disappointed than when satisfied...

 

So I think it is fairly difficult to correct for that in reading things like blog posts, but also fairly important to do so to appropriately make use of such data.

 

Good point. But, one of the benefits of crowd sourcing reviews is that the "truth" will eventually prevail if you read enough reviews of a place. Unless the house / blog has an interest in tilting the table a bit, say toward one arepa lady, or your agent's brother / chef. Even then, the frustration often causes posters to seek or create other outlets.

 

ETA: It doesn't seem that this kerfluffle has affected sales. The restaurant hasn't any 4/6 availability on Friday, and just a few openings for 2. Similar situation on Saturday

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Good point. But, one of the benefits of crowd sourcing reviews is that the "truth" will eventually prevail if you read enough reviews of a place. Unless the house / blog has an interest in tilting the table a bit, say toward one arepa lady, or your agent's brother / chef. Even then, the frustration often causes posters to seek or create other outlets.

 

ETA: It doesn't seem that this kerfluffle has affected sales. The restaurant hasn't any 4/6 availability on Friday, and just a few openings for 2. Similar situation on Saturday

I'm not sure that's true. It's not just noise, it's bias. I feel much more strongly inclined to post a negative review when something fails to meet expectations than to post a positive review when something meets or exceeds them. Assuming others exhibit the same bias, more points in your sample doesn't help correct for that bias.

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Good point. But, one of the benefits of crowd sourcing reviews is that the "truth" will eventually prevail if you read enough reviews of a place. Unless the house / blog has an interest in tilting the table a bit, say toward one arepa lady, or your agent's brother / chef. Even then, the frustration often causes posters to seek or create other outlets.

 

ETA: It doesn't seem that this kerfluffle has affected sales. The restaurant hasn't any 4/6 availability on Friday, and just a few openings for 2. Similar situation on Saturday

I'm not sure that's true. It's not just noise, it's bias. I feel much more strongly inclined to post a negative review when something fails to meet expectations than to post a positive review when something meets or exceeds them. Assuming others exhibit the same bias, more points in your sample doesn't help correct for that bias.

Isn't that true for conventional reviews too? Sifton will remember the off fish no matter how many pristine pieces he subsequently receives.

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