Yep, guilty. I read em. Sometimes I even contribute. That is not how I choose where to eat out. That is based on others that are in the trade and the Health Inspection scores.
A bad score doesn’t mean I wont eat there. I give traditional greasy spoons a little pass. I know what I am getting into so it is okay. I generally pass on reviews by some of the local and national professional food critics. There is a reason. If they don’t know how to cook themselves…Just Sayin’. There is one local critic that has given rave reviews about particular dishes in restaurants where I have worked. I just feel like, if you only knew.
Case in point: A Cajun place that has fantastic roux. I know how they make it and personally? I don’t consider equal parts of pan and grill and flour a roux. They don’t even cook the freaking mixture. Just straight up butter flavor oil and AP. When I worked there, I tried to show the prep cook how to make a roux. I was informed that I was WRONG! Eventually I was able to show how to make a proper roux in the oven. Worked well for a time and then I left for another restaurant that had more of a culinary challenge for me. They reverted back to the old mix. Sigh. I flipping lived in LA for many years. You are not allowed to move out of the state without mastering roux, gumbo, etouffee etc. Just doesn’t happen.
I am certain the not allowed to leave rule applies to other states as well. Can’t leave Nebraska without knowing the proper way to cook a perfect mid-rare steak or any corn related side dish.
Locally owned and operated are my go to places. I like to support the community. Sure I venture out to Z-Tejas from time to time but feel justified as they did start out local and they have good food. One newly opened joint near my home (I wish them luck) serves comfort food and a few outside the box items. His reviews are a good mix. The biggest complaint he is getting is lack of seasoning and no salt or pepper on the tables. I live in a bedroom community of Austin, TX and you better be putting salt and pepper on the table. Especially if the customers are complaining that the food is lacking salt. Taste you food dude! I give him a pass on a particular reviewer that requested salt and was provided a small rami of Kosher. He was upset that it was Kosher as “it doesn’t dissolve”. Um, yeah okay. Nothing perks up a dish like tincture of iodine. Want some well done steak to go with that ketchup big guy? Everyone is allowed to have an opinion though.