If it’s one thing I try to do, it’s read everybody’s comments on social media posts on my site as well as all emails and messages I receive. My mind is filled with mental notes from people’s opinions who were for or against any review I’ve written. At the same time, I keep an eye on other sites just to see what others have to say.
The beauty of food is everybody has an opinion. Some people get really fired up about food, I love it. Over the years, I’ve written many positive and negative reviews on restaurants which were criticized, support, laughed at, whatever. So I figured why not give my opinion on the opinions of others? There are many things posted online for and against restaurants, I don’t necessarily agree with. I thought it’d be a good little blog that covers the 10 Restaurant Opinions I Don’t Buy Into.
1.) I refuse to go to the restaurant because I can’t find it and/or the parking sucks.
Real estate isn’t cheap. Renting space or a building isn’t cheap. Redoing a parking lot isn’t cheap either. Restaurant owners have enough on their place than to worry about having enough parking spaces or putting up signs to find their place. There are two cures for these issues. Google Maps which has never led me down the wrong path to a restaurant and walking which has been tried and tested. Wichita is a great city in the fact that if you can’t park really close, there’s probably somewhere nearby you can park that is within easy walking distance. What’s even better is in most cases, you don’t have to pay for parking unlike other cities.
2.) The interior is bad and not inviting.
I go to restaurants to eat, not to stare and gaze at the walls like I’m in a museum. If the interior is nicely decorated and the ambiance is there, that’s a huge plus and a bonus for the restaurant. At the same time if it isn’t, it won’t detract me from liking a place.
3.) You ordered a regular burger? You should have ordered this (insert specialized burger).
If I’m trying a restaurant’s burger for my first time, I’ll always order a basic hamburger. If I like it, I’ll return. If a restaurant can execute a basic hamburger without having to mask it with special sauces, condiments and other toppings, then they can probably execute any other burger well.
4.) That restaurant didn’t offer complimentary (insert whatever).
Whether it’s free chips & salsa, fortune cookies, sorbet, a little bowl of soup, a free mint, I don’t walk into any restaurant expecting something complimentary even though it may be the norm at other places. That’s just more overhead for a restaurant, they shouldn’t have to do just because other places do. If places do charge for something that’s typically free, perhaps it’d be nice to know ahead of time if it’s not listed in the menu.
5.) Why would you order that at a restaurant?
I remember going to a Mexican restaurant and ordering a regular burger once, a friend looked at me and said, “You can’t order a burger at a Mexican restaurant.” My reply was, “The hell I can!”
My thought process is whatever a restaurant puts on their menu, they probably approve of and are putting their name on it. So why put crap items on a menu? I don’t always stick to the norm on a restaurant’s menu. I want to branch out and see if something surprises me.
6.) You went at the wrong time of the day.
If your restaurant is open, the food or service should not suffer any. Whether it’s lunch time or 3pm or 7pm, customers should get the same quality. Probably the only exception is an all you can eat buffet where you’re taking the risk knowing the food could have been sitting out all day but the service should still be good.
7.) I will never go back because there was hair in my food.
Having worked in the restaurant industry before, hair is the most likely of accidents that could happen. It could be as simple as someone walking by while the food is being brought over and a string of hair lands on your food. Of course if there hair is in the middle of your food, that’s different. The problem occurs with how a restaurant handles the situation. As long as they recognize the resolve the accident, it’s all good. If it continues, OK…. we have an issue.
8.) The place is empty probably because it isn’t any good.
The place could very well be empty because nobody has ever heard of it. These places are sometimes called “hidden gems” or “hole in the walls”. Don’t let the current occupancy of a restaurant deter you from trying it for yourself.
9.) It’s not authentic enough for me.
Authenticity and how a dish should be made is always an interesting point of debate. Take for instance my Pho tour. An Asian person commented it probably wasn’t written by an Asian assuming I had no idea what authentic Pho was because of his incorrect guess of my nationality. SURPRISE! My mother and aunt who made food for me nearly everyday were from Vietnam. Cultures are so different and countries are so big. Look at tacos, styles can vary vastly from one small city in Mexico to the next. Just because one small ingredient is added that you may not be typical for a dish, doesn’t make it any less authentic. And it’s ok for restaurants to do different takes on authentic dishes, that’s called evolving and change. If we didn’t have that, we’d be eating nearly the same meal everyday. As long as the food is good, who gives a f…..(I have a daughter on the way so I’ll say) flip.
10.) You should listen to (insert name), they know what they are talking about when it comes to food.
When it really comes down to it, nobody’s opinion really matters when it comes to food. I tell people to not let a bad review I’ve written stop them from going to a restaurant. At the same time, just because I’ve written a good reviews means you’ll like it. Just because Harrison Ford who comes to Wichita often and eats at a restaurant doesn’t make it the HOTTEST restaurant in town. This blog hopefully can provide a guide or create awareness for other places to eat in town. Sites like Visit Wichita, Wichita Mom’s Blog, Dining With Denise, Yelp, whatever are all just that….. resources. Their thoughts don’t hold any more weight than the next. Don’t let one person’s opinion prevent you from trying something new.