There are so many factors influencing food blog content. I write to share recipes, restaurants, and products that I love with the hope that readers might try something themselves. I won’t blindly turn my blog into a giant ad space just because someone will give me free stuff (remember the complimentary meal at Tossed a few months ago?).
We’re obviously in difficult financial times (and the restaurant business is always tumultuous), so I’m hesitant to write something mostly negative for EatingPlaces. I think about people who spend every waking minute, and sometimes all of their savings, building a restaurant. Do I want to contribute to destroying their dreams because my two or three visits (and sometimes one) were disappointing?
On the other hand, I also feel a responsibility to my readers, people who have limited funds and/or time. Do they deserve to sit through a meal with horrendous service and poor-quality food?
Such is the case of a restaurant I reviewed. I’ve been a bunch of times and recommend it to everyone. I’ve been planning to try their brunch and, when I made it over this weekend, was shocked by how it had declined.
We entered and asked a server for a table for two. A second server came by and, while there were three empty tables in the small dining room, sat us at the bar overlooking the street on uncomfortable stools. We sat looking at the five items on the brunch menu for ten minutes without service or water.
The quality of the food went down, including simple items that were delicious before. The servers were neither cool (as they had been every time before), nor friendly. My plate hadn’t been cleaned well and there were smudges all around the circumference. I ordered smoked salmon fish cakes which turned out to be tiny flakes of white fish in potato patties. We ordered three items and our bill was calculated incorrectly.
In short, the charm was definitely gone, as were even the basics of a good meal. I won’t go back.
Sorry for the downer. How do you feel about negative reviews of small, family-owned restaurants? I’m curious to know, bloggers and eaters, if you think writers should publicize these experiences.