About the Reviews
Why are you doing this? My main motivation was disgust with the Frederick News Post’s restaurant “reviews.” They list them as reports of unannounced dining experiences or some such BS. If you have ever seen them you’ll see they are filled with useless minutia about everything but never critically report on anything. What a waste of time. They generally just strike me as a way to let a reporter dine out on the company dime. Its spineless that they can’t tell us what’s good and what isn’t. So that is why I do my reviews.
Why Are You Qualified to do this? I’m not really, but hey anyone can get their own blog these days so why the heck not? I’m not a chef and have no formal qualifications. I just like to eat, and have several decades of experience doing it! Seriously though everyones palate and preferences are different. Check out the about the blog & me page for more.
The Restaurants: No chains. You aren’t going to see any reviews of Red Lobster or Bennigan’s here. The only exception I will make is for local chains. We’re seeing more restaurateurs from Montgomery County open a second or third restaurants up here. Those I’ll do. Every review I do is paid for with money out of my own pocket. I only review what I personally sample. Therefore it would probably be fair to say that where food is concerned I am only reviewing a few dishes and not the whole restaurant. I do not have the time (or budget) to go back multiple times and sample everything on the menu a la the New York Times or Washington Post. I wish I did.
I will try to review all restaurants in the follwing five areas. These are what are important to me when I am eating out.
Service : How are you greeted? Is the staff friendly and knowledgeable? Is the order taken accurately and served correctly? Can the staff answer your questions?
Ambiance/Décor: How is their space? Music? View? Location? Layout?
Food: The real heart of the matter. Is the meal cooked correctly? Delicious? Presented nicely? Good ingredients? Where does the food come from? Local ingredients?
Drink:My name is Fred F. and I like alcohol. Seriously though, the right drink can complement your meal and elevate the experience. I think this is an often overlooked aspect of restaurant reviews. Things I will consider are: Selection of Drinks? Depth of the wine list? Cocktails made with fresh ingredients and imaginative? Anyone who has been to my house and seen my cupboards of glassware will know that I have a glass fetish, so proper stemware gets brownie points. (mmmm brownies…)
Value: How were the four factors above for the price paid? Did you get a good return on your money spent? In a restaurant where I’m going to pay $150 per person I expect a lot higher standard than a hole in the wall. However, if the food sucks I don’t care how cheap it is. I’m definitely not a quantity over quality person. If you are I would recommend the Golden Corral. You’ll be happy there.