Friday, 28 December 2012

writing restaurant reviews

I offered to write some restaurant reviews for Coeliac in the City.  That was months ago.  I still haven't written the reviews.  Why not?

It turns out to be quite a complicated business.  I chose a restaurant, ate the food, and started writing the review as I sat eating.  However, early on in the meal I was told that one of the side dishes had been prepared incorrectly to be gluten free and it was whisked away and replaced- but not before I had taken a mouthful.  It was just that they had used the frying vat that they also fried the breaded calamari in.  I enjoyed the excellent food and the lively but unfussy ambiance, but by the time I was walking home I was definitely feeling a bit unwell.  I wrote to the restaurant chain to ask what they and any customer could do to reduce the chance of errors ---and then waited about a week for the full response.  The wait removed the impetus to write, the reply wasn't as useful as I would have liked, and the review remains incomplete.

So, try another restaurant.  I don't normally eat out as it is so hazardous, but I hadn't anything important to do so tried an Italian restaurant that advertised gf pizza, pasta, deserts etc.  They seemed very keen and there was quite a lot of choice.  They would even offer cheese made with non-cow milk or soya for those with dairy problems.  I tried the pizza, my partner had the normal pizza, both of us a bit unimpressed.  It hadn't really occurred to me that I might want to say that the food was mediocre when the restaurant staff present themselves as caring mightily about food.

How do I write a review in my home town that is less than complementary, but still helpful?  I didn't get ill at all, so that is pretty impressive.

Next issue.  With dozens of restaurants within walking distance of my home, how do I decide which ones to write about and which to miss?  Do I eat in them all or just interview them to find out their approach?

It simply hadn't occurred to me that this would be a complex issue.  More fool me.

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