One of the things I love about the contemporary internet is that I hold in my pocket, at any given time, a miniature touchscreen computer that’s always connected. If I’m on a road trip, and find myself in the middle of nowhere at mealtime, I have an easy way to research – on the go – a good local place that isn’t McDonalds or Subway.
White Castle, however, is an exception.
So, I have the Urbanspoon app, I use Yelp, and I use Chowhound to quickly look up what are good places to try that are off the Interstate, because travel should be about visiting other places, people, and things.
Sometimes, however, these social review sites can invited bad behavior. Owners puff their joints while falsely driving down competitors’ ratings. Buyer beware is still in full effect.
Back in early July, Buffalo Rising published a quick story about a Boston Globe writer praising local chef Mike Andrzejewski’s “Mike A’s at the Lafayette”. I’ve dined there, and although I have a few issues with the decor in particular, I thought it was outstanding. It’s easily one of the best special occasion/fine dining restaurants in Buffalo now.
Some anonymous commenter posted a mockingly negative review of Mike A’s. It mirrors one that’s posted as a one-star review at Yelp – by someone with only one review listed. An anonymous reviewer also joined Urbanspoon on August 7th for the sole purpose of repeating the exact same review to that site. Clearly, someone with a vendetta.
Usually, this would just be ignored or downvoted or similar. People are obviously entitled to their opinions, and to trash places where they had a bad experience. But here, there may have been more to the story, as Andrzejewski published his own scathing, exasperated, and indignant response. It’s worth a read, and it’s indicative of restaurateurs being able to put up with a lot of nonsense from horrible people, up to a point.