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September 26, 2018


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T. Tilash

I totally agree with you. I think the distinction is that a lot of bad reviews on Yelp/TripAdvisor, start by saying the food is bad and go on to describe how horrible the service is, or the perceived bad treatment they had... It is not to say that those reviews are false, but it often seems as if something was off that day (whether real or perceived) and the "reviewer" just took pleasure on criticizing everything.

A good review should be (subjectively) just. And when writing for a blog, even though nowadays anyone can make one, I feel it is our responsibility to remember we're talking about businesses and peoples' livelihood...

Most of the reviews I post on my website have nuances (what I call in french "bémols"). Even a great place will have some things that could be improved on, and I try to point them out, while still making it clear that they are minor things (when they are).
Then there is the case of the place that doesn't give a crap, in that case I will certainly post a bad review of the place, and have fun with it.
But finally, there is the more complex situation of a place that is trying to do good, with friendly service, good produce, a willing chef, but it just misses the mark... Some of those places are recommended, because, let's admit it, some people have the impression that just because food is local, organic and cooked on the spot, it is good... well it is not... but should I trash the place ?
When I find some redeeming qualities in such a place (if I still think it's a good neighborhood spot for instance) I'll try to make a balanced review. But when I just think that the place is bad, but had the heart in the right place, yes I admit, I will prefer not to right a review at all...

Blair Calvin

I would say it is imperative to post poor reviews insofar as we are trying to be truthful about our experience at that particular restaurant.
Everyone has their pet peeves. Mine are over cooked meat and incorrect service.
And I place far more credence in a reviewer like John or Heidi Ellison at Paris Update than a flock of TripAdvisor reviews or tour guide reviews.

Mark H.

What service is done to readers by avoiding bad reviews? Many of us work hard for our money, and dining out is both a pleasure and an investment in our happiness. Few memories linger as sadly as the feeling of having wasted time and money in a restaurant.

Patrice N

Dear John,
I may guess that you have read this blog entry: https://www.simonsays.fr/paris-dali-cest-de-meme-limite

(sorry for the formal address:I always wanted to send a "dear John letter")

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