The Dining Dish blog is Dara Bunjon's take on anything food, both national and in her hometown of Baltimore. Warning: this food blog can be harmful to your waistline.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The matzo ball restaurant review theory

Food and how it tastes like many things is subjective. How do you judge that a dish is good, bad or lackluster? I have my own theory; it is the matzo ball restaurant review theory. 

The foods we grew up eating tend to be our guideline, i.e. – soft, fluffy matzo balls or solid, chewy, heavy matzo balls. I'm a fluffy matzo ball kind of gal. My mother would just die when her matzo balls weren't light as air. If I go into a restaurant that serves chicken matzo ball soup and the matzo balls are heavy as lead - to me, the soup is a disappointment but if you grew up on the heavy dense balls, it is a good.

So what did that food reviewer grow up eating: was it a hard or soft matzo ball, was their meat served rare or well done, or was mom heavy handed with salt or used little or no seasoning at all? Where have these people dined? Is their experience with Italian food Carrabba's Italian Grill, their local Little Italy, Mario Batali’s Babbo Restaurant in New York or dining at a trattoria in Tuscany? 

Which reviewers’ voice do you trust?

With so many sites inviting everyone’s opinion on restaurants, whose voice or taste do you trust? There are many food bloggers that really know food and some who are limited in their food experience.  Do they know how to cook, do they understand the nuances of a dish or is mango something foreign to them?

I highly suggest reading many of the reviewer’s restaurant reviews; especially from restaurants where you have dined and see if your feelings are on par with theirs. If you seem to be at the opposite end of the spectrum of what they have said, then it is a pretty good shot you'll like places they don't and vice versa. If everyone dishes a place, there is nothing subjective about that.

Restaurant reviews are a guide and whether you like a place or not could be because your mom, grandmother or dad made it the same way or different.   

Dining Dish is curious as to your experiences with restaurant reviews - have any let you down, were some dead on - do share.

Tags;  #tidal, reviews, Italian, restaurants

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