filed under Dining Out

5 Tips Towards Writing a Great Restaurant Review

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Your marriage proposal left something to be desired. You can’t remember the last time you told your mother that you loved her. Hey, you’re just not good with emotions. So how can you write a restaurant review that says how you really feel?

Abandon the Obvious.
Start by ending your love affair with words like good, delicious, and perfect. They’re the comfort blankets of the English language and you’re all grown up now. You don’t need to be a foodie to know what you’re tasting. Remember it. Was it crispy? Was it soft on the inside? Did it have a sweet aftertaste?

Take Pictures. Pictures will jolt your memory and fill in the gaps in your description. Plus, everyone loves a little smutty food porn. Take these examples.

allyoucaneat.jpg

A photo by justin wickedly labeled, “All You Can Eat”. From Tadashi Sushi.

burrito.jpg

A burrito for a small army from Sandiago’s Mexican Grill. Photo by fattiusthebear.

Write about the Interesting and Funny.
Was there a fire in the kitchen? Were the men sitting one table over squabbling over their golf game? These things are all part of the dining experience. If it really stood out in your memory, write about it.

Don’t Hide Your Personality. Some of us can do the whole swirl, sniff and slurp wine tasting without giggling, and some of us can’t. So what if you don’t write for Gourmet magazine? There are still countless numbers of people who want to read about your opinion. After all, that’s why they’re visiting a public restaurant review site.

Re-Read Your Review. After you’ve finished, take a moment to look back. Check for typos that make you look silly. Try to read it from the point of view of a stranger: would you be captivated by what you’re reading? Would you find it useful? Would you give yourself an A? Tweak as necessary.

Menuism Users Show You How It’s Done
Or, select words from the superstars.

rayven1.jpg

Rayvenhaus
Motto: Searching the bounty main for the best restaurants!
Best Trait: His honesty results in laugh-out-loud reviews. He also brings in personal experience. “I’ve slopped food in cleaner pig troughs then the bathroom at this restaurant.” (Taco Bell, Lynwood)
Memorable quotes:
“I’m telling you what, I love the service at this place. I think next time I’ll try one of their Subs in a Tub.”(Jersey Mike’s Subs)

truffl.jpg

trufflupagus
Best Trait: Her far-reaching vocabulary: not surprising, considering she’s a professional writer (and photographer). She describes the Mexican Bloody Mary at Café Colonial as “a mix of vodka and tequila with perfectly piquant tomato juice and spices.” And she makes the Shrimp al Ajillo at El Faro sound like a Biblical experience. “A terrific rendition of this incredible classic – small shrimp, bubbling in a clay casserole filled with hot sauce and an immense amount of garlic…” Want some yet?
Memorable Quotes: “You have to be a super-hardcore capsaicin addict to tango with these peppers.” (Spicy & Tasty)

tommers.jpg

tommers
Motto:
The deliciousness is in the details!
Best Trait: He merrily foodies his way from start to finish: his four visits to the Three Seasons Restaurant in Palo Alto cumulated in an 811-word review. Skip a sentence and you’ll be missing out on gourmet-ing vicariously. But he’s no grumpy food critic: in his hundreds of words, you’ll be loath to find any more critical than “wasn’t great.”
Memorable Quotes: Worth noting are his epic struggles with the limiting star rating system. About Saha he writes, “Four stars, just barely”; with AUX Delices, it’s “Four stars going on five?”. But the best may be his happy response to the EOS Restaurant & Wine Bar: “Hot damn! What a great meal!”

 
  • http://www.alexandramoss.net Ali (trufflupagus)

    Hey — thanks for including me! This is all great advice :).

  • http://www.alexandramoss.net Ali (trufflupagus)

    Hey — thanks for including me! This is all great advice :).

  • http://www.menuism.com/users/justin Justin

    mmm. despite being full from dinner, that sushi pic makes me hungry for that all you can eat sushi again!

  • http://www.menuism.com/users/justin Justin

    mmm. despite being full from dinner, that sushi pic makes me hungry for that all you can eat sushi again!

  • http://www.retro.net retro

    I just love the classics!

  • http://www.retro.net retro

    I just love the classics!

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  • Susan

    I recently along with 8 other in my group had a bad experience at “The Crab Pot” in Seattle on the water front. We went there to celebrate a graduation, and the service we got there was really poor. The door greeter was very rude in the way he told us that we had to have a third of our party with us so that we could be seated. After that the waiter gave us our food, he only came back once to give us the drinks we ordered with our meal. But after that he never came back to ask if we want refill on our food or drinks. And when ask by one of our group members if the waiter could bring her a real straw he said sure and then never brought her one. One of the guests in our party had to go to the bar to order a drink and have the bartender bring it over. Then on top of that the restuarant charged us 18% tip on our split up bills, so we ended up giving the waiter a $90plus tip he didn’t deserve. So when I got home I decided to call the manager about it, and he wasn’t available, so the person on the phone said he would have the manager call me back on tuesday, and it is now friday and I have yet to hear from one. And the people I have talked to on the phone sound like they don’t believe what I have to say, even though the customer is always right. So, in conclusion, don’t ever eat there cause they clearly show that they do not care about customers, just there money.

  • Susan

    I recently along with 8 other in my group had a bad experience at “The Crab Pot” in Seattle on the water front. We went there to celebrate a graduation, and the service we got there was really poor. The door greeter was very rude in the way he told us that we had to have a third of our party with us so that we could be seated. After that the waiter gave us our food, he only came back once to give us the drinks we ordered with our meal. But after that he never came back to ask if we want refill on our food or drinks. And when ask by one of our group members if the waiter could bring her a real straw he said sure and then never brought her one. One of the guests in our party had to go to the bar to order a drink and have the bartender bring it over. Then on top of that the restuarant charged us 18% tip on our split up bills, so we ended up giving the waiter a $90plus tip he didn’t deserve. So when I got home I decided to call the manager about it, and he wasn’t available, so the person on the phone said he would have the manager call me back on tuesday, and it is now friday and I have yet to hear from one. And the people I have talked to on the phone sound like they don’t believe what I have to say, even though the customer is always right. So, in conclusion, don’t ever eat there cause they clearly show that they do not care about customers, just there money.

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  • http://www.calorey.com cal orey

    Good advice. Sure, I got one of those fancy M.A. degrees in English (Creative Writing) but no degree in olive oil, vinegar, and chocolate tasting. Worse, I hate to cook and I’m not a foodie. So when I dished out prose for these books on superfoods, I followed my heart, soul, and drizzled plenty of sensory detail: sight, taste, smell, sound, touch. A dallop of originality is a must. Sprinkle metaphors as needed. The reward: An unforgettable food review reads like an image of a domestic cat stalking a house mouse, catching it and letting it go until it’s an one of a kind gourmet meal.

  • http://www.calorey.com cal orey

    Good advice. Sure, I got one of those fancy M.A. degrees in English (Creative Writing) but no degree in olive oil, vinegar, and chocolate tasting. Worse, I hate to cook and I’m not a foodie. So when I dished out prose for these books on superfoods, I followed my heart, soul, and drizzled plenty of sensory detail: sight, taste, smell, sound, touch. A dallop of originality is a must. Sprinkle metaphors as needed. The reward: An unforgettable food review reads like an image of a domestic cat stalking a house mouse, catching it and letting it go until it’s an one of a kind gourmet meal.

  • Pingback: June Menuism Restaurant Reviewer Contest « foodha for thought – menuism blog

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  • http://www.trancepass.blogspot.com Mo

    nice posting.
    keep blogging.

  • http://www.trancepass.blogspot.com Mo

    nice posting.
    keep blogging.

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  • http://jazzinchiangmai.com BeBoPPa Jazz

    Just wanted to leave a big props to the writer of this story. This article and a few others I researched helped me hone my reviewing skills. My suggestions are to research as much as you can via the search engines, and you’ll take at least 1 thing that you know is a winning tip to pull it together for a killer reviewing arsenal.

    Thanks again!

  • http://jazzinchiangmai.com BeBoPPa Jazz

    Just wanted to leave a big props to the writer of this story. This article and a few others I researched helped me hone my reviewing skills. My suggestions are to research as much as you can via the search engines, and you’ll take at least 1 thing that you know is a winning tip to pull it together for a killer reviewing arsenal.

    Thanks again!

  • Pingback: February Menuism Restaurant Review Contest « foodha for thought – menuism blog

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