Oh, Yelpers. You get your knickers in a twist over the dumbest, pettiest things. Maybe it would be better if Yelp offered a 0-to-100 scale, like in school, or a 0.000-1.000 scale, like in baseball; then you could ding restaurants to your heart's content and not have such an immense impact on their ratings. (Really? 20 percent of your experience was tainted because you had to wait two extra minutes for an iced tea refill?)
Then there are those of you who make the Red Pencil Diaries not because you don't know anything about food, but because you don't self-edit. If you contradict yourself halfway through a paragraph, you have defeated the purpose of writing anything more than, “Decent experience. 3 stars.”
Jim T.'s 4-star review (since updated) of Tommy Pastrami:
“Very, very kosher.” That's like being very, very pregnant, and I personally guarantee you that any place that serves lox, cream cheese, and pastrami isn't remotely kosher. A Jewish-style deli is not kosher unless it's, well, kosher–which means it wouldn't be caught dead serving cream cheese and beef, chas v'cholilleh. Benjie's isn't kosher, either–they serve club sandwiches with bacon on them. The only kosher restaurants in the county are Kosher Bite, the cafe at the JCC, a couple of kosher markets, and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf locations. Now, Jim T. has updated this review several times and not mentioned these things, but the fact remains that things on the Internet are on the Internet forever… do your research!
Sandy K.'s 1-star review of Starbucks Coffee:
You're an Elite Yelper, Sandy K., and instead of editing the location information to report its closure, you give it a 1-star review. You're proof positive that there are no actual, meaningful skills required to become Elite.
In-Hee K.'s 5-star review of Mare Culinary Lounge:
If it's the “tasteist”, “freshiest” and just plain best food in Orange County or Los Angeles, then how is it possible that you're dining at nicer and better-quality restaurants? Also, yes, every restaurant needs your positive review, because as you can see over the last two months of doing these Yelp reviews, there are a lot of people out there ready to trash a restaurant's reputation for some petty slight, real or imagined. Please keep Yelping, but please proofread before you publish.
Bonnie G.'s 1-star review of Mollie's Famous Cafe:
What decade are you living in, Bonnie G.? Gone are the days of 25-cent coffee and $1.99 omelets. I respect your right to say that $19.00 for an omelet, grits, coffee and chocolate milk is too expensive, but you really didn't expect a split-plate charge? That's common practice and it pays for the labor of the splitting and washing of the extra plate–and, let's just say it, it's also a way to make sure people aren't just occupying seats. You complained and they waived the charge. What else were you expecting?
The kicker, though, was the usual “I got violently ill blah blah blah.” You know what that says to someone reading with jaded Yelp eyes? “My argument isn't strong enough on its merits to justify my review, so I'm going to pull the un-disprovable 'I got sick' card to make sure people pay attention to me.” For your future reference, food-borne illness almost never becomes noticeable after one hour. What you had was probably heartburn, which is your own fault for sucking down ranchera sauce when your regular breakfast is hominy grits.
Britt G.'s 3-star review of Devilicious Donuts:
I personally think there needs to be an ANSI standard for setup of coffee condiments, because I am not the only one who is completely flustered when I have to look for stuff to doctor my caffeine before I'm fully awake.
I also hate Groupons and similar social-media deals. First there are the customers who come charging in going, “Lo! I have a GROUPON! Treat me like royalty!” and then there are the businesses who treat social-deal customers like factory-refurbished sheep and don't bother to train their staff on how to handle the coupons.
I do have a question for you, though, Britt G.: can you please elaborate on all these other doughnut places that use homemade, artisanal napkins? I haven't been to Portland in half a lifetime, so I don't know Voodoo Donuts, but do they make their own paper to blot the delicious custardy fillings they sell? I'm intrigued.