The Amateur Gourmet on More Nuanced Blog Restaurant Reviews
In a post titled "Going Back," Serious Eats contributing editor Adam Roberts (aka The Amateur Gourmet) starts sounding dangerously professional when reconsidering his protocol for writing about a restaurant on his blog. On the perennial question of whether food bloggers should visit multiple times before dishing—like newspaper and magazine food critics do:
What do these three experiences have to do with food blogging? Well, if that third time had been my first time at Chiles & Chocolate in Park Slope, I would have written a savage review. If the second time had been my first time, I would have written it a love letter. But since my first time was my first time, I gave it a half-hearted nod and that's the review that remains in my archives.
That's a problem. Those three experiences add up to a fuller picture of the restaurant. Now I know that Chiles & Chocolate is inconsistent--a word that professional food critics use all the time. I know what stands out on the menu: the agua fresca, the chile relleno, the flan. And I know what to avoid: anything with chicken breast. If I were to write a review now, it would be more thoughtful, more measured, more complete and ultimately more useful.