What Gets Rated...



The rating for food is represented by a picture of my wife's favorite thing I ever brought home from culinary school, a pastry known as St Honore. It represents knowing what you're doing and taking the time to do it right, since this is one of those things that requires both. She hasn't had the special treat since I left pastry school but she has somehow seen fit to gallivant around the country with me looking for other incredible combinations. Maybe I should start a caramel and batch of pate brisee...pastry makes you popular.

The rating itself is based on how a meal can function in two areas.   Starting with the basics, is it as hot or cold as it's supposed to be, did they run out of salt, why would anyone deep fry spinach?. Actually, having spoken with world class chefs and asking their favorite meal of all time, it is almost never Michelin starred but a hot dog at a particular ball park or their mother's tuna noodle casserole. When a bite moves from a laborious chore of sustenance to a transcendent experience that might transport you to Valhalla or your Grandmother’s house when you were 7, then we have magic. It doesn’t have to be expensive or intricate, just everything you wanted it to be.


The rating for ambiance is represented by a home. Great ambiance gives you all of the things you like about home (being yourself, comfort) without the things you don't like about being home (having to clean up afterwards).  Is it clean? Is it cluttered? Is it appropriately kitschy? Are the bathrooms clean? Can you see what you’re eating? Is the music entertaining or distracting? Would your server be well served by a shower? All of these things will be taken into account in assigning a grade for ambiance. Again, it doesn't have to be über snazzy...does it fail to meet, meet, or exceed your expectations.



The rating for service is represented by a server because, well, it was easy. Regardless everyone takes responsibility for the service rating. Host, busser, server, coatcheck, manager, Maitre ‘D, drive thru, if you are responsible for direct interaction with the diners you're included here. Extraordinarily snooty penguins or mad at their boyfriend drive-thru attendants cause ratings to swirl downward, while people who have found a way to make everyone feel welcome and important will advance their cause…both in tips and ratings. Few chefs in the world can out-cook horrible service.

What’s Best

The rating for the best is represented by a rendering of a picture of my mother eating crab legs at the Paris Buffet in Las Vegas. While my mom may not fully understand why we go from one restaurant to another that all changes when you put crab legs in front of her, she becomes possessed, disordered and crazed. It is this picture that comes to mind when I think of what makes awesome food awesome. The rating for the best is simply the best thing I have had the opportunity to try and how good it is.

What’s Worst

Same as above, just the most disappointing. This is the reason you might not want to return, and how good a reason it might be. The picture of the garbage can says it all.



All things considered…food being the most important, how does the place fare when all is said and done.
Of course, all of the above are always in my limited opinion.


All Restaurants By Ranking Restaurants By Date These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things Steph's Favorite Things
Home List of Restaurants by City The Ratings What's Rated Random Thoughts