Reader: Westword should not be a platform for "such and such local small business sucks"

coldsandwichweirdsalad.jpg
Lori Midson has been writing about food longer than a certain decades-old deli has been serving, so when she stopped by this former Best of Denver award-winner for lunch and was presented with a sandwich featuring bread straight from the freezer (see above), it left her cold...and she shared her dismay with readers.

See also: Guess where I'm eating a freezer bread sandwich and weird salad?

Says Anthony:

Leave the establishment bashing/defamation to Yelp. Quit acting like the NY Post, the last time I checked Rupert Murdoch hasn't bought out Westword (yet) so quit giving us the impression that it has been....

Did you yourself eat it and testify for it? An individual stating an opinion, but when you get into publications especially when you don't caveat it with that whole "this opinion does not represent blah blah insert publication's owners etc opinion" is where things get murky. When you go to a place and you see a best of Westword plaque on the wall most people immediately think/expect more from said eatery etc. That's called a preconceived notion. Now when you see/hear of the establishment mentioned in the article AFTER reading it that too is a preconceived notion which you can already see working based on other comments already made, obviously detracting from potential business. The difference is word of mouth from just anyone is one thing (hence my yelp reference) and you can peruse and make your own judgment henceforth.... HOWEVER; when a publication does the same thing it's reaching out to a much larger audience, putting the establishment on blast with a digital megaphone.

Long story short I was under the impression that Westword is a publication geared towards Denver metro stuff highlighting what's new, fun, etc yada yada, not a platform to yell out "SUCH AND SUCH LOCAL SMALL BUSINESS SUCKS BUT INSTEAD OF BEING DIRECT ABOUT IT LETS SEE HOW MANY PEOPLE CAN GUESS WHICH PLACE SUCKS, CONGRATULATIONS, YOU PICKED THE CORRECT SHITTY PLACE!" All while hurting potential business for other establishments guessed by other people because of other solicited negative preconceived notions. Can you see where I'm going with this? Is the author a recognized/known/respected food critic? Is that stated? Or is it just as worthless as the next "top ten hipster places in Denver" article written by Joe shmoe based off personal ungrounded, unsubstantiated biases? These types of articles in general (this one, the hipster articles among all the other bullshit) is no different than the same type of Buzzfeed bullshit user submitted buzzword articles generated for little more than a spike in web traffic. These kinds of things are journalism 101.

Former restaurant reviewer for both 5280 and the Rocky Mountain News, with bylines in many national publications, Lori Midson is definitely a "recognized/known/respected food critic" who's qualified to assess a sandwich. But aside from that, do you agree with this commenter -- and others -- who think Guess Where should only take readers to spots where the dish was delicious?




My Voice Nation Help
22 comments
Yvonne
Yvonne

Hey Anthony - Your "long story short" was so loooong it caused me to lose interest half the way through. Something that never happens when I am reading a Westword restaurant reivew. Maybe you need a Journalism 101 class.

Philo99
Philo99

I would love to see more negative reviews, when a restaurant deserves it. 


Every restaurant that charges customers should be able to put out high quality food. Average food is not acceptable. I can get average food out of a microwave at 7/11.

a94buff
a94buff

If the sandwich shop is serving bread out of the freezer, I definitely want to know that. Good On ya, Lori.

Manny Rodrigues III
Manny Rodrigues III

If a writer only writes positive reviews it doesn't do the reader any favors. Be fair and be honest so the readers get a good idea of what they're walking in to when it comes to the food, drink, and service at an establishment.

David Costantino
David Costantino

No - it's called "critic" for a reason. Not every place is going to be fantastic and awesome all the time, and many of them are happy to get constructive suggestions on what they can do to improve. Their goal should be to make customers happy (and to be profitable enough to stay in business), so when the customer speaks, they should listen. That's different than just trashing a place for no good reason, but no professional writer should do that in any case.

BsBeTrippin
BsBeTrippin

I think the whole point of reviews is positive and negative . If all that was posted was positive it wouldn't be worth a damp .

Plus if places aren't putting out a quality product or in this case freezer burnt bread . They should be called out

Michael564
Michael564

I appreciate the 'realism' of Westword -- tell it all, the good, the bad, the ugly. I grew up with the Village Voice, considered a Liberal Rag by the previous generation in NYC, and always appreciated their realism. These 2 papers are now owned by the same corporation, and I am very glad thatthe general mindset has not changed.
When I wrote game reviews for GAMES magazine back in the day, we were under strict orders to never say anything bad about a game. If there were problems, craft the review so it glossed over them -- if you didn't, the editors sure would and the writer would get paid less for the review. If the game was absolutely terrible, we just didn't submit a review at all. I never liked that idea; people read the mag to learn what was new and fun, and we left them guessing on anything we didn't cover. (It wasn't a 'space' issue either, they were concerned about losing advertising money!)

GFTW
GFTW

Bwahahaha...

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Guess what planet has water that weighs 3x more than it does on Earth?



Mantonat
Mantonat topcommenter

If Westword shouldn't point out a bad sandwich or salad, it also shouldn't point out the good ones. Nothing but "hey, this place serves sandwiches and pasta salad." Anthony, maybe you can start that publication and see how it goes.

davebarnes
davebarnes topcommenter

I am not going to analyze all of Lori's Guess Wheres, but I bet that are many more positives than negatives.

Denver Dave
Denver Dave topcommenter

Personally, I'm not a fan of Pollyanna journalism.  One of the things I appreciate about Lori, and Westword in general, is the ability to tell it like it is.  Good and bad.  The truth is that sometimes even the most long-lived, well respected business needs a wake up call.  If I want unrelenting "everything in Denver is terrific" propaganda I'll read Chamber of Commerce brochures.  They call them restaurant "critics" for a reason.  If your critic only paints every restaurant he/she reviews with the same "it's so wonderful - you simply must go" brush they aren't doing their job.  Few restaurants are perfect and the best take professional criticism gracefully and use it to improve their offerings.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@a94buff ... do they ALWAYS serve bread from the freezer, or was this a one-time mistake, from a new-soon-to-be-former employee? 


Did she notify the management?


How would a freezer-bread sandwich shop stay in business if


1) it were the norm, and


2) that wasn't what the customers wanted, or accepted?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 "so the readers get a good idea of what they're walking in to when it comes to the food, drink, and service at an establishment."


The only thing the average review gives is that particular individual experience at that specific time and date -- utterly irrelevant and not probative of the overall consistency that any restaurant, server, chef or food entree may exhibit.


That cuts both ways, for "good" or "bad" reviews, they may actually indicated the opposite of the normal quality of the food / restaurant / service.


[ cue Patty to remind us that Westweed's real food critic visits venues multiple times on different days before scibing a review ]



DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@BsBeTrippin .. were THEY called out and notified directly by the writer/customer, so the restaurant manager/owner could address the issue/complaint in a timely manner?



rickstigator
rickstigator

@Denver DaveOnce again, DD nails it.  I don't always agree with Lori's reviews but more than appreciate her honesty.

Bagwhan
Bagwhan

@Denver DaveExactly.  I enjoy the "guess wheres", and all I expect from Lori or WW on them is that they simply represent a cross-section of the places she visits and eats, and that she simply calls it like she sees (and eats) it.  If they're good, fine, and if they're bad, fine.  And if the bad one results in a kick in the pants to the place she "panned", then so be it.  These days (well, since the beginning of restaurant history, but certainly moreso in the internet age), a restaurant should be treating every customer like a food critic and every plate like it will be reviewed.  So why is it a problem when one of the people that restaurant serves just happens to be a food critic who offers a short review of the food?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@GFTW ... Planet Midson, where they don't teach grade school geometry or rudimentary math.



Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...