Q: Can hype and expectations kills a dining experience?
Can hype and expectations kills a dining experience or create a disapointing meal? I ask this question in the general sense and as well as specific situations and circumstances.
For myself, I've found that if I hear too much buzz or hype, my expectations rise...and I can be dissapointed from what is otherwise a fine, fine meal. Example: went to a 4-star place considered one of the best in country. It was a great food, yet I found myself underwelmed because of how friends (who had been) gushed and gushed. Even as the food was great, it took me 2 other visits to finally enjoy the full experience. The thing is, how do you ignore otherwise good friends or opinions you trust. Guess it goes to show that even if the food is great, if your head isn't there...could be a disapointment.
I never know whether I'm going to agree with what I've heard about a place until I try it myself.
Hype in the form of advertising and PR will lower my expectations. I figure the better places want to build slowly by word of mouth.
Can hype and expectations kills a dining experience or create a disapointing meal? Absolutely, yes.
The first example that came to mind was a well-reviewed, or 'buzzed' about movie. Would you go expecting a similar level of enjoyment? Yes. What about a book? Simply because of the buzz, do we form some kind of expectation.
This is why unless I'm specifically looking for a new resto. to try, and am not sure of what to expect, do I take the 'hype' into consideration. Actually, I'm more inclined to really take the word of a fellow 'Hound, over the hype, but I can't say the buzz doesn't create an expectation.
Hype and expectations can adversely affect any situation with dining as no exception. I, too, never assume that anyone else's opinion will be my opinion before I taste and see for myself. And when friends want to "impress" me by taking me to their favorite "restaurant experience" I have to realize that everyone has a different standard when it comes to what they want to experience when they eat out.
Admittedly the only time I've fallen for the hype or buzz was with a top 10 restaurant...national top 10 and ocassionally a well regarded regional place, and probably because I wanted to believe it. In other areas, arts, films, books, I find the subjective/personal pretty specific but I do understand hype from that way. Food OTOH has a more populist, "everyone eats and thus has an opinion", thing going on.