Anybody had any luck with the recommendations in Jane & Michael Stern's RoadFood website? I have not found their reviews to be particularly accurate.
The Sterns seem to love everything. Their reviews are similar to what you'd find in the average travel guide by Frommer's or Fodor's. When I hear them on NPR's Splendid Table they always seem very excited by their "discoveries," but I suspect that in their enthusiasm they sometimes overlook a restaurant's faults.
For CT it's a big yawn and i do not trust them. They seem to like everything. After reading over a dozen reviews on the CT site, the only tnegative remark is against Sally's clam pizza. They called it "second rate." Gimme a break.
Yes, CT and NJ have great hotdogs but is every one the "best" he ever tasted, could every relish be the "best". They need to have a more honest opinion on stuff and try some things they may not like to give a better sense of truism.
They tell me the difference between a clam strip and a whole belly clam. They tell me to get fries with a dog. Pleeze.
Chowhound has much better reviews and honest reviews that road-food
I think that they typically underestimate how much a meal will cost, especially if you get what they recommend. I've gone into sketchy places to wind up with good food, a lot better than I'd have expected, thanks to them. They also don't post about restaurants they don't like. So if they have checked out 12 restaurants, they'll only post about one or two. I think that their premise is not to slam bad restaurants but instead to herald good ones. Hence the permanently optimistic tone. Also in keeping with their optimistic tone, if a place starts slipping in quality, they won't announce it. For one thing, I think they're far too busy to continually check on previous restaurants, and for another I don't think they want the image of negativity to stick to them.
I say they are a good source, just not an only one.
This is a quote from Roadfood.com about posting reviews:
What are the requirements for getting a review posted?
All reviews must be well written and clearly give descriptions about the taste and presentation of the food. Look at other reviews on the site as examples. Once a review is submitted, it needs to be reviewed by our editors to make sure it is appropriate. All reviews for a new restaurant must have an approved photo of the food to be published on the site.
Of note: "All reviews of a new place must have a photo!"
It seems the site has evolved a bit. I used to think of it as a place to see what they had to say about Q.
Is it a prerequisite that every meal "they" review have to be served in styrofoam or on a paper plate? I guess wine with a meal is not allowed? I also don't think anything green is allowed in pictures.
I guess I have a slight fascination with the premise of the site. Perhaps it's love-hate. I rarely eat a dog and most burgers are disgusting (read latest NYT's article on frozen hamburger patties).
Around here, in New England, I check out pigtrip.net for Q places. I'm not sure if I want just positive, upbeat reviews that don't update old haunts that have slid. That seems to be a knock on roadtrip and a plus for Chowhound since anyone can revive an old thread or start a new one.
When Roadfood was first publish in the late '70's it was my bible when traveling. So I really wanted to love the site.
I'll look at it when planning a trip, but on the whole do not find it useful enough to count on. I do find their info to be much more valuable/useful for the less visited/populated areas.