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David Haskell of Bin 8945 on Chowhound

This is on Eater LA's site about Chowhound today:


What's that about? I think this is a seriously unfair critique of Chowhound. Saying that Chowhound is nothing more than people who write "It sucks" is nothing more than the same sort of unfair blanket oversimplification of which he accuses Chowhounders.

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  1. Relax, it's only one man's opinion and he's definitely entitled to it.


    1. What does he mean he 'banned' chowhound? LOL

      1. He's entitled to express his own opinions. It's up to readers if they agree with him (or Chowhounders, for that matter).

        1. his critique sucks!

          too bad b/c i heard his food was good. ;)

          1. Sounds like he doesn't read the posts here much, or maybe he read one post that said something "sucks."
            That is pretty funny about him "banning" chowhound.

            1. Blogging about why bloggers should not blog. Verbal Ouroboros. Neat!

              1. "...Chowhound is nothing more than people who write "It sucks"..."

                Does this mean that Haskell thinks Chowhound is full of reviewers who are overly negative? Or that Chowhound is full of people who review a restaurant without giving any reasons why they review it the way they do?

                My reading of Haskell's piece suggests he means the later.

                Either way, it _is_ an unfair overgeneralization. But this is a criticism that's been leveled against the blogosphere for a long time. And it's also rooted in a kernel of truth.

                I see many, many fine reviews of restaurants and eateries that help me decide whether or not to visit a place. (Haskell seems to be missing those.) But I see my share of unsubstantiated claims and unsupported assertions flying across the boards, too. (And here Haskell's got a point.) Take a look at the Southwest board and watch what happens when one of the innumerable repetitive questions comes up about what to eat in Vegas. Twenty-seven responses will answer the question, but half of them will be half-sentence blurbs that do nothing more than give a list of restaurants without any explanation why they're good or bad. Not helpful.

                Nonetheless, those poor contributions don't keep me from contributing my own ideas and opinions about food and eateries--and they don't keep me from enjoying every minute of Chowhound--I'm not going to "ban" Chowhound just because some (and "some" does not equal "all") don't know how to review well.

                Like anyone who participates in the blogosphere, we've learned how to see past the crap and focus our attention on the quality material at sites like Chowhound. Haskell's comments suggest he doesn't know how to do that yet.

                1 Reply
                1. re: alanstotle

                  I think your example is true, but not representative -- the thoughtful posters on all the boards get tired of answering the "innumerable repetitive questions comes up about what to eat in [their city]" and tend to become a bit curt, especially since the answers to most of the questions could be answered by looking at any guide book or restaurant site. Personally, I get tired to catering to people who are too lazy to ask a thoughtful question (and will almost certainly be too lazy to report back). If you want to know what the top five high-end restaurants in any city are, you don't need chowhound -- that info is available anywhere. If you want to know the top five burrito joints, or where to find good dim sum in Las Vegas, then you'll get more, more thoughtful responses.

                2. I just did a search on CH for Bin 8945 and of the the first 12 reviews - 10 were very positive, one pointed to another thread and the last was negative. Yes there were side comments (like any conversation) but overall the place got v.good to great reviews. Here's the link: http://www.chowhound.com/search?item_...

                  On that note it seems like he's whining, looking for cheap PR (amidst some serious name dropping) or to prop up his blog or he's just small minded. He of course has every right to say/blog what he wants. But then so do I and thus I'll quote Harry Truman - "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen."

                  1. Not specifically about Bin 8945 but it's worth noting that some restaurants worry about professional reviewers, bloggers or those who post on online forums while others worry about their customers.