- mr mouther Oct 22, 2007 04:35 PM
I think it's sad that chowhound moderation has, over the years, started filtering out posters who talk about inexpensive places to eat, and instead babied up to people who are willing to spend $250 per person on a meal.
It's purely economic, and done under the guise of "what's best for this site," but it has gradually made chowhound a place that caters to people looking for the "best sushi" in town or debating the merits of the next overhyped trend trench, while relegating discussion of moderate eateries (and those who tend to post about such places) to the background.
I'd like to add that in the last year and a half, thanks to Chowhound, I've had my first torta, first taco truck taco, first papusa, first chaat and have rediscovered bahn mi. I don't pay much attention to the descriptions of the high end places, though I've also got some good information about mid-range places in my area.
What is the basis for your claim?
I post regularly on the Southwest board and have done plenty of reviews on mom & pop places, greasy spoons, and inexpensive holes-in-the-wall and have not had then pulled nor have I ever been asked to not post about them. Here are a couple of links to some of the most inexpensive places in Phoenix:
Also, here is a thread on the Southwest board that appeared about four months ago:
I am perplexed as to how you came to your conclusion.
Wow, that is about the last thing I would ever say about Chowhound. In fact, one of the things that my friends and I tend to complain about is that posters are often cheap to a fault. Fixating so much on price that places are actually panned because a meal costing less than $10 failed to inspire rapture. I've gotten into it with other posters for making comments such as, "it was a satisfying and delicious breakfast, but at $5 was a little steep".
The moderators heavy hand may be driving posters away, but I doubt it has much to do with weeding out those who like to talk about inexpensive, tasty grub.
We don't moderate on those grounds, at all. I'm not even sure how we would if we wanted to. Establish a price level and remove posts that don't meet it? We're obviously not doing that.
With community sites, however, what people post tends to drive what other people post. As more people discuss high-end dining, more people who are interested in high-end dining are attracted to the site. If you're interested in more discussion of awesome ethnic dives and great family owned restaurants, start those discussions and keep them alive.
One of the big gaps between the high-end discussions and the moderate discussions tends to be the length of comments and reviews. People will post multi-paragraph paeans to the tasting menu at some fancy place, while the same people will post much shorter tips about the great Peruvian lunch counter around the corner from the office. It makes the balance of the conversation appear to favour the fancy place, but the tip on the Peruvian lunch counter is equally useful information.
-- Jacquilynne, Community Manager for Chowhound
Considering the fact that you recently posted this discussion of sopes http://www.chowhound.com/topics/445438 on the LA board I am at a loss as to why you think that CH doesn't allow discussions of all levels of chowing?
There are plenty of hot dog, 'Q and pizza threads, not to mention dim sum and all manner of dumplings, burger threads, taco trucks, mom and pop joints, Chinese, Thai, Korean, regional Mexican, Cuban, Italian, Persian, eastern European, etc. threads going on all the time. True 'hounds are out there, finding the good stuff, eating it, sharing tidbits about it, but not totally obsessing about the latest "in" trend, not measuring their chow-success by their dining checks or the pedigree of their chefs, and not waxing poetic about gastronomic extravaganzas, because, frankly, they have more going on in their lives, and they also gotta make a living and don't have the time or inclination to rhapsodize on the latest fancy schmancy craze.
My theory is that much of the really visible high end dining stuff that is discussed is being discussed by all manner of economically privileged wannabes, they have more discretionary income burning a hole in their pockets than culinary knowlege or discernment, just following the rest of the herd, and stimulated by all of the media attention that has developed the past few years, A strata of society that has to experience the latest and greatest designer/celebrity chef opus in a futile life of "one upping", instead of merely keeping up with the Joneses". These people may be dining out on their expense accounts, and posting to Chowhound while generating billable hours to their clients, always chasing the latest fad.
True, blue, natural born Chowhounds are out there and lurking and posting on the boards, and true blue, natural born Chowhounds take the time to filter through all of the "wheat and the chaff" that these boards are composed of, and are able to find the kernels of real delliciousness.
True, blue, natural born Chowhounds are also discussing a lot about various food/culinary matters, and sharing real knowledge that they have acquired on the General Topics, Home Cooking, Wine, Spirits and various local boards, demonstrating a true depth of knowledge and appreciation, as opposed to bragging about making it to the latest celebrity chef restaurant openning.
It's interesting that this is your observation. I can only speak from my personal experience, but I completely credit Chowhound with leading me to explore the wonderful chow in less expensive places. I'm married to a man who used to think (used to being the operative phrase) that great chow equals expensive chow, though he was aware that expensive chow can be bad chow. Over the years - particularly in the last year - we've now ventured out of our comfort zone - certainly not blazing any trails, but exploring the wonderful cheap chow options available in the outer boroughs of New York City and Westchester:
http://www.chowhound.com/topics/396349 (afraid we still haven't made it to Staten Island - the last frontier for my husband, but I'm working on it).
http://www.chowhound.com/topics/447184 - still haven't been yet, but planning to.
And, of course - Shake Shack - the cheapest lunch we'd ever had together at that point!
Edit - and, I agree with other posters - while I understand your concern, I'm not sure why you think that moderation is an issue here - do you think the mods are removing posts about cheap places?
My experience was based on posting on this board since 2000. I
t is based on posts removed when questioning a diner who said they don't expect everything to be perfect when spend $250 per person on a meal, with a chowhound moderator specifically removing all the posts (not just mine) that questioned what this person does expect for $250 per person, and yet keeping all of the dittoheads who also think that $250 per person is a reasonable amount and not to expect too much for that price.
It is based on overall moderator leniency to folks who post about high-end restaurants vs. the hounds who write about cheap stuff. That is simply what I've noticed. If you haven't noticed it, please continue to enjoy the boards as you normally do.
It is also based on the quanity of high-end vs low-end topics on my local board, LA. [certainly not a fault of the moderators]
[My past local boards include Chicago and "The South" (hilarious!)]
Hey - if you'd never had a taco or torta or shu mai or choy sum before chowhound - great that you now have!
re: mr mouther
I just did a quick survey of the LA board's (my board as well) first page. Some of the threads can't be quantified as posting about restaurants so I left them out. What I came up with is:
Very Expensive: 1
Moderately Expensive: 11
Very Inexpensive: 3
This was done very quickly and you might quibble with some of my groupings, but it was pretty accurate IMO. YMMV
As long as you're happy posting there, please continue. I'm sure my perspective is aberrant.
re: mr mouther
It was just when you said... "It is also based on the quanity of high-end vs low-end topics on my local board, LA." it made me take a quick look at what the ratio was. I really had no idea what I would find.
re: mr mouther
I suspect the content was removed due to tempers flaring between posters rather than the cost of the meal.