What factors into your CH restaurant reviews
When you eat out at a restaurant and decide to write about that experience - what factors into the appraisal you will write?
Is is strictly about the food, or is dining out an "experience" including not only food, but service, surroundings, ambiance and style (fine v casual), cleanliness, price to value, etc. Will you break down those individual components or generalize all into one generic assessment?
For me, it's certainly heavily weighted on the food - first and foremost - but it's also an overall experience; so I tend to break the other categories down, particularly if there is something notable (good or bad), or for that matter, little known that may be of aid to another reader.
I know that many are more purist to the literal term "Chowhound", writing only about the food. I just wondered how others view a review - when reading or writing.
I include the whole experience. If the parking valet was exceptionally nasty or the bathroom was freezing or hadn't been cleaned all day, it all adds up to the dining experience.
I can hardly remember a time in my life when I have received bad service. Oh, I hear other people's complaints, and for the most part they seem rather shallow.
Often on the internet I will find negative reviews about a place, and especially the really negative ones are filled with such vitriol about tiny matters.
So I rarely mention the service.
For the effort to write a good review, it has to be about the food
If the food meets the criteria, then I'll add comments about service and ambiance. I'll go back to a place where the service is sinister and the place is a cement cube but never if the food is simply eh.
And I'll never say it's good food for the value - it's good food that happens to be inexpensive.
I have to say, I tend to fall back on the Zagat's Food, Decor, Service criteria. I would say (for me) it's weighted 60% food, 30% service and 10% decor. I can deal with a dive (as long as it is not a health risk) ....Great service may not make me like a place better (lousy food, amazing service) but really really bad service will make me DISlike a place more.