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Are there threads u stay away from

I know that there are threads that I see the that have so many replies that I cannot begin to jump in. I would vote for bigtuna 27's thread ,,, it took me 3 separate 4 hr session to complete it was great and awesome but I hate starting it it's like war and peace it is great once you are done

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  1. I tend to stay away from threads that are repetitive, too "clubby", or engage in group think. Though, by this post, I apparently have trouble staying away from threads that are possibly going to land me in deep water.

    1. Some of them do get long and out of hand, and I'll only jump in if the subject is near and dear, like about dining options pretty close nearby.

      The "Not About Food" board section is my least favorite, owing to several really snipey threads there, arguing over the rudeness of such things as putting a plate on top of another plate at a restaurant as you're getting ready to leave, or tipping based on tax or not, and ragging and railing on people's health choices. It seems like a far less happy section of Chowhound than all the other boards, although some good threads do end up there.

      I think a lot of the intent of Chowhound is to avoid the longer less-useful-topic threads, like the posting-etiquette guidelines try to get at:

      "Chowhound is about food, and it's supposed to be relaxed. We don't get into "big picture" issues. There are myriad online forums for debating politics, ethics, and other hot-button issues; please use Chowhound not to debate but to share news and tips.

      In that same spirit, we avoid topics that are simply chatter. Threads should contain or solicit useful information and tips, rather than existing merely to give others something to post about. Chatty questions include (but aren't limited to, these are just a few examples) those that result in anyone and everyone chiming in with an item to add to a list ('every food reference in a movie ever'); questions that you're asking out of curiosity ('I'm curious if anyone else feels the same way about kumquats as I do'), questions that are basically rants in disguise ('this waiter was rude, am I right?'); questions based purely on personal preference which anyone can answer and no answer is more or less appropriate than any other ('foods no one else likes that you love'). If you just want to start a conversation for the sake of having something to talk about, it's probably chat, but if you're interested in the specific answers, and they'll help you eat better, it's probably okay."

      4 Replies
      1. re: Cinnamon

        I take regular self-imposed breaks from Not About Food. It is definitely the combative corner of the site and sometimes I get sucked in. However, I have learned a lot of interesting things over the years from the discussions. And more than five years ago someone said they donate to the food bank as a balance of sorts to their food obsession / possible wastefulness - I have been donating a small amount monthly ever since. So I'm not ready to give up on NAF yet.

        I'm pretty good about avoiding tipping threads though. For one thing, they're boring after so many years. But I also hate the extremism on all sides which I would categorize something like this:
        "I always tip at least 20% and anyone who does not is a cheapskate" (added bonus of lots of details of fancy meals and large tips dispensed)

        "The customer is always right no matter how obnoxious and the tip is to be earned" (throw in some free market ideology)

        "I am an abused, underpaid waiter. Never mind that based on my internet access, free time and English skills I clearly have other options and yet somehow choose to waiter - I am basically an indentured servant and you are all complicit "

        1. re: julesrules

          I find there's also a one upsmanship with tipping. It's almost like an auction...well, I never tip less than 20%...I never tip less than 25% and never less than $5...I always tip 30% and refuse to eat w/ anyone who tips less, etc. To me, it's almost like bragging about how much a person donates to charities and looking down on others who don't give as much.

          1. re: chowser

            "To me, it's almost like bragging about how much a person donates to charities and looking down on others who don't give as much."

            True. But there is a flip side to that coin as well.

            1. re: chowser

              "I find there's also a one upsmanship with tipping. It's almost like an auction...well, I never tip less than 20%...I never tip less than 25% and never less than $5...I always tip 30% and refuse to eat w/ anyone who tips less, etc."

              Tipping threads really bring out an amazing level of weirdness. I try very hard to avoid them but every 6 or 8 months I break down and open one up. Nothing ever changes - the same points keep being made endlessly and no one ever changes their mind.

        2. Of course there are threads I stay away from.

          Usually for me to read, it has to have a title that I think is either interesting or that I'm pretty sure I might want to contribute to. And it normally needs to have relatively few contributions for me to take a first look (after arund 100, I find it's a turn-off)

          1. I agree that long threads are daunting. I also prefer topics that are pretty closely focused, as opposed to the "everybody list your top ten favorite things to eat" type of threads.

            I generally stay out of the manners & etiquette discussions, if only because I'm too easily tempted into responding to some boorish comment or other.

            To repeat what I've written elsewhere on the subject, topics involving manners (and even more so, etiquette) almost always get overheated because those who believe that such things matter and those who believe that they're an elitist plot differ not just in their taste in food, but in their approaches to life. To the former, the latter are uncivilized boors, while to the latter, the former are snobbish prigs.

            And I guess my use of the word boorish above shows you which camp I'm in. ;-)

            1 Reply
            1. re: BobB

              "I generally stay out of the manners & etiquette discussions, if only because I'm too easily tempted into responding to some boorish comment or other."

              You're a very wise man.

              I tend to stay away from those super long threads -- not because I don't want to read through every response but because I'm too impatient to wait for those threads to load onto my screen.

            2. Conversely, if I thread has been locked, I'll often look at it even if originally I had no interest. I'm not too sure I appreciate what that probably means about my personality.

              7 Replies
              1. re: sebetti

                Hey. we're all looky-lous when it comes to the scene of an accident. Just human nature, I guess.

                1. re: sebetti

                  I don't know why, but that locked-thread icon always forces me to look...i can't help myself, lol. So you're not the only one!

                  1. re: sebetti

                    ditto...it's like a train wreck....same goes for threads where the mods are the last ones who've posted.

                    1. re: im_nomad

                      I'd love to see the stats on how many more people read the thread after it's been locked than before.

                      1. re: chowser

                        I admit to reading the locked ones out of curiosity. However, by the time they're locked, the juicier posts have already been deleted.

                        I've noticed a disturbing trend lately of threads along the lines of: "My waiter spilled on me/was rude/looked at me funny, etc - how much should the restaurant comp me?" I try to avoid them but somehow still get sucked into reading them!

                        1. re: ms. clicquot

                          Yeah, I could do w/out any new tip or comp threads. It didn't occur to me that the juicier posts have been removed. I guess it's like rubber necking after the accident has been towed.

                    2. If I see that a thread was started by someone and then I click on it and quickly see that every other post is from the OP, I'll usually disengage. I find that more often than not, the OP is just adding crap to keep their post alive and I find that more than a little pathetic/creepy.

                      9 Replies
                      1. re: southernitalian

                        Often true, but sometimes it's just a dialog between the only two people who have an interest in the topic.

                        1. re: southernitalian

                          I guess that could be a possibility for some people, but I'm going to have to disagree with you. Sometimes I start a post to get recommendations on restaurants while traveling or ask cooking questions and am very grateful for the help that other chowhounders have given me and like to respond to their posts to let them know that I am taking their suggestions into consideration. I hope that doesn't make me seem pathetic or creepy.

                            1. re: southernitalian

                              Thank you! But I guess one can interpret this as an attempt for external validation, which would make me a bit pathetic. ; )

                              1. re: Miss Needle

                                MN, I have been involved in many trials and court cases, and a favorable decision by a jury or judge is external validation, and there is nothing pathetic about it! We all need an occasional third party to let us know if our compass is pointing north...or not.

                            2. re: Miss Needle

                              We do sometimes step in and ask people to stop that type of posting if it's getting out of hand. We understand the desire to thank people, but at the same time, every time you do, it bumps your thread back up to the top of the boards, and bumps something else a little further down. It's fine to post a general thank you, or follow up with a report back on the places you did try, but replying to all or most suggestions in a thread just to say thank you takes up a little more "space" on the board index than is really fair to other posters.

                              -- Jacquilynne, Community Manager for Chowhound

                            3. re: southernitalian

                              It depends on the area. In a larger city I think there's something to this, but I live in a more rural area, and a lot of my posts go without response or at best have a handful of other people who reply to them sporadically. I have one running thread on taquerias in eastern NC where most of the posts are mine, but it's still useful information.

                              1. re: Naco

                                I feel a proper 'thank you' might really be in the form a personal review of the experience, good or bad. People often ask for recs, and few folloow back up with any further information.

                                1. re: DallasDude

                                  I agree completely. I like hearing different opinions on the places I frequent, and it adds to the utility of the site by adding new perspectives.

                            4. I've stayed away from a whole board because it has been dominated by a couple of well-informed people and their posts become the "authority" on the subject. Too frequently, posters are looking for personal posts only from them. They may know more than anyone else but I wish they would just step back a little to open up the board for others.

                              25 Replies
                                1. re: PBSF

                                  >>> Too frequently, posters are looking for personal posts only from them.

                                  At least on the SF board, the unwritten convention seems to be if someone asks for you specifically not to respond to discourage that type of thing. It may not be 100% but especially singling out someone in a title is unlikely to get a response from that person.

                                  >>> They may know more than anyone else but I wish they would just step back a little to open up the board for others.

                                  What does that have to do with stopping anyone from posting? Anyone who wants to post can.

                                  Bullying however is a different thing. Frequent poster has an opinion and then goes on post after post trying to wear someone down ... well, there's a report button ... tell the mods. They are good about taking care of that type of thing.

                                  1. re: PBSF

                                    The thing about a site like chowhound is that anyone can post. If I'm looking for information, I want information from as many sources as possible. In many cases, it's not even factual info that people post but personal opinions, where there are not rights or wrongs.

                                    Having people post less (especially the well-informed ones) is not a solution that gives us lots of high-quality information. Having more people post more is the way to get more information. What's stopping others from posting?

                                    1. re: limster

                                      I live in Dallas and Chow lumped most of the state into one group, except the relatively small and culinary less significant town of Austin. So Houston and Dallas share a spot even though they are seperated by a distance that would take up most of the eastern sea board. I suppose there are a few that commute back and forth, but it still makes no sense. I do not open Houston threads. I am more likely to open a NYC or San Francisco thread.

                                      1. re: DallasDude

                                        i guess everything is bigger in texas including miles and hyperbole ;)

                                        i'm pretty sure the eastern seaboard is longer than 250 miles.....

                                        1. re: thew

                                          Hate to discourage your map skills, but from Perrtyon, TX (panhandle) to the southern most point in Texas is a mere 880 miles. The eastern seaboard would include just New England states, but I will measure from Bangor to Richmond for grins and came up with a mere 785 miles (and that is a tad more than New England).

                                          Love ya I am sure. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WALIAR...

                                          1. re: DallasDude

                                            It's been a while since I moved away from Texas, but as far as I can tell "Houston and Dallas ... are seperated by a distance" (your words) of about 250 miles. If somebody moved Dallas to Perryton and Houston to Brownsville, I need to update my address book.

                                            1. re: alanbarnes

                                              Houston and Dallas are separated by about a billion miles. To get from one to the other you actually have to go through a cultural wormhole and as soon as you near Houston, the conduit collapses from the humidity.

                                              You can't just drive there.

                                              And as to DallasDude's question:
                                              "Can they not see how odd linking North Texas with El Paso is?"


                                            2. re: DallasDude

                                              DD, have you unfolded your whole map? The Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida are on the eastern seaboard, too. Perryton? Now there's a real food mecca. And Matamoros across the Rio Grande in Mexico has way better restaurants than Brownsville, IMO. Why start in Bangor? You are ignoring the hard-working potato growers in Aroostook County.

                                              1. re: Veggo

                                                Just hyperbole I assure you. ;) Making a point. And by the way, to make sure I spoke correctly, I looked up the difference between eastern seaboard and came up with a more accurate version... its not just the states kissing the Atlantic...

                                                The East Coast of the United States, also known as the "Eastern Seaboard" or "Atlantic Seaboard", refers to the easternmost coastal states in the central and northern United States, which touch the Atlantic Ocean and stretch up to Canada.

                                                So I stretched it quite a bit by giving the seaboard 750 miles. Back to your basements... mom has the cheetos ready.

                                                1. re: DallasDude

                                                  It is curious that Austin has it's own board, and Houston and Dallas don't and are many times Austin's size. (neither does Denver, twice the metro population as Austin). You call Austin "culinary less significant" , but I think it has earned it's stripes with quality, variety, and enthusiasm. Dallas and Houston are both so sprawling that each is like a dozen sub-markets that hardly link together.
                                                  I lived there 8 years and know the 3 pretty well, at least as of a few years ago.

                                                  1. re: Veggo

                                                    I thoroughly enjoy Austin. I believe that Austin and perhaps all Hill Country and even San Antonio should be linked. But Dallas and houston to be seperated. Having lived in texas I am sure you can see that. Can they not see how odd linking North Texas with El Paso is?

                                                    I do spend an inordinate amount of time on Chow, and really enjoy it. Not trolling, just trying to make a better Chow.

                                                    1. re: DallasDude

                                                      Having lived in Austin for a few years in the early '90s, I share your affection for the place. But for it to have its own board? Inexplicable.

                                                      Now that I live in Sacramento, I complain about the fact that we share a board with San Diego, which at 500 miles away is twice as far as from Dallas to Houston. I think it kills participation from both cities. But whaddayagonnadoaboudit?

                                                      1. re: alanbarnes

                                                        lol Exactly. Well, what we can do is mention it here, as we have done. I wonder who segmented the boards? Could it be a tossing of a dart? I can throw a mean dart...

                                                        1. re: DallasDude

                                                          As I recall at the time that Austin was chosen to be split off as it's own "new board" the decision was made mostly because the archives that went with it were easy to assign to the new, stand alone Austin board (as they existed in a bit of a virtual "geographic vacuum" as it were). This made it so much easier, in terms of not having to go back and read through thousands and thousands of old posts, and then trying to decide to which new board to assign each of those old posts (many of them not well or at all identified as to location).

                                                          1. re: Servorg

                                                            Actually, I think it coincided with a major CNET presence at SXSW in Austin.

                                                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                              Yes, i think you're right. I believe one of the moderators once posted something about Austin having its own board b/c of the SXSW festival. As a sort of experiment or something?

                                                                1. re: Chris VR

                                                                  A "certs" reply! Thanks for digging up that old thread, Chris.

                                                              1. re: Servorg

                                                                Pretty sure Austin is less than an hour away from San Antonio, and a stones throw from all the mighty Hill Countriy bbq places and such.

                                                            2. re: alanbarnes

                                                              After a 2-yr stint in West Texas, I can say that folks in the panhandle would prefer Austin be on a separate board.

                                                            3. re: DallasDude

                                                              I think the Chowhound guru's are very careful before they start new boards, because ultimately too many boards is a negative. Surely they react to large amounts of local activity, and Houston, Dallas, and Denver have not made the cut. My sister in Idaho is an ultimate foodie, but her region is a twilight zone. And she would be all give and no take. There are no perfect answers.

                                                              1. re: Veggo

                                                                And even if they could break out a new board, there's the untangling of the old posts. Let's say they want to separate northern and southern California (or northwest and southeast Texas). Somebody's going to have to pore through all 27 gajillion old threads and figure out where they belong. And what to do with a thread discussing a road trip along Highway 99 or 281?

                                                                Flawed though the existing system may be, the logistics of changing it begin to outpace the benefits pretty quickly.

                                                2. re: limster

                                                  rudeness and aggression deter me. i feel attacked so many times that now i am ultra careful of even offering information. the comebacks are sometimes superfluous. we are all entitled to our opinions and discussions can be interesting without rudeness.

                                                  1. re: foodwich

                                                    Absolutely agree! But that also means we want posts be more polite / friendly and less rude / aggressive, rather than have less posts from people who may have information to share.

                                              2. I try to avoid the "what foods make you hurl" or "what gross ways do you eat your food" type posts.. As much as I often don't understand a lot of things on CH....I don't really understand how posts that are all about turning your stomach, instead of making your mouth water..fit.

                                                there was one thread on a regional board that was IMHO insulting to my home area's cuisine (i'm kinda territorial that way)....after a few replies I had to go cool my heels and not look in there anymore.

                                                elitist type threads, uber-etiquette threads, or threads wherein the OP looks down upon what their host has served or what someone gave as a gift....well, I know I shouldn't....because they irk me...but I end up wandering in anyway.

                                                I admit, that as wonderful as i'm sure it is.....I have yet to tackle the what do you do for a living thread.

                                                1. I enjoy an old-fashioned, bare-knuckle bar fight as much as the next guy, probably more so. But I steer clear of the Wine Board here. Heavy traffic: they don't swerve away from me, they swerve at me, and I've been road-killed enough. No mas! Exceptions are Robert Lauriston and Bill Hunt, who are gentlemen.

                                                  12 Replies
                                                  1. re: Veggo

                                                    The Wine Board totally intimidates me and yet they've always been helpful when I've asked one of my oh-so-simple questions. I guess they just know so damn much.

                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                      I've lurked to learn but wouldn't post. It's like my going to the mechanic and saying, "I push the pedal and it makes a grrr,grrunhgh noise." Totally clueless. Nice to hear you've been helped.

                                                      1. re: chowser

                                                        Same goes for the beer thread. I enjoy drinking wine and beer, but I prefer to read the wine/beer boards rather than participate.

                                                    2. re: Veggo

                                                      Hmm. Less experience with the wine board, but I suppose that is indeed a hot-button board.

                                                      I think they could split the Not About Food board into two...

                                                      Not About Food
                                                      and either:

                                                      Not About Food Nor You, Special Snowflake
                                                      Not About Food Nor Bitching

                                                        1. re: Cinnamon

                                                          >>>>Not About Food Nor You, Special Snowflake<<<<

                                                          BRAVA, Cinnamon!

                                                        2. re: Veggo

                                                          I am a regular wine drinker and usually the one to choose for a group and consider myself reasonably knowledgable about wine. I am terrified of the Wine Board...LOL.

                                                          I am also intimitated by the Home Cooking board when it comes to sharing, but not so much when asking for advice. The people are very nice there....I'm humbled by the talent represented.

                                                          1. re: Veggo

                                                            But we're all so nice on the Wine Board. Come back! :)

                                                              1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                Actually, you've helped me on the Wine board but I believe it was you who referred to it as The Dark Side :) Seriously, it's not that probably everyone wouldn't be nice. It's just the huge learning curve that I'd have to go through to even understand a lot of what's written. I can't keep up with some of these whiz kids on Home Cooking!

                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                  See, Home Cooking is the scary board to me.

                                                              2. re: Veggo

                                                                I adore wine, and i love discussing wine. When I first started posting on CH I spent a lot of time on the wine board. There are some wonderful posters who share a lot of great knowledge, and I am grateful for their generosity.

                                                                But I have drifted away from the Wine board for several reasons.

                                                                Firstly, I find that so many of the wine references are to wines that I can't get locally, and so I can't benefit from the tips. Wine shopping is incredibly regional, and I just don't have access to many of the Californian or other wines discussed on the board.

                                                                Secondly, I have had some unpleasant run-ins with some posters on that board. I don't consider myself a complete newbie to wine, and yet I have been made to feel inadequate on occasion. CH is supposed to be fun, so I really don't have the time for this. There are some posters who really give wine geeks a bad name. You know, I am not a heinous human being just because I might occasionally use soap to clean my wine glasses....

                                                                Thirdly, I have spent a lot of time on some posts on that board, and I rarely seem to get a lot of response for my efforts. There are some very gracious posters who have been very encouraging, or who have engaged in "conversation" with me, but I felt like a bit of persona non grata on that board. It can be a little unwelcoming at times. I definitely felt like an outsider looking in. I don't get that feeling from the other boards I post on.

                                                                Too bad. I love wine, and I love food-wine pairing. Fortunately, I have a large group of local wine friends who like to indulge in regular food-wine-pairing experiments! It is always fun!

                                                                I still lurk now and then, as i miss some of the voices on that board.

                                                              3. What threads do I stay away from? Trader Joe's threads. Honestly, how much more can this chain be discussed--and I shop there! I've suggested that there be a separate board for TJ alone.

                                                                The Not About Food board is a fascinating sociological study. I don't mind the boorish statements so much and wouldn't even know how to classify "boorish" (one man's boorish is another man's normal). Sadly, the main takeaway I get from that board is how petty many people are.

                                                                I also tend to stay away from any Food Network threads--same old same old. It's amazing how so many posters on those threads have such intimate knowledge about the shows and food personalities they proclaim to hate. If you dislike something so much, then why would you continue to watch it? And if you pose this question (and there was a thread about this a while ago), it's amazing the responses you get: "I was at XYZ's home and that's the only option I had so OF COURSE I had to watch it." No, no one EVER admits to watching the Food Network in the privacy of their own home--heaven forbid.

                                                                4 Replies
                                                                  1. re: gloriousfood

                                                                    I gave up on FN years ago, but still like bashing the rachael rays. Its good sport. I do not even own a TV anymore (lost 7 of them in the divorce and never looked back). I get all the TV I want at the pub, or on the net.

                                                                    1. re: KTinNYC

                                                                      Can't recall the last time I had Food Network on at home ( the only food show we watch since the demise of the original Japanese run of Iron Chef is No Reservations, which is on the Travel Channel), but I do watch it at the gym where the only alternative is usually sports, in which I have zero interest (other than my beloved Red Sox).

                                                                      1. re: BobB

                                                                        The original Iron Chef can still be found on a different channel... home & garden? Not sure. But I've been watching the re-runs, they're great.

                                                                  2. Agreed on the Trader Joe's threads. How many variations can there be on "I like staff who try to make smalltalk" vs. "I don't want to be your friend - why are you talking to me?"

                                                                    But more than anything, a thread with the word "overrated" in the title is guaranteed to be a contentious, uninformative waste of time. If you disagree with the consensus on a restaurant / dish / cuisine / city / whatever, that's fine. But to start a post based on the notion that your sensibilities are so much superior to those of the "raters"? Please, just get over yourself.

                                                                    1. I've only recently begun to participate in CH regularly. I enjoy most of the discussions and learning from others. However, at this same time, I have the impression that there are people who have the need to one-up others and contradict other people's opinions just for the satisfaction of having the last word. Frequently, these people cherry pick certain comments from others to criticize and don't add much to the discussion.. I don't want to avoid a thread simply because a certain poster or poster (s) are there, but am definitely turned off by that attitude. It's only happened to me a few times, and one of the posters in question gives the impression that she's young and rather immature. My sense is that it may be best to ignore such people and let them have the last word since their behavior and the lack of substance and tone of their posts speak for themselves.

                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Gigi007

                                                                        One of the Home Boards I read daily has taken a defend vs discuss tone with a few of the restaurants reviewed. I understand loving a place and wanting everyone else to love it just as much but in a community forum that kind of defending just blocks the flow of experience. This need to defend a restaurant rather than discuss it probably won't change but I do stay away from Home Board posts that encourage it.

                                                                        1. re: Gigi007

                                                                          Gigi- 100% agree, and I've definitely noticed this as well. Overall, I'm really happy with our board and do think it's a pretty positive place, IMO the negativity is limited to one or two posters. I sometimes peek on other boards that aren't as nice as ours (and not limited to one person, which makes it easier for me to ignore). It's one thing to report on a bad experience (which can be useful to other hounders), but it's another to just out of hand dismiss other's opinions w/o contributing an alternative.

                                                                          As a general rule, I think it really detracts from my opinion of someone's overall postings if they only posts negatives and rarely postives. Anyone can critique and cut down a suggestion, it takes some thought and insight to provide something useful. If a poster can't at least try to be consistently helpful, I have little use for them.

                                                                          (But I will confess I was grumpy with someone yesterday on our board, but I really do try to avoid that. So I'm guilty of the negative postings from time to time too, I just try to make an effort to be more positive than not)

                                                                          1. re: mjhals

                                                                            mjhals, thanks for posting and you're right. Overall, our local board is pretty positive, and I think that's thanks to both the posters as well as the great job the moderators are doing (they appear to have taken notice of the one-upsmanship that's been gong on).

                                                                            IMHO, it's not about negative postings as much as a compulsive need for some people to dismiss others' points of view. But you're right, anyone can critique and cut someone else's ideas down, but it takes effort and thought to provide constructive input.

                                                                            I think you're one of the most helpful posters on our local board, btw. :) So, the other side of the coin concerning the OP's question is that I will seek out threads where posters such as yourself are participating if it's a subject that I'm interested in. I've only been active on the site a short time and am just starting to get a sense of who is who and whose posts are truly insightful and constructive.

                                                                        2. While I admit that I will have a look in, there are threads that I am inclined to avoid:

                                                                          * tipping threads-- I will have a look in, but no point in contributing to the same discussion replayed in different keys.

                                                                          * back when I lived in NYC I would not get involved in DiFara threads. Love the place. I know there are detractors. Having this same argument play out multiple times seems pointless. Same with other restaurants of cult status, anywhere in the world.

                                                                          * threads that descend into fat hatred discourse, in which many hounds expound on health issues, obesity, and typically America. The problem is that the language not only borders on the vitriolic, but the assumption that fat is visible evidence of a lack of health, or evidence of a failure to eat healthfully and exercise is simply off. No point in also pointing out that gluttony is not the sole domain of the fat as this entire site should indicate. But no point in arguing that.

                                                                          * threads that ask hounds to do research for the OP. Sure, chowhound is a legitimate component of research, but sometimes, I get the feeling that the OP doesn't want to sift through the information available and instead wants others to do it. That said, if the OP asked for good resources, I'd feel differently.

                                                                          * On a related note: threads in which parents are doing the homework for their child. If the parent had offered their chowhound avatar up and engaged the child in using the site for research-- that is, helped the child think about how to do research-- I'd feel differently, but all too often it looks like a parent doing the work for their child. As I teach in a university, I find that there are too many who have no knowledge of how to do research because mummy and daddy did it for them. They are not only without skills, but frequently resentful if asked to do it for themselves as they have become accustomed to a world where people do their work for them. (Plus, they end up using these sites in their research, showing absolutely no interest in looking at books, but this is another argument entirely.) Contributing to such a thread is not productive.

                                                                          * I should avoid any discussion of 'authentic', and I often do given how many exist. Sometimes I fall off the wagon. Forgive me, for I have sinned.

                                                                          * I do tend to avoid threads whose subject headings involve text speak, all caps or an extraneous apostrophe. I am prose sensitive so like to see someone has shown at least some effort or netiquette prior to posting. I fear for what lurks inside.

                                                                          20 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Lizard

                                                                            * threads that ask hounds to do research for the OP.*

                                                                            Here, here!! I've noticed this getting alot more frequent on CH, and 99% of the time, I read- and just move on. Also, generic questions of "I'm going to Vegas- what buffet is good?" and the like just make me shake my head. It's not that I DON'T wish to help people, I just want to help people who are a bit more specific in what they want.

                                                                            I'm really guilty of reading locked threads as well..It's like the scene of accident, and I want to know what happened! *LOL*

                                                                            1. re: Lizard

                                                                              As a European, I love reading the North American tipping threads. It's very demonstrative of the cultural differences between the two continents and I find the threads great fun. On a European board, tipping would never even be mentioned (I mean an exclusively Euro board, not a Chowhound Euro board where most contributors are North Americans).

                                                                              1. re: Harters

                                                                                It's the same thing in many parts of Asia; tipping is simply not mentioned as it's not part of the culture. Back home in Singapore, most places either do not expect a tip or already include that as part of a standard service charge. There are relatively few places where service charge isn't included and a tip would be expected, but they're in the vast minority.

                                                                              2. re: Lizard

                                                                                Re the di Fara threads. When I first became active on CH, some guy jumped down my throat b/c I agreed with another poster that with the sea of oil on di Fara's pizza, it was like a "pesto pie." He hurled various insults at me simply because I shared another poster's view. I couldn't believe the vitriol .At some points, the mods removed his posts. They must have their hands with those discussions.

                                                                                1. re: Gigi007

                                                                                  The moment you are attacked personally, report it, and the mods are very attentive. Most of my attackers make complete asses of themselves, and I prefer to leave their drivel there for the world to see.

                                                                                  1. re: Veggo

                                                                                    Thanks, V. Like I said the mods are very busy with those heated di Fara pizza discussions. And agreed that sometimes it's best to leave asinine comments for the world to see.

                                                                                  2. re: Gigi007

                                                                                    That's too bad. Different opinions are good but attacking or questioning a poster's taste (which has also happened to me) is not helpful to anyone. With regular posters, you quickly learn whose posts you don't need to read.

                                                                                    1. re: chowser

                                                                                      It was one incident concerning a di Fara's pizza thread. As Lizard said, some posters on the NYC boards discussing di Fara's get up in arms about it (and there are strong opinions for and against; personally, I can't stand pizza with a lot of oil in it, so it's pretty clear where I stand on di Fara's).

                                                                                      1. re: Gigi007

                                                                                        In the inimitable words of Ivan Boesky, if you want a friend in New York get a dog. The only hound I failed to make peace with hails from the Apple, also.

                                                                                        1. re: Veggo

                                                                                          I'd never heard the Boesky quote before (you learn something new everyday!), but have heard a similar saying applied to DC. It was much repeated during Bill Clinton's sex scandal. His best friend at the time was his dog, who sadly is no longer with us. Apparently, the quote for DC is often mistakenly attributed to Harry Truman. Interesting.


                                                                                  3. re: Lizard

                                                                                    That's a nice list. I'll add some more -

                                                                                    Threads with weird punctuation in the title - "Gino's is Closed?!?!?!?!?"

                                                                                    I stop reading posts with excessive exclamation points. Recently I counted 16 of them in a 3 paragraph post. Sorry, you're either overdosing on amphetamines or you have zero credibility.

                                                                                    I live in New York and once or twice a week we get posts asking about restaurants in the theater district. While it's a legitimate question it's been asked and answered thousands of times. That's what the search engine is for.

                                                                                    Posts from people asking about restaurants where they can see celebrities. This is Chowhound, not "People" magazine.

                                                                                    Posts with "Quick!" in the title, as in "Quick! I need a place for dinner in midtown!" Sorry, I'm not dropping what I'm doing to do research for you.

                                                                                    Any post asking about "Best Burgers." Every single one of these generates 50 or 60 different answers and they're 98% the same from thread to thread. There are lots of good ones but no single one is the best.

                                                                                    1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                      Quick is something I've used and responded to when faced with a Home Cooking problem. But that's about it.

                                                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                                                        I don't think the "quick" threads on the home cooking board should fall into this category. I actually love them, not so much for the question, but for the usually rapid-fire responses they generate. It's the equivalent of culinary shock-troops, and really reflect the camaraderie that exists on that board. So I hope you keep posting them!

                                                                                      2. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                        I know what you mean. You and I have discussed the "Groundhog Day" phenomenon here on CH before. ;) I only hope the new functionality will help eliminate some of that crazy redundancy.

                                                                                        Though we've got nothing on NY in terms of redundant requests, we do get the same thing in Hartford...as if no one else has ever thought of visiting Hartford or what to eat there. It's only the state capital, not as though people ever go there, work there, eat there or post reviews about it. How innovative--Hartford. "What can I eat if I go to a conference there?" :) HA HA!

                                                                                        Also agreed--"Quick!" is a dead-giveaway for concierge service. "Quick!" Learn to think for yourself and SEARCH THE BOARD!

                                                                                        1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                          And the "it's our anniversary," "my 30th birthday," etc. Like that's going to change anything?

                                                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                                                            Geez, that's pretty harsh. People using those qualifiers are saying they want a place that is going to make the occasion special. There are many places that serve amazing food that I wouldn't recommend if I knew that was the occasion the poster was planning for.

                                                                                            1. re: Chris VR

                                                                                              I want "amazing food" for special occasions so why wouldn't I ask for that? Why would anyone other than myself care WHY I want "amazing food"? "Amazing food" trumps everything else IMO.

                                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                To be fair, I think Chris is suggesting that for a special occasion one may want more than just amazing food, perhaps a certain kind of atmosphere as well. And what atmosphere is appropriate may be quite different depending on whether the occasion in question is a 21st birthday or a 25th wedding anniversary.

                                                                                                1. re: BobB

                                                                                                  I agree completely. I think knowing what the event is for (Grandma's 80th birthday looks a lot different from Ashley's 16th) is often a significant variable to consider in where to recommend.

                                                                                                  1. re: Janet from Richmond

                                                                                                    I don't disagree when it comes to examples you give but overall I think asking for amazing food or a certain ambiance is going to give better info. Someone recently asked for a rec for "elderly" relatives and turns out they're in their 60s which is my age. Far better advice was given once the OP clarified that they were not adventurous eaters. Not trying to be harsh at all.

                                                                                    2. Something that I've wondered about lately: did Chowhound change from searching out the best food experiences, and is it acceptable now to just ask"Where can I take a group of 20 for a cheap birthday dinner" or "What's a impressive venue to book a wedding/bar mitzvah/ etc)" or "a fun place for a Girls Night Out/bachelorette party" with no mention of food at all? That's probably my biggest peeve at this time. I don't like seeing this site used as a social directory, there must be other places for that.

                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: coll

                                                                                        This prior site talk thread may help clarify the situation for you: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/592815

                                                                                        1. re: Servorg

                                                                                          Thanks, now I know what to do!

                                                                                      2. Ugh, there is now. I've never posted on the Chains board, but I do read it. But I have to stop, even reading it is making me mad. I cannot stand posters that go on the threads to tell other posters how unhealthy it is, and essentially, that they are the cause of obesity in America. It makes me feel really bad about the poster who's being chastised. I just imagine it's some insecure teenage girl and who knows the damage being done. And it seems strange that the same posters "haunt" that board specifically to make posts about calorie counts, etc. It doesn't seem to be adding a lot to the discussion other than guilt. As of this post, I'm not going back there.

                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: mjhals

                                                                                          Crap, I'm weak. Just broke my own vow. Why do I let the mean posts suck me in?

                                                                                          1. re: mjhals

                                                                                            I guess I don't go there enough to notice this. But ever since the new CH format, I wonder why anti-chain people even look at that board. It seemed to me that a separate "chains" board was the perfect solution to all the discussions and anger about why we would even discuss Chains on CH (on the old board Chain threads were on General Topics and that caused a lot of strife and repetitive rants). Now that there is a whole separate board I can't understand why anyone would go there just to put in their two cents about "don't you have a good local pizza place to patronize?".

                                                                                            As for calorie counts, at least chain restaurants provide them! Most people have no idea how many calories are in rich locally made pastry or nice house-ground chuck burger with blue cheese, sweet potato fries with dipping sauce and 2 or 3 beers.

                                                                                            1. re: julesrules

                                                                                              Certain posters for sure.......those who participate in the specific thread that is.


                                                                                              As for calorie counts, at least chain restaurants provide them! Most people have no idea how many calories are in rich locally made pastry or nice house-ground chuck burger with blue cheese, sweet potato fries with dipping sauce and 2 or 3 beers.
                                                                                              Personally, I hate the preachers who think they know better than you, have better tastes than you....and say *trust me*..... like they are the authority and you are crazy of having a different point of view or opinion......I particularly detest the ones who correct you with science after you say something like I did......which was I said I believe I gave myself food poisoning, which I believe were from the raw eggs I used to make Carbonara........ I got sick exactly four hours later, but some interjected it was not and couldn't possibly be the eggs....but something I ate like 48 hours ago previously, although others who ate the same things during this period were fine and without similar symptoms I had. Maybe it was not the eggs, but their condescending tone and calling me ignorant was simply annoying.

                                                                                              As for the calorie counts.....If you have a cheeseburger and fries out in a chain restaurant with a beer......If you make an identical size, weight and portion, cooked exactly the same way, of the same meal in your own home with the same beer....Is the calorie count substantially different?....

                                                                                        2. I wanted to comment about being pleasantly surprised by the reception I'm getting on one of the Top Chef disussion threads (under New and Media). I'm a total newbie as I've-just started watching the show this season, so I was a little intimidated about posting given the highly detailled and knowledgeable discussion (given that some posters appear to be professional chefs or at the minimum, serious cooks!). But I decided to take the plunge, make a few comments, ask a few questions, and it's been pretty good so far. Of course, you can see that there's a certain (some would say clubby) rapport among regular posters (as there is on a lot of boards), but people have been willing to answer my questions and engage in dialogue with me.

                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: Gigi007

                                                                                            Some may have more knowledge, some less. But the one wonderful factor is that no one will say exactly what you say, or add what you may bring to the table. And that's what makes it so CHOWlicious.

                                                                                            1. re: Gigi007

                                                                                              LOL, the dangers of getting into the Top Chef threads, for me, have been 1) it's gotten me sucked into the show and I HAVE to watch it whereas before, I'd catch it if I found it and 2) the threads are more interesting than the show and they can get so long, and 3) I DVR the show and have to make sure to avoid the thread until I get a chance to watch it.

                                                                                              As the clubby rapport goes, I think that's part of life. Some CHers have been around for years and get to know each other pretty well as with any group in real life. But, I've found posters, for the most part, post to the post and not to the poster, if that makes sense.

                                                                                              1. re: chowser

                                                                                                Yeah, I'm worried about getting sucked into having to watch the show all the time. And I too find the TC threads very interesting--some of the posters appear to be serious chefs and can dissect the dishes, while others are more interested in the drama and personalities in the show.

                                                                                                As for the clubby rapport, I tend to think like anywhere else when people communicate regularly, they become familiar with each other and remember when certain comments were made or past threads. I have no complaints about that; in fact, I posted here to express just the opposite sentiment--even a newbie can post on a Top Chef thread where there are a lot of longtime hounds and TC fans.

                                                                                                1. re: Gigi007

                                                                                                  Definitely on threads like TC where it's chattier, you get more interaction and it's fun. I've noticed we're on the same home board. There's far less "chatter" there, more to the point information which I can't complain about either. But, even though there isn't as much back and forth, I find the information helpful and like to think it is to others, too. So, even if there's no response, it's there. I've been surprised that months after I post a review that seemed to go unnoticed, someone will come back and respond. But, it's less to suck me in!

                                                                                            2. I usually stay away from threads that have titles with "text-speak" or really awful spelling and grammar in them. I know this isn't a board for literature, grammar, spelling and the like but I really love words. To me, sloppiness or laziness in a title suggests the content might be sloppy or lazy, as well. I don't mind some of the message board shorthand - in fact, I use a bit of it myself. IMHO, a well-placed "LOL" can show tone when the written word fails.

                                                                                              1. jfood dislikes and tries, he said tries, to stay away from:

                                                                                                - threads that ask for "the worst restaurants in..." Jfood is looking for good food. this always strikes him as no value added
                                                                                                - posts from certain posters. after a few years jfood has a ton of posters who he respects tremendously. This list gets added to frequently as other new posters join the discussions.
                                                                                                - pizza threads that discuss non-traditional toppings. jfood does not believe in pineapple on pizza. he learned to stay away from these debates
                                                                                                - threads written by certain posters - everyone knows who they are. on the tri-state board there are a few that jfood has to pull his finger off the left click button of the mouse for medical reasons. no need for increasedblood pressure
                                                                                                - newbies who posts for the first time as a quid pro quo for not getting their way in a restaurant. yup we know them too. They do not get a full dinner comped because there were only 2 ice cubes in the tap water and then they post how bad the service was (remember the fainting lady in the bar thread that was removed?)
                                                                                                - he also will not respond to posters who constantly ask questions and give absolutely no feedback upon completion. you get maybe three chances of this and then you start sliding down the scale
                                                                                                -"don't you hate it threads" - ntohing else to say
                                                                                                Jfood always likes to respond toposts that begin "And this is my last post on the subject." - As an "A" type this is almost not fair to jfood's psyche. He just has to respond and he tries to keep it on this side of the MD line (that's Mod deletion).
                                                                                                -Threads the Mods have told him to stay away from - Man those nasti-grams hurt when you receive them. But they stand by there edicts, no question about that.

                                                                                                That's all jfood can think of. Maybe he should prink thjem on a sticky and place on his screen so he lives by them now.

                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: jfood

                                                                                                  Kid, I should print them also. Nasti-grams indeed :) Is shaved fennel on pizza allowed? I agree with pineapple.

                                                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                    jfood just spent 11 days in Italy, ate pizza every day for lunch and not once did he see fennel. sorry, not as bad as pineapple, but on the wrong side of the line.

                                                                                                    1. re: jfood

                                                                                                      I was hoping that since it's Italian (finocchio) that it might fly. BTW, looking forward to a write-up from you re the trip.

                                                                                                  2. re: jfood

                                                                                                    <<- he also will not respond to posters who constantly ask questions and give absolutely no feedback upon completion. you get maybe three chances of this and then you start sliding down the scale>>

                                                                                                    YESSSSSSSSSSSS! I'm sure you might mean more than one person, but there is one who shares a board with you and me that I am convinced we both feel the same way about for this very reason. In fact, sometimes the poster asks specifically for YOUR (jfood's) feedback and does not understand the whole "seek and ye shall find" concept, as you are so good about posting your thoughts on various places. ;) And I think that same person probably makes you pull your finger off your mouse so as not to increase your BP. Don't feel bad. That kinda thing annoys me, too.

                                                                                                    WOOF! WOOF! WOOF! Knock it off, lazy posters!!! This is a COMMUNITY, not a concierge service. Give and take is a two part equation--if you had enough time to ASK for help, MAKE THE TIME to report back. It need not be a novel. Just SAY SOMETHING in the form of feedback!

                                                                                                    I think I could go a whole lifetime without seeing another pizza thread period--esp. since it's what gets the most play on the New England board, what with New Haven's big pizza history. I definitely stay away from those threads! It bums me out, though, there is so much good , interesting, different food to be found and discussed in the greater New Haven area, and what gets the most attention is PIZZA. :(

                                                                                                    1. re: jfood

                                                                                                      re "posts from certain posters" and posts from people who constantly ask questions and never report back- YES!

                                                                                                      I know that we don't have a "ignore user" button, but based on a few individuals' combative posts, I'm starting to make a mental note of people I'd rather not interact with. Oh well... C'est la vie, I guess.

                                                                                                    2. On the South board, I find that it's usually a good idea to skip any thread that revolves around pizza, bagels, Italian food, or delis. They inevitably devolve into heartsick nostalgia for the Old Country(trans: Jersey).

                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                      1. re: Naco

                                                                                                        So funny Naco! And so true. A recent poster asked about the best cheesesteaks in Charlotte!

                                                                                                      2. Perhaps threads like this. How quickly a thread topic goes from general preference to personal grievance. Site Talk becomes CH's Grunt & Groans. On the CHOW side of this site Table Manners covers a host of topics poking at (& often poking fun) the human nature side of communicating food related topics. It's a place to jab and vent w/out Moderation. Comments aren't banished. But here on good old Site Topic, where I come to learn & vent right along with you all, Mods quickly remove the personal/political from the valuable. And, I'm beginning to believe for good reason because threads like this aren't inclusional...maybe a bit delusional (big wink)...and often (but not always) serve as a place to vent displeasure over the communication habits of fellow hounds.

                                                                                                        How does that help any of us get to the good chow?

                                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                          To consider how to use the rest of the site most effectively, by learning what other people avoid and why, in order to specifically get to the good chow and avoid the rest.

                                                                                                          1. re: Cinnamon

                                                                                                            Fair enough, Cinnamon. This entire community demonstrates good chow every minute of the day. A handful of posts doesn't overshadow the volume. Thank you.

                                                                                                            1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                              Well, that and this thread has become a little refuge from the handful of posts that ARE out there! :)

                                                                                                              I don't like rant threads, er, except possibly this one.

                                                                                                          2. re: HillJ

                                                                                                            Actually HillJ, Table Manners columns are moderated and comments are sometimes removed. Happened to me just a couple of days ago - two posters in a row had written really obnoxious comments along the lines of "You think I shoudn't do X? Well I'm going to do it twice as much now and if you dare even ask me to stop you'll be sorry!" I wrote a one-line jab in response, and all three posts were gone the next day.

                                                                                                            1. re: BobB

                                                                                                              No kidding. I did read somewhere that no/to a lighter hand was used in Mod'ing the CHOW side of the site but I appreciate the update, BobB!

                                                                                                              1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                It seemed like Table Manners was left unmoderated in the beginning, which was one of the reasons I was drawn to it. But I guess some of the responses got so out of hand that Chow thought it had to do something...too bad. Why can't they lock any overheated discussions just like they do w/Chowhound?

                                                                                                          3. The repeats are the only thing that really bother me.

                                                                                                            I live in New England. You can't believe how many 'Where to Eat in Newport?' threads there are. It's a tiny town- there aren't THAT many places to eat there. Do a little research (and post back!).

                                                                                                            Rant over.

                                                                                                            1. Several of us have tried to modify the description of the "Tri-State" refgion.

                                                                                                              "Tips for Dining, Eating, and Food Shopping in Northern NJ, Long Island, Southeastern CT, and NY Counties North of NYC"

                                                                                                              By definition this excludes the southwestern part of CT and incorrectly includes the southeatern part. So everytime someone asks for a recommendation in southwestern CT one of us has to tell them to try the New England Board.

                                                                                                              1. this is why I created this post.. there is just stuff on this website that is amazing and sometimes it is easy to spend and hour or two on a subject that was not intended to spend that time on.. focus on the stuff that matters to you at the time... for instance pinenuts bitter taste... i read the thread then spent 2 hrs finding a reason for it outside the web find your answers here

                                                                                                                1. Just thought of another type of thread I don't bother to open.....on topical boards, it's where the title is clearly directed towards Americans. Experience suggests that, as a European, I'm not going to have a contribution to make, so I now longer bother looking.

                                                                                                                  So, the turn-offs are titles that mention American regions (what's the best such-and-such in Virginia), or commercial product types (what's the best store yoghurt); food types or cooking styles that generally do not feature in the UK (how do you make Vietnamese okra stew) and mention of American published recipes where I've never heard of the author/magazine/book (great recipe in Cooks Illustrated).

                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                    I'm in America, but my region is called TriState, and emcompasses Long Island, Connecticut, all of upstate NY and half of Jersey. Yet people still have posts with titles like "Best Pizza?" with no mention of the area they are in, and I stopped wasting my time looking at them because invariably they're always about the Continental US (ie over a bridge) ;-)

                                                                                                                    1. re: coll

                                                                                                                      We had a similar thing on the UK/Ireland board. Most threads relate to London (partly because it's where north Americans tend to visit or where American ex-pats tend to be living. Of course, it's also our largest city so most of the few Brits who use Chowhound also tend to be there). It becomes a pain for the small number of us who live elsewhere in the two countries - the Chow Team has now put a sticky on the board asking folk to post city or region. It's helped (and means I can also not bother to read most of the threads on the UK board)

                                                                                                                  2. Not so much threads but certain words make me hit the "close" key so fast my wrist gets a cramp. "Quaint" comes to mind, and of course "cognoscenti".
                                                                                                                    And all the rudeness, all the hazing !

                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                    1. re: Parigi

                                                                                                                      When you see rudeness or hazing, please do report the post to us so that we can take a look at it.

                                                                                                                      Thank you.

                                                                                                                    2. This is one of the funniest threads in ages. I stay away from the
                                                                                                                      "what is your favorite "cookie/bread/whatever" mix?" questions because inevitably some sanctimonious arse will pipe in and say:
                                                                                                                      "Why wouldn't you make it from scratch? If I can cure my own bacon while rigging my own tomato water extractor as my homemade fage quality yogurt sets, why can't you sift some flour and baking powder together?!"
                                                                                                                      I don't use mixes, but the staggering arrogance and unhelpfulness of these replies makes me physically itch.

                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: toutefrite

                                                                                                                        Actually toutefrite....it would be raising the pig (antibiotic free of course), slaughtering it, THEN curing it.
                                                                                                                        Sheesh....what a sloucher..........

                                                                                                                        1. re: sedimental

                                                                                                                          Well I assumed that the breeding and slaughtering would be IMPLIED! And obviously, the milk for the yogurt is two hours from teat to table! ;)

                                                                                                                      2. I stay away from nationalistic or ethnocentric or region-centric food rant. So narrow and pointless and embarrassingly provincial.