Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Site Talk >
Nov 23, 2010 08:04 AM

Have you recently dined at the places you recommend?


I've noticed certain prolific posters recommending restaurants in different cities both regionally and nationally. I can't help but wonder if these posters have actually been to these restaurants regularly or at least multiple times in the past couple of years? I start ignoring their posts unless they can provide some specifics of their most recent meals.

What is your standard in recommending restaurants? I usually provide full disclosure if I've only had one (good) meal at a restaurant I'm recommending or if I've had historically good experiences over the years. I feel comfortable recommending, without caveat, my regular restaurants (at least 4-times a year if not more depending on price point).

  1. I generally don't wait to eat somewhere multiple times. If I'm posting about somewhere that hasn't previously been written about on CH, I'll happily write about it after only one experience. I want to let people know it's out there, and I often don't know when I'll make it back. If I'm chiming in on an existing conversation, you have lots of other data points to make up for the fact that I've only been once.

    On the "prolific poster" thing...there's a poster who has shown up on my regional board who responds to questions by making huge posts which usually consist of nothing but a text dump of restaurant names and addresses, with no critical commentary about any of it. When there is commentary, it tends to echo what others have posted about the places in question. I really don't think that this person is eating at the places they're recommending. It's annoying, and I've thought about reporting it, but I don't know if what they're doing is strictly against the rules.

    11 Replies
    1. re: Naco

      It isn't strictly against the rules. As long as the tips people are offering up are friendly and an attempt to be helpful, we're not likely to remove them.

      That said, posting about places where you have no personal experience is also not something we encourage. The value of Chowhound comes from getting personal recommendations from people whose likes and dislikes you can get to know and trust. If someone is only ever spouting second hand information or info-dumps from Google searches, you can't get to know them and determine if those recommendations are trustworthy. It's great that they want to be helpful, but often, they're just adding noise to the signal.

      If there's a specific person who is doing the same thing over and over again, please email, and we'll take a look. We might email them and suggest they reconsider their posting style -- but again, second hand reports aren't against the rules, so all we'll do is make the suggestion.

      -- Jacquilynne, Community Manager for Chowhound

      1. re: Naco

        There is someone who started popping up a while ago making recommendations for restaurants all over the Southeast. Out of curiousity I clicked on his name and saw he did the same thing throughout the US! Someone from Charlotte called him out and I don't think I've seen him since.

        1. re: southernitalian

          Please don't call people out publicly for this sort of thing -- members policing other members is not really the way we try to handle these things. Having members run off the site by other members is never our goal.

          1. re: southernitalian

            I bet we're talking about the same person, although I hadn't noticed a calling out or recent lack of "activity".

            1. re: Naco

              Southeast is the board I'm using most and yes, there is a person there that I particularly had in mind who is quite active on that board and in other southern boards...

              1. re: Naco

                I know the person...maybe they drive a truck for a living, lol. He seems to be eating his way across the south.

              2. re: southernitalian

                Oh he's been in the room plenty since then. So annoying.

                1. re: southernitalian

                  He's making his way up to Manhattan now...

                  1. re: iluvtennis

                    Also New Orleans and San Francisco!

                    I've been everywhere, man
                    I've been everywhere, man

                    I've crossed the deserts bare, man
                    I've been everywheeeeeere...

                2. re: Naco

                  Writing about a single restaurant based on a dining experience is legit.

                  It's the response to out-of-towners who post requests for recommendations where the prolific posters seem to be a bit nutty. I travel a lot for work so I'm always looking for recommendations in different cities and on different boards and I start wondering how a chowhounder can recommend 10-restaurants in 10 different cities. That's not the kind of advice I'm looking for as an out-of-towner.

                  1. re: MyNextMeal

                    Yep -- the idea is to get a big picture of what a place is like, based on many single experiences by many people. It's a useful way to collaborate on the net.

                3. Ok, I know EXACTLY who you're talking about, and that, to me, indicates there's a problem, regardless of whether or not it's specifically against the rules. Even in my experience, there was just one post on my local board from this poster, but it was bizarre enough it caused me to check out the poster's history and I saw posts and posts of similarly strange, unsupported recs (based on the responses from the local posters).

                  Jacquilyne/mods- I'm sorry if this is too close to "calling someone out", that's not my intention, it's just something I want to point out because it is pretty obvious/egregious, imo.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: mjhals

                    I am definitely sensing a disturbance in the Force.

                  2. I post on a few regional boards including my hometown of Berlin, Germany, where I only spend a few months each year. The restaurants I recommend tend to be my personal favorites, so obviously, I go back each year and see how they are doing. My quality control also relies on the Chers I send there, and who report back (99% of the time, they are quite happy with where I sent them).

                    I also recommend places I've only eaten at once, mostly when visiting other cities. I see no problem with recommending a place based on a one-time visit, especially (let's use Raku as an example) when the consensus seems to be that it is well worth a visit. After all, I get a lot of recommendations from these boards.

                    I've had many more hits than misses following recommendations here, so for me, it hasn't been an issue.

                    1. Fair question. I travel a lot, and often to the same places, so I get familiar with a group of far flung restaurants. I tend to see them several times a year.

                      1. My beef is with glowing reviews of a place that has just had a negative discussion. Typically they sound like promotional writing, with mouthwatering adjectives that smack of a PR person. When I click on the poster they typically have very few... if any... posts and are obviously a hired gun...or the owner.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: gfweb1

                          We work hard to root out that kind of abuse, but we don't see everything. If you see a post that seems suspicious, it's very helpful if you click report and note what you think the problem is so we can investigate it.

                          1. re: gfweb1

                            Yes you can often "smell" those; the prose sounds like ad copy. If I check and the person has just that single post, I just "report" it and let the mods decide what to do. It usually disappears pretty quick :)