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When the poster really hates where you referred them.. [moved from General Topics]

I think we've all been there...love the place, always had great experiences and you recommend your fave place and you can't wait to hear about it and then the trip report finally gets written and they hated everything about the place.
Do you immediately send off a knee jerk response or laugh it off and go, it's great when we were there..

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  1. I have had only a few of those. It has me wish I had never made the recommendation because readers may give more credence to the negative opinion than mine and a good resto gets a bad rap.

    1 Reply
    1. Sadly, I must admit I am usually the one who gets the "it's great" recommendation and I usually hate the place. I rarely make suggestions, because it's my feeling most people who think they know food aren't very knowledgeable.

      I once had some suggest an Italian place to me and when I went I hated it. I asked them what they had when they were there and they said "a house salad to start and a filet mignon butterflied well done, it was great." I rolled my eyes and never took another recommendation.

      As for your original question. I live near a place that has the best burgers. Nothing fancy, just really good. I suggested the place and they bashed it. I found out later, they ordered it well done and put A-1 sauce on it. Yikes!

      2 Replies
      1. re: jhopp217

        I find I kind of get to know, after years on Chowhound, who does know food, or even have the same likes as I do. There also needs to be a lot of good feedback, or bad, to make me want to try/not try a place. Still, I have tried some places with great feedback and been totally disgusted... can you say Fig and Olive?

        1. re: wincountrygirl

          I "follow" some people's comments on CH and if they like it and people I know didn't I try it. If they hated it and my friends liked it. I refuse to try it. I give Chers a lot more credit probably than they deserve, but I think if you are willing to take the time to give your thoughts on a meal, you are a lot more serious than people who dine at red sauce, sushi chains and love Five guys.

      2. I just recommended this site to a poster on another board and added the caveat "of course opinions on food are subjective". All in all I have been lucky in Chowhound recs keeping in mind, of course, what they ordered.

        1. I find if it's a beloved poster that you've followed and trusted through the years and to find they hated it and you start questioning your own taste and judgement...

          1. Knee jerk response with some cursing thrown in for good measure. It gets removed within a few hours, but it probably felt so good to write.

            1 Reply
            1. re: RB Hound

              hee hee...or me when I'm giving unrealistic times to get from A to B..

              ; )

            2. Hi, BC:

              My first reaction is to take it personally, but my second reaction is "Whew! Why *would* I want my fave ____ place to get more crowded? What was I thinking?" And then I build up a little altruism and post again. Repeat.


              1. I finally went to a sushi place that came with good recommendations on my local board. Both my Mom and I still say it was the worst meal, possibly ever. I did not mention how I felt about the place on the board for fear of snarky comments. But when the place was recommended as great again to someone about a year after my visit, I had to speak up. After all, a year later and I still recall the awful taste, I had to speak up. I got one snark and one sorry it was awful remarks.

                Tho' just this week I was in one of my Fave places and overheard the next table remarking that they found the place via CH, so I was very curious as to what they thought. Not being shy, I did ask them, they *did* love it and I was thrilled that my posts helped guide them there.

                11 Replies
                1. re: Quine

                  Funny you asked them. I met someone whose brother opened a restaurant about a mile away. They were eating at a local burger joint (a well known and loved place) and I politely asked why they weren't at her brother's place, since I knew they served burgers. She laughed and said "I work for a Food network and I know a good burger and this is great, my brother's is OK." Her brother is the chef, ahah

                  1. re: Quine

                    I still feel bad about that one, Q.

                    1. re: MGZ

                      MGZ, I'm OK with it. Some folks, I now do not give any value, re a review, but you, I still feel solid about you and what you advise and recommend. :-)

                    2. re: Quine

                      I had this experience last year with a restaurant highly praised, especially the preparation of short ribs, on the NJ Board. After deciding to write a review of the experience we had you could almost "hear crickets" and the shoulder turn of every CH that liked the place, while I did not. It's clearly a chance we take on this site, to be unpopular in our thoughts and reviews. I'm willing to chance it.

                      1. re: HillJ

                        I think it's good when someone posts the "con" side to a place or experience. It tempers expectations when there is too much effusive "love" being bestowed on a place. I once put up a detailed "thumbs down" to a 'hound favorite Cajun place, explaining all of the ways I noticed that the Emperor's clothes were missing. It wound up permitting others who felt the same way to express themselves and created a balanced perspective on the whole. Funny thing is, the defenders jumped in and the place wound up being persona non grata on the Board for a substantial period of time.

                        1. re: MGZ

                          I do recall that scenario very well, MGZ. My home turf board is my least favorite for these reasons. There appears to be little room for balanced perspective as you so nicely put it. There is territory, preference and a obvious nod to members who take charge with long reviews, personal blog statements and off-line dining experiences in common. Taints my trust...and absolutely makes me less of a restaurant reviewer here.

                          1. re: HillJ

                            I'm not one to fear "speaking" my mind. Regardless of it's popularity. I think the dialectic process is part of what makes all of the discussions on all of the Boards interesting.

                            1. re: MGZ

                              Ideally yes. It's not fear anyway MGZ it's annoyance.

                        2. re: HillJ

                          I posted a response on a thread on the NJ board once regarding my less-than-enthusiastic opinion - and experience** - at a "famous" fish shack in the area of exit 117 of the GSP, after another poster had recommended it in the most glowing and superlative terms. I was viciously and personally attacked by that poster who called me names and who declared he had just "studied" all my posts on CH and said they were ALL negative posts, everysingleone of them. I defended myself, pointing out that his analysis of my posts was completely without merit and pointing out that in that very same thread further down I had spoken positively about several diners, and also that another poster on that same thread also did not have a good opinion about that fish place. Yes, his attack on me and my post in response were deleted.

                          ** In fact, I ate there with a friend and brought back some stuff for her DH as well. The opinion of all three of us were less than enthusiastic.

                          1. re: huiray

                            ugh. that really bores me about "home turf" boards.

                            1. re: huiray

                              Wow, your experience is exactly what happens with a huge number of less than positive reivews on Tripadvisor from thinly veiled owners posting as diners, or even as themselves. Only on TA they're left there, not deleted.

                        3. What would your "knee jerk" reaction be? "Obviously you have no taste?" That is unhelpful (and probably would be deleted anyway).

                          I generally feel badly when folks are not as thrilled with a place/dish as I am but I never take it personally.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: HDinCentralME

                            'What would your "knee jerk" reaction be? "Obviously you have no taste?'
                            Your words, not mine.

                            1. re: Beach Chick

                              "Obviously you have no taste" would be incredibly mild for Beach Chick. I still laugh when I remember her response to somebody that dissed Hacienda De Vega.

                          2. I don't think I've ever had this happen ... we tend to have a stunning lack of report back on my local board.

                            But I know that a restaurant that is on its game every single night, every single table, every single member of waitstaff, every single dish, is a very rare thing.

                            Things do go wrong.

                            I guess I have been the person on the other end, having an 'atypical' experience at a place others have raved about. I believe they had the great experience, and I also know mine wasn't. Had it happen once at a really small place when the chef wasn't there. All the praise had gone to the head of the waiter, who acted as though he were the exclusive source of the nectar of the gods, while in actuality he was delivering pasta with a broken sauce.

                            I chalk the difference up to the fact that humans are inextricably involved with the dining experience, and we all make mistakes and have off days.

                            1. I feel your pain. I will never venture to recommend my fave SF dim sum place for fear of the negative pile-on. Sometimes strong opinions are constructive, but sometimes they're just nasty.