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May 4, 2012 04:09 AM

Jason Hawkins & Carole Pecks Good News Cafe on NBC30 this morning

I think Jason Hawkins review of Carole Pecks Good News Cafe this morning on NBC30CT news was just a bit over the top for me. I want to like Carole Pecks but the times I have been there it doesn't do it for me. I respect her for being one of the first buying local foods.He reviewed that coconut cake and really liked it but I have had it and it's been dry along with her version of the Yankee Doodle cupcake. Am I the only one that feels like this? How much faith can you place in a TV restaurant reviewer? I know he is not going to say that he doesn't like the place but what if you are a tv reviewer and you bite into something and it's awful? What do you do? There are some restaurants that he has been too and I would like to try but after seeing this review, I'm not sure I want to go to any.

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  1. I didn't see it, but that's a great question...what DO you do when you bite into something not so great? Reminds me of when Tony Bourdain ate the iguana that had been bubbling in a pot of gray ooze...he smiled politely to the people who made it for him, then on the voiceover he said what he really thought (I forget the words, but he didn't like it!). Oh, here--here's the clip!

    Back to the local scene, I'm with you--it's like these boards. You come to know someone's taste through their posts and find you're on the same page foodwise. Alternatively, if someone raves about something you've had and thought it sucked...I'd say he just lost some cred with you and others who know the real deal.

    Maybe that's why we don't really have TV restaurant reviewers. It's easier to speak the truth (in the form of a balanced review) from behind a keyboard somewhere, more anonymously, not in the restaurant owner's face. Can you see it now? <<(Jason spits out coconut cake)...REALLY, Carol! That cake is SO dry, I'm practically choking! Got milk? :)>>

    1. I've seen Jason Hawkins do a number of pieces on restaurants and other places/events, and he's gushed over every single one of them, so I don't consider him a bona fide reviewer - he's more like a cheerleader. If I see him doing a restaurant, I consider it more of an advertisement - maybe "feature" to be more kind - than a review. So bottom line ... no faith. I usually watch to see what the food looks like, though.

      That being said, I've had no problem with Carole Peck's food and have had a number of great to really nice meals there; never had the cakes or cupcakes there, though. We had a front of house issue a while back, and hubby and I just haven't felt like going back yet, so don't know if I'll ever face the dry cake challenge.

      4 Replies
      1. re: harrie

        I agree--"feature" rather than review is much more appropriate. I did find a clip of his Carole Peck segment, but unlike any other video on that page, I can't get it to load. Here 'tis in case it works for everyone else:

        LOL @ "the dry cake challenge!"

        1. re: kattyeyes

          Won't load for me either, but thanks for the link - I am interested in the piece, so will check back on it.

          1. re: harrie

            I have also noticed the cheerleader aspect, no bad or even
            mediocre comments at all- total commercial. At least one of
            the restaurants (I can't remember which) I have been to and
            it is ok at best. I take his reviews with the same grain of salt
            I take 'The Best Of' votes. Good for the general public, but for
            Chowhounds? No thanks.

            1. re: dennisl

              I apologize for the sentence breaks above, my phone posts weird to this site.

      2. Hey J&J,

        As you know, this is our local place to go for interesting food. We go pretty often and the only thing I had that I would criticize, is the lobster soup: a bit salty one time. I regret that we haven't had desserts there (although I took an Italian language course with her pastry chef a few years ago an that was the year the woman had her Christmas cookies made into Christmas stamps.

        I guess I was surprised that Jason Hawkins would be doing a review of GNC. It has trtaditionally been scored highly in the state, much less county wide. Carole is usually there so you should ask for things to be to your liking, And while i recall that you did not like the truffle oil on the lobster mac and cheese, I wondered what you/ve been having there that we shold avoid?

        1. There is no such thing as a legitimate TV restaurant critic. Never has been, and probably never will be. Anonymity is essential for a reviewer to do a good, honest job, and once you bring TV cameras and lighting and sound equipment in, all semblance of anonymity is lost. It's a TV show.

          3 Replies
          1. re: coldduck

            I have only eaten at Carole Peck's once and it was mediocre. I will never understand all the raves.

            1. re: diakon

              Jason Hawkins is NOT a food critic or restaurant reviewer and readily admits it. He is about "what" and "where," doing features for channel 30 and previously, for CPTV. In fact, I don't really think there are many restaurant reviewers worth reading.

              I'm with kattyeyes. I come here and read the comments. Pretty soon you get to know which posters really know something about dining out. They are my "reviewers."

              1. re: diakon

                I have eaten there a dozen times - some dishes are standouts but I agree with you - I don't understand the raves as there are other restaurants that are on par if not better (e.g. The Woodward House in Bethlehem has killer mac and cheese with foie gras) This good shrimp - it's good but really on TV?