by Cristina Cook | Like a lot of people I know in professional kitchens, I pretend that I don’t waste a lot of time dwelling on Yelp, the “user review” site that turns idiots into lions and restaurant owners into apologetic ass-kissers. Since few – if any – of my peers ever respond to the reviews, which are usually full of shit and written by people who live in caves (with high speed internet), I thought I’d take the liberty of sharing some pages from my therapeutic Yelp Diary…
Are you kidding me? They charge for bread! | Marissa G. on Hawksworth | Unless you’re eating in a dump, good bread costs money, honey. And you’re talking about Hawksworth, not the Old Spaghetti Factory. There’s kind of a big difference. Also, welcome to your 20′s. It gets better.
After going to Tojo’s I feel a few things. Ripped off, less trustful of all people, and stupid. | Aaron G. on Tojo’s | At Tojo’s, they call that feeling “full”.
I like this Cactus location because it is the first Cactus ever, so it has that vintage look which is different from the newer locations. | Jessica Q. on the North Vancouver location of The Cactus Club | I don’t even know what to say to you, Jessica, except that you should probably walk into the next Urban Outfitters and demand that they pay you a million dollars for your insights. Oh, and watch out for that red light. CRASH. Shit, are you ok?
What was supposed to be a place to get fun “quirky” comfort food for your “inner child”, turned out to be a mangled fete that included garish pink chandeliers (the only thing you can see clearly), drinks worse than faygo, and food that I now believe was cooked by a kitchen full of floobs and idiots. | S.D.N.O. on Society | I’m not sure what faygo is, but I’m definitely calling each of my co-workers a floob tomorrow night.
Took us 5 mins to get seated, and nobody approached us for ANOTHER 5 minutes, so we put our coats on and left. Nobody noticed that either [...] What am I going to do with my groupon now? | Cristina P. on Point Zero Lounge | Did you try sticking it up your suburban ass? I mean, you took a coupon to a desperate Granville shit-show called “Point Zero” and expected something that was a step up from total disappointment. Think about that for a second, and then kindly change your first name.
Imagine celebrating a major life event at a highly touted, pricey restaurant. Now imagine EMTs parading through that restaurant to rescue a vomiting overdose from the bathroom which you are sitting near and facing. Wouldn’t you expect the management to acknowledge and respond in some way to the clientele who had to witness this scene? They did not. Hence one star. | Richard G. on Ensemble | So let me get this straight, Richard. Some poor soul nearly dies next to your precious comfort zone in the middle of your big deal dinner and no one on the staff remembered to hold your hand and comp you a fucking tiramisu? I feel for you, Dick. I really, really do. Those Ensemble jerks probably didn’t even sing Happy Birthday for you, either. Way to spread the word about your nightmare without coming off like a self-absorbed, psychopathic douche. Hence one star? Fuck you and the bridge you crossed.
So I’m PISSED and my boyfriend is glued to the TV and I’m about to LOSE MY MIND. | Deanna S. on Library Square | What the hell? I’m not sure what you’re trying to say there, Deanna, but if your boyfriend took you on a date to Library Square and you didn’t lose your mind, you probably already lost it a long time ago.
We waited for 25 mins and the general manager said “It is Friday night and waiting is not unusual.” He was rude and full of himself. Did he not realize that good service is an important element to the food industry? | May C. on L’Abattoir | It’s Friday night in Gastown, sweetheart. Have you ever eaten out before? Oops. That sounded weird. Sorry! Anyway, damnant quod non intellegunt!
The fish tasted like sausage, but hardcore. | Diana C. on Boneta | I can’t tell if this is a compliment or an insult, but if a fish tastes like sausage and it isn’t hardcore, then I have no interest in eating it.
But unbeknownst to me, as I was tucking in to those delicious cheese things, my boyfriend had reached between the booth cushions and pulled out what he describes as “a warm furry thing that felt really strange”. He looks down and it’s a dead mouse. A brown furry little guy with a pink tail. In shock, he jumps and the mouse flies out of his hand and hits my leg. Me? I’m still busy eating the cheese and have no idea that any of this is going on. A few moments later I look over and he is sitting with a rolled up issue of 24 in his hand. “What’s wrong?” I ask, because he’s unusually quiet. “I have to tell you something and you have to promise not to freak out,” he says. I agree, but I’m curious and confused. He opens up the paper and shows me the mouse. I find it difficult to believe, but there the little guy is. | Chloe on Stepho’s | What do you think it is that everyone is lining up for, souvlaki? Pro chef tip: eat mice. It’s totally a Greek thing, Chloe, like roasted aubergines, only crunchier.
Thank goodness for fast-acting antihistamine. | A.E. on Glowbal | Insert cheap cologne joke here.
This place is like a “Sex and the City” type of hotspot for eligible bachelorettes [...] But do NOT bring your grandmother. You’ve been warned. | Sarah O. on Chambar | I know some of the male servers at Chambar, so this makes sense to me. That they would be hot for grandmas is not a surprise.
Hmmmnn…I think my review is too mean… so I will end it by giving their Cougar Juice a thumbs up! | Cherry B. on Rogue Kitchen & Wetbar | So there’s a girl named Cherry who wrote a mean Yelp review and then made it better by sticking her thumb up Rogue’s cougar juice. Or something like that. Yelp is weird and stuff.
There was a man dressed in black standing at the bar that looked like security. We nicknamed him Gino and were confused as to what his role was. | Kevin L. on Cioppino’s | His role was to beat the living daylights out of your ugly, stereotyping face. Buon appetito!
Not a place to take your 300 pound uncles Jed and Jimbo from Oklahoma. | John M. on West | The obvious, well stated. John should write a book of these. Think of the companion Tweet possibilities! @Bin941: totally wishing it was five years ago. @FatDragon: not a place to lock your bike. @Meat&Bread: don’t bring your vegetarian boyfriend. @Black+Blue: where you don’t get all your tips. We could go on and on…
I think people should stop judging chain restaurants. I’m telling you, for the affordable price, quality of the food, and the ambiance, Earls deserves more credit. And yes, I love Cheesecake Factory too. | Jewel Y. on Earls (Hornby) | So there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. Yelp in a nutshell: It’s full of boobs, but it deserves more credit.
I’m still browsing, so expect another instalment of my Yelp Diary soon (image credit).
Cristina grew up in rural Ontario and dropped out of journalism school to show up on time and cut various foods before applying heat to them at Toronto’s George Brown College. She has been employed by the same well regarded restaurant in Vancouver since she moved here in 2006. Though Cristina Cook is not her real name, she cooks, and is very Cristina.