Friday, August 8, 2008


In the short time Laura and I have been blogging, we've gotten our fair share of criticisms. Most people are fairly polite in their criticism, because, when it really comes down to it, liking or not liking food is about personal taste. Everyone's tastes are different and we try to factor that into our reviews. For example, I HATE cilantro. Its the bane of my existence in Mexican and Vietnamese restaurants. I'm even a card carrying member of the "I Hate Cilantro" group (yes one exists). So when I eat something covered in cilantro, I generally don't like it. But when I evaluate a dish for this blog, I'll put that hatred aside and judge the dish on its other characterises: quality, freshness, texture, visual appeal, etc.

Every once in a while though, Laura and I get a real gem of criticism that makes us both scratch our heads and collectively say "What the fuck." A few weeks ago, I got an e-mail that contained a rather ill thought out criticism.

From: Steven Parsons
Subject: You, The sell (sic) appointed food critic
Body: Professional food critics DO NOT resemble you (sic) or Lauras (sic) style. You should stay at home during your "special" time of the month!! (sick)

At first I was taken aback. Who would dislike us and our reviews so much that they would stoop to send us such a childish and immature criticism. I mean seriously, I've read better material from a 4th grader. But the wheels in my brain started to turn. Why would someone send us such an immature e-mail?

This was sent to our dininginaustinblog e-mail, and was not posted as a comment on any of our particular reviews. So, I had to assume that 1) the disgruntled person wanted to offend us but not be associated with any one particular restaurant or 2) the disgruntles person didn't like our reviews as a whole. But, I figured if they didn't like our reviewing as a whole, that they would leave us a little more constructive criticism

So, using my incredible powers of Google-Fu, I did a quick search on 'Steve Parsons austin.' I quickly discovered that the Steve Parsons who saw fit to write us an offensive e-mail was either a UK folk singer or the booking agent/catering manager at Nunzia's. Now considering we had seen fit to write a fairly negative review of Nunzia's in the past, I would guess it was the latter.

Now, I love criticism, I love knowing what people do and don't like about this blog. It makes Laura and I better writers, blogers, eaters, reviewers, hell even better women. I love it when you fine readers leave us comments that tell us a review is totally off base. It makes us rethink and reevaluate our position. Honestly, I've gone back and readjusted scores based on the comments people have given. If someone things I've been too nice or too mean, I'll mull it over and if I agree, I'm more than happy to adjust my review. But, the criticism has to be constructive, or we just won't take it seriously.

Steve, I know you wanted to express your disapproval of our review, but it came off making you look like an immature ass. If you really want to have a mature discourse on what we thought were the problems of your establishment, then lets talk! You might get some great feedback on what your restaurant could be doing differently. I've talked with several people who have eaten there since and they all agree, the quality of food is sub-par, the service isn't up to snuff, and they generally agree with our review. Take that constructive criticism and change your business for the better, don't kill the messenger (or at least call us moody, menstruating bitches).