Leave it to all those brilliant Yelpers -- they who write such compelling prose as "I'll give them 2 stars since the pizza LOOKED good. I didn't have any pizza"; "I can get a comperable burger at Wendy's for 70% less money. I prolly wont go back"; and "My husband had a chicken gyro and I had chicken kabobs. I think they were made with the same chicken, but I'm not sure" -- to go ballistic when someone dares to criticize their little clique.
That's exactly what happened when Scott Parker, the executive chef of Table 6, gave Yelp a dose of its own medicine in this week's Chef and Tell interview, in which Parker, who was responding to the question of what he'd like to see less of in Denver from a culinary standpoint, said:
Amateur instant online restaurant critics -- specifically those who write reviews for a website that rhymes with "kelp." Think about it: They review a McDonald's and then turn around and review Mizuna. I just imagine bored, jobless layabouts with not many friends who are convinced that they're going to have a bad time before they even step through the door of a joint. The kicker is, you can't respond to these inbreds and try to educate, or at least explain, why some things happen the way they happen. Have a little fun, for chrissakes. Loosen up when you go out, and let me be the stress ball in the kitchen busting my ass for twelve-plus hours trying to make you the best food I can. Fuck you!
Parker, easily one of the best chefs in Denver, was echoing what many other local chefs and restaurateurs have publicly and privately said about Yelp, a social-networking site that allows anyone with an e-mail address to review a business, including restaurants. The resulting verbiage can be read by anyone with or without a Yelp account. Of course, those reviews, one of which recently included a one-star rating of a restaurant that hadn't even opened, are nothing more than opinion. (And, yeah, Yelp hired me to write reviews when it launched in Denver in 2007.)
But while Yelpers can write lowly reviews of Table 6 -- and even "review" Scott Parker himself, despite the fact that the person skewering Parker freely admits she's never been to Table 6 -- Parker, apparently, isn't entitled to opine about Yelp.
Cue the haters: Yesterday, a thread titled "Comments on Westword food blog are ripping Yelp" surfaced on the Denver Yelp site, and as of this very minute, 90 comments have been tossed on the board, some of which are hysterical. We've culled the best ones, including several that slam Westword, to add some fun to your Friday. Oh, and just for shits and giggles, the overall tone of the
kelp Yelp talk thread has gone from vowing to boycott Table 6 to planning an "Unofficial Yelp Event" there on Saturday night. Someone has even offered to buy a "pee cocktail" for Parker.
Behold the best (and worst) of Yelpery:
Carly! You were exactly right! What a smart cookie!
Sean? Who the hell is Sean? Oh, wait, you must mean Scott. Honest mistake.
Larren Sailor Mouth.