Cafe Society

Reader: They call them restaurant "critics" for a reason

A discussion that started with freezer-burned bread has fermented into a discussion on the nature of reviewing in general -- and how it's changing with technology. Says one reader, "These days (well, since the beginning of restaurant history, but certainly more so in the internet age), a restaurant should be treating every customer like a food critic and every plate like it will be reviewed." Just as a publication should be prepared for readers to comment on every story it posts...

See also: Reader says Westword should not be a platform for "such and such local business sucks"

Here's Denver Dave's response:

Personally, I'm not a fan of Pollyanna journalism. One of the things I appreciate about Lori, and Westword in general, is the ability to tell it like it is. Good and bad. The truth is that sometimes even the most long-lived, well respected business needs a wake up call. If I want unrelenting "everything in Denver is terrific" propaganda, I'll read Chamber of Commerce brochures. They call them restaurant "critics" for a reason. If your critic only paints every restaurant he/she reviews with the same "it's so wonderful -- you simply must go" brush, they aren't doing their job. Few restaurants are perfect and the best take professional criticism gracefully and use it to improve their offerings.
Want to join the discussion? Post your thoughts below -- or add them to the conversation already under way here.


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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun