If you’ve ever left a comment on my blog, you’ve probably noticed that Chattavore is a “positive-only” blog. A couple of people have left negative comments about some of the restaurants I’ve blogged, and those comments were promptly deleted (don’t worry, I didn’t know any of the comment-leavers). My thought is that this is my blog, I have chosen to keep it positive, and if you want to say ugly things (and the things that I have deleted have not been “on-the-fence” but instead have been horrible, scathing comments about the restaurants) then you can either start you own blog or you can leave your remarks on Urbanspoon or Yelp.
Sometimes it feels a little burdensome only writing positive reviews. Not that I want to write negative reviews….but it can be very frustrating when I visit a restaurant and am terribly disappointed, or when I haven’t done a review in a while and really need to post one. Today, I ate at a restaurant that wasn’t terrible, but I also didn’t have anything good to say about it. It was food, and I didn’t hate it, but there was not a single great thing about what Philip or I had to eat. It really upset me, because I really wanted to do another review….it’s been several days.
I have considered going ahead and writing reviews for restaurants I don’t like. Philip pointed out to me that it could be seen as more “constructive criticism” than just negativity. I do try to be honest when I write a positive review and point out things that could be changed (for example, my comments about the customer service at Nana’s), but I just don’t think that I can go into the realm of negative reviews. For one things, even if I don’t like a restaurant, there are probably plenty of people who do like that place, as must be the case for the place where I ate today, which has been in its current location for several years. Who am I to say that they are wrong? Second of all, what if my remarks negatively impacted someone’s business? Since I only review local restaurants, that would be a terrible effect. I have no illusions that thousands of people in the Chattanooga are are reading my blog and making their dining-out decisions based on what I say, but it is my hope that someday that will be the case. I don’t want to hurt someone’s business!
Finally, I want to have an honest dining experience. Let me say it again: I have no illusions that everyone and their brother knows who I am, and restaurant owners don’t know me. Still, I have read about well-known food writers who got “special treatment” when a restaurant owner or chef figured out that they were in the restaurant. Again, no one knows who I am…but what if they did? What if I got some really great food and the place was actually really bad for the average diner? I realize that this could still happen if I’m only doing positive reviews, but it seems to be most prevalent when a restaurant is trying to avoid a negative review.
So anyway, I didn’t get a restaurant post today. Instead, I wrote this. For tomorrow, I guess I better get on my photo editing so I can give you a recipe (Swedish pancakes, anyone?). Cause Chattavore is keepin’ it light, people!