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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014

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Through blogs and social media, it's never been easier to anonymously "flame" a restaurant.
Through blogs and social media, it's never been easier to anonymously "flame" a restaurant.

Which is mightier, the pen or the blog?

Milwaukee, which basket do you put your eggs in?

In the past, most people when deciding where to dine out would pick up the local paper or a magazine and peruse the latest restaurant reviews.

Today, the Internet has really changed the scope of things and how people get their information. There are dozens of food sites, blogs and apps but, I'm not so sure it's for the better.

The point is this; should you trust someone who eats, drinks and dines for a living or a self appointed "foodie expert?" (This question posed, I'll admit, by an amateur writer.)

Where do you get your information from? Friends? Family? The Internet? A local magazine? The newspaper?

Which is mightier, the pen or the blog?

Talkbacks

jeffjay60 | Aug. 30, 2011 at 8:28 a.m. (report)

My wife and I have become more thoughtful about our eating out decisions for financial reasons. We tend to frequent our favorite close to home restaurants that we know constantly provide good food and service. (VIA on Downer)
Aside form that, we tend to trust certain friends recommendations. That got us to try Sweet Water on 2nd Ave.
Theater season is beginning, which means we'll be re-looking at the restaurants in the 3rd Ward. Swig and The Wicked Hop were favorites last season, but new The Benelux. is certainly in the mix.

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EatWisconsin | Aug. 29, 2011 at 3:42 p.m. (report)

I use a combination of traditional reviews, blogs, and yelp. I also frequent a couple of messagboards. If a restaurant has 100 good to excellent reviews on Yelp, chances are they are doing something right. If they have 3 reviews I am less inclined to trust them.

The problem with newspaper critics is that you are only getting the perspective of one person. With that perspective comes biases. Dennis Getto was the mot important critic the last quarter century in Wisconsin but he had certain things that he was prone to bitch about that were more of a personal preference than a reflection on how the food tasted. The other issue with reviewers is that many restaurants know what the food critic looks like so they are likely getting the absolute best in service and food.

I think you need to be more skeptical of bloggers, yelp, and other non-professional reviews but it seems like Chefs would like to have you completely ignore them. There seems to be something disingenuous about some of these chefs that would like to completely dismiss the opinions of hundreds of people and want us to only trust a handful of food professionals.

So when I am visiting a new restaurant or planning some vacation dinners, I'll look at as many sources as possible.

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