About My Rating Scale: I use a rating scale of 1-5 to give an overall impression of a dish or restaurant. These scores are meant to account for all factors including food, service and ambiance, with heaviest rating on food. Often a food truck may get a higher rating than a fancy restaurant. Why? The rating is weighted by type of food establishment, as a white tablecloth restaurant who charges $50, for oysters, will held to much higher expectations than a food truck who offers the same dish for $12. Additionally, I take into account the restaurants reputation, calibar of their Chef’s and niche expertise. For example a restuarant that claims to be experts at “Prime Steak”, better give me the best damm steak I have ever tasted. Additionally they better knock my socks off every single time I eat there to earn a a 5 out of 5. I will always dine at a restaurant at least twice before giving a critical score or a very high score.
1– I will never eat there again, in fact I may call the health department or even picket outside their restaurant for crimes against humanity. If a restaurant gets this low of a score, I will not blog about it, but rather send the owner a private message outlining their major failings. I will probably will report the restaurant to a local health agency if there are food safety concerns.
2– The food and service were generally poor, although they did manage to scrape together a resemblance of a meal. I will give a 2 if the food in bland, uncreative, obvious flaws like hot dishes coming out cool, over use of salt, poor execution of recipes, rude service, worn-down and untidy dining room. A high-end restaurant can also receive a score of “2” if they are charging absorbent prices but epic fail when it comes time to their dishes and service. As a general rule, I will not blog about a “2” score, but will contact the owner about my negative experience. If the owner is a real douche or if the restaurant is actively taking advantage of the community, I might blog it to raise awareness. A score of 2 means that I will not return, unless there is a real Gordon Ramsey “Kitchen Nighmares” style turn-around.
3– The Food and Service is generally good and provides a fair balance of food quality for the dollar value. A restaurant receiving a 3 is somewhere where you would go back for a good meal and leave feeling good about it. A score of 3 also means that you probably will not become an advocate of the restaurant by telling family and friends. A 3 can also mean that this restaurant is not my first choice of restaurants and will seek out other dining options. People who give a restaurant a “3” will leave with comments like “it was alright, good food at fair prices”, “It was really good food, but was not quite worth the money I paid”, “The food tasted good, but I could have made this at home myself”, “We can go there…but what else is in the area?” . This score is not a bad score by any means. This score simply indicates that it lacked a WOW! factor or there was something detracting from the overall score, overpriced for example. I will rarely blog about a 3 level restaurant, unless it’s score was 3.75 and above.
4– The Food and Service stands out over other comparable restaurants and I leave saying “WOW! That was good!” I will be back to the restaurant and I will eat there as often as I can afford. When I leave a restaurant that receives a 4, I am generally excited about the meal and will be telling my friends and family to try it. A “4” also means that I will be writing reviews on urbanspoon, yelp, twitter and of course my blog. A score of “4” indicates that the food was also a good value for the money. For example I would give a $50 steak dinner a “4” if the flavors were rich, meat was tender and provide an exceptional plating / sauce to give it a WOW! Although if that same $50 steak was served at a ritzy restaurant and akin to a “Sizzler’s” Steak, then it would receive a 2 or 3. A restaurant receiving a “4” is an elite circle that are characterized by high-end cooking techniques, unique flavors, good service, attention to detail and posses an x-factor that makes them stand out. You might notice that I hand out a lot of score in the “4” range, this is because I only review restaurants that are stand outs and provided a fantastic food experience.
5– An extremely rare score that clearly makes a restaurant stand out from their competitors. A 5 means that they have perfected their craft and deliver consistently exceptional food. When I eat meal at a “5” restaurant, I will often be seen making an “O” face and my eye’s rolling back as I chew. If a restaurant receives a score of “5”, I will tell everyone I know and will become an advocate for the restaurant. If I give a restaurant a “5” this may become my regular hang out and will always take clients and family here when I want to impress. The restaurant will utilize high-end and novel cooking techniques, have remarkable dishes with a sophisticated level of creativity, accentuates the natural flavors of the food, uses locally grown ingredients when possible. Chefs from other restaurants will often eat here for fun or to steal ideas.