Wednesday, September 12, 2012

On Dragon Loco Ontario, and the reviews, and the reviews of the reviewers

I never got around to writing about Dragon Loco on this blog. But I wrote about it elsewhere.

A little history: David Allen blogged about Dragon Loco and admitted that he didn't care for the way that the Chinese-Mexican fusion was executed. He noted, however, that Yelp reviewers tended to be positive. One of those reviewers happened to be Allan Borgen, by the way.

I posted my own review on Yelp, which I am reproducing below.

Allan Borgen liked it (see his review here on Yelp), David Allen didn't care for it (see his Daily Bulletin column). I figured that I'd play it safe and just order a taco, rather than one of the larger dishes (burrito, quesadilla, etc.). If I loved it, I'd return some other time. If I hated it, not much lost.

Having heard of the small number of tables, I decided to order for take-out one night. This was a good thing, because when I arrived, all the tables were taken.

I ordered the orange chicken taco...and LOVED it. I'm glad that I didn't order the spicy orange chicken, because the one that I got was spicy enough for me.

I definitely plan a return visit!

Upon re-reading this, I realize that I made an error in confusing Allen's blog post (which included negative comments on Dragon Loco's food) with his Daily Bulletin column, which merely said "I'm not so sure the items that made the menu are successful either."

But the review that has people talking is the review by Jeff - not a review of Dragon Loco, but a review of David Allen's review of Dragon Loco. Allen quotes Jeff's complete comment here, which primarily boiled down to Jeff referring to Allen as "antique."

Allen, incidentally, resisted the urge to comment on some of Jeff's statements, such as the phrase "We seen it ate it, been their." Instead, Allen raised a question about reviewing in general:

But regarding your comment that my criticism showed that I was "ungrateful": Surely you don't think I should give somebody a good review simply because they contacted me? That doesn't seem fair to readers, does it, to purposely steer them wrong? Being "grateful" in exchange for favors isn't ethical behavior.

Even if Dragon Loco granted Allen no favors, Allen's mode of reviewing (and the mode of Borgen) is to provide honest reviews - sometimes positive, sometimes negative. There are those who provide uniformly positive reviews of things, but I don't necessarily remember their names.

And it's worthwhile to remember that even if David Allen and Allan Borgen and my wife all loved a particular restaurant, that doesn't necessarily mean that I would like it. And if I didn't like it, I'd have no problem telling David and Allan that I didn't like it.

(Actually, my wife would be fine with my honesty. She'd just feed me green peppers for dinner instead.)

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