I'm doing a ton of research on Washington DC restaurants so I can more effectively edit some reviews for a forthcoming guide (I don't live there, so I rely heavily on the community of diners eager to blab - luckily, there's plenty). In the process, I have learned the following:
1. Washington Post.com restaurant critic Tom Sietsema likes everything (especially being recognized and then mentioning it in his reviews). He's less critical about food and wine than the bum in the park across from my house is about the government.
2. Yelpers are drooling idiots who boringly blab on about service in a way that makes them obviously not into the dining experience so much as having their collective dicks sucked by a waiter. No dick suckage? Bad review! Oh, was there food? We didn't notice.
3. For this reason, Yelp is notorious for having reviews so mixed that the site is completely obsolete. I find I prefer eGullet, much to my surprise (I wasn't expecting to like any of them). These people take the whole thing into consideration, and actually seem to have eaten outside of their homes once or twice. Rarely do you hear anyone say something retarded like "$20 seems very expensive for an entree, but whatever." Have you been in a bomb shelter since 1962?? Jesus, I hate Yelpers.
4. Chowhounders do nothing but ask other Chowhounders if they've been someplace yet. Seriously. Google a restaurant right now and see if that isn't the first 3 results that come up: "Has anyone been to _____ yet?" Useless.
5. The people that leave comments under Tom Sietsema's Washington Post reviews usually sound like they're writing from prison. Is it possible to be this zealous and stupid without stabbing yourself in the throat every time you brush your teeth? One exclamation point will do, thank you!!!!!
6. Frommer's: since when do people get paid to merely list what the menu offers? A critical opinion wouldn't kill you, you know.
7. On any menu, syrupy martinis with cutesy names are the bellwether to a terrible wine list. It's like how seagulls precede a storm. Or a school of dolphin. Which is it? Who cares, so long as it's not fucking Bogle.
8. Yelp reviews sound they're written by Baby Jane if she were let out of the asylum for a nice meal. I'm only this angry because a half dozen of the damned things pop up whenever I Google a restaurant. Can I change my preferences or put an obscene-content lock on that site or something?
9. This goes for everyone, on every site, blog, forum, etc: If I see one more person use "yummy" as a descriptor, I'm going to pay my hacker friends to send a virus to the site that plays a video of blue-footed boobies doing their silly mating dance, over and over again. I imagine some person with severe emotional retardation, petting their My Little Pony at the table, lovingly "feeding" it whatever they are eating. "See, Snowflake? Isn't this pork belly yummy? Let's go online and tell everyone!"