With the invention of the Internet, and more specifically the invention of blogging, anyone now can claim to be a world renowned critic. At what point can we disregard blog-obsessed know-it-alls? Granted, you may think I’m calling the kettle black; but I don’t fancy myself the be-all and end-all of restaurant knowledge, and clearly only blog as a way to amuse myself and others. What I don’t get are these self-proclaimed “food experts” or “wine experts” with a holier-than-thou attitude, that have no shame in tearing apart a bar or restaurant because they feel it’s their duty to do so. Annapolis is a small town, and in the midst of a struggling economy it can be difficult enough to keep your business up and running without critics banging down your door. Nobody appreciates being torn apart by some unemployed goober with an Internet connection.
With the new boom of item specific bars and restaurants ie. micro breweries, wine bars, rum bars, tequila bars, whiskey bars, ethnic restaurants etc., it opens up a lot of room for criticism from our fellow bloggers. Not every employee at a whiskey bar is going to be a whiskey master, the same way as not every employee at a wine bar is going to be a sommelier. If that was the case, these establishments would go out of business before they even opened their doors because not many employers can afford the high price of expertise. Typically there will be at least one person on hand who has the knowledge to train the rest of the staff; and they’re generally the owner or the buyer. And most of the time, those two are one in the same. As a typical consumer, I would expect the staff at an item specific establishment to know the basics about each product, but would not quiz them endlessly about the distillation or fermentation processes of a particular spirit. These types of questions are likely only able to be answered by the producer themselves. I recently saw a gentleman smell the glassware of a new establishment, mumbling to his “buddy” about coconut oil used in the dish washing process and how it hinders the nose on his pinot noir. Really? I came to find out he is one of those dreadful bloggers I mentioned above. If you are reading this, Mr. Know It All, no one cares about your bar and restaurant reviews. The fact that you can’t hold down a job (and probably a girlfriend for that matter) makes your opinion pointless and obsolete. If you know of a hundred ways to properly run a restaurant, then why aren’t you operating one yourself?
I’ve been in the industry long enough to know how difficult it is to run a restaurant or bar; and my kudos go out to all of those restauranteurs who are going out of their way to provide great food, good atmosphere and a friendly staff. It is not an easy task. Please don’t be distraught or dismayed by reviews you may be reading by people hiding behind their computers who are too afraid to come to you in person and tell you how they really feel about your business.