Sophistication... or conceit?
Jun. 16, 2013 12:49 am
Updated: Jun. 22, 2013 11:11 am
Well howdy doo all you AR folks. I know I know, I've been away for some time and it's a my bad thing but I'm here to tell you that I'm back, all decked out in a shiny suit with a brand new 45$ badge from AR! A good part of my reticence in re-upping is
this disturbing trend among companies in offering new customers deals on products that I must pay full price for, thereby devaluing the goods and services I enjoy while playing bait and switch with folks they have intent on being duplicitous with once their
loyalty is assured....
There, I got that out of the way. Man that makes me mad.
Ok Ok, I promise, I'll get over it. Evidently I have because here I am and really, it's all your fault. I missed coming on here and letting it spill all over the place. Ever since those Superman tights....
I digress, the title of my blog, sophistication or conceit? It's something that occured to me when reviewing a new restaurant in the town where I'm now working. I have an Ap on my Iphone called Trip Advisor that I find myself turning to when looking for a restaurant
to try. It gives you ratings and reviews and allows you to submit your own. And of course, I'm either sophisticated or conceited enough to believe that my thoughts on that particular restaurant are valid. Where the problem comes in, or question, is whether
my belief in my opinion is rooted in a genuine need to alert people or to make myself feel better at the expense of some poor schmucks trying to make a go of it running a restaurant.
I mean, I'd LOVE to have the dollars and resolve to open up my own restaurant and make a go of it but for now, I've neither the wherewithal or willingness so really, despite the implied invitation to do so, do I really have any right to be honest about my thoughts
on an Ap like TA?
ok, the restaurant is billed as a bistro serving traditional slavic fare. Russian to the core. I had to drive a while to find this and it was hidden deep in the maw of a huge neighbourhood strip. The interior of the place was...well, Russian, spartan and absent...
well, money. It was the kind of place where you walk in and go ok, the food has just got to beat the pants off of the decor and thats how they can get past the stark strip mall presentation. The fact that there was a large contingent of family folk seated
and dining was a tip in its favour. I opened up my menu, service was fairly prompt given that we had one guy doing the till, serving, bussing etc... and behold, pierogis and borscht et al. There were more things, cabbage rolls and some un pronounceable things
that I tried. The food was completely home made, fresh and in a number of ways it was very very good. It was an accurate representation of what a good russian home cook might prepare for his or her family on any given day and that my friends is where I had
my problem. There wasn't one thing that I had that I didn't know a better way to prepare. I started with a pretty good borscht and it was good but compared to my own? A 5 to my 10! Not that my own belongs to me, a recipe stolen from someone over the years
but it's the one I routinely prepare and it made the one they served look pale and tasteless.
So if I say that, am I being conceited because I know I can do better? Or do I take the time to write out that I believe their soup to be edible but not divine? My entire meal was like that. Everything I tried was something that I've built in my own kitchen
with good effect. Read, easily superior results. Yet, the food as a whole was 10 times better than the fare offered from an easy 100 chain restaurants that pepper this community. The cabbage roll had a great sauce but they were sparse with it and the roll
was rice heavy which diminished the great spicing in the ground beef. It was better than any cabbage roll I've ever had in a restaurant before but wait a minute, it was the first cabbage roll I've ever had in a restaurant! The downside is that I bought some
'premium' cabbage rolls at my local Safeway that were probably just as good, if not a little better. Then I think of my own, with basmati rice, lamb and veal.... and man, I gotta make those again soon. Would I go back to Siberia to have them? Not a chance
in Gaol, but you know what? Once again, that cabbage roll was probably 50 times better for me than a Big Mac. Sigh, so how do I be honest in a review? Succinct yet entirely truthful? If I say too little, I just sound conceited, yet how do I convey my...sophistication
in cooking, my expectation that what I will be served will transcend the norms of that dish with gastronimical artistry? An artistry I'm able to demonstate myself.
In the end, I gave them 3 of a possible 5. I applauded them for their merits but decried their limits. I think I did ok but my feelings were pretty mixed so it lead to this somewhat silly self doubt.
I'll just bet I'm not alone in this.