You really have to read this Yelp battle between local restaurant critic MC Slim JB and a Yelper by the name of Jeffrey "The Iron Chef" L. over Jeffrey's experience at the week-old Porter Square ramen hotspot YumeWoKatare. Recap: Jeffrey gives YumeWoKatare two stars and then claims harassment from employees of the restaurant. Enter Slim, who calls Jeffrey out on inaccuracies from his review, such as the statement that "ramen is easy to cook." Slim writes the following, and then recommends that Jeffrey rent Tampopo:
I agree that it's wrong for restaurants to post fake reviews, but if they're complaining that you sound like someone who doesn't exactly know what they're talking about, I'm inclined to agree. Your review makes you sound like someone whose idea of ramen has been formed by tearing open a packet in a college dorm room.
If you were Jeffrey, maybe you'd back down now. But you're not Jeffrey. And so this is just the beginning of a long, highly entertaining exchange in which Slim champions restaurants and attacks uninformed critics. See below for some highlights.
MC Slim JB: Congratulations, Jeffrey, on your world travel and restaurant industry connections. All you've done is prove that those things don't always yield the ability to write well-informed restaurant reviews.
Jeffrey "The Iron Chef" L: Just like not everyone likes caviar and escargot, doesn't mean their uneducated or ignorant you fool.
MC Slim JB: Ever wonder why much of the restaurant industry hates Yelp? It's because of Yelpers like you, who talk shit about things they know little about, yet arrogantly believe their ignorant opinions are worth somebody reading them.
My larger point is that you as a Yelper have the power to affect the livelihood of a small business, and early reviews carry more weight than the 200th review in. There's some responsibility that comes with that power. I think a basic one is knowing enough not to make unfair criticisms based on ignorance of the cuisine.
Say you don't like it, because it didn't appeal to you? Fine. Criticize them based on wrong-headed assumptions about ingredients, technique and style? You deserve to get a nasty owner email for that, and ridicule here when you come asking for sympathy.
And then Steph "Sausage Toe" P. cuts in:
I love how Jeffrey is calling Slim a pretentious food snob. Which one refers to himself as "The Iron Chef" and having "superior taste"?