Here is a brief explanation of what my ratings mean and how I come up with them. Half Buddhas do exist, though I won’t elaborate on each of them. However, I have given you an example with the 1/2 Buddha rating. IMPORTANT NOTE: If you have seen my reviews on a site like Yelp, you will notice those scores may differ from the scores here. Use the scores here as many of those sites force you to give it a score, do not have 1/2 scores, and utilize a different system. Speaking to the last point, on Yelp, there are five stars. Here, there are not. In addition, two-stars at yelp is a rating of “Meh, I’ve experiences better.” On FoodieBuddha, 2 is very good!
0 Buddhas // Poor
1/2 Buddha // Satisfactory
1 Buddha // Good
2 Buddhas // Very Good
3 Buddhas // Excellent
4 Buddhas // Fantabulous
Unrated: Everything in the “First Impressions” Category goes here. These are restaurant reviews based on limited experiences. I will rarely, if ever, score a restaurant unless I have had at least three meals there.
Food: This score is based on the quality of ingredients, the execution, the presentation, and the taste. Inspiration, perspective, and thoughtfulness are considered here as well. My expectations are tempered by the type of restaurant. As such, I do not expect a burger at McDonald’s to inspire me. At DB Bistro Moderne, it had better!
Service: This is a universal absolute. While friendliness, or lack thereof, may or may not impact the score, attentiveness does. Some restaurants are known for their gruff attitudes. As with Tasty China, having your manners handed to you while you are there is part of its’ charm.
Vibe: This might also be called ambiance. This is highly dependent on the goals of the given restaurant. Le Cirque, to reference another New York hot spot, was and is about pomp and circumstance. Stuffy at Le Cirque is okay with me. This score is as much about the people that eat there as it is about the restaurant itself.
Overall: This is NOT an average score. This is simply a gut feeling based in part on the individual ratings, as well as the general feel I get while dining at said venue.
Price ranges are based on the cost of a single entrée (or in the event of a small plate restaurant or sushi bar – the general cost for a similar quantity of food). Unless the restaurant is exclusively a lunch spot, I use the dinner prices for my guide. The cost of libations, soda pop, juices, and any other beverage you may consume while at these restaurants is NOT a factor.
$: Less than $10
$$$$: $30.01 and up
At the end of the day, these scores are quick hit summaries of the given review. There are many nuances and subtleties that I express in my reviews that the star system simply cannot convey. Use them with caution and rely on my words more than the stars.