In Search of Feedback: New Rating System

super mario bros star

It’s been eons since I’ve doled out any stars (which are about to look like Buddha statues pretty soon anyway *wink*).  There are a myriad of reasons why I haven’t rated any place recently but I’ll spare you the reasons why that happens to be the case.  The point is – the system right now doesn’t suit me or this food journal.

I’m not necessarily going to abandon the whole thing (explained here), but I’ve decided to get rid of at least one, if not all, of the currently used categories.  I’ll probably re-work Food, Vibe, & Service … but at the very least, Overall is getting kicked to the curb.  In its place is a yet to be named category and ultimately the one that will end up being the most important.

The new category is actually based on time/distance.  By that I mean, how far should someone be willing to travel to sample a particular restaurant’s wares.  I’m still not sure if it will be mileage defined, time defined, or some combination of the two.  While I work through it, I’d gladly welcome reader input as to how you might divvy up the category.  Do you guys and gals define your dining options by distance or travel time or some combination of the two?  I’m leaning towards something like 5 min drive / 20 mile drive / Get on a Plane.

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  1. Oh, yeah, I’m back every day, earlier than you roll out of your sleeping bag or cot on your mom’s basement, and  commenting on your small dick. 0 stars to you.

  2. Oh, how do I know about your small dick?   Inquiring minds want to know.  Must be the posts on “man seeks man” on Craigslist you posted

  3. The problem with defining how far it’s worth venturing to a restaurant is that everyone has their own level of motivation/resistance.  Some people think it’s no big deal to drive from Atlanta to Duluth to eat Korean food.  My resistance to distance is high.  I live in west Midtown, and for me, a place has to be the talk of the blogs to get me to drive even to Buckhead or Decatur for dinner.  In other cities I’ve lived in, I’ve either patronized neighborhood joints, which are few and far between in the parts of Atlanta where I live or might live, or taken a train or cab.  If Atlanta had a real transit system like other major cities, or even a densely populated downtown or similar area with a cab culture, it would be different.  I have no problem in NYC hopping on a subway to go downtown.  But I am very resistant to fighting 30 mins. of Atlanta traffic just so I can shovel some barbecue or Chinese food into my face.  And am I supposed to feel good about eating at the latest local, organic, sustainable hotspot if it takes me a gallon of fossil fuel to get there?  I also sometimes resist going out to eat because of the prospect of having to drive after consuming a few glasses of wine or beer.  I don’t see how all that can be factored in.  It takes a hell of a review to get people like me to venture out.

    • Good points … particularly when one considers that certain types of cuisine are often concentrated in a particular area of a city.  For me, it’s points like that which make me think this type of system is appropriate.

      I am however … trying to think a way through so that the application is based on the restaurant and not the location.  In other words – let’s say we have Korean Restaurant 1 and Korean Restaurant 2 where 1 is the superior experience.  A rating for 1 might be “Destination Worthy” and that definition might be something like: worth a drive, even if that makes an evening activity.  A rating for 2 might be something like “Neighborhood spot” – where that might mean something like: a fine option if you live within walking distance or a short drive.  Would something along those lines provide you with a better idea?

      Thanks for your time Lorenzo.

      • I don’t think it’s a good system, for the reasons I explained.  Scrolling through the last few of your posts to get an example, let’s take the now-defunct LeRoy’s.  The concensus seemed to be that it was not Destination-Worthy, but some might have rated it “a fine option if you live in west Midtown.”  But based on the descriptions I read, LeRoy’s did not draw me in, even though I live within two miles and passed by it often.  I just don’t think enough people give distance the same weight in factoring in where to eat that a rating system based on a balance of merit and distance would be helpful.

        By the way, as you probably know, AJC reviews do seem to factor in distance: “A worthy addition to its neighborhood” versus “Merits a drive if you’re looking for this kind of dining.”  Personally, I don’t think these descriptions are helpful.  What “merits a drive” to one person doesn’t merit a drive to another.  In addition to the reasons I’ve mentioned why I resist driving, you’ve got to consider that some people LIKE driving or at least don’t mind it in the least, while other people detest driving in Atlanta traffic.

        As flawed as the standard star system is, where stars are awarded based on factors other than distance, it is still the most useful system to me.  Give me a standard review, and I can factor in how much weight I personally give to the distance.

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