Head Scratching At Its Finest

Restaurant review sites have been around since we opened up the doors to our ‘shack’ in 2008. They have been very good to us. Trip Advisor, Yelp, Google have given us a good share of great reviews, some well-deserved not so great ones and then some head scratchers.

We received a head scratcher one star review from a “qualified reviewer” over the weekend. He seriously wanted to get his point across, so he copied and pasted the same review onto every review site he could find.

Now don’t get us wrong. Wiley and I love constructive criticism. As humans, we should all appreciate it as we aim to do better and better in our life’s work. An alert customer let me know a couple of weeks ago that our collard greens were not up to par….and they weren’t. I immediately 86’d them until we figured out the problem. We did. Moved on, and they are back up to my standards.

Let me be clear. My standards. Tasting and creating food is subjective. Grandma may have made collards to her standards and mine may be a million miles apart from her flavor profile. I understand and am ok with that. At Wiley’s we try to do OUR best every day. Some days successfully…and other days, less so, but we still strive for the goal. Many obstacles can get in the way of the goal…but that is another blog post.

So let’s get back to this qualified reviewer head scratcher…In his review he claims to be a ‘qualified’ reviewer because he has worked in a restaurant before and knows “quality and great tasting food.” Ummmmm…ok…..seriously? No awards? No competitions? Where did you get your chops for that statement? Is there a mail order degree for food taster par excellence?

Moving on. His daughter didn’t like our chicken nuggets…they tasted like frozen nuggets. Chicken nuggets….Let that sink in. On the kid’s menu. For real? What may I ask was she expecting for crying out loud?

Oh, wait, it gets better. His wife’s chicken “had blood in the middle and was undercooked. I tasted it and it tasted like smoked chicken but was undercooked.” Well, news flash. If I were given a piece of undercooked chicken in a restaurant, I would not eat it…..think salmonella. Why was a server not notified immediately???? Undercooked chicken is very bad. Always possible…think human error. But listen grasshopper, if your smoked chicken has a pink tinge, it most probably is the same reaction to slow cooking that produces a smoke ring. That means the myoglobin in the muscle didn’t break down due to the slow cooking. We pull our chicken off the pit when it reaches an internal temperature of 170*. Low and slow…

Well, at least the qualified reviewer identified it was smoked chicken. That is what Wiley’s is known for…smoking meats and other things.

Now for the best part. Hold on….it is hard to top this. “My pulled pork tasted like smoked pulled pork, not BBQ.” Wait for a minute. Let that beautiful piece of prose sink in… This is so wrong on so many levels. May I ask the qualified reviewer what he thinks BBQ is?

The next line gives it away…”I had to put BBQ sauce on it to give it more flavor.”

I am still scratching my head. One can’t fix stupid. Really stupid…

So my fine friends, when looking at restaurant review sites, take the good with the bad…Chances are you are already way ahead of the curve. It is always nice to give the establishment the option to fix the problem…unless you have another motive like a vendetta or something. Don’t know our distinguished reviewer’s motives, but only one review on each site…and that would be ours, makes one bbq lover mighty skeptical…and still scratching…J