Food Bloggers, Restaurants, Things I hate, Yelp

Horrible people should not be allowed to eat in restaurants: Parts 1 & 2

I suppose horrible people need to eat too. But do they really need to make the rest of us witness their horribleness? Wouldn’t it be better if they sat at home in their Ed Hardy shirts, made stupid pronouncements like “Do you know who I am?” among themselves, photographed food until their retinas melted and inflicted their moronic Yelp reviews only on one another?

That’s a rhetorical question. Of course it would be better. But, horrible people can’t do that because they crave an audience.

Here are two things I read in the Los Angeles Times and New York Times this week that horrible people are doing right now to publicly demonstrate their horribleness.

1. They are joining together to become card-carrying members of the “Extorting Douche Bag” Club.


The official name is the “ReviewerCard”  — because, I suppose, “Extorting DoucheBag Card” was already taken. Reviewer Cards, newly invented by a smiley dude in California, make it easier for members of the great unwashed Yelp crowd of reviewers to extort special treatment from restaurants by threatening them with a bad review.

The idea is: buy the card, flash the card to someone at a restaurant, officially identify yourself as a douche and expect comped appetizers to flow your way. OR ELSE THINGS MIGHT GET A LITTLE DICEY FOR YA ON YELP, IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN.

My feelings about the quality and usefulness of Yelp reviews is well documented. And I apologize to everyone who works in a restaurant for the fact that these people exist.

But I do see one advantage for restaurants of having DoucheBag Card flashed at them. Now everyone in the kitchen knows which free order of the pan-seared scallops gets the double side of loogie.

2. They won’t stop photographing their goddamned food, no matter what.

Bought for me: Dessert from North Pond, Chicago

I admit it. I have taken photos of my food in restaurants. 95% of those photos suck (see the lousy photo to the left of a very wonderful dessert from North Pond in Chicago) and 100% of the photos were obnoxious. But at least I followed a couple commonsense rules: 1) I discreetly used my iPhone to take the pictures 2) I didn’t use flash and 3) I looked really ashamed while doing it.  All those precautions are off, however, if it’s a hot dog stand or lobster shack. I feel free to snap away there.

Well, it turns other people are bringing big cameras, standing on chairs to get a better shot and generally acting like they are directing a photo shoot rather than eating dinner — even at places like Momofuko Ko and PerSe. Some chefs, not generally known as an accommodating lot, are finding ways to be accommodating – providing beauty shots of the dishes or inviting Andy Warhol and his iPhone back into the kitchen to take their photo. Other chefs, like David Change, just tell the jerks to cut it out. But it’s still not working.

Anyone who’s seen a food blog knows that food only matters if it is photographed. It’s 2013, for chrissakes, every tuna salad sandwich needs to be as thoroughly photographed as Kim Kardashian’s baby bump.

So, the photos are still gonna be snapped. The DoucheBags Cards are gonna be flashed.

My recourse is to be extra polite and nice to the people serving and making my food, because one should. And also to ensure they don’t mix up the seared scallop appetizers as they come out of the kitchen.


Yelp reviewers review the douchey invention of a Yelp reviewer. Whoa. That’s meta. Spoiler alert: The reviewers don’t like the Reviewer Card.