I am not a fan of Zagat, the compiled restaurant review people.
Before I completely trash them, let me say:
- I like the fact that they provide numerical ratings that reflect averages for restaurants in different areas of consideration (Food, Decor, Service, Cost.)
- I do always feel better when I see the little Zagat Rated sign in a restaurant window.*
Now the bad:
- The little number ratings don't give me insight into what people were thinking. Did they rate Decor high because the restaurant was elegant or because it was comfortable and cozy or because the lighting was so low they couldn't really see their ugly Match.com date? If the write up doesn't explore this dimension, I'm SOL.
- As good as I feel when I see the Zagat Rated sign in a restaurant, I'd feel even better if the little sign told me how the restaurant was rated. Something like Zagat Rated Nummy! or Zagat Rated Not Even on a Bet. That would be, oh, I don't know, useful?
- But, so much worse, is their "write ups"! I like brevity but this is too brief to be useful. All those snippets from surveys mooshed together feels disjointed.**
- And with all those quotation marks, I'm always tempted to read them like air quotes, all sarcastic and smutty. Yeah, I'll just bet its VERY SMALL SPACE is augmented by its BIG PATIO OUT BACK. *nudgenudgewinkwink* ***
"FASCINATING" --Bob Mediabuzz, The Herald Tribune Sentinel
"HYSTERICAL!" --Jane Snoot, NeverHeardofItMovieReview.com
How do I know that the full quotes weren't:
"The acting was so bad it was fascinating to see how wooden Nicole Kidman could be."--Bob Mediabuzz
"This movie was so insultingly unfunny, leaving after five minutes was the only thing that kept me from getting hysterical!" --Jane Snoot
So in closing...
Zagat is big on the "not so much", provides a "generous dollop" of "insufficent detail"; its "helpful numbers are the bomb" and combined with its "quotaliciousness" suggest more than is "actually" there; "fascinating"!
* Not as good as when I find a golden ticket in a candy bar but, still, strangely, good.
** I bought a cream for painful snippet mooshing but it didn't help. Dammit! Now it's all welty, and not in the Eudora way.
*** Okay, maybe I'm the only 8-year-old that reads it that way.