Recently, at a Stop & Shop, we caught a glimpse of that publishing chestnut, the Cosmopolitan Sex Quiz. These things never seem to get old with readers. If you’re like me, you started sneaking reads at age 9, wondering whether people really do those things with ice cubes, and now you stand in the grocery line ranting at anyone that’ll listen about its antiquated, pre-feminist idiocy.
So, basically, at any age, you can’t not read this article.
To honor the evergreen Cosmo Sex Quiz—okay, and so we’d have a chance of putting the phrase “Sex Quiz” in the newsletter head (PS, we failed)—we thought we’d do our own version at EDP. But rather than testing your skill in the use of Saran Wrap, EDP evaluates your sophistication in restaurant criticism. When it comes to reading restaurant criticism, are you the diner who falls for the bad pickup lines? And when you dare to sample something new, do you wake up with a bad taste in your mouth?
Look, EDP can’t help you if you don’t take our quiz. Count the points to see where you fall on EDP’s spectrum: Critic Sucker or Critic Savvy.
A restaurant critic is…
1. A disgruntled former employee posting on Yelp (0 points)
2. Someone paid to post positive reviews on Yelp (0 points)
3. An owner praising his restaurant on Chowhound in hopes of luring customers (0 points)
4. An un-traceable Internet “troll” who hides behind a screen name to post wildly negative screeds (0 points)
5. Someone who is held responsible for his/her statements by present and future employers—employers who know the critic’s actual identity and will ream that critic for inaccuracies or distortions (4 points)
A restaurant review is…
1. Based on a single meal (1 point)
2. Written by a recognized blogger/writer who was “hosted” by the restaurant for the press dinner on which the review was based (1 point)
3. Conducted while the critic interviews the restaurant owner, and while the restaurateur’s food, dining room, and person is being photographed for the review (-3 points)
4. Based on several meals that involve tasting most of the menu and which are not “comped” by the restaurant (4 points)
You can spot the credible restaurant critic if…
1. He/she looks just like the picture over his/her column (0 points)
2. She hands the greeter a business card that says “Eat-R-Grrrl: The Food Blogista with Bite” in blatant hopes of snagging a prized table, VIP service, free food, free drinks, or all four (-3 points)
3. He/she is haggling with the owner over the bill, and threatening to write a negative Yelp post if not fully comped for the meal (0 points)
4. Actually, you can’t spot a credible restaurant critic (4 points)
A restaurant is chosen in a trustworthy review because…
1. It paid for advertising with the reviewing website, magazine, or newspaper (0 points)
2. It has lavishly comped the publication’s editors (0 points)
3. The reviewer (actually, an anonymous “Yelp Helper”) had a really bad experience at the restaurant, involving a nasty, drunken argument with the owner that culminated in the reviewer getting thrown out (0 points)
4. The restaurant is newsworthy, excellent, interesting, popular—and people should know about it (4 points)
A rave review is believable if…
1. The critic is friendly with the people behind the restaurant (0 points)
2. The blog/newspaper/magazine/website/Twidiot has a policy of being 100-percent positive in its food coverage (-3 points)
3. It might possibly have been written by a restaurant owner or his friends to hijack sites like Yelp, Google, Chowhound, Zagat.com, etc., for free marketing (0 points)
4. It’s as rare as hens’ teeth in the pages of the publication in which it appears (4 points)
-6 to 8 = Ssssssucka
8 to 12 = You are a trusting soul (a.k.a., a sucker)
12 to 19 = Sorry, but you have sucker tendencies
20 = What’s your number? I’m always looking for company.