Dining and Coffee Reviews: A New Unofficial Feature

As part of the new 2006 season here at my unofficial blog, I’d like to introduce a new category, “Dining and Coffee Reviews,” wherein I provide brief reviews of eating establishments and area coffee shops.

Why, you ask? First off, because Annette and Will and I end up at a lot of different area restaurants and coffee shops on a regular basis. Just this week, I’ve been to Bombadills, Delat, Zanzabar, Beaner’s, The Sidetrack, and the New York Pizza Depot, and I’m going to the Commond Grill tomorrow. I will admit that’s a bit more than usual, but you get the idea.

Second, I would say that two of my more significant hobbies/activities are eating food and drinking coffee. Certainly more than going to the gym, which is one of the reasons for my new mantra for the year is “smaller portions.”

I’ll rate things on a simple 1 to 5 scale, where 1 means “terrible” and 5 means “mind-blowingly great.” For dining, here are the categories I have in mind (and if anyone has any suggestions on how I should do it differently, let me know):

  • Tastiness
  • Service
  • Price (here, 1 means “dirt cheap,” while 5 means mind-blowingly expensive)
  • Value, by which I mean whether or not the dining experience is “worth it” money-wise. This is different than price in that, in my experience, it’s possible to spend way too much money on a meal but still have it be “worth it;” on the other hand, I’ve had $1 hot dogs that were a “poor value.”
  • General vibe, which includes things like decor, music they play, people hanging out there, etc.

The coffee shop rating system is a bit different, though also on a 1-5 rating system:

  • Coffee quality (and I should point out that I am only kind of a coffee snob and that when I go to a coffee shop, I almost always drink coffee and not Lattes or Cappuccino or whatever)
  • Service
  • General vibe (with a big emphasis on music and people-watching)
  • WiFi, which is key for me since I am often in coffee shops to do work of one sort or another
  • Baked goods
  • Other food options
  • My goal is to do these reviews in a sort of short/bullet-point kind of pattern. I’ll start writing one or two now and we’ll see how it goes.

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