THE UNDERTOW DILEMA
"Did you see the review of Undertow?" he asked, referring to the Verobeach32963 article.
We had not, but we promised to read it later, which we did, only later was much later, as in the next day. Miss Vero was having such a "grand time" as our Granmammy used to say and we were thoroughly fascinated by our companion and his insightful conversation, that we certainly were not about to focus on anything else.
After our lunch, at a fashionable beach side restaurant, Miss Vero went downtown to see the chimp paintings and the paintings of chimps, very interesting indeed!
There, a restaurant review. Our experience, not y'all's or anyone elses.
When we did finally get around to reading the 32963 Undertow review, honestly, we did not think about it one way or the other. We have actually given up believing restaurant reviews from any news source and have found that sites offering "real folk" reviews (like tripadvisor for example), are a clearer snapshot of an establishment. Usually, only folks that have had a real bad experience or a real good experience take the time to write. Even knowing that and adding in menu selection and prices, and we still don't take what anyone else has to say too seriously (something we are very well known for).
But the calls about the Undertow review started coming in. Viviene was furious and wanted to vent and so she did.
And then the emails came in, like this one:
"I was disappointed in the blistering review of Undertow in the current issue of 32963 especially after your uplifting comments about the restaurant. Having eaten there twice for dinner and many times at lunch, it is easy for me to agree with your view.
Far be it for me to comment on what you should do - suffice to say - I hope you defend the restaurant in a persuasive manner. Kitty has not had an easy time the past few years and now the place appears to be going well and doesn't need a review that seems to be designed to stop the momentum."
And this one from Mark Landry of Verobeachrestaurants.com:
"While I like some parts of the 32963 paper sometimes people just don't get it. And I think this is the case with the review of the Undertow in 32963. It takes multiple visits and an open mind to understand what a restaurant is doing, what it is, and especially what it is not. I think 32963 missed it on this one and I would have to say that they just don't get it.
The Undertow is a come-as-you are restaurant that serves great food in an unpretentious atmosphere. There are far, FAR too many disappointing casual restaurants in this area that often offer menus and drinks that look all so similar... burgers, fried food, chicken caesars, fish sandwiches with tartar sauce... on and on. The Undertow is NOT one of these places.
You can always tell a restaurant that is owned by someone who has a passion for food and wine as it is usually reflected in the little things they offer. The Undertow's flavorful, creative Bistro inspired menu, strong specialty beer list, small but eclectic wine list and some solid offerings by the glass all go to enhancing the cool casual vibe at the Undertow. They use big boy tableware and wine glasses that are appropriate for eating and drinking ( cheesy tableware and glasses is a no no in any restaurant and pet peeve of mine).
Yes it is casual but tastefully and that is what is intended. This is NOT a jacket and tie type of place with a county club mentality. This is a casual, cool restaurant with live music on the weekends. So if your expecting otherwise.. go somewhere else. But if you want good food, a nice glass of wine in a casual cool place, then here it is!
So I hope 32963 doesn't fall into the Press Journal Restaurant Review mind set. A restaurant review should NOT be based on a single visit. Please try it again and open your eyes wide. And, while I'm at it, a note to the PJ - PLEASE look beyond the rim of your plate! A complete dining experience should include food AND wine. Tell me what you had to drink. Offer me a suggestion from the wine list that you found of particular interest or value, How is the wine service, drink quality, tableware, wineglasses. A restaurant review should be more than just the what you had for dinner and the decor.
And a couple others, let's just say, not so nice.
And, of course, there was the comment section, on the "Dirty Fork" post, which we never censor and y'all can look up for yourselves.
Now here's the thing kids, it's Ok.
It's just one opinion.
It's OK, if the reviewer didn't have a good experience and wanted to tell y'all about it. Maybe she didn't know that there was a wedding on the patio (quite unusual), going on at the same time her party arrived, but that shouldn't have mattered.
Maybe she forgot to tell y'all that her party didn't all arrive on time making it seem that the appetizers took forever for those that sat down first.
Maybe she's just really good at writing, but has never cooked for 120 people at once, cheerfully waited on obnoxious self important people, washed dishes or had to smile while mixing drinks and listening to the horrendous jokes of the slightly inebriated - experiences that we feel all restaurant reviewers should obtain as a prerequisite to their chosen profession.
Maybe she forgot that Miss Kitty Wagner is indeed a chef and should be referred to as Chef Wagner, and not "Kitty" as in the familiar, or the cafeteria lady, or one of the help, or in some other condescending beachie way - a mistake that no male chef would let pass.
So if y'all have been payin attention, and we certainly hope y'all have, why don't we just invite the reviewer to an evening at Undertow with Miss Vero and cohorts? We think that the friends she brought with her probably wouldn't swap shoes, pop their eyeball out, dance on the table and that just might have been the problem.
Or better yet, why don't we just stop reading now and go have a cocktail. There's Karaoke at What-a-Tavern tonight...
Drag show at Cosmic Charlies...
And of course there's always The Epicenter of Cool -Undertow, because that really hasn't changed, has it?