Q & A

Q. Since you are on television, doesnít the owners know who you are and make the food better than normal?

A. Not really. If someone recognizes me, I may get better service but the Chef is not going to change the recipe on my account. I always look around me and see what the service and food is like for everyone else and if I get special treatment, I take it into consideration and it does not have any effect of the type of review I write.

Q. How does one become a restaurant critic?

A. In order to be what I feel is a "credible" restaurant critic, the following attributes should be considered: 1. You must have a love affair with food, 2.You should be able to be objective, 3. And lastly, you should have a good understanding of the restaurant business and of the various aspects of food preparation. Having a Master of Social Work degree has helped me to be an objective reviewer and the 7 years of restaurant experience as well as taking 11/2 years of Restaurant Management and Chefís Training classes has also helped me to become what I consider myself to be, a fair and honest restaurant critic (Eating at over 1,200 restaurants and sampling over 12,000 dishes also has helped). I also feel that one should not take themselves so serious as to think that they "know it all". Remember, this is about food, not politics or religion.

 

Q & A

What Criteria Did I Use To Choose These Restaurants?

Over the past 13 years, I have had many people ask me where can I get the best pizza? Steak? Chinese food? Etc. Choosing my favorite restaurants favorite dish is no easy task. There are many things to consider besides the food. There is the service, the ambiance, the attitude, the value etc.

As you glance over the pages, you will notice that some of the more "visible" or even what some people feel are the "best" restaurants are not on my site. This could be a result of the restaurant having a "bad attitude", overpriced entrees or just plain great marketing-ordinary food. 

I hate restaurants that have lousy attitudes, I hate restaurants that "gouge" the customers and I hate being lied to by restaurants saying they use product like real crab only to find out it was imitation crab. You can be assured that all of the restaurants that appear on my web site do not have bad attitudes, the prices of the food is honest, they do not lie about the ingredients that are described in their menus and each owner really cares about providing quality food and pleasing each customer that enters their establishment.

Having eaten in over 1,200 restaurants and sampling over 7,500 dishes, I feel I have a good understanding of what good is and what not-so-good is. All of the restaurants that appear on this site were hand selected by me.

As you review each restaurant write-up, you will learn why I selected the restaurant, my favorite dishes, an extensive list of services and information about the restaurant and some extra features like coupons, directions to the restaurant and a full listing of the menu.

It is my intention that this dining guide will lead you to many restaurants that you are not familiar with and help make your next dining experience more enjoyable with the information provided in each review.

Again, I must remind you that these are "my favorites".

TIPPING Tipping- the word TIP or "To Insure Promptness" is a very misunderstood concept that many people misuse. There are many misconceptions regarding when and who to tip and the right amount. I believe that if the service is good, the server is friendly and if the server goes out of their way to make your dining experience that much better, a tip of 20% or more is appropriate. If on the other hand the server is just going through the motions, I have no problems leaving a smaller than normal tip but, always tell the manager or owner about the problems you had with the server. I realize that a good portion of a serverís wages is derived from tips however, that server will never get any better if people just give the server a tip regardless of the quality of service or their attitude. Another thing to remember is that almost all servers split their tips with the "Bussers", Bar Tenders & Food Runners. A 15% tip is appropriate for "okay" service. I also believe that servers at a self service buffet restaurant should receive a tip according to the quality of service and attention paid to you. This can range from 10% to 20 %. When figuring out how much you should tip a server, the amount given should be figured out BEFORE the tax is added onto the bill.

Copyright © 2002-04 AllanBorgen.com
All rights reserved.
(Legal Disclaimer)

 

Q & A

Q. How do you pick the restaurants you review?

A. I usually pick the restaurants to review by referrals by my viewers or readers, by stopping into a restaurant and looking at the menu or by reading other restaurant review columns.

Q. Do restaurants know when you are going to review them?

A. No..I normally go into a restaurant unannounced, order, take notes, pay the bill and then ask a million questions and tell them who I am and what I plan on doing. If I feel that I might have a problem reviewing them because of a language problem or other circumstances, I will call ahead and ask permission. I will then come in unannounced and do the review later on after talking to them.