Sometimes, I'm asked to write things about restaurants. Nothing negative, just a spotlight. Sometimes, this is really hard. It's like writing a book report for a book you didn't read. What can I write about this place? The food is horrible, the place smells like natural gas and smoke (not a good combination) and the wobbly tables makes me wonder how long we have until our food ends up on the floor, if it hasn't already been. OH, but the chef is a really lovely and personable and the bathrooms are fairly clean. Yep, thats how it has to go, just sometimes.
I'm tired of giving the restaurants in Panama City Beach a mulligan. The tourists settle for the food because it comes with a view. I guarantee, if the same places were in their hometown, in the corner of some random strip mall, they wouldn't have anything to do with it. I haven't been to ALL of the restaurants at the beach and in town, of course. But I've been to quite a few. It literally keeps me awake at night thinking about how, if I had just 2 hours with that kitchen staff and the owner, I could show them how to properly cut that meat, flavor their rice and beans, or make their food taste better in general. Really... for hours, I'm up. I get so frustrated. I keep thinking, do they think this tastes good? I'm not the most creative cook, but one thing I can do well, is make what I make really really well. I can taste food and tell you what it's missing. I may not create the menu, but I can tell you how to prepare it better.
Here's a good example: We live ON the GULF OF MEXICO...WHY ARE YOU COVERING THE FRESHEST, MOST DELICIOUS SEAFOOD IN BREAD CRUMBS AND FRYING IT? Why? You WANT to contribute to the obesity problem in the country? The lady that makes the sample dinner at Publix can cook a better piece of fish. Send your cooks to the Apron lady and take notes. Every single restaurant on the beach sells the same old crap, this same old crap.
When a new restaurant opens in the area, we settle for mediocrity. We get sucked in by the newness of it. I am just as excited as anyone to get a new place to grub, but I'm not wasting the money or the calories if I can make it better. Because, again, I will lose sleep over it and as my family knows, we all value my sleep. Why aren't we all demanding better quality food?
So, fuck it, I've been pretty nice to this point, but nice restaurant reviewer stops here. I don't get paid to be nice. Hell, I don't get paid at all. So why not? I might make a lot of enemies but I'm willing to sacrifice myself for the greater food eating world. From now on, if I eat somewhere I don't like, I'm letting you know. And, rightfully, if I love some place, I'll let you know that as well. I rarely steer people wrong. Because, Bay County (and all over the country) if we don't start saying "no" to shitty food, barely there service, and filthy establishments, we'll never get better food. We'll always only have "mediocre". Don't think quality food can't transcend into better retail establishments and tourists ready, willing and able to spend more at these places. All of this cycling into our economy...aka..jobs!! Big picture, I know, but it's the way it works.
If you are one of the places I had some criticism about, let's chat. I can help you....maybe. Probably even. Just know, you've been warned.........................
~sincerely, fed up and hungry