The Hot Five
It usually only takes five minutes to figure out if a restaurant sucks.
Everything else I might do
Visit multiple times
Order every dish on the menu
Research the chef and his team
Interviews the cooks and owners
Exchange messages with PR teams, and sometimes your editors who happen to be friends with the restaurant owner, to see if you can soften up your stance or change the review altogether*
This is just window dressing to make sure you really have the receipts to back up your claims.
I’m not saying my snap judgements can’t be wrong. I’m a huge fan of psychology and I know that in many cases the gut is inherently fallible. But I also know, as someone who has put in the ten thousand hours as a student of food, instinct is a worthy advisor on matters of restaurant quality.
And five minutes is all it took Friday night to know the truth about Boonie’s Filipino restaurant in Lincoln Square.