I know most of you are tired of this two-part blogging spree, but I’d like to put out my criteria on judging many of these places. That way for future postings, you will further understand why I would give a place said rating, before sending any criticisms (or haterade messages) for not agreeing with you on a particular spot. So without further ado…
Similar to the Michelin Restaurant Guides (they’re not just a tire company you know), I’ll also be using a three-point system (with half marks included), how will this work you might asking? Well let’s break it down shall we?
The Final Rating will be the average between two different scores:
*My first score is calculated from the offering of food and/or drink (on a scale of 0-3; 0 being the worst and 3 being the best) observing through these elements:
Flavor: How strong (or subtle) the taste of the dish remains and how complex (multi-layered) the taste develops through different combinations
Presentation: Balance of color and contrast, with usage of the dinnerware and components of the dish
Portion Control: The quantity of food (and/or drink) provided for dish and if its acceptable in the given type of dining environment and ethnic specialty.
*Whereas my second score (also on the 0-3 scale) will be determined by the non-food/drink elements of the experience:
Accessibility/Availability: How often is the establishment open/closed, parking issues and convenience
Customer Service: Reservation issues, Waiter/Waitress expectations and Beginning and Ending experience etiquette.
Cleanliness: Self-Explanatory, are they spotless or do they need to clean up in a few spots. Does the city provide a Sanitation Grade?
Price Point: Another self-explanatory thing, is it cheap, moderate or expensive in pricing.
*Half marks are provided if they are on borderline, usually if they only fulfilled half of the satisfactory requirements in either category. Anytime items in either category are compared (free food/drinks or parking) or out of either party’s control (natural disaster, unforeseen utility failures: no electricity/gas due to power outage, and etc.) Then I will not take it in account and merely base my criticisms from what is provided.
To provide an example:
McDonald’s vs. Coffee Mill & Bakery
I’m sure everyone understand these two cannot be compared to one another because of the differences in experience (from dining options to respectable restaurant industry expectations).
McDonald’s (Various locations)
Score 1: It’s microwavable, lots of preservatives, using paper bags, small boxes and lots of wrapping paper, portion wise enough for 1-2 people, barely anything that’s considered fresh, healthy and/or organic; 1
Score 2: They’ve been around for decades (a recognized international brand), they have a consistent business model, accessible 24 hours in a day, accommodating to the disabled, affordable to anyone, but it’s a hit/miss depending on the location; 1.5
Divide the sum of the two scores by 3
Final Score: Averages to a .8 (which rounds off to a 1).
Coffee Mill & Bakery (Oakland, CA)
Score 1: Beyond instant coffee, they do have fresh squeezed OJ and a variety of dishes they make from scratch (from the Breakfast/Lunch offerings to the baked pastries). Flavors and presentation of dishes are traditional and straight forward but it doesn’t take it to the next level (lacks a bit of refinement and complexity in layering flavors), an expectation when dining at a local breakfast spot. Served on round plates. Portions enough for 1-2 people; 1.5
Score 2: They’ve also been around for decades (however it’s a local spot to Oakland natives). Typical business model for a breakfast spot, they are not open 24 hours a day but most of their business occurs during the early morning to early afternoon hours, affordable, the location can be somewhat of an inconvenience with parking: 1.5
Divide the sum of the two scores by 3
Final Score: 1
Granted, it would have been better to compare the two to their respected competitors. However, I believe this shows a nice contrast of what’s great (or horrible) in the taste of dishes/drinks and how a business can do better (or worst) in one set of categories over another. Now for Genkiyaki and The Death Taco.