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DR.com: Forum or Chatroom?


johnb
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[it's no secret how much I love Ray's The Steaks. That having been said, I think VAFoodNut is simply saying what lots of people have been thinking: This thread needs a rest. A long rest. If someone wants to report on a meal at RTS, then great, but it really is past time to nix the chatty stuff on this thread.

Cheers,

Rocks.]

Don

Thank you. I love this board, which is performing a great service to the DC chow loving community, but more information and less chat would be a HUGE step forward. And that applies to more than just this thread.

Call this an open letter to management if you will.

Johnb

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I love the fact that there is a palce where there can be back and forth conversation between the customer and the restaurant. I have always found this to be a useful part of the board.

I also wish there were a forum on the board for restaurants to post their happenings. The folk who post regularly here are a portion of the participants. I know that of folk who mention DR.com, more of them are lurkers than not. With a commercial forum, those who want to know whats going on at a particular restaurnt can peruse and those that don't would not be subject to the commercial posts. The Robert Parker wine board has several forums for planning off lines (wine tastings) or for commercial posts or for off wine review topics.

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I think the 'chat-i-ness' should be discussed on PM's. I thought that was the reasoning behind that option.

I thought the whole idea behind the board was to detail a dinning event so that others who were looking for ideas on dinning out could get a 'mini-review' from people who were somewhat in the know.

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I think the 'chat-i-ness' should be discussed on PM's. I thought that was the reasoning behind that option.

I thought the whole idea behind the board was to detail a dinning event so that others who were looking for ideas on dinning out could get a 'mini-review' from people who were somewhat in the know.

There's eGullet for those that want a more sterile, less personality infused option (sorry Waitman). Don can correct me if I'm wrong, but way back when, this board was formed in reponse the crackdown on eG of anything remotely "social" in nature. Back-and-forth is discouraged, as is getting to know your fellow posters in any manner not board-sanctioned.

If DR.com moves in the eG direction, I'm absolutely gone. There's a reason why I have posted maybe a dozen times on eG in the last 6-12 months.

In addition, there is a sizable contingent that is interested in cooking, baking, canning, shopping, farmer's markets and specialty stores. Would those discussions have to be shut down to make the site more "database"?

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Rocks - you got that right.

Plenty of chatting goes on in PMs, TMs, IMs, and email, but I agree with Heather that those interested in just creating a database / dining out guide can go back to eGullet, to chowhound, heck, go to the Washington Post or Washingtonian websites. Think what the board highlights of the last year have been. Think what all this chat has created. Real relationships, real fun, real community. People's personalities [or lack thereof] shine through when the reins are loosened. The chats have given me tons of gut-busting belly laughs in the last year. And in this world, belly laughs are good. It ain't broke. It's a wonderful thing. :unsure:

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In addition, there is a sizable contingent that is interested in cooking, baking, canning, shopping, farmer's markets and specialty stores. Would those discussions have to be shut down to make the site more "database"?
I would like to think that those areas would be unaffected. Having a dialog in those threads is CRITICAL to whether or not they're useful.

As to the restaurant threads, I consider restrictions on social interaction to be anathema to the spirit of the forums. Here is fostered the sense that there's a dedicated and interested restaurant community in what is an otherwise relatively soulless dining town. DR.com makes me feel like part of a neighborhood.

Limitting the scope of the threads to "mini-reviews" would detract from that.

I know I'm only a very recent poster, but I used DR.com regularly for about a year before I actually made my first (of many) posts. I found it to be an incredibly helpful resource when trying to find out more about restaurants in the area when the often terse user reviews on WaPo.com and the Washingtonian just didn't quite cut it. I also found that all the social interaction in no way interfered with this process!

Now that I've started posting, I think I can rate my favorite things about this site thusly:

1) Being able to hear from the people who make it happen. Landrum, Slater, what's-his-face from Notti Bianchi, that-guy from Elevation Burger, etc.

2) Talking about restaurants with like-minded people in an open, friendly way.

3) Interacting with amateur (and professional) chefs who are not afraid to ask questions and helpful enough to lend answers.

4) Restaurant reviews.

I certainly haven't been here long enough, nor do I have a high enough ranking, to have much clout in determining the way these fora work. It's Don's site, and if he wants to he can make it into a forum for labradoodle fanciers (please don't do that).

I just happen to like it the way it is: not a collection of user reviews.

I am not getting that DR does not want the 'chat-i-ness', but wants a cooling off of one specific place. Why is the 'chat-i-ness' limited to that one place ?
I don't think RTS should be singled out. It's certainly not the only establishment with 20+ pages of posts! (Cordoruy - 26, Dino - 21, Palena - 21)

Again, as per my previous post - nothing wrong with chattiness!

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I strongly disagree with Don and John, two people I admire. I think in the case of RTS the human element is just as interesting and important as the gastronomic part, especially when the individual involved is larger than life -- funny, quirky and very talented. There is the added drama of the dark side of success, something any restaurant-centered forum should be interested in exploring.

Are mere users allowed to protest, Don? If so, mark me down as a dissident.

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I could do without the chatiness, but I also understand it's an attraction to others. I could do without the coziness with restaurant owners, but I also understand that is an attraction to others.

Unfortunately, both of these diminish some of the value of this board to those such as myself. Am I ever going to see a criticism of Palena, RTS, or Firefly? I've had three meals at Firefly, a lunch was so-so, and two dinners were awful. I could have avoided the last one, but I was convinced to give it one more try because of all the raves I had read here. You'd never know that because it's taboo to post it. Oh, and I don't announce that I read DR.com when I walk up to the hostess stand.

It's Don's board. I think he correctly considers that the benefits of chating and coziness with restaurant owners and staff creates an appealing social environment, and that simply trumps the sterile effect that might result from strictly unbias commentary. Therefore others users, such as myself, have to read the threads with that knowedge in mind, recognizing some of the limitations. Pretty simple.

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I like the fact that people can unveil more than their gastronomic critcisms if they so choose. Chatiness or some diversion is healthful and should be allowed unedited (to an extent relating to food) in the designated threads. Keep the chatting here rather than yammering to my face when I'm trying to get my hard on at Palena.

Personality goes a long way! :unsure: When in doubt, suck ventworm nut!! If it weren't for Don's spirit, energy and sense of humor, this board would have no legs, gills or fins.

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Unfortunately, both of these diminish some of the value of this board to those such as myself. Am I ever going to see a criticism of Palena, RTS, or Firefly? I've had three meals at Firefly, a lunch was so-so, and two dinners were awful. I could have avoided the last one, but I was convinced to give it one more try because of all the raves I had read here. You'd never know that because it's taboo to post it. Oh, and I don't announce that I read DR.com when I walk up to the hostess stand.
Pappy - I would hope that no one would oppose any review, positive or negative, of any restaurant here. I like to think we're an honest, responsible bunch and wouldn't be afraid to denounce an establishment for fear of excommunication from the Church of Rocks. If you had a bad experience somewhere, post about it! You're doing a disservice to others like you who might otherwise be wary of a restaurant if you DON'T post about it.

Look at me. One of my first posts was a scathing review of Citronelle. I took a few licks, but it's still up there if anyone wants to read it. And I'm still here! People don't disregard my posts just because they happen to have disagreed with one of them. On the contrary - letting people know how you feel is the first step to getting helped! The management can't improve your experience if they don't know something's wrong.

Do other people, lurkers, regulars, all; feel the same way that Pappy does? That you'll be somehow excluded or attacked ad hominem if you happen to dislike one of DR.com's "most-favored-restaurants"?

Don - maybe the solution here is to create, for each restaurant, separate threads. Maybe you could have something like:

Ray's the Steaks - Reviews

Ray's the Steaks - Chat

Or maybe split the Reviews thread into Positive and Negative so people who may feel a bit apprehensive don't have to worry about being drowned out by the other type.

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Pappy - I would hope that no one would oppose any review, positive or negative, of any restaurant here. I like to think we're an honest, responsible bunch and wouldn't be afraid to denounce an establishment for fear of excommunication from the Church of Rocks. If you had a bad experience somewhere, post about it! You're doing a disservice to others like you who might otherwise be wary of a restaurant if you DON'T post about it.

Look at me. One of my first posts was a scathing review of Citronelle. I took a few licks, but it's still up there if anyone wants to read it. And I'm still here! People don't disregard my posts just because they happen to have disagreed with one of them. On the contrary - letting people know how you feel is the first step to getting helped! The management can't improve your experience if they don't know something's wrong.

Do other people, lurkers, regulars, all; feel the same way that Pappy does? That you'll be somehow excluded or attacked ad hominem if you happen to dislike one of DR.com's "most-favored-restaurants"?

Don - maybe the solution here is to create, for each restaurant, separate threads. Maybe you could have something like:

Ray's the Steaks - Reviews

Ray's the Steaks - Chat

Or maybe split the Reviews thread into Positive and Negative so people who may feel a bit apprehensive don't have to worry about being drowned out by the other type.

post a negative review of eve and watch the hindu's go nuts.
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It's Don's board. I think he correctly considers that the benefits of chating and coziness with restaurant owners and staff creates an appealing social environment, and that simply trumps the sterile effect that might result from strictly unbias commentary.

Are you implying that Don Rockwell uses this board to grease the wheels when he visits restaurants? That never occurred to me, and I don't think it's true.

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Having experienced the wrath of the patrons of Eve, I have to say that this board is not an objective body of thought. Many people expressed to me in person as well as through PM that they do not post negative experiences or reviews about the Sacred Cows of DR.com because of the fear of what happened to me with Eve.

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Are you implying that Don Rockwell uses this board to grease the wheels when he visits restaurants? That never occurred to me, and I don't think it's true.

I did NOT suggest that Don does that. I DID suggest that others do.

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Having experienced the wrath of the patrons of Eve, I have to say that this board is not an objective body of thought. Many people expressed to me in person as well as through PM that they do not post negative experiences or reviews about the Sacred Cows of DR.com because of the fear of what happened to me with Eve.

Eve might be a little overrated. Might, I said. :unsure:

Gotta go (door slaming, girl runs away)

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This thread makes me hear Cole Porter and Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald and Johnny Green and Harry Connick, Jr., and "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off." A little snippet in the spirit of open discussion:

You like vanilla and I like vanella, you saspiralla, and I saspirella

Vanilla, vanella, chocolate, strawberry, let's call the whole thing off

But oh if we call the whole thing of then we must part

And oh, if we ever part, then that might break my heart

So if you go for oysters and I go for ersters,

I'll order oysters and cancel the ersters

For we know we need each other so we better call the calling off off,

Let's call the whole thing off.

------------------

I agree that at times it can be difficult here to post criticism of "board favorites," but overall (and not always), this group is open to differing opinions. I enjoy the posts, be they restaurant reviews, stream of consciousness discussions, or banter. I so appreciate that this site is more than restaurant reviews. It makes reading the reviews (and meeting people in person) all the more valuable to me. My vote: let's call the calling off off and let each poster decide what or how much to post (in accordance with the DR.com rules and general decency).

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more information and less chat would be a HUGE step forward. And that applies to more than just this thread.

Johnb

In the spirit of more draconian limits on arm-chair MFK Fischer binary dribble and streamlined concentration of essential, subjective information:

1. The nozzle of the mustard dispenser at the 7-11 in Mt. Pleasant is often a little crusty.

2. On Monday July 12, 2006 circa 2:38pm EST, the soap dispenser in the 2nd floor men’s room at Lucky Bar was empty.

2a. They were out of paper towels too.

3. One of the women who sings at Perry’s on Sunday brunch pees standing up.

4. Laboratory tests confirmed that my lamb liver on the Eve lamb tasting was burnt “to a crisp”.

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Are you implying that Don Rockwell uses this board to grease the wheels when he visits restaurants? That never occurred to me, and I don't think it's true.

Please note what Don has posted under the Restaurant Guide.

My personal guide of where to dine in the Washington, DC area. All meals are paid for out-of-pocket, and no comps of any type are solicited or accepted.

As for database v. chatroom I think what those who feel this board should be a database may not realize is that many of us we consider dr.com a community that happens to revolve around food. The day it stops being that is the day I no longer feel it is a good outlet for my time and efforts.

As for posting negative reviews-I do wish people would feel more comfortable doing so, even for the "sacred cows." That being said, just as a good review should be back by details, so should a negative review. Often people are jumped upon for negative reveiws because of lack of details, or unrealistic expectations because of what they have read here. Not feeling comfortable to post susbstantiated, negative comments is something that was a problem on eG and an issue Don and I have talked about here.

I can think of at least one example of where negative postings helped the restaurant. A while back posters started complaining about the change in the roasted chicken at Dino. Dean had made a change, I don't remember if it was in product or the way it was cooked, and did not realize the negative impact. Members posted about it, had a conversation with Dean on the board, and their chicken was restored. Dean appeared appreciative for the feedback. All I can say is please feel free to speak your mind, just make sure that you have the details and gumption to back it up :unsure:

Edited to add: the opinions expressed here are entirely my own and have nothing to do with Rocks and/or what he thinks/feels/believes/meditates about while in a food coma.

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Am I ever going to see a criticism of Palena, RTS, or Firefly? I've had three meals at Firefly, a lunch was so-so, and two dinners were awful. I could have avoided the last one, but I was convinced to give it one more try because of all the raves I had read here. You'd never know that because it's taboo to post it.
As someone who has complained about lackluster service at some places, tasteless food at others, long waits, surly waitstaff, etc...I've never felt the compunction to either tone it down or not post. There are some places that seem to be sacred cows but those are the minority and they offer (or seem to offer) either real good food at real good prices or are outstanding in some way that makes them so. Even so, I've gored a few of those oxen and will continue to do so whenever I think something isn't up to my lofty (sure!) standards. You have the same right and obligation (we all do). If you have consistently bad experiences at some place, it's your duty (and right) to say so.
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". . . . it's about the PEOPLE." Thus spake Rocks on the inauguration of this board. He understands as well as anyone here that trying to keep people from forming relationships, teasing each other, etc., is like pushing the ocean back with a broom. Seriously, he can't even get people to stop triple-spacing, much less to stay on topic. ;)

Some of us have met and become friends through this board and that includes certain restaurant personnel. As StephenB wrote elsewhere, teasing Michael Landrum is one of our great pleasures. Being acquainted with such people and knowing some of their trials and tribulations makes some of us hesitant to voice disparaging comments on this board. And, when it seems they are unfairly criticized either here or elsewhere, we are far more likely to jump to their defense.

That said, the people I am talking about ARE professionals and if something has gone wrong in their restaurants, either with the food or the service, they need to have it brought to their attention.

Pappy: if you don't want to tell us what was wrong with your meals at Firefly in such a public forum, I hope you will PM Johnny Rooks (Wabeck) and tell HIM. He needs to know more than we do, IMHO. Heck, I still haven't forgiven him for taking that braised lamb shoulder off the menu. :unsure:

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Having experienced the wrath of the patrons of Eve, I have to say that this board is not an objective body of thought. Many people expressed to me in person as well as through PM that they do not post negative experiences or reviews about the Sacred Cows of DR.com because of the fear of what happened to me with Eve.

Go back and see what everyone was actually upset about and you will find that a vast majority was NOT about the bad review.

In addition to some of the chattiness, it appears that way too many of us keep returning to the same places. Of course many are worthy of many return visits, but do we have to post after every meal? Come on folks do we really need to hear about the 20th time that you had the scallops at Corduory? The steak at Ray's? The pasta at Notti Bianche? The tasting menu at Komi?

How about we find some new places, and possibly have some OK meals and get some new reviews and talk going.

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I could do without the chatiness, but I also understand it's an attraction to others.
So just search when you want information and leave the chat for those that like to get to know the rest of the membership. Let us have our little "message" "board".

If you're looking for unbiased reviews, good luck. I have yet to read a restau reviewer that managed to banish the subjective.

As for sacred cows, come on. Just say what you want to say - no one is going to come to your house to smack you for it. If you issue a beat down on a place that many many people like you might get some blowback. Maybe someone might ask you to expand on your opinion, or let us in on your reasoning behind a statement or impression. I have had the nerve (the nerve!) to come down on a few board faves. But then anyone following the board attentively knows that I am frequently contrary. It's that personality thing. :unsure:

Edit: forgot to insert little winky thing indicating irony.

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How about we find some new places, and possibly have some OK meals and get some new reviews and talk going.

Why don't I?

Because honestly I have one life to live and don't make a whole lot of money. I want less OK meals in my life...I feel about food the same way I feel about people. I want less OK people, more good ones.

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Why don't I?

Because honestly I have one life to live and don't make a whole lot of money. I want less OK meals in my life...I feel about food the same way I feel about people. I want less OK people, more good ones.

DING! DING! DING! I believe we have a winner here. This is EXACTLY why our standard is Corduroy and not Citronelle or Maestro. So sue me.
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DING! DING! DING! I believe we have a winner here. This is EXACTLY why our standard is Corduroy and not Citronelle or Maestro. So sue me.

RIF. What are you talking about? Who said anything about only going to Citronelle or Maestro or similar? You mean to tell me that everyone on this site only eats at the DR.com annointed places? I am not preventing or even suggesting that anyone not go to their favorites. GMAFB! I was just commenting on the lack of new information and the constant posting about one's 50th experience at the same place. I really don't think that anyone would be interested in hearing about my (lately weekly) visits to Ray's for dinner.

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I was just commenting on the lack of new information and the constant posting about one's 50th experience at the same place. I really don't think that anyone would be interested in hearing about my (lately weekly) visits to Ray's for dinner.
I'm in agreement here - not that your constant purple prose re RTS would offend me, but that reading about the same old same old induces board fatigue.

I do, however, think that the board does a decent job at bringing up new places. The problem starts when not enough people give them a try to have a conversation about it.

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RIF. What are you talking about? Who said anything about only going to Citronelle or Maestro or similar? You mean to tell me that everyone on this site only eats at the DR.com annointed places? I am not preventing or even suggesting that anyone not go to their favorites. GMAFB! I was just commenting on the lack of new information and the constant posting about one's 50th experience at the same place. I really don't think that anyone would be interested in hearing about my (lately weekly) visits to Ray's for dinner.

I think this whole new thread is funny. About a month ago, on the RTS thread, I posted this: "Does this infernal place have to get mentioned day after day after day?". ROCKS DELETED IT! Why? I don't know. Now it comes up as its own topic. Like I said, funny.

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I agree with the statement that there's a lot of repetition in some of the threads. Landrum burns a good steak...we know, thank you. I've had it. It rules, and I'm confident that it STILL rules. As much as I appreciate the service of the 'everything is ok alarm' (If it stops going off, something is not ok!) it does get tedious after a while. It always kind of struck me, the spiteful, cynical (jealous :unsure: ) bastard I am, as a statement of "Hey, look where I ate! My dinner was better than YOUR dinner!" And as the guy who probably didn't eat anywhere of note this week, let alone this month (Not true THIS month, but as a general trend...), there's only so much of this you can read before it begins tearing at the very fabric of your being. Or something. Point is: there was an administrative announcement a while back about going easy on the "The $popular_item at $popular_restaurant is still really great!" posts and highlighting the new and different, or the extraordinary experiences or interesting anecdotes, at least in regards to the high-traffic threads, and I still agree with it.

As to the 'database' vs 'chatroom' argument, the day this place starts veering too much towards 'database', I'll be having a Guinness at the back table at Tonic, and you're welcome to join me! :P

(And yes, we can throttle back the 'everything's ok alarm' and not turn into a database...on a forum, there must be balance. This understanding can be extended to all things. ;) )

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I think this whole new thread is funny. About a month ago, on the RTS thread, I posted this: "Does this infernal place have to get mentioned day after day after day?". ROCKS DELETED IT! Why? I don't know. Now it comes up as its own topic. Like I said, funny.
The minds of the everlasting gods are not changed suddenly.

-Homer

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In addition to some of the chattiness, it appears that way too many of us keep returning to the same places. Of course many are worthy of many return visits, but do we have to post after every meal?....How about we find some new places, and possibly have some OK meals and get some new reviews and talk going.

I think this is an excellent point, and I also count myself among the "guilty". Of course we all would like to get out more and broaden our experience of what the region has to offer, and I don't mean to imply this is easy. But if the gastronomic commentary here were to become more diverse, the chattiness would diminish naturally, not as the result of a conscious policy. I don't think such a natural shift would necessarily be a bad thing.

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The minds of the everlasting gods are not changed suddenly.

-Homer

Oh please, please do not EVEN begin to make that anology....

I would like to weigh in, I enjoy the chattiness. (even though the majority of my chatty posts DISSAPPEAR). I don't think there is anyone holding a gun to someones head to read all the RTS stuff. I know I don't...I just skim over it. Gleam what you can from this board, ignore the rest if it so suits you. If not, go someplace else. Goodness it is so simple! :unsure:

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I believe there is a current opportunity for this board to pick up a great many new members from Chowhound which has a new and, apparently, very unpopular new format. For those coming from a board like CH threads like RTS (and there is only one other thread that has more hits which is an all encompassing thread-not directed to a specific restaurant) are very frustrating. A cliqiush type of tone has developed within it which sometimes reads like a competition to see who can rave more creatively about the restaurant. That type of tone, for some, can detract from the overall flavor of the board. Some may feel that the focus on RTS is coming at the expense of other restaurants, especially new ones that may warrant a mention or a visit.

Edited by Joe H
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Unfortunately on most internet boards certain people/places/things/ become Sacred Cows...go make fun of Marco Etchevery or Jaime Moreno on the DC United boards at your own peril.

Can some of the one liners be toned down on DR - sure

Can negative reviews be more accepted on DR - sure

after all we are talking about food here...not every restaurant or dish is to everyone's taste.

But, let's face it, what started on Chowhound and eG has grown to a full fledged community on DR. Picnics, happy hours, chats with chefs, blowout dinners, cook offs, tastings, community service/fundraisers...and most importantly friendships that would never have occured...have all been possible because of DR. I'll trade that for a little chatiness or a 25 page Ray's The Steaks thread.

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I think this is an excellent point, and I also count myself among the "guilty". Of course we all would like to get out more and broaden our experience of what the region has to offer, and I don't mean to imply this is easy. But if the gastronomic commentary here were to become more diverse, the chattiness would diminish naturally, not as the result of a conscious policy. I don't think such a natural shift would necessarily be a bad thing.
I think the bottom line is that, to keep an open forum where people are comfortable with sharing their opinions and interacting socially, you CAN'T place restrictions on what people post. #1 it would be impossible to enforce without the mods going crazy and losing their jobs, and #2 if people were afraid of walking on eggshells all the time we'd see a lot of regulars going bye-bye and a lot of potential new users with their fascinating new insights not signing up.

I think the best thing to do is, not place restrictions, but change the way things are organized. Maybe split the Restaurants and Dining category into "Regular Hangouts" and "New Digs." Once a restaurant gets more than 10 or 15 pages, its sent to the hangouts category. That way all our favorite restaurants could be filled with people chatting about them, and any new restaurants that people want to rave about would have some time in the sun.

Then maybe split the threads ever FURTHER. Ray's the Steaks - Positive, Ray's the Steaks - Negative, Ray's the Steak - Social, etc.

This way, people looking for reviews would know where to go, people looking for some chatting know where to go, and no one will feel overwhelmed by all the "DR-annointed-places" when trying to post about a new favorite.

Am I crazy? I know I happen to love breaking things down into categories. You should see my desk at work. I order filing tabs in bulk.

In the end, unless you put in restrictions, the onus of posting about new restaurants or being nice to people who knock on the sacred cows is on the posters themselves. So maybe have some reminders in the stickies on posting recommendations? Try new restaurants! Eat somewhere new! Don't put someone down for a negative review! Always floss!

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I think the best thing to do is, not place restrictions, but change the way things are organized. Maybe split the Restaurants and Dining category into "Regular Hangouts" and "New Digs." Once a restaurant gets more than 10 or 15 pages, its sent to the hangouts category. That way all our favorite restaurants could be filled with people chatting about them, and any new restaurants that people want to rave about would have some time in the sun.

Then maybe split the threads ever FURTHER. Ray's the Steaks - Positive, Ray's the Steaks - Negative, Ray's the Steak - Social, etc.

I actually kinda like idea #1.

But for idea #2, what about a meal where one entree is awful but the service and the appetizers were great?

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I think the bottom line is that, to keep an open forum where people are comfortable with sharing their opinions and interacting socially, you CAN'T place restrictions on what people post. #1 it would be impossible to enforce without the mods going crazy and losing their jobs, and #2 if people were afraid of walking on eggshells all the time we'd see a lot of regulars going bye-bye and a lot of potential new users with their fascinating new insights not signing up.

I agree with this. It just depends on who you are if you are restricted on what you say. I have been called everything but a child of god via PM, based on some of my comments. I was told in so many words that is this not an open fourm....which I think it should be.

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I like the chattiness.

In fact, I wish we could have more of it and it was even more irreverant. I know that at this point the majority of the members here on DR.com were not part of the community over on eG. But look back at threads there from 2003 and early 2004 and you'll see what I mean. There was chattiness to be sure. But there was also a bit of an edge. Real praise and real criticism, often with a sense of humor about it. If you made your opinion known you had better have been ready to back it up with some real substantive information. But it was free-wheeling and informative.

It might have been a bit hard to break into the banter, but the rewards were far greater than simply searching a page or asking "I'm coming to DC next week. What are the can't miss dishes at Ray's the Steaks?"

Its the steak, dumb-ass. Next question.

I think I'm a pretty nice guy, but in the end I like a bit of edge.

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I like the chattiness.

In fact, I wish we could have more of it and it was even more irreverant. I know that at this point the majority of the members here on DR.com were not part of the community over on eG. But look back at threads there from 2003 and early 2004 and you'll see what I mean. There was chattiness to be sure. But there was also a bit of an edge. Real praise and real criticism, often with a sense of humor about it. If you made your opinion known you had better have been ready to back it up with some real substantive information. But it was free-wheeling and informative.

It might have been a bit hard to break into the banter, but the rewards were far greater than simply searching a page or asking "I'm coming to DC next week. What are the can't miss dishes at Ray's the Steaks?"

Its the steak, dumb-ass. Next question.

I think I'm a pretty nice guy, but in the end I like a bit of edge.

Agree with you here. This board is too formal.

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Having experienced the wrath of the patrons of Eve, I have to say that this board is not an objective body of thought. Many people expressed to me in person as well as through PM that they do not post negative experiences or reviews about the Sacred Cows of DR.com because of the fear of what happened to me with Eve.
I would not let the mere possibility of people disagreeing with you stop you from posting about anything, particularly about a not so great experience at any given restaurant. I though Restaurant Eve was overrated...TO ME. I've only had a single experience there, so perhaps I am being unfair, but, TO ME, it is not worth the drive there to try again. At least not yet.

We all have lousy, or at least not so great, restaurant experiences. I think it is as important, or perhaps even more important, to know about those experiences from others than just the good experiences...

JMHO

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Agree with you here. This board is too formal.
I'm doing my best. A girl only has so many hours in the day.

No one suggesting that we go to off-topic chat. Let's not fix what's not broken, please. Those of us who like a little back and forth (know what I mean?) can have at it, and those that want straight info can buy Tom Sietsema's book or something.

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But the problem is putting all of this under ONE restaurant: Ray's the Steaks. There are thousands of restaurants in the greater D. C. area that are worth a visit and a mention. Reading through the RTS thread I've often wondered if people even go anywhere else? I've also wondered if the SENSE OF COMMUNITY ON ROCKWELL'S BOARD isn't being organized through this one restaurant with its owner acting as moderator; at times it seems to have become a Ray's the Steaks community NOT a Don Rockwell board community?

I'm not saying a single word about the food or the experience. I'm just talking about so much attention and energy revolving around the restaurant. It's not a question of whether it's worthy of it or not; rather that there must be other places that people can reference within their community. At some point I believe that the disproportionate focus on RTS "flavors" the board with a bias that is counter productive.

For me the board is the focus. Not a restaurant which is one of many that people should know about and experience.

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I've been to Ray's exactly twice, once on my own and once as part of a DR.com organised dinner. So the board, for me, does NOT revolve around this one restaurant. That's a pretty far-fetched claim. Although the idea of Landrum as moderator is hilarious.

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But the problem is putting all of this under ONE restaurant: Ray's the Steaks. There are thousands of restaurants in the greater D. C. area that are worth a visit and a mention. Reading through the RTS thread I've often wondered if people even go anywhere else? I've also wondered if the SENSE OF COMMUNITY ON ROCKWELL'S BOARD isn't being organized through this one restaurant with its owner acting as moderator; at times it seems to have become a Ray's the Steaks community NOT a Don Rockwell board community?

I'm not saying a single word about the food or the experience. I'm just talking about so much attention and energy revolving around the restaurant. It's not a question of whether it's worthy of it or not; rather that there must be other places that people can reference within their community. At some point I believe that the disproportionate focus on RTS "flavors" the board with a bias that is counter productive.

For me the board is the focus. Not a restaurant which is one of many that people should know about and experience.

As any one else noticed that ML gets to post whatever he wants, no matter what?

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