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Old 09-07-2014, 09:50 PM   #21
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I only look at yelp and yelp is a great source since tons of people post their experiences and even photos.

Robnplunder,

I haven't seen a cockroach since I moved to the Bay Area over a decade ago (and I have lived in a condo as well as next to a hoarder). I didn't realize they were around. (I used to live in AZ and I have seen them there.)


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I saw them in restaurants in Hayward, Fremont areas since I live around there.

Yup, we got cockroaches in California. I lived in LA some 36 years ago in a crowded apartment. At night, when I turned on a kitchen light to get a drink of water, 100s of cockroaches will scatter like crazy. I think the only place cockroaches don't live are north and south poles.
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Old 09-08-2014, 05:58 AM   #22
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I stick with reviews on OpenTable. I've found them to be reasonably accurate, but the problem is the reviews are limited to the restaurants you can make reservations for via their website. Fine in a metropolitan area, but not so much outside that. The worst sites are the ones that purport to be review sites but are IMO clearly supporting advertisers, like Phantom Gourmet in New England.
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Old 09-08-2014, 07:45 AM   #23
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For the user reviews on these type of sites - it seems good reviews generally note food quality/presentation whereas bad reviews note poor service/cleanliness/inattentiveness. To me poor service should not imply poor food.
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"Best Restaurants" incorrect in your area (TripAdvisor, Urbanspoon, etc.)?
Old 09-08-2014, 07:53 AM   #24
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"Best Restaurants" incorrect in your area (TripAdvisor, Urbanspoon, etc.)?

I was home hunting earlier this summer, staying at a B&B, and didn't want to mess with making dinner.

There is an independent newspaper I like called the Independent. They publish an annual "Best Of..." edition that includes restaurants. I just checked those out and had a bunch of great meals during my stay.

Edit: I had a URL up but it takes you to their app download. The site is indyweek.com
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Old 09-08-2014, 10:46 AM   #25
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I know the restaurant reviewer at the metro newspaper in my area. She's a fount of knowledge on food of all types. So, when I want to get the skinny on a restaurant in my area I consult the newspaper website for a review I can rely on. One caveat: I usually prefer going to places that have been reviewed awhile ago because places that were recently reviewed can be mobbed by hungry patrons.

Similarly, when we're traveling out of town I check the nearest big-city paper in the area to see if they have any recommendations.
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Old 09-08-2014, 11:17 AM   #26
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Chinese and Mexican ones are the worst. As we were dining one day at a table next to a wall, we saw a good size cockroach slowly making its way across the wall. And the cockroaches are nocturnal to begin with. Imagine how many will come out when the lights go out in the restaurant at night. Needless to say, we never went back.
I could link to this posting from the thread entitled "Why the Midwest"

No cockroaches here in Minnesota
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Old 09-08-2014, 11:36 AM   #27
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I could link to this posting from the thread entitled "Why the Midwest"

No cockroaches here in Minnesota
Sure there are cockroaches in the midwest. But they are friendlier and don't have attitudes like the ones from the coasts.
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Old 09-08-2014, 12:25 PM   #28
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I could link to this posting from the thread entitled "Why the Midwest"

No cockroaches here in Minnesota

Cockroaches can be a source emergency food in case of a nuclear blast, a meteor strike, etc.. They live on nothing, and multiply like crazy. Minnesota should introduce these cockroaches in all their major cities.
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Old 09-08-2014, 12:30 PM   #29
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I get the feeling that the ratings are pretty accurate for my area. We are in Yelp country and restaurants get many reviews, which probably increases accuracy.
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Old 09-08-2014, 01:34 PM   #30
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The local paper or other local organization is usually the best source of ranking by local voters. The review based sites are often highly skewed, but reading an individual review can be very useful, and places with lots of reviews are worth paying attention to.
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Old 09-08-2014, 03:15 PM   #31
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I'm very reluctant to broadbrush Chinese or Buffet Restaurants... The proof is in the visit.
I've heard the "OMG buffets are gross who would ever want to eat food from a trough what is wrong why not find a real restaurant?" comments before.

I don't get it. Is the food good or not? Sure, the food is sitting in a steam table but does that severely impact the quality, flavor, texture, etc? Sometimes the food is good enough. I'm okay getting 4 star food if I can get a wide variety of 4 star food.

Variety is good, especially when you have kids. And a wife that likes sushi more than you do. We have a nice Chinese buffet in the neighborhood that's pretty good (though not the best at any one particular thing). Every few months we hit it up and DW gets her fill of sushi and I eat a few pieces but mostly enjoy other stuff. She says the sushi is good but a little light on the fish/eel/whatever compared to the more expensive sushi places she occasionally visits.

More often, I'll walk to the restaurant and grab a plate of take out from the buffet. $4.29 per lb means it's almost as cheap as buying the ingredients at the grocery store. In fact, we get a lot of dumpings/potstickers that are $6/lb or more at the Asian grocery store, so we are actually saving money by buying off the buffet.

Rarely are we disappointed. You can usually tell if something has been sitting out all day. I also pay attention to the time of day. Visit at 3:00 when they aren't very busy and you might get lunch leftovers that have been sitting in the steam table trays for 2 hours. Visit at 5:30 and you'll probably get steaming hot freshly cooked food since they are packed with diners and replacing the food as fast as they can.
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Old 09-08-2014, 03:32 PM   #32
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I've heard the "OMG buffets are gross who would ever want to eat food from a trough what is wrong why not find a real restaurant?" comments before.

I don't get it. Is the food good or not?
Typically not good food in "cheap" Chinese buffet restaurants. It's quantity over quality for many, IMO. They typically cook in large pots and some part of food won't be cooked evenly. Because profit margin is so thin, they will have to use lower quality meat/fish, employee lesser cooks, etc.. We eat at Chinese buffet for a quick bite when we are very hungry.
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Old 09-08-2014, 10:31 PM   #33
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A friend was a restaurant reviewer for a local paper. I would go with him at times to the restaurant. He told me he was never to give a bad review.
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Old 09-10-2014, 08:35 AM   #34
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Typically not good food in "cheap" Chinese buffet restaurants. It's quantity over quality for many, IMO. They typically cook in large pots and some part of food won't be cooked evenly. Because profit margin is so thin, they will have to use lower quality meat/fish, employee lesser cooks, etc.. We eat at Chinese buffet for a quick bite when we are very hungry.
I usually visit a bad chinese buffet exactly once. After that bad experience it's on to the good ones that are consistent. Are the ingredients cheaper? Some are. Chicken and pork is rather cheap locally, so that tends to be the bulk of the meat. It's also the majority of the meat we consume at home!

But the salmon and beef don't seem to be inexpensive. The salmon is almost certainly previously frozen, as is almost all the salmon we buy at the grocery store for under $10/lb.
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Old 09-10-2014, 12:34 PM   #35
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