Reviews Interrupted

Unbelievable. That’s all I can say. I’ve decided to start a food blog because I think that will be more fun to write than a diet blog. The domain has been purchased. The blog is setup. All I need now is an establishment to review. You wouldn’t think that would be terribly difficult in a city the size of Indianapolis but I also don’t want to publish a bad review as my first post.

A few weeks ago I won a five pack of Mexican restaurant gift cards from my Twitter friend Nikki over at WZPL. So I said to myself, “Myself, what a great way to kick the blog off with a series of Mexican restaurant reviews!” Unfortunately at the restaurant I chose as the first stop not only was the service lacking and the food mediocre but the gift card I had won from the radio station did not work.

Ok, not the start I wanted to give to my new fancy shmancy food blog.

Fast forward to today and I see a review from a real (read: paid) critic in the electronic version of the local dead tree gazette (which so happens to also be the establishment from which I receive paychecks). The review is for a new burger joint down the street from my cubicized place of employment. This should be a great opportunity to start my food blog with a post that the rest of the food bloggers and writers in our humble metropolis (sans my coworker) has yet to review. I grabbed my umbrella and head out into the hazy drizzle prepared to review downtown’s newest burger joint, Punch.

I didn’t get to Punch until late in the lunch hour and the signs of trouble were already apparent. The line stretched to the door and was not moving as the employees running the register seemed to be struggling with their shiny new technology. After you order you step around the corner and wait for your number to be called from the open 5-Guys-esque kitchen. An apparent technology failure had the staff running around with a lost puppy dog look on their faces while the owner came back out into the crowd asking what everybody had ordered.

A helpful note to potential restauranteurs – multiple studies have shown that dirty underwear does nothing to increase the appetites of a potential diner in your establishment. Armed with that knowledge it might make for good employee policy to require your grill cook’s pants to be pulled up over his ass when he is in full view of customers.

I just couldn’t bring myself to launch my new blog by reviewing Punch. Why? I may be a critical SOB but I’ve also been there. I’ve started two restaurants in my lifetime and managed a third. The frustration that an owner and manager feels when simple things snowball downhill and become an avalanche cannot be described. You stand there with a smile on your face taking the customer complaints while in reality the only thing you want to do is go into the back room and Punch (not the kind of way I like to work a restaurants name back into a review) random food type product in your walk-in until your knuckles bleed.

The decor was unique. The food was good. The concept of locally sourced ingredients is outstanding. Everything else, meh. Even though I am probably losing my ‘exclusive’ review to the other, more established food blogs, I will try Punch again in a few weeks and see if they have been able to overcome their service and technology issues.

By the way, the picture is from day 2 of this month’s Beards for Breast Cancer awareness campaign. Check out the original post or head over to their website and donate to help end this dastardly disease.