Food markets are one of the most awesome foodie experiences ever. Despite the rains and thunderstorm beating against my windshield, I braved the Skyway to grab a taste of some of the most delectable food bites south of the Metro. Plus I got to be a food critic for a day.
There were a lot of people, all wanting to sample the best of the best that Mercato has to offer. True enough, the concessionaires did not disappoint. It was as good as I had expected and more.
There were a few standouts, though there were two that I regretted ever having tasted. I won’t talk about them, I shall mention the ones the truly wowed me. I love the Red Velvet Crinkles by Little Bites Bakery.
The wife in the picture is Charmaine and she makes the delicious crinkles. I must say that it is most amazing crinkles there is.
Being a food critic is not for the faint of heart. There are several factors that will affect the taste of the food being reviewed, plus there are other factors to consider. Here’s my personal list of things to consider when doing a food review.
Things to remember when doing a food review
- Never review food when you are hungry. Because if you are, you will not be able to discern the little tastes and flavors, all you want to do is swallow and stuff yourself. Being full doesn’t necessarily make the food stand out from the rest. You want to taste the difference of ice cream flavors between two different ice cream makers? Take a spoonful of one brand, press it against your palate until you get the full taste. Also watch out for the after-taste immediately after you have swallowed the ice cream. Then wash your palate with water and wait a few minutes before trying the other brand. You can’t do this if you are hungry.
- Service is half the food experience. When reviewing a restaurant, consider the service. Are they prompt, attentive and helpful? Personally, I always look for “situations” when I am reviewing a restaurant. It brings out the real quality of the customer service. One time I was dining in a fast casual restaurant when I realized that the noodles served were too soggy and that I wanted them al dente. So without touching the food too much, I informed the waiter about my request and, without asking too many questions, he dutifully took my plate and changed the pasta with something more al dente. I still eat there to this day. Bad service, good food is still a bad experience overall.
- Play by the rules and don’t be a diva. Don’t threaten a restaurant owner by telling them that you will blog against them if they don’t give you what you want. Remember that as a food critic, restaurants are your friends, not enemies, or worse, victims. You are there to help them improve by giving honest feedback, not victimize them for free food. Don’t demand for freebies by playing the “do-you-know-who-i-am” card. Have the decency to pay for your food and tip appropriately if you like the service. A good relationship with a restaurant will go further than free meals, your reputation will flourish among your peers as well.
- Don’t blog when you’re angry. Yes, I have been guilty of this quite a few times, though it doesn’t mean I didn’t learn from it. I did, bigtime. If you have a complaint against the restaurant, rude waiter, wrong bill computation and the like, take it up with upper management directly. If you blog about it right away, (boy, don’t I know this to be true) you will say all sorts of unsavory things many of which will probably be far from the truth and will make your integrity suffer in the long run. So be mindful of the things you say, not easy to do, especially online where your words will linger in cyberspace for the rest of eternity. Or until you delete the post.
- There is a reason why they call it degustation. Originally a French word, meaning to taste in small portions. And with good reason. If you stuff yourself with one dish, you will not taste the others. I’ve been on a food tour that allowed me to taste from more than 20 restaurants in 5 hours or so. It was the first time I felt my palate go numb. Anything I ate after the nth restaurant tasted the same as the previous three. I couldn’t tell what I was tasting if not for the signs. Thus I couldn’t just say ‘tastes like chicken’. The waiter replied “sir, that is chicken.”
If you are up to the challenge, like their FB page and join us next time. I assure you, a wonderful time awaits!