There is a Mexican restaurant in my city that I absolutely love. It is, by far, my favorite Mexican restaurant in the city, and at one point in my life I was going once a week. Every time I go I order the bean nachos. They bake the beans, cheese, and jalapenos on to each chip. Each chip! It’s like a nacho pizza!
I love this place, and I try to bring my friends so that they can experience this delicious meal. I tell them how great this place is, and how great their nachos are. And, as though trying to mock me, each and every one of them orders something other than the nachos.
Not All Experiences Are Created Equal
I told them about the nachos. I told them how delicious the nachos are. I speak highly of this restaurant because they have the best nachos I have ever tasted. And instead, they order the Quesadillas or the Tijuana Caesar and then give me some spiel about how it’s “okay” and then they tell me all about some other restaurant they like and blah blah blah.
Then I give them one of my nachos and they rave over how delicious it is and I want to punch them in the face.
I SAID NACHOS
This is a weakness of almost every review website. Reading what someone thinks of the food at a restaurant is useful, but it’s not nearly as useful if you order something other than what the individual ordered. I told them that the nachos were delicious. They ordered something other than nachos. This makes their experience completely different than my experience.
Whenever you use review websites to read up on restaurants, take the reviews with a grain of salt and focus instead on the overall rating (which should average out all experiences and, hopefully, all meals). Unless you plan to order exactly what the reviewer ordered (and you trust their opinion enough to believe that they have good taste), your experience is still going to be unique, no matter how many people recommend the restaurant.