What goes into writing a restaurant review?

Mark-John Clifford

Me and PattiMark-John Clifford-Author

What's the job of a food critic? That question is tough for me since I worked in restaurants most of my life in some way, and food critics were the scourge of the business.

Think about this, in one night, think opening night, a food critic can come in and ruin your future with their opinion. The odds of that food critic returning is rare; if they do, it takes years and a gazillion comments about the food to bring them back.

Not all food critics are like that, but many are, and that's what a restaurant business has to look forward to.

Our Way

Let me start with this background on how I was taught to be a good food critic.

When I was working for restaurants, I talked to many food critics after they posted their reviews and tried to get them to come back and try us again.

A Recent FavoriteMark-John Clifford-Author

I learned they were primarily concerned with consistency as my uncle ran his restaurants.

My uncle swore on consistency in his restaurants. He believed that if his restaurant couldn't be consistent, there wasn't room for success.

I also learned to believe in that philosophy, and it was why I would argue with food critics who had given a bad review o our restarts to come back and give us another chance.

Now Patti and I keep returning to our favorite restaurants and new ones we discover to give you honest reviews of the food, service, and anything else we deem important. Stuff like cleanliness and management and how they handle issues that arise.

I know many comments lately have been about our complaining and ratings of restaurants, and readers don't want that.

One of our FavoritesHappenable.com

I can understand their thinking that we are coming down hard on these restaurants, but honestly, we give them a chance each time we go.

Even when we have had a bad experience, we still go back knowing that it could've been a stormy night so let's give them another chance.

We believe that restaurants are bound to have bad nights, and it is our job to review them honestly so the reader will know what to expect. It doesn't mean the night you go isn't perfect, but it's about consistency.

I recall going to the same restaurant thrice a week, and out of those three times, they were consistent, maybe twice or possibly once. Perhaps it was the food that night or service another night, but consistency is essential for people dining.

We know we can't please everyone, but we know in our hearts we are being honest and want readers to know what's going on out there.

Another FavoriteYelp

If we only wrote great reviews, which we have, one reader would go and have a bad night and comment on our review and complain. So we determined it's better to be honest, and give the restaurants a chance by constantly returning to eat and review.

We feel this is the best way to give you great recommendations and reviews that are honest and not paid.

That's key to remember; we don't get paid for these reviews by the restaurants r anyone else.

We make money from posting our reviews here on NewsBreak, which is based on views and other metrics, but News Break hasn't given us an assignment to review any restaurant we check out.

We dine where and when we want. We don't make it to all the grand openings, but we feature restaurants we've eaten at and want you to try.

We also read all the comments, and most time, we do reply. I may miss a few here and there, but I do my best to answer in some way to most of them.

Another FavoriteGoogle

We also take in our reader's suggestions for places to check out and review. We now have a list of places we haven't been to for dining to check out and review, and we will.


We're very excited that we have been invited to our first grand opening of a restaurant in town this Wednesday evening due to our work here on NewsBreak. It's a huge honor for us to be invited.

We'll have that review this week after Wednesday, so keep on the lookout.

That covers everything we wanted to explain. We hope you will continue to follow us here on NewsBreak and on DelPaggio's Cucina, where we share recipes, videos, and a lot of pizza reviews.

Thanks as always, and Buon Appetito!

Mark and Patti

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Patti, my wife, and I write about life here in Fresno, California, and the Central Valley. We especially enjoy writing reviews about restaurants we've dined at, along with the food that is served. From time to time, we also write about and share recipes that we are fond of and hope you'll try them and let us know your thoughts. We are not traditional food critics. We don't have to worry about restaurants making unique dishes for us. We're just the average customer going in to dine, and then we write reviews.

Fresno, CA

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