Bob Martinez's Profile

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Snake oil . Or are supplements necessary in your diet ?

I too am only good for a single cold a year. I attribute it to the same technique Uncle Fredo used to catch fish in Godfather 2. At the start of every month I say a Hail Mary and pray that God will protect me from colds.

It works for me so it must be effective!

about 11 hours ago
Bob Martinez in Not About Food

Snake oil . Or are supplements necessary in your diet ?

"Checking out of this thread now. Wow, talk about false assumptions, jumping to conclusions, and stereotyping; I don't believe I have ever before had so many words put in my mouth for me!"

Your own words speak for themselves quite nicely. Your opening paragraph -

"Interesting. OK, for one thing, doctors know NOTHING about health or nutrition, much less supplements. Our medical system is not set up to promote health; even our insurance only pays for symptom treatment. Doctors are fairly good mechanics and ham-handed chemists. It's not their fault - it's how they are trained and how the system works. I know first-hand that this bothers a lot of them."

Then you go on for more than 450 words - more broad sweeping statements. And then you wonder why you got the reception you did?

about 13 hours ago
Bob Martinez in Not About Food

I'm the turtle at the table .

Bingo. That's really considerate of you.

Snake oil . Or are supplements necessary in your diet ?

Great post Phil. You're a far more patient person than me.

Mar 28, 2015
Bob Martinez in Not About Food

Snake oil . Or are supplements necessary in your diet ?

Steve Jobs just contacted me from the Great Beyond. He said "Tell Sandy she's wrong."

Snake oil . Or are supplements necessary in your diet ?

You know who tried to fight his cancer with natural remedies?

Steve Jobs.

At the end of his life he deeply regretted it.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwal...

Snake oil . Or are supplements necessary in your diet ?

Are your kids vaccinated?

Mar 27, 2015
Bob Martinez in Not About Food

Snake oil . Or are supplements necessary in your diet ?

Does that work for everybody, because it sure didn't for me.

Mar 27, 2015
Bob Martinez in Not About Food

Snake oil . Or are supplements necessary in your diet ?

I take blood pressure meds and atorvastatin, a generic form of Lipitor. I've been doing it for ten years and my blood pressure went from dangerously high to normal. So did my cholesterol. I'd be dead without those drugs.

You want polio back? Do you miss smallpox? Long for malaria?

Why not move to a small African nation. One where you can escape the evils of modern medicine. It will be a paradise. Be sure you skip all those deadly vaccines before you leave for your trip. Seek out their natural remedies instead.

Let us know how that works out.

Snake oil . Or are supplements necessary in your diet ?

What did your doctor say about this plan?

Mar 27, 2015
Bob Martinez in Not About Food

sing wu - pork with szechuan hot cabbage

Hello 2002! Greetings from the Future!

Mar 27, 2015
Bob Martinez in Manhattan

Business lunch, Tribeca

City Hall would work. Nice atmosphere, well made food. Not particularly adventurous but depending on who your companions are that might be an advantage.

http://www.cityhallny.com/

Mar 27, 2015
Bob Martinez in Manhattan

Yelper Dan, Has Been a Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad Boy....Local Chinese Restaurant Calls Out Dishonest Yelper With Surveillance Footage

That's a great analysis of how the sites differ. I agree 100%.

Yelper Dan, Has Been a Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad Boy....Local Chinese Restaurant Calls Out Dishonest Yelper With Surveillance Footage

There's some truth to what you say but, as you mentioned with Sripraphai, there are also exceptions.

Take Kao Soy, the very good Thai place that opened in out of the way Red Hook last year.

The first Yelp review, a 4 star, was written on 9/21/14. The 2nd, a 5 star, was written on 9/30. The 3rd, also a 5 star, on 10/3. The 4th, another 5 star, on 10/6.

There was a total of *nine* Yelp reviews, all glowing, written before the first CH review appeared on 10/24/14.

What bugs me is that some people around here, not you of course, go around patting themselves on the back congratulating themselves on how smart we all are. "Those Yelpers are morons. They know nothing. We're the ones who discover all the great off the beaten track restaurants." Maybe it's time to rethink that assumption.

Another example - Pippali, an Indian place in Curry Hill. Last year I was looking to expand my circle of Indian restaurants. The info on CH was *really* limited. Then I tried Yelp and found Pippali, a 4 star place. I read a bunch of reviews carefully and found most were credible. I've now been there twice and it's been terrific.

Do you know how many Yelp reviews Pippali has? 298.

Do you know how many CH posts mentioned Pippali? 10.

I like Yelp because of it's wide coverage. It's not perfect - what is? But it can be a valuable resource.

Yelper Dan, Has Been a Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad Boy....Local Chinese Restaurant Calls Out Dishonest Yelper With Surveillance Footage

Mike, I just checked your profile and see you live in NYC. So do I. That's good because I'm going to use some specific examples and you'll be familiar with them.

The central question for me is this - does Yelp get it right? Are their overall ratings accurate?

I'm going to list a number of restaurants that are well regarded on CH followed by their Yelp ratings.

Maialino - 4 Yelp stars

EMP - 4.5 Yelp stars

Kao Soy - 4.5 Yelp stars

Roberta's - 4 Yelp stars

Sripraphai - 4 Yelp stars

Juni - 4.5 Yelp stars

Ayada - 4 Yelp stars

Little Pepper - 4 Yelp stars

Atera - 4.5 Yelp stars

and just for fun ...

Olive Garden (Elmhurst) - 2.5 Yelp stars

I could go on but I think you can see what I'm driving at - Yelp gets the overall ratings right. The idiots who give a restaurant 1 star because they didn't like the color of the tablecloth are more than balanced out by the reasonable people.

Personally, I'm like you in that I prefer CH's format where you can have a group discussion about a restaurant but that doesn't mean that Yelp is useless. If you're an experienced diner you can weigh the credibility of Yelp reviews (see my "balanced review" comment above.) If you see a consensus of credible posters saying positive things you can be 95% sure that a place will be good.

ETA - my original "balanced review" post

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1008...

Yelper Dan, Has Been a Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad Boy....Local Chinese Restaurant Calls Out Dishonest Yelper With Surveillance Footage

I don't think that's a meaningful difference. CH has established posters that are widely viewed as having extra credibility.

Speaking specifically about the CH membership, it's not like you have to pass a detailed culinary exam in order to join CH. *Anybody* can join. You don't have to know anything.

It's not like everyone on Yelp is a moron and we're all geniuses over here. We have our share of dummies. I think Yelp has a higher percentage of jerks but it's still just a small part of their membership.

I find remarks like "all Yelpers are morons" and "Yelp is useless" to be misguided at best. It's a resource that can provide valuable information if you know how to use it.

Yelper Dan, Has Been a Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad Boy....Local Chinese Restaurant Calls Out Dishonest Yelper With Surveillance Footage

Why is Chowhound different than Yelp?

Yes, CH prohibits accusations of food poisoning. Other than that, I don't see any difference.

Yelper Dan, Has Been a Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad Boy....Local Chinese Restaurant Calls Out Dishonest Yelper With Surveillance Footage

Let me confess one of my guilty pleasures. I *love* reading 1 star Yelp reviews.

They're east to find. Under the heading "Recommended Yelp Reviews" there's an option to sort by Rating. Click it. Once you do the default sort groups from highest to lowest but you can reverse that. There's a little downward pointing triangle next to Ratings. Click it and there they are - all the 1 star stupid reviews grouped for your reading pleasure.

Let me start you off. In my earlier post I mentioned that ratings of ethnic places can sometimes be unreliable. Here's my favorite 1 star review of a very good Sichuan place in NYC. The NY Times loved the place and the Yelp reviews averaged 4 stars. And then there's this, written by someone who had no idea Sichuan food is supposed to be spicy -

----------------------------------------
I reserve my 1 star ratings for only the truly abhorrent and abominable. That is why I have not given a 1 star rating on Yelp since August 2011... Until now...

Yes, Spicy & Tasty is truly that horrible to warrant 1 star. I visited the restaurant upon the recommendation of a friend. I had never been to Flushing before, but have been to Chinatown in downtown Manhattan and have also been to China itself. I was looking forward to eating Chinese food in Flushing. The experience I got at Spicy & Tasty was terrible...

I ordered the Mild Spicy Sichuan Chicken. It was hot and came with lots of peppers, but that's nothing I couldn't handle. What I couldn't handle was the Sichuan peppercorn, which looked like an acorn and left my mouth feeling not just numb, but feeling like a a bunch of tiny fingers were going down my throat. As I felt my throat constrict, I thought I would have to go to a hospital emergency room.... I called the waiter over and asked if he could change my dish, since I couldn't eat that. He shook his head and said no, he would not exchange my dish, even though I had only taken 2 bites of my meal so far. I asked again and still he said no and he proceeded to try to "explain" to me what the pepper was. He said it was peppercorn. I told him I know that and I've had peppercorn numerous times before and cook my steaks with peppercorn every time, but that this particular type of peppercorn was making my throat tight and that I couldn't eat that dish and wanted to exchange it for another one. How stupid could this waiter be? Did he not realize that if he forces customers to eat dishes that make them sick/injure them he could be sued and his restaurant could get shut down? Apparently not. At that point, another waiter was there as well and laughing like a clown in the background. Yes, he was LAUGHING at me, the customer! There was no respect, no service, nothing. Just pure mocking. We were mortified at that point.

I will never ever go back to Spicy & Tasty again. EVER. The waiters are extremely rude and demeaning and the food is not tasty at all. This place should be renamed Dangerous & Disgusting. The options on the menu seemed boring and the food I got was terrible. I hope that no other Yelper out there experiences such rudeness again. Save yourself a trip and a MAJOR headache and skip this place!
----------------------------------------

Priceless.

Yelper Dan, Has Been a Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad Boy....Local Chinese Restaurant Calls Out Dishonest Yelper With Surveillance Footage

I think you've nailed it. Overall the Yelp ratings are credible - you've just have to know how to read the site. Usually that means throwing out the 1 star reviews. If a restaurant averages 4 stars with 150 reviews you can be really sure that the 5 1 star reviews were either atypical or written by the "Dans" of the world.

The five star reviews also need to be read cautiously. Some people are really easy to please. What I look for are balanced reviews -

"Dish A was fine, Dish be was really good, and Dish C was outstanding. The desserts are a bit week."

That's credible.

One last thing - the credibility of Yelp reviews of ethnic places can be really spotty. For example about 20% to 30% of Yelpers mark down Sichuan restaurants because they find the food too spicy - they were expecting bland Americanized Chinese food.

But by and large Yelp gets it right. The real trick is just to use the star rating as a general indicator and read 10 to 15 individual reviews to see if the rating is warranted.

Yelper Dan, Has Been a Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad Boy....Local Chinese Restaurant Calls Out Dishonest Yelper With Surveillance Footage

Well, that made my day.

The Eater comments were fun too. Most of them called out the Yelper for the lying douchebag he is but one or two made excuses for him. Worth a read.

Coca-Cola paid nutrition experts to recommend soda as a healthy snack

Having a can of Coke once or twice a week won't kill you.

Coca-Cola paid nutrition experts to recommend soda as a healthy snack

And Coke also paid Santa to endorse their product. Where will this end?

Best Chinese Restaurant in NY

The Los Angeles winner was a food truck.

Mar 23, 2015
Bob Martinez in Manhattan

Snake oil . Or are supplements necessary in your diet ?

How do you feel about vaccines?

Mar 21, 2015
Bob Martinez in Not About Food

Is a hot dog a sandwich?

Of course it is. Even the "sandwich deniers" know it but they can't bring themselves to admit it.

Bricolage - Vietnamese in Park Slope

Thanks for your thoughtful reply.

I've been dining out at all levels in NYC for my whole life. When I evaluate a restaurant I factor in food quality, ambiance, and price. All of them are important to me.

(I don't include "responsible sourcing." Maybe I'm going to go straight to hell but we all pick and choose our causes. If we think about this stuff too much we'd all have to become vegans.)

Sometimes I just want really good food and I'll go to a "bright lights" Chinese place like Lan Sheng or Grand Sichuan House where I know I can get a terrific meal at a great price.

Sometimes I really want a combination of good food and nice ambiance so I'll go to a place like Maialino or Trestle on Tenth. I don't mind spending more because it's worth it.

Price *does* matter to me. I think most of us have a mental calculator that we use to measure the value of a restaurant. It factors in food quality, ambiance, and the level of service. At a higher end place when the check comes you either think "this was sort of expensive but worth it" or "nice ambiance but at these prices the food ought to be better."

Based on 3 reports which all sounded the same type of notes it seems like Bricolage fell into that second group.

Maybe that will change as the kitchen settles in. I hope so, but until I start hearing consistently better reports on the food quality I'm giving this place a miss.

Mar 20, 2015
Bob Martinez in Outer Boroughs

Bricolage - Vietnamese in Park Slope

Reading through the posts here it seems that a lot of punches are being pulled. What we have, at least at this point, is an overpriced Park Slope place serving dumbed down versions of Vietnamese food plus some fusion dishes. Surprise surprise.

People want this place to be special but it's not.

Mar 19, 2015
Bob Martinez in Outer Boroughs

does silence on an rsvp mean they aren't coming ?

Well put Linda.

Mar 19, 2015
Bob Martinez in Not About Food

does silence on an rsvp mean they aren't coming ?

Count again. Five people have taken issue with your non response.

Joesephnl, Pamf, Indy67, DuchessNukem, and me.

We're not ganging up on you - we're giving you another perspective.

does silence on an rsvp mean they aren't coming ?

You may want to consider what a bunch of people have politely told you.