The Yelp Problem

24 Jul

Originally posted on MadCity Beats 'N Eats:

When a fellow cook or a server would whine about anything from being asked to do a menial and annoying task, to complaining about how frigid and cranky I was, I had one response for them: why don’t you go yelp about it. It was my response to anyone who advertised to me their complaints. Yes, I called it advertising because I interpreted their statements in a manner in which they were trying to sell me their complaint. I also hold the yelp.com in bitter and dark light. Regardless of their rating systems and “filtered” reviews Yelp is an outlet for customer complaints that hurts small business and marginalizes them through trivial reviews that define their restaurant unfairly. I understand there are many “positive” reviews and many newcomers to cities or those just looking for a new restaurant to try may find Yelp helpful. However, users beware: fabricated reviews are…

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Bandung Indonesian Restaurant

3 Jun

Bandung Indonesian Restaurant

600 Williamson St
Madison, WI 53703
(608) 255-6910

1/11/2011

4.0 star rating

How the hell could I have never gone here before? I went here last night with a friend- we got there about a half hour before they were closing, so we tried to be decisive about ordering. We were read the specials really FAST, but I talk fast too, so it was alright. We asked for hot tea and were brought Thai iced teas instead… I just drank it, but my friend couldn’t have the dairy in it, so he asked for hot tea (what we ordered). I asked for hot tea also, but they let me keep the iced tea (which was good and had an edible flower on it) and didn’t charge me for it. That was nice. There was a seared sashimi-grade tuna special- amazing. Actually, everything was really good. We did feel a bit rushed, like our server was going through the motions, but it was near closing, so it was fine. Also, I had no idea that they delivered! Yay! I will be back again for sure.

Habitat For Humanity Restore

3 Jun

Habitat For Humanity Restore

208 Cottage Grove Rd
Madison, WI 53716
(608) 661-2813

1/11/2012

5.0 star rating

This place is AWESOME. They accept donations of used building materials, fixtures, flooring, etc. It’s like the thrift store of home improvement! You have to look around a bit, but the store is pretty well organized. You never know what you might find- check here before you buy it retail! They also take old computers; I believe there is a small fee. Hey, it keeps them out of the landfill. Also, don’t forget to check the free box in front! Right on, ReStore. Right on.

Mounds Pet Food Warehouse

3 Jun

Mounds Pet Food Warehouse

2110 S Stoughton Rd
Madison, WI 53716
(608) 221-0210

1/21/2012

4.0 star rating

I love this place. It’s my go-to for all my cat needs. After some trial and error, this is now my dream cat-box combination: the Omega Paw Self-Cleaning litter box and the Worlds’ Best Cat Litter- say zaijian to cat-piss smell forEVER. This litter’s kind of expensive, but you can find coupons for Mounds in local spam-weeklies. Finally, a big bag of Iams Hairball Care cat food. I reiterate: coupons are your friends! Even without them, though, Mounds is priced quite reasonably. The staff are friendly and have always been helpful when I needed them. Plus, they give you a few little Mounds candy bars on your way out. Sweet! :3

The Old Fashioned

3 Jun

The Old Fashioned

23 N Pinckney St
Madison, WI 53703
(608) 310-4545

10/6/2012

3.0 star rating

Overrated. I had a few beers and some fries here, and sat at the bar. I would never even try to sit at a table here; the way they are arranged maximizes tables but sacrifices a good flow of people in and out. It seems crowded. They have a redonkulous variety of beers on tap, which is good. Service was mediocre. The bar staff seemed overextended and were bland–no greeting when I sat down, no smile, no “how is everything” at any point. My order of fries, while huge, were undercooked, bland (much like the staff), and freezer burned. No amount of mayonnaise or hot sauce could rescue them. I ended up throwing most of them away later–and I HATE wasting food. I didn’t try the cheese curds… just how special can frozen cheese curds be? I will return sometime to try them and find out, but… jeez, tons of bars in Madison serve fried cheese curds. What, are they deep-fried in unicorn fat or something?

There was interesting people-watching to be had, but there was a… how shall I say… “conservative” vibe to the place. The TV was turned to Fox News, which did dampen my appetite a bit.

I may stop back in for a few pints and try some of those fabled curds, but I’d never make a habit of the Old Fashioned.

Costco

3 Jun

Costco

2150 Deming Way
Middleton, WI 53562
(608) 824-3950

11/1/2012

3.0 star rating

Holy crap, what a large warehouse space full of stuff. Besides the evil aura about this place which I could not ignore, I could see buying some highly marked up plastic things from China here…

I wanted to take a look at the new Windows OS (Windows 8). I was in the area for another event, and thought I’d stop in and check this place out. Hooray, consumerism. /s

Daniel (?) was very helpful and knowledgeable about Windows 8 and what he did and didn’t like about its interface. This was amazing. Thanks, guy!

HOWEVER: he had the worst, most rancid B.O. I have whiffed since the occasion wherein I ran smack into a drunken, urine-soaked vagrant on the El platform in Chicago. COSTCO DUDE: TAKE A BATH, PLEASE, and brush your teeth. Yikes. He was really helpful and nice, though, so big props for that. Really, give that guy a raise (after he has a nice long bath)!

Perhaps Costco should give their employees a smell test once in a while; this guy should not have been helping customers stinking like that. Someone should do a hygiene intervention…

I ended up not buying anything due to time constraints, but I think I’m just going to get a copy of the more user-friendly Windows 7–and I’m going to buy it online.

Delicatessie’s LLC

3 Jun

Delicatessie’s LLC

4914 Pflaum Rd
Madison, WI 53718
(608) 222-2155

11/8/2012

4.0 star rating

This is a great place to stop in and get a sub and sides for lunch. The woman that runs this place is nice and friendly. You can eat in or get it to go, and calling in orders is fine–please know what you want before you call, they do get VERY busy at lunch sometimes. They accept all credit cards except American Express, although cash is always king.

My sub of choice: wheat roll, turkey, provolone, cheddar, zesty sprouts, cucumber, onion, tomato, mayo and mustard. Yesss. :9

These sammies are HUGE. I eat half at lunch and graze on the other half all evening.

If you work in this area, give Delicatessie’s a try. It is my favorite place to get a sub; maybe it can be yours, too. :D

Want to see the menu? Here’s a link! Please note that their hours have changed from the hours menupix has posted.

http://www.menupix.com/madison/restaurants/730175

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