Have any of you been 'catfished' on the food forums?

There are people on this site that I wonder about. They seem to be experts in every city around the world - have been to every country and are intimately familiar with the food scenes - their life experiences are always relevant and make them an expert in every topic . . . . .

That google is a terrible things - one quick search and all of a sudden they are a definitive expert on anything.


Remember Sam F? He really was knowledgeable about a lot of the world…and cooking. Also @jfood who travels for business and eats out. There really are many who are out and about a lot.


Yeah, but it shows up. They rely on whatever Wikipedia, etc, has to say and clearly have no real knowledge of what they’re talking about.

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I guess I don’t really care where they get their info as long as its valid. I knew someone on CH who lied regularly, pathologically really. Like recommending someplace that he hadn’t been to in 25 years but not stating that.

Some of it is how they present the info that they have (ie it may not just be google). For ex., I have a friend who dines out quite a bit more than me (and is much more of a foodie) but still is no high roller, works a more than full time job, has a family, etc. And we’ll be talking about a local restaurant and he’ll say “oh, I used to love that place, but they’ve been going downhill lately”. One hears a statement like that, and it seems like the speaker must be dining out frequently, and has eaten there a number of times in the recent past. But when I respond “I haven’t been there recently, and in any case I don’t dine anywhere often enough to know if it’s been going downhill, as opposed to a one-off bad experience,” his response is often along the lines of “well, I have only been once in the last year, but it wasn’t as good as before”.

So he takes his one data point of the year, that it wasn’t as good as in the past, and transforms that into “they’ve been going downhill lately”, making him seem much more hip and worldly. He’s not lying, and he’s not using google, but the way he presents his data gives a different impression than the actual reality. I think there’s a lot of that on CH (and probably here).


Don’t break your arm patting yourself on the back. :wink:

My mother was the queen of that.

I think there two extremes and many “in-between”. You have people who indeed go out to eat very often and clearly able to track the evolution of the restaurant, and you have people who haven’t even been to the restaurant and simply cite other people’s opinions. I think your friend probably is in between, which isn’t so horrible.

He probably he went to the restaurant once recently and the quality isn’t as good, and then have found the same opinions online from other people. Then, he said “it has been going downhill”.

The other thing you bought up is the “one-off bad experience”. I usually like based on at least two bad incidents to proclaim the restaurant is bad because I think every restaurant can have one bad day. However, I remember many posters here have said that one incident is enough because most people do not go out often. So if they cannot even make opinion call based on one incident, then they will never able to make any claim. The other thing is that for some people they will not re-visit a restaurant after one bad incident, so they will never have two data points.

I agree. I don’t get to dine out that often (except for Sunday morning dim sum), so if I go to a restaurant and have a negative experience, be it the food or service or something else, I’m not really inclined to go back- but I probably wouldn’t give it a bad review based on one visit, or even two, unless something spectacularly awful happened. Everybody has a bad day.

Every restaurant can have an “off night” and with that in mind I will forgive a lot if I see a true effort to correct mistakes.

If I have a bad experience either food or service and I care enough to point it out, my feelings then depend on how exactly the restaurant responds. If they seem genuinely concerned and make a sincere effort to rectify a situation I’ll cut them some slack, if they are indifferent or don’t really acknowledge the complaint or criticism, then I would post a negative review of the place based on just one experience.

SD- San Diego?
FTC- federal trade commission?

C’mon. Help me out here.

SD I believe you are correct. (My assumption based on the next fact)

FTC = Food Talk Central a similar site to ours here. Founded roughly the same time as HO (Hungry Onion) however it is far more West Coast based and focused than HO. So I believe SD would fit in the context of that conversation.

Thanks. If there’s one pet peeve I have in this twitter and text new world order, it’s acronyms.

FTC was also created by ex-Chow members and several members here also belong/post there.


I guess HO hates acronyms too, I just tried to post the above and got the “Body is invalid; try to be a little more descriptive” message




Can I double like??

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Late reply grey, but that sounds like “Walnut”. I too flagged their nonsense to the CH mods, but it made no difference. I’m sure the posts would still be there if anyone can be bothered to look.

Walnut was likely having a long running joke at the expense of everyone else, but it became very tedious.

No, it was Smiley. Walnut was aggravating, too, but may have been legitimate, just someone with an obsessive personality. There are people who just can’t cope with directions which aren’t totally precise.

SmileyRandomnumbers drove me up. the fucking. walls.

But yeah, def a bot.