Review Criteria

When reviewing a restaurant, I am primarily focused on the freshness, quality, preparation, presentation, and flavor of the food. That being said, however, my ratings are also influenced by the cleanliness of the restaurant, bathrooms and kitchen, the quality of service, and the ambiance of the place. I believe that all of these things effect how I think about the food in the first place as well as my overall enjoyment of the restaurant. Each of them is highly subjective as everyone has different ideas of what constitutes a clean restaurant, good service, or a pleasant atmosphere. All I can say is that if I give a restaurant a positive rating it is worth a try. If you agree with me, continue using my ratings and reviews until I let you down. I promise to do my best not to.

OK, let’s talk about my rating system.

Most rating systems I’ve seen use a 5 or 10 star rating. I have two reasons for not wanting to use stars or the typical 5 to 10 point rating system. First, I think stars are overdone and would like to use something a little bit different. Since I’m rating food and not plumbing services or vacuum cleaners, I’ve chosen to use a piggy with wings. To me, the piggy with wings represents all the meals I have eaten and all the critters I am responsible for sending to critter heaven. Rest in peace little critters (cue Johanne Sebastian Bach’s fugue in D-minor here).

Second is the actual rating system. Most people I have spoken to regarding rating a restaurant think that using a 10 point rating is too clunky. I think, however, that 5 is really too few. So my answer to this problem is a 6 point rating system. Here is how it works;

Stay Away PiggyIn order for me to return to this place, there is much that would have to change. If things did change, it would still take some convincing to get me to go and most likely I’d go with more than a little trepidation. I really don’t like anything about the food.


No PiggyThe food here just doesn’t do anything for me. This restaurant most likely serves what I call cloned or institutional food. The freshness and quality may be good but the taste is bland and nothing about the food really stands out.


One PiggyOverall the food here is good. I may find two or three items on the menu to be real standouts in taste and overall I find the food fresh and of good quality. I find this restaurant worth going back to if only for the two or three stand out items.


Two PiggiesTo earn two piggies, the food has to be really good and tasty. While there may be one or two items on the menu that are there to please the unimaginative of palate, the menu and the food is original, fresh, well prepared, and seasoned nicely. I’m happy to eat here, and I think you will be too. I’d be pleased to go back any time and take company with me.


Three PiggiesThe food here is excellent. It is of the best quality and prepared extremely well and oh, so flavorful. I am content and all is good with the world. My taste buds are doing the happy dance. This is a place I’d want go to on any occasion I felt like having that particular style of cuisine.


Four PiggiesPiggy Nirvana! Hog Heaven! To earn this rating, the food here is not only of the best quality, prepared extremely well and oh, so flavorful. It has to give me a physical reaction. I am so taken with how good the food is that my taste buds are not only doing the Samba but other parts of my body are joining in. I am having what I call, a “goose bump” moment. The food is so delicious; I’m seriously considering not reviewing it, for fear of ruining the magic. Food just doesn’t get any better than this in my book.

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