Tournedos: A User’s Guide

From 2005 to 2008, I kept a food review blog called Tournedos, mostly about the places I had lunch during law school.  (It was called Tournedos because I started law school at UC Hastings, so I was mostly reviewing restaurants in the Tenderloin.)  I’m now consolidating those reviews with the rest of my food writing here at Plausibly Deniable.

Tournedos was a little more systematic than the rest of my food reviews, so I want to explain the things I put in the header of each post.

Types of Post: There are two types of post — Impressions and Reviews. Impressions are exactly that: a reaction based on a single meal. They consist basically of where I went, what I ate, what I thought about it, and what it cost. Reviews, on the other hand, follow what I’m given to understand is the New York Times model; I only write one after I’ve been somewhere at least three times and eaten three different things. In a review, I try to cover a restaurant’s strengths and weaknesses more broadly.

Ratings: Like Homeland Security, I have a five-level rating system. Also like Homeland Security, only two of them get used much. It’s important to bear in mind that these ratings are calibrated to the assumption that you’re in the Tenderloin and need lunch nearby; I’d probably shift the ratings down a level if I were judging them on an absolute scale. The ratings are:

Strongly Recommended: This rating goes to restaurants that I think are worth experiencing of their own right, and I would even recommend a trip to eat at them.

Recommended: This rating goes to places I like, and will eat at again. If you asked for a restaurant in a given food genre, these are the ones I’d mention.

OK: This rating goes to places that were fine, but I’m in no hurry to return to.

Not Recommended: This rating goes to places that I probably won’t go back to. Not disgusting; just not good. These are restaurants that aren’t worth your time.

Avoid: This rating is reserved for places so bad that I had to abandon my meal.