When we were living in Tucson, my mother, who is completely unfamiliar with Mexican food, described a chicken quesadilla as a “chicken pie.” It was a perfectly adequate description based on her experiences, but I couldn’t imagine her writing a review of the restaurant with her limited knowledge of the cuisine. A similar thing happened here just last week. However, the Greenville News did, in fact, publish a review of India Palace which was just as uninformed as my mother’s quesadilla observation. Here’s the text of a letter that I sent to the Lifestyle editor of the paper…
I read with dismay the review of India Palace restaraunt published in the Greenville News weekend supplement on June 17. The reviews were mixed, but what was most distressing was the complete lack of knowledge of Indian cuisine expressed by your reviewers. The papadam, one of the most common items on an Indian menu, was described by one reviewer as “an onion-based sauce and chip, which was spicy“, and by another as “a spicy sheet of tortilla, which was thin and crisp as potato chips and served with diced fresh onion soaked in some sort of tomato sauce“. It seems neither could properly name the appetizer. At least Ashley Peterson seems to have taken the time to learn the names of the dishes.
I would suggest that if your reviewers are sampling cuisine with which they are not familiar, that they would take the time to learn at least the names and a little something about the dishes being served. The use of uninformed descriptions such as the ones found in this review only diminishes the credibility of your reviewers.
I included a link to this website, just in case they want to read my reviews. Yeah, right.