Some of us enjoy traveling to different cities and experiencing what the locals value as "where to dine, shop, and stay". If you are the preparing type at all, then the reviews and let's be honest - they're opinions of others weigh heavily on your decision when deciding on how to spend your treasured time and hard earned cash. As many of us turn to Yelp to help us determine what is "worth it"; we must also consider the reviews themselves.

As a resident of Belton, I feel compelled to defend the businesses that have earned my esteemed "5 Stars" ranking here in our great city. Should out-of-towners really be the source to turn to when reviews are being considered? Are "first impressions" the idea of a well-represented review? I think not. Proper reviews should be an accumulation of multiple experiences to where an average can be determined; only then can we say that the review is an accurate reflection of that business.

 

Townsquare Media, Jason Eisenberg

The Dead Fish Grill - 1 star by Hunter C.

My wife and I boiled a pot of anticipation for this restaurant over a two year period. We finally tried it tonight to our dismay. Needless to say our anticipation for Dead Fish Grill has been murdered in cold blood. Ten minutes of idle confusion at the table until our waitress decided to make an appearance. One taste of my makers mark; a single shot encompassing a redwood forest of ice cubes, afforded a complete waste of whiskey. As if taking a 200 year old bourbon and pouring it into a lake was ingenius. My wife needed ketchup for her Arby's battered fries, a task of which could have been easier to squeeze from tomatoes manually than find the lonesome waitress. My grouper was like laying lemons on leather shoes and calling it a fish. Her shrimp were lucky enough to die and then be freeze dried before knowing their fate would be to be hastily consumed by a customer trying to swallow their puffy and  overcooked torsos. The best part of the meal were the overpriced (oh wait, market priced) fried oysters that started the meal. I wish that could have been the last thing we ate so I wouldn't have to chase my $90 meal for two with doctor Scholls.

There is nothing comparable to The Dead Fish Grill in Belton when it comes to the scenic views and patio dining. It is a one-of-a-kind when it comes to those features; so of course it is going to be a "tourist" attraction for our city. Hunter C. from Fayetteville, AR. did a masterful job at reviewing Belton's gem with colorful adjectives and harsh descriptions. You are going to have a wait just as if you were at any other restaurant that attracts many visitors, big city or small. When observing your surroundings and the attentiveness of your waiter/waitress, shouldn't this be a factor in their ability to be prompt? Yes we all can have an issue with patience but the amount of cars you witnessed in your parking attempts should give you a notion that you are not getting out any time soon. If Hunter C. had reviewed the restaurant's website prior to their visit, since their anticipation for their visit had brewed for a good two years, then he would have seen what the restaurant was best known for.

Google Street Maps

The Gin on Nolan Creek - 1 star by Nia P. (the novelist - she wrote way more than this)

My steak had three different temps. I had well done, medium, and medium rare in different sections. But I wasn't going to have them take it back and argue with me. So instead of comping the messed up steak, they took half off of mine since it was also messed up. We're paying for this food, we should at least be happy with it and it should be cooked how it was ordered or we could have just gone to McDonald's or some other establishment.

I would have originally given them 5 stars for our amazing time there, but after last night, I wish Yelp would allow no stars because it was downright offensive and disappointing. Not a way we wanted to spend our anniversary.

Located in the heart of our city,The Gin represents how the old and new has combined to give its visitors an unique experience; one to be remembered. Beltonians have distinguished this restaurant to be the go-to for special occasions and prearranged date nights. We can all agree to disagree on what makes a good steak and we all know no two cooks are going to prepare it the exact same way. I must admit that I appreciate the approach Nia P. from Morgan Hill, CA by arranging her review with one good and one bad experience. What I do not agree with is why she chose to give the bad experience more value than the good experience.

Google Street Maps

Luigi’s Italian Restaurant - 1 star by Erin M.

We thought this cute little place might have decent food...but oh man were we wrong.

The caprice appetizer looked like it had been made the day before and had stewed in the balsamic vinaigrette for a good 18 hours. The basil was wilted and the mozzarella had turned brown. The entrees were a 3 out of 10 at the best. Oily and bland describes them best. Save yourself the time and money and just go to Olive Garden if you're in this area.

Erin M. from Tacoma, WA is giving a review based on one entrée not on multiple entrees. Shouldn't we want to know what she thought of any other entrees? What time of day did she dine at the restaurant? Let's face it, we all know food tastes better when it is not served 30 minutes before closing.

Luigi's is a favorite "go to" restaurant of mine. On average, I generally eat there about three times a month. The staff is always friendly and attentive. The food appeals to almost all the senses.

So the next time you find yourself relying on reviews to guide your decisions, consider the source.