Why I Hide My Favorite Restaurants From Others

Conversations and quotes in this article have been transcribed from the Foodbeast Katchup podcast: “#107: Becoming A Foodie Influencer at 50 Years Old,” out now on Spotify, the Apple Podcasts App, and all major platforms where podcasts are heard.

Working in food media, I get asked for restaurant recommendations fairly often, but even as I’ve enjoyed and have had the privilege to enjoy various type of food in Southern California, I’ve caught myself hesitating to recommend Mexican taco shops and trucks, in particular.

It’s not that I don’t want you to enjoy these places, but more so that I fear you won’t understand or connect with the experience in the same way I would, and therefore not enjoy it as much as I do.

Growing up in a Mexican household, with Mexican food, and Mexican traditions, it can be heartbreaking for someone to put down an eating experience you cherish.

Sure, everyone loves tacos, but even then, my favorite trucks will be sprinkled with Yelp reviews that hit you with the, “It’s good, but they cook all the meats in the same griddle,” or “They had some weird meats, and we had to eat standing up.”

I kind of get it, but that’s just how we eat tacos, baby girl!

Turns out, I’m not alone in withholding eats that I hold close to my heart.

On the Foodbeast Katchup podcast, Connie Aboubakare, AKA @OCcomestibles, brought up the subject of keeping a restaurant secret, for cultural reasons.

“I don’t want any negative reaction or comments from people who don’t know what it is,” Aboubakare said. “It’s not what you’re accustomed to, so it can have backlash on that place.”


It brought up an interesting conversation about “protecting” cultural restaurants that might not fit the mold of your everyday Yelp Elite.

If your favorite Oaxacan restaurant serves crickets or your favorite Laotian restaurant serves the pungent Thum Mak Hoong dish, they might not sit well with the everyday person, leading to unfavorable reviews, simply for them being unfamiliar with the cuisine.

That similar sentiment had been powerfully shared by our own Foodbeast staffer Peter Pham, who had often shared meals with us at a traditional Southeast Asian restaurant he loves, but with preconditions.

We agree to not check in on Yelp, tag the location on social media, or even post photos of the place. We all respect his wishes, enjoy the little mom-and-pop restaurant, and appreciate the traditional dishes from an often overlooked Asian region.

Further in the Katchup podcast conversation, host Elie Ayrouth expressed that he had a Lebanese restaurant he is often terrified to tell people about, as Middle Eastern dishes aren’t exactly American mainstays.

Tripa taco from Tacos El Venado/Peter Pham

Withholding our favorite restaurants from others is a real thing, and it intensifies with restaurants of other cultures that are unfamiliar to the masses.

You probably know some people like this. You probably are someone like this, but just know: Yelp reviews don’t always tell the whole story, but if you open your mind, the dishes will.

News Now Trending Technology

Yelp Exits Food Delivery, Sells Eat24 To GrubHub For $288 Million

Yelp has decided that it’s getting out of the food delivery business.

The food review website and business just announced that it would be selling its delivery arm, Eat 24, to Grubhub for a total of $288 million. The deal also brings Yelp and Grubhub together in a partnership where Yelp users will be able to begin ordering online through Grubhub directly. There’s no current timetable as to when that will occur, as the deal still needs to go through some customary closing procedures.

The deal makes perfect sense for both companies: Yelp now has the ability to focus and specialize on acquiring and sharing data about restaurants, and Grubhub adds another system into its food delivery fold. So far, investors have been loving the partnership, with Yelp’s shares climbing a staggering 27% today and Grubhub shares going up 9%. following the news.

Yelp had originally bought Eat24 for $135 million in 2015, so it definitely turned in a nice profit at the price they sold it to Grubhub for.

For us, the deal means that while Yelp Eat24 will be a thing of the past soon, we’re going to be able to utilize an awesome partnership between Yelp and Grubhub. It also means one less food delivery app will be crowding up our phone space.

Humor Now Trending

Poké Restaurant Savagely Claps Back At Negative Yelp Reviewer

Yelpers usually have the freedom to rip restaurants to their hearts content with no repercussions. Sometimes the restaurant will respond back and try to make things right, apologize and offer them free food.

This restaurant did the exact opposite.

Chisai Poké Bar in Brooklyn, New York received this fairly negative review, Jan. 3.
chisai yelp

It wasn’t the crudest of reviews. He had some beef with the door, and thought the food wasn’t very good. That was enough to trigger Chisai’s management, though, as the restaurant responded with this:

The response started off pretty tame, and quaint, but then they hit Dan with this savage comeback, “… when you mention the word “pathetically”, we can’t help but visualize you sitting in front of your computer or phone crafting over 7500 yelp reviews.”

Then they hit him with this gem of a closer:


If you’re going to come after this humble little poké spot, you better come correct, cause they have some goons ready to clap back at your reviews.

Art Health

10 Of The Top Vegetarian-friendly Cities In The World

There are plenty of places for meat-eaters to bite into when traveling the world, that’s for sure. Though if you’re a vegetarian looking to go on an adventure with your closest carnivorous buds, you’re probably stuck scrambling and scrolling through Yelp trying to find some greens in this mad, meaty world.

Luckily, Travel Supermarket created this infographic that shows where the most vegetarian-friendly cities in the world are. Compiling data from hundreds of customers’ reviews around the world, the colorful table lists the top ten cities that are home to the best vegetarian-friendly restaurants.

The graphic covers the percentage of 4-5 star restaurant reviews, the number of vegetarian options compared to the city’s population, and overall average ratings. The chart even throws in a few restaurant recommendations for you to try out.

World-traveling vegetarians, behold your bucket list.


Kevin Durant And His Restaurant Are Getting BLASTED On Yelp

By now, you might have heard that NBA superstar Kevin Durant announced he would take his talents to the Bay Area and become a member of the Golden State Warriors.

It should be noted that business is business, but some salty sports fans took to Yelp to express their disapproval of Kevin Durant’s decision, by attacking his restaurant, KD’s Southern Cuisine.

OKC fans weren’t the only people trolling the page. Die hard Golden State Warriors fans jumped in to Welcome KD, while savagely mocking Thunder supporters. It got to the point where Yelp Support had to clean up the mess.


Within the past 24 hours, Yelp! users have been writing their in length about apparent disgust with his restaurant and him as a person. To be fair, KD’s has a 3.5 star rating, which is average. It seems unclear if KD’s name sake will depart from it’s home on Johnny Bench Ave., anytime soon.

Although it’s hard to believe that the majority of reviews aren’t even from people that LIVE in Oklahoma City, or really even about the food in general — but the trolls keep coming.

User BB (Canucklehead) H, gave KD’s 3 stars, but made a snarky comment about serving Kraft Mac n’ Cheese in a Klay pot. Although, the account’s location is set to Canada. Umm, okay.

Screen Shot 2016-07-07 at 1.48.33 PM

Yelper Jordan C., from Ohio.,  gave a 1-star rating and talked about his dreams getting thrown in the toilet. How can someone be this upset after the Cleveland Cavaliers won the championship? Um, Jordan, you know Cleveland is in Ohio, right? Why are you here?

Screen Shot 2016-07-07 at 1.53.03 PM

Troy A., got super metaphorical. Even found a photo of Kevin Durant in a chef’s hat — or made it. Either way, we’ll be over here if you need us, Troy.

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Charlie S., from Mill Valley, CA said the  restaurant was, “great” but STILL gave it 2 stars!? C’mon, fam!

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Warriors fans didn’t seem too eager to try KD’s but welcomed him in the form of a Yelp review. Because how else would you welcome a new player in 2016? So, yeah.

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On Thursday, as Kevin Durant was introduced to the media by Golden State’s management, he referred to meeting the Warriors as an, “organic” experience, which is ironic because the Bay Area is (probably) full of hipster vegans on organic-only diets. That’s a far cry from the southern home-style cooking his restaurant was serving up in Oklahoma.

Hey, if can’t take the heat — get out of the kitchen.


Dive Bar Owner Writes An Epic Comeback To A Yelper’s 1-Star Review


The owner of The Iron Horse Bar and Restaurant in New York City recently wrote out an eloquent letter to a 1-star Yelper to teach them an important lesson about dive bars — don’t go to them if you are really looking for a quiet place and fancy food.

ALSO READ: Watch Popular Chefs Read Their 1-Star Yelp Reviews

The reviewer, “Megan B.”, wrote a negative review of The Iron Horse after her visit for a “quiet drink”. At a dive bar. At 3:00 in the afternoon.


The bar’s owner, “Zbigniew S.”, decided to defend his establishment while pointing out that clearly, based on Megan B’s past Yelp reviews, The Iron Horse was not the elegant and quiet establishment she is so used to.


Zbigniew S’s ended his response with a sly invitation for a drink — which is pretty much all anyone should expect a dive bar for providing without fail.

Written by the staff at NextShark, h/t: Reddit

This Is South Park’s Controversial Song About Yelpers [NSFW]

South Park Yelp

Love them or hate them, Yelpers have established themselves as talked-about figures in the restaurant industry. In last night’s episode of South Park, the restaurant-reviewing community became the highlight of food heavy episode.

The ever-growing supply of Yelpers became a major concern for the restaurants in the recently flourishing mountain town. Leading the charge of Yelpers, of course, was none other than Eric Cartman.

We won’t give away any more, but this one was definitely worth watching.

The episode concluded with a controversial song that’s sure to become a legend in the history of the series. Needless to say, it’s definitely not safe for work.


Someone Hacked Yelp’s Wikipedia Page, Here’s The Witty Shit They Left

Amidst a heavy news day for Yelp, some savvy  jokesters decided to get shitty with the company Wikipedia listing.

Around 10:00pm PST (the last time I refreshed the Yelp listing), the page looked like this. While the formatting seems a bit off from its normal state, all the info seemed correct. Someone had infiltrated the page and changed the Industry listing:


Screenshot of Yelp’s Wikipedia page at 9:58 pm PST, May 7th 2015

Since I hadn’t paid attention to the Industry field of Yelp’s listing before this incident, it took me a few eyelash bats to make sure I wasn’t seeing things. Is ‘Manufacturer of Manure’ some sort of tech industry jibber-jabber that I just wasn’t privy too?

Nope, manure means the same thing regardless of industry:


At the time of this post, the Yelp Wikipedia entry had already been restored to normal.

Touche subtle jokesters.

Too shay.