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A field guide to Yelp reviewers

March 11, 2011 |  9:00 am

OK, treading lightly onto very dangerous ground here. There's an essay on Atlantic's Life website that I find hilarious. It's about Yelp reviewers and it's by Derek Brown, a Washington, D.C. mixologist. As you can guess, he's not terribly complimentary. There are a few scattered obligatory caveats ("Before one gets the wrong idea, I like Yelp and appreciate the concept"), but for the most part it's pretty scathing.

The problem, he says, is that the good content is pushed out by the bad and he breaks the unhelpful reviewers down into a few categories: The Ubermensch who condemns the herd mentality; the Blood Feud, who reviews a meal he had several years ago; the Cheapskate who ... well, you can probably guess; and my personal favorite, the Know-Nothing, who posts comments such as: "The pickled vegetables were too sour; they reminded me of vegetables + vinegar."

What do you think? How reliable do you find Yelp reviews? Incidentally, if you haven't already, be sure to bookmark the page, which is home to consistently interesting, well-written pieces on food and, now, style.

--Russ Parsons

Photo: Yelp co-founder Jeremy Stoppelman

Photo credit: Bebeto Matthews/Associated Press