In the movies, as in real life, restaurants, pubs, diners and dive bars hold a special place in our lives. For some, they’re an important meeting place. For others, the site of a life-defining moment — the realization of a dream come true. They’re places to reconnect with old friends, discuss deals or sometimes part of an all-important daily routine.
Back in the day, finding a new restaurant, both on-screen and off, was more of an adventure. In ye olden days before the Internet, word-of-mouth, restaurant reviews or blind trial and error were the only ways to discover a great place to eat.
Fortunately, and unfortunately, today we have Yelp, the user-sourced website that dishes out recommendations and criticisms of pretty much any eatery under the sun. For the sake of argument, what would have happened if the following ten fictional restaurants and bars were reviewed by “totally impartial, everyday people” on Yelp?
Jack Rabbit Slims
Reviewed by Jim H.
Seems like the kind of place Guy Fieri would love. Lots of flashy, greaser culture all around. Ambience was like a cheap ’50s or ’60s velour painting. Good points: great tunes, serviceable diner fare and a TWIST CONTEST! So cool, that last one. Downside: can’t tell the difference between patrons and staff, WAY too much going on, loud, pretentious-sounding conversation at the table behind us (they danced, tho, and it was great). Would come back, but probably on a weeknight instead. Suggested eats: Douglas Sirk steak, any milkshakes.
Reviewed by A. Batman
I waited MONTHS for a reservation, was told it was impossible by my secretary. Turns out it was NOT worth the wait. None of the waitresses paid me the time of day. Do they know who I am? Anyway, not important. Would rather have been returning some videotapes. I practically had to give the maître d’ head to get in here. Lowly waiter tried to tell me the specials like I was a plebe. Everyone else I knew could get a table there. When I did, I thought I was lucky, I guess. Not anymore. Do not believe the hype. Texarkana is a much better option in the same price range.
Mos Eisley Cantina
Reviewed by U.R. Mom
WHOA WHOAWHOA. Thought this was a Brazilian Steakhouse. Boy, was I wrong. Couldn’t make out a word of what the waiter was saying. Ordered blindly. Lots of shifty, kind of scummy, villainous-looking types. Held my purse really tightly. Having said that, what a delightful staff! Food was really adventurous. Never would have experienced such flavour combinations before! Got A LOT of nasty looks. Things were great, but RUINED by an old man cutting someone’s arm off (I mean, REALLY?!?!?!) and I think some slick jerk shot an alien-looking chap. NOT coming back. Someone needs to clean this place up. Could be a great family place! Two stars only for that band, which were really tight and jazzy. Might come back if people stop killing each other and a jazz brunch is offered.
Reviewed by Emmy Martin
Had this place recommended to me by friends and it did NOT disappoint. Probably the CLEANEST restaurant I have ever been to. A perfect blend of French dining and everyday family style. A surprise standout? THE SOUP. Also, smart people know to order off the menu. That’s where you’ll find the ratatouille, which this lovely future landmark will be known for. A bit chaotic and the staff seem a bit on edge, but the food speaks volumes. This is the hot place to be!
Reviewed by L.T. Jake
You know what, sometimes you just want a good burger. Burger shop across the street from another, more garish and scary-looking burger shop. Probably won’t stay open much longer, and the staff is awful, but damn if they don’t deliver exactly what it says on the tin; it’s a good burger. They need a new cashier, but eventually, when you do get your order taken, it’s worth the wait. Pretty sure I saw Abe Vigoda in the kitchen. Thought he was dead, so it couldn’t have been him. LOL
Stan Mikita’s Donuts
Reviewed by Benjamin Vanderhoff
A MAINSTAY of the local donut scene. Great java, even better crullers. Love the hockey theme. Perfect hangout for retired dudes and teenage burnouts alike! Better not use the drive-thru. Beware getting into a conversation with the manager, Glen. He doesn’t seem to be all there. He talks to himself a lot. But everything else is top notch!
Reviewed by Abe Froman
Very snobby service from the front of house, but eventually was seated for a lunch when the restaurant wasn’t even that busy. Quite disappointed, but once things were sorted out, it was quite lovely. Could benefit from a back exit, complete with an alternate taxi stand. Overall, a superb way to spend my day off from my stressful job.
The Tip Top Cafe
Reviewed by Phil R. Up
I come here every day. Why? I hate this place. I hate my life.
The Tip Top Cafe
Reviewed by Still Phil
You know what? It’s not that bad. I come here every day. Pretty sure I reviewed this one before. Wanted to update it.
The Tip Top Cafe
Reviewed by Phil Again
Been coming here for years. Love this place. Great small-town diner. Kind of warmed up to it. Every day feels just like the last, though. Why is the special always blueberry waffles?
St. Elmo’s Bar
Reviewed by Brad Pack
This might be the douchiest place in existence. It’s just a bunch of 30-year olds acting like they’re still 20. The waiter is kind and attentive, but he keeps paying closer attention to his saxophonist friend than anyone else. The music is the worst. Totally stuck in the ’80s, in the worst way, but at least a beer isn’t $8. A college bar for people who never wanted college to end. You know, like El Furniture Warehouse.
The Spitfire Grill
Reviewed by Average Joe
It’s okay, I guess. I could imagine my mom liking this place. Really downhome feeling, but a bit heavy-handed. Definitely overpriced, and I don’t see the hype. Heard a lot about it, then I come here and it was nice, but no one was here. What gives? Anyway. It sounds kind of how it looks. Will tell my mom and dad to try it, but likely never coming back.