Variations on the theme… Ask 10 people what they think of anything, 5 will think it one way; 2 will think it the opposite; and 3 will probably be a bit wishy-washy without real development of the opinion of the facts.
When I go to a new spot for a culinary experience, one I’m not familiar with I’ll typically go in blind and just breath it all in on my own terms. I’ll sample the ambience, the food, the beverages, and the service then once the bill arrives I’ll figure it out. Tip 10% means something is bad; 15% to me means it was good to okay; 20% says yes! Before I write up a review I will look at other reviewers to see their score on that place. After a day, I’ll write it up.
When there is a 10% tip due, and I’ve found others agree with my tip, no problem. When I drop a 15-20% tip and others agree, no problem. When there is descent amongst reviews then I must calculate and go. The factors are taste, service, ambience and mood of reviewer. Typically if a review starts with how upset one is with the ticket they got getting to the restaurant and it deteriorates from there, I know it’s not the restaurant at issue, it’s the reviewer.
I’ve been going to Ramon’s Smokehouse BBQ in Alpine for years. Their food is flavorful and consistent. Service is first rate with a smile and good attention to detail. Prices are low enough to be enticing… and I will return again in the near future. The ambiance is questionable, even if you do like the animals on the walls. I’m not sure I’d go too far for this fare in terms of miles spent getting there but since it’s pretty close to me, I go for the ham sandwich and one or two sides.
I sometimes compare Ramon’s with The BBQ Pit on Fletcher PkwyMemphis or Texas, if it’s El Cajon, I’ll do Texas at… for the overall affect. They are similar in terms of aftereffects. Ramon’s does it a little more KC with a tangy sauce. The ham is my favorite but I’ve done the beef and ribs and chicken. I’d go for the ham anytime and the beef is consistent but personal choice goes for pig.