Locally Grown

Wini Gate, Slight Return…
2010/12/14, 9:10 am
Filed under: Local Food Commentary | Tags:

A short, almost DD-esque, post this morning regarding some further misconceptions of the happenings and verbiage of Wini Gate.  This call for a list!

Continued Clearing Of Confusion Caused By Wini-Gate

  • Joe Logsdon did not infer that women can only be adults if they have children, but a whopping TWO of you readers (that’s about 20% of this blog’s readers) insist that was his message.  I already explained this.  Go back and read carefully.
  • No, you don’t have to ask a restaurant if it is ok to eat there within ANY minutes of their closing time, but if you are calling to inquire about the closing time and it happens to almost be said closing time, asking is a courteous move letting the restaurant know that they should be expecting you and to halt the “tear down” process if it has in fact been initiated.
  • Pat Mearson is still unhappy with my writing but continues to read.
  • Wini-Gate should have been hyphenated.
  • There was no “free meal in exchange for not being reviewed” deal made or attempted to be made between Mr. Logsdon and Wini.  In fact, Joe just simply doesn’t want to be reviewed by the Datebook Diner at all.
  • To DesMoinesDem: From the stories I have heard regarding the already abused powers delegated to the DD, I don’t blame La Mie for wanting to be excluded from the reviews. I guess you missed the story about the exit of Deb Wagman from the DD column mix.  That story alone tells the state of the datebook reviews.  I do know for a fact that Wini does stick to the “no freebies” ethos 100%, and it seems that you are saying Wini could be shaken from that tree by the offer of freebies in exchange for services or lack of services.

From DesMoinesDem:

I still think it’s a bad idea for a restaurant reviewer to agree to be seated in exchange for not writing a review. If she goes down that road, what’s to stop a different owner on a different night from saying, look, we’re short-staffed in the kitchen, or we’re out of our best dish, could you please not write a review based on tonight’s meal? Then word gets around that the DMR reviewer cuts some restaurants a break when she feels generous.

Absolutely ludicrous, and you think that after thirteen years on the beat Wini would, as you have outlined, act like a first year intern?  C’mon, really?  Surely Wini has pulled some silliness in those years, but again I would like to assure you that she wouldn’t trade her service for freebies, as you seem to be stating.

In fact, I have talked with many owners and chefs and managers over the years, and they are 99% scared of restaurant reviewers, including the Datebook Diner.  Most of them feel that all it takes is one little mistake and you are doomed for a bad review and a decrease in traffic.  This isn’t speculation, this is really how most of my compadres feel.  This is also why many behind the scenes people cheered Joe for his actions, because they know that he can speak his mind without hurting his established business, in fact in the days directly following the Datebook Blog posting of said incident it was reported that La Mie was much busier than normal during lunch.

You picking up what I am putting down here?  The people who are in charge of the restaurants that you love feel a little “over the barrel” when it comes to restaurant reviews.  Joe Logsdon said “f-that” and spoke his mind.  He wasn’t trying to strike a deal, or push the women’s rights movement back to the 50’s, he was simply frustrated.  Those of you on the customer side who don’t understand this, that’s fine, but we don’t come to your job and slap the summer sausage out of your mouth.

Whatever that means.

Ok, I am done with this again.  I have other things to cook, write, and write about cooking about.  wha?

The Cook



6 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Sick of hearing about this DD drama. Meh.

Tell us about a cool bike ride, your fat cat or something we don’t usually hear about unless we work in the industry.

Thank you, that is all. 🙂

Comment by InthewaterDSM

Obviously I didn’t express myself clearly. I certainly didn’t mean to imply that Moranville would accept freebies. I think she was correct to leave if the condition of her eating dinner that night was not writing a review.

I don’t know the backstory on Wagman leaving the Datebook.

I know little about the restaurant business, but it makes sense that there would be tension between owners and the reviewer for the big newspaper in town. That dynamic probably exists in many cities. I don’t always agree with DD reviews either, and if her opinion had the potential to affect my bottom line, I’d probably want to keep my distance.

I don’t know what was meant by “Grow up and have some children,” but I believe most women would take that as an offensive comment, however you want to spin it. It won’t stop me from eating lunch at La Mie every couple of weeks, because it’s convenient for me, and I like the food.

Comment by desmoinesdem

Ok, “grow up and have some children” could definitely be taken offensively, and was by a total of two of you. I spoke with at least 40 people face to face about the situation, and about 3200 people read about Wini-Gate, but only two of you took it that way. This puts you and the other person in the upper .6% of readers when it comes to hightened perception of statements made by restaurant owners. This is not a bad thing, nor am I poking fun. This is pretty cool, most people who correct me just call me names or insult my perceived sexuality due to my vegetarian sympathies. I don’t think anyone else really read into Mr. Logsdon’s statement, instead focus was shifted on Wini’s gall. Whatever the case, thank you for the opposing view, it is very appreciated. You can’t have a conversation if everyone is just standing around nodding their heads and staring at their shoes like they are at a flippin Saddle Creek band showcase.

I also took time to check out your Bleeding Heartland and I like it. Maybe I should join…I could be the official Sarah Palin watch. lol.

Comment by locallygrown

Regarding Sarah Palin, all I ask of Bleeding Heartland users is that they refrain from using sexist insults when mocking her! I mostly ignore her.

Comment by desmoinesdem

It is so easy to mock her without being sexist…i may just be in

Comment by locallygrown

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