If you're expecting insightful commentary about the burger I had at the South Philly Tap Room, you should probably head on over to AHT for a more comprehensive (read: less idiotic and more objective) review. If instead, you're looking for a post that's full of poorly written descriptions, and some thoughts on on food blogging... then you're in for a real treat.
If it isn't inherently obvious yet, I'm currently killing my free time (and vacant stomach space!) by writing about the burgers in Philly for AHT. It's like every fat kid's dream job, I get to eat a buttload of burgers and not pay for any of it. Sure there's the requirement that I write about the places afterward, but... let's be honest, I do that anyway. So no biggie. Those shooting pains in my left arm? Completely worth it for the amount of beef I get to have.
On 'assignment,' I went to SPTR, since it's pretty well known for its bar menu. Their burgers (including the occasional Mexican burger) all get rave reviews, so I figured it'd be worthwhile to check out... even if it's in the middle of absolutely nowhere. Everything I said on Serious Eats is entirely true. SPTR has a decent burger decked out in beer flavored toppings. The mustard is made with beer and the bacon is braised in beer. Hell... I wouldn't be surprised if the patty is secretly infused with beer. Overall, their burger is decently good, but nothing phenomenal, and certainly nothing to write home about (what am I doing then...?). The patty was sort of mushy (probably since I asked for rare) and kind of formed an amorphous blob of ground meat and oil soaked bread by the end of the meal. Actually, that sounds disgusting. I assure you it was more appetizing than my description.
Now let me hit you with some thoughts on food writing. On my trip to SPTR, I had some questions for the waitress/bartender who took my order (so I could write a factual post without resorting to using made up words like fantabulous). General questions, like... cooking method, seasoning, size of burger etc. I was first responded to with a look of bemusement, followed by some 'answers' which turned out to be straight lies, and then the cold shoulder. I started wondering at what point food writing becomes obnoxious to the wait staff, and if I had crossed that line (possibly by going to a pub and not ordering any beer). Honestly, I feel like it's well within a customer's right to know what they're eating... so no, I don't feel like I crossed any lines there. Was it because I was taking pictures of the food? Couldn't be. If the chef were offended that I wasn't eating his food immediately, then that I could understand, but why would a bartender care? I came to the conclusion that the bartender was just having a shitty day/being a bitch. That's perfectly understandable, people have off days. The problem that arises from this is the true problem I have with food blogging...
How much should the dining experience affect the writer's opinion of the food? Should it be ignored? 25%? 50? What if you taste the greatest [insert your favorite food here] you've ever had, but the waiter repeatedly laughs at how unfortunate your dining companion looks at throughout the meal (edit: this did not actually happen, just an example). How would you write that post? Seriously yo... food writing is tougher than you'd think.