How does the Squirrel Nuts Rating System work?
My rating concept was born out of frustration. It is frustrating reading countless reviews, researching for hours just to find a restaurant that I’d like to try. My number one goal is to find super tasty food and drink! I found myself having to skim through dozens if not 100’s of “reviews” just to try to find one that I could relate to. If I want sashimi, I don’t care that a place has fantastic California rolls or that their tea was not hot enough.
The nuts are from one to five. One being the worst. To get a one it would have to be awful in my opinion. To get a five, it would have to be 99% perfection. That is TOUGH to get! Two nuts are pretty low and not acceptable. I would say a three or four nut rating would be acceptable and sometimes pretty great! It really just depends on which category is most important to me (and to you!).
First, is ambiance (which includes cleanliness). Ambiance can be very personal, and it can also depend on what kind of vibe the establishment is intending to achieve. A taqueria will have a much different atmosphere than a Mexican restaurant. I go in knowing what to expect. Did they succeed? Is it clean? Oh, cleanliness, that should almost be its own nut. There is zero excuse to give me a dirty fork or a wine glass with lipstick smudges. Gross and fail.
Two is the service. I am VERY particular about service. There are very few excuses for poor service. When there is a good reason, I can dig it as long as they are aware of it and apologize. I was a server for many years so I know what it takes and how to handle just about any situation. If the servers are trained properly and they care about your experience then there is no reason for a customer to leave unhappy or unsatisfied. My favorite type of server is one that is passionate and excited about the food and drink they are serving. And I LOVE when they have suggestions!
Three is all about taste! Presentation is also important but I won’t ding someone TOO much if the food is amazing. Did I have to add salt? Was the flavor what was expected from the description? Was it cooked properly and was it the correct temperature? All of those things are important to me.
Fourth is all about the drinks. Alcoholic and Non-Alcoholic. If it was a special drink, how were the flavors? Would I order it again? Was the iced tea iced? That’s not even a joke. Someone asked me recently if I wanted ice in my iced tea. Is that common?
And lastly, price. Was the food, service, and atmosphere in line with how much I spent? Did I get gauged on the cocktails? ( Ok, that happens most places). Did I have to pay an extra $2.00 for a side of sauce or a jalapeno? Were the portions fair considering the type of establishment?
Never fear, I will give a business more than one try. I understand off days, or when it’s a brand new place (it takes some time to get the bugs out, hopefully not real bugs). I will never bash an establishment; I will only share my experiences and my opinions.
Well, that’s it in a nutshell!