>> Can I use your photography or writing?
>> What kind of camera do you use?
>> Why do you call your blog “The Girl Who Ate Boston” when so many of the eateries you review are not actually in Boston?
>> Why is there so often a long delay between your posts?
>> Why don’t any of your reviews mention wine, beer, or other such alcoholic beverages?
>> If you don’t drink alcohol, what do you do for drink pairings?
>> Why are your reviews of eateries almost universally positive?
All of my photography and writing is protected by copyright. If you would like to use any of my photography or writing, please feel free to email me at TheGirlWhoAteBoston@gmail.com and we’ll discuss it.
Nowadays, I mostly use a Canon 6D with a Sigma 35mm lens. I post-process my photos using Lightroom. In earlier posts, I used a Sony RX-100. In very early posts, I used whatever version of the iPhone was out at the time and post-processed my photos using Snapseed.
Because “The Girl Who Ate Boston and the Surrounding Area” didn’t sound as good.
(1) The generic “because I am a Busy College Grad with places to go and people to see” answer.
(2) Dining out is expensive. If I’m churning out three posts a week on my meager budget, I’m not being fiscally responsible.
(3) I like to try restaurants multiple times if I can before posting a review. Between saying “I went there” versus “I go there,” I find the latter to be more helpful.
(4) After I have written a draft of a review, I like to let it sit for at least a few days (ideally a week or more) and then return to it with a fresh perspective. I produce better writing that way.
Because I don’t drink alcohol. Sorry! Yes, I know that’s a weird limitation for a food blog.
The most important reason I don’t drink is that I am not yet Of Drinking Age, and regardless of any interest I might have in wine, I do not want to put the liquor licenses of any restaurants in jeopardy. Other reasons include that alcohol is expensive and I am a Poor College Student, so the less I spend on drinks the more I have to spend on food.
When there’s another option, I take it. For instance, L’Espalier and Menton offer non-alcoholic drink pairings as routine. I asked about this once and was told that the bartender at L’Espalier doesn’t drink alcohol, so he takes particular pleasure in designing complementary non-alcoholic pairings. (And they are fantastic.) Honestly it’s hard to imagine that wine could offer as much palette for creativity as I have experienced in some of these alternatives.
I imagine a talented sommelier must be something like a safecracker. If his touch is sufficiently expert and delicate, he can sense which wine will provide the best match for any given dish. But that is essentially turning a dial, whereas crafting a complementary non-alcoholic pairing from the ground up is closer to what the chef is doing. The latter is transient, and romantic. Like the dishes on a Michelin tasting menu, you can’t walk into a retail store and buy these drinks. They exist only for that moment.
If you like wine, drink wine. But even if you do, let me pose a second question. Do you appreciate creativity? If so, then you might enjoy non-alcoholic pairings. More restaurants should offer them, in my opinion. They’re great fun.
Because for the most part I do a pretty good job of scoping out restaurants before trying them. Dining out is expensive, so I like to be reasonably optimistic about the chances I’ll enjoy my meal. Most of the time it works out for me.
Occasionally, I will have a bad meal at a restaurant and make a conscious decision not to blog about it. There are a couple factors at play in this decision:
(1) Writing about a meal I didn’t like is not enjoyable for me. I love food, I really do. I have difficulty motivating myself to write about a bad experience with it, and even if I eventually do write the review, I am not as happy with it as I am with my “happy” food writing.
(2) Unless I have been to the restaurant 3+ times and had consistently negative experiences, I don’t necessarily feel that my one or two experiences are representative of a typical diner’s experience there. Restaurants are run by human beings who, despite being skilled and attentive and having good intentions, may occasionally make a mistake — just like me! — so I make an active effort to be understanding and not to immortalize any one-off mistakes on the unforgiving Internet.
I think I am probably a lot more charitable in my decisions not to post negative reviews than many (most?) other food bloggers. Maybe you think that’s a good thing, maybe you think it’s bad. I recognize arguments in both directions. Perhaps I’d change my position if I were being paid to review restaurants, but as long as I am not earning a dime in income from this blog, I am choosing to focus on my better dining experiences.