Thursday, October 3, 2013

Just like politics

I have to break the silence, but just about everyone who is into a category that is voted on, in the Best of St. Louis, from the RFT, knows that it is a complete joke.  Let me sum up the judging requirements and standards with a simple example:

DB's Sports Bar has been more than reasonable with the requests of Insidestl, when it comes to providing many of their girls to interact and enact in foot fetish frolics over the radio show.  They take it serious and their regular menu even has a photo of a woman's legs, from her waist down.  It would seem that when Insidestl needs a girl for any reason, all they have to do is ask DB's and then *poof*, they have their girl.

So, if I was to act like the RFT and hold a whole week of articles about the Best of..., in St. Louis, when it came to best Sports Bar, I would choose DB's.  The RFT doesn't care if the food is good, if the service is good or even if the idea is sound.  They pick their favorites and by selecting them as their best, they help promote them even further.  This is also seen because every selection has in fine print below it: "Reader's choice...".

I don't have a best St. Louis Indie Pop group or a best dance club bouncer name, but I have some ideas about food.  Some of the Best of winners make sense while others like how a restaurant on the Hill wins for best Italian restaurant (not cheap) is beyond me.  In St. Louis, we have this idea that just because the Hill is where the Italian immigrants first arrived and set up as their home, in St. Louis, we have this idea that the best Italian food comes there.  But what if we were wrong?  I am not suggesting that this restaurant is bad, but there are a lot of really good Italian restaurants NOT on the Hill.  Oh yeah, did I mention that this restaurant has also a whole page ad, in the Best of section on food, in the RFT?  I am sure that the ad was not cheap.

Besides how advertised restaurants seem to win the Best of, in their category, a pet peeve of mine is when the RFT suggests that a restaurant can win a Best of St. Louis section when it is not in St. Louis.  I know this sounds very simple, almost as simple as back and white, but there is a lot of grey area.  I grew up and was raised in Affton.  Affton, is not in St. Louis, it is in Affton.  I remember being young and riding my bike to the actual large and marble monument, signifying the boundary of the city and the county.  So, we get that: Affton is not St. Louis.  But Affton is within St. Louis county.  So now we have something different.  Now, we have a broader selection and can have a special on St. Louis while looking at places like Glendale or University City.  But, you will have a hard time suggesting that a "dining destination" in Brussels, Illinois can be a best of St. Louis selection.   From the Arch, that location is 1 hour and 40 minutes of driving away, using the fastest route through Google!  How is that within St. Louis?  Places like Eureka, which is 34 minutes away from the Arch or Collinsville, which is 6 minutes away from the Arch, I can understand.  Does this mean that we can select Chicago as having best Pizza in St. Louis?  Or what about a restaurant in the Ozarks for best Farm-to-table?

I know I may get flak for saying it, but there are a lot of politics involved in the culinary world of St. Louis.  I just think that it is a rotten shame that organizations like the RFT choose to push those who don't need or deserve these winnings.  You have friends who are friends and friends who want to rule the world with their friends and thus only want to support their friends.  That is how it works, just like politics. 

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