Occasionally, I visit a brewery or a restaurant, and afterword I can’t help but take a look at the online reviews, they are fascinatingly addicting. Especially when you get to the bad reviews; some are understandably dreadful and others are sort of extravagantly ridiculous.
Recently, I visited a brew house called Battle Road Brewery in Maynard, Massachusetts. It was a Sunday night when I visited the brewery, so it was super quiet, but also, totally relaxing. The brewery is a big establishment, with a rather large seating area inside and a patio outside, right next to a Clock Tower Mill, overlooking Mill Pond.
It was a beautiful evening when I visited the brew house, so I decided to sit outside and take in the fresh air for once. It was actually a nice change of pace; I ordered a flight of beers and a poutine appetizer. For those who don’t know, flights of beer are typically 6oz pours of a few different types of beer, the amount of liquid and how many samples are included in the flight can vary depending on the place. The poutine was pretty good, super cheesy and filled with gravy, but not drowning in it and the beers were better than expected. I specifically remember enjoying the peach/apricot Grisette beer! I ended up ordering a Caesar salad (what a surprise) and had too many bites of my boyfriends BBQ Brisket, which was equally as good. So after finishing our food and the flight, we paid the bill and left, stuffed, yet, content. Honestly, the outside patio totally makes this place worth it, but the beers are good too. Overall, I would say this place was actually better than I thought it would be.
So later that night, I was browsing on my phone and out of the blue, I was curious to what others had to say of the brew house I had just visited. I was quite shocked when I saw: 2.5 stars…? I mean the place wasn’t AMAZING, but it certainly deserves better than 2.5 stars.
So I opened the review site and I was sort of surprised that people thought the food was awful and the beer was unimpressive. Most people said the place wasn’t as good as they thought it was going to be. Others thought the service was terrible and the food was overcooked. Then, there was one person who was upset because they had wooden chairs… I didn’t know a place with wooden chairs automatically deserves 1 star. I mean I can think of plenty of great places with wooden chairs. In the end, I guess that doesn’t even really matter, even the photos of the brewery on the review site didn’t do it justice. So many lop-sided and strange-angled photos at the top of the review site make the place seem so uninviting, and those photos are on display before you even reach the actual rating and reviews.
Unintentionally, the first thing I started to do was second guess the place; was the food really that good? Maybe it was overcooked? I remember not having enough napkins… Then I realized these review where clouding my judgment. I was starting to re-evaluate a place I had previously enjoyed.
I mean everyone is going to have their two cents about everything. Don’t get me wrong, review sites can be helpful at times, but they are not there to totally change your viewpoint; they are there to give you a heads up.
In this day and age, it’s easy to be overwhelmed with reviews, they are everywhere. How many good reviews, how many bad ones? What’s the star rating? How many followers do they have? It seems even easier these days to just read about places online and never actually take the time to visit. I guess that the reason why I am writing this post, to let everyone know that they should actually take the time to visit. Ignore the reviews for once, and see for yourself if it’s worth your time. Form your own opinion! Who knows, perhaps you will be surprised at the outcome. However, if you never take action, you will never know.
Don’t let others influence how you think, what you say or even what you do. Remember, be yourself and explore away!