It is entertaining to watch people work through their psychodramas via “anonymous” restaurant reviews late at night. A user with the IP we gave in the title left scathing and increasingly unhinged reviews under the names Vince, Tim and Luke for three Lincoln Park restaurants overnight, and we want to see what we could piece together about the guy’s life, or at least his mental state, from the trio.
The first review, entitled “avoid [REDACTED],” was for an Italian restaurant:
The pasta was terrible, overcooked and dry to put it lightly… Then they attempt to add some taste by putting their cheap cheese on-top…..The supposed tomato-sauce tastes like tomao-paste on the pasta. I eat a lot of Italian food, this was by far the worst pasta I ever ate. My girlfriend got a salad, she had no complaints… The serivice was lousy, need more personel working…
Okay, this is negative but in a normal enough fashion. No one who says “this is the worst X I ever ate” should be taken seriously, though - especially when they preface the sentiment with an assurance of their expertise on the matter. On the other hand, there’s an attempt at balance with the reference to the girlfriend’s salad. We can see a beef with service emerging there at the end.
The second review, “terrible food,” is of a sushi sport:
Japanese cuisine??? Give me a break the sushi I ordered smelled funky… I told the so called manager my opinion, and they responded that it is how it is supposed to smell. I ate some and right away regret it… after further arguing with one of the rude employees there, I decided to leave, so paid my bill, which was over-priced with a bad feeling in my stomach.
The writing style of this review is more agitated. While the Italian review heavily employed the slow-paced ellipses, the sentences here are jerkier and full of tense shifts. There’s a sense of urgency which builds through the review, although 220.127.116.11 has enough presence of mind to slip in a negative adjective about the staff in the final sentence.
The third and final review, “WORST FOOD EVER,” excoriates an American restaurant in all caps:
FOOD IS TERRIBLE AT THIS RESTAURANT, THEY HAVE ALL THESE T.V’S THOSE WHICH CAN BE ENJOYABLE AT TIMES, BUT APPEARS TO BE REDUDANT DUE TO THE FACT THERE ARE SO MANY.. MY HAMBURGER WAS COLD AND OVERCOOKED, HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE I AM NOT SURE??? THE FRIES WERE GOOD, BUT SERVICE WAS LOUSY… A BUNCH OF YOUNG-ADULTS WORK AS WAITRESSES AND HOSTESSES, MAKING SERVICE UNBEARABLE.
Uh oh. You know the majuscule spells trouble. Why the change now after the first two reviews? Is it an attempt to throw us off the trail? Because if it were written in sentence case like the other reviews, it wouldn’t have nearly the impact. But interesting clues emerge here anyway. 18.104.22.168 knows enough to use “redundant,” but is not so methodical as to spell it correctly. The incredulity expressed at the cold and overcooked hamburger seems rhetorical - the obvious answer is it had been sitting out. Finally, the accusation of “unbearable” service is justified only by the mere age of the service staff, so it seems our reviewer is old and bitter.
This is the sort of person that seeks out reasons to be disgusted and miserable, and finds them everywhere he looks. He has so much anger and resentment about the way life has treated him that he elevates every random slight to a sign of a vast conspiracy to tear him down. He may have deluded himself into thinking that leaving these reviews will help other people in their restaurant searches (of course they won’t), but they don’t even seem to be doing the secondary job of catharsis. 22.214.171.124 is stuck in a grief cycle that no amount of witching hour Internet browsing can resolve. We could say something about trying to suss out and revel in the fleeting happy moments of life, but we fear it would fall on deaf ears.
Shrug. We hope he at least tips well.