I’ve seen it a million times on restaurant signs and menus: “Voted best (insert food here)” or “Voted #1, etc.” Really? Do tell!
Typically, a faded newspaper clipping tacked up behind the register, which includes a review of said dining establishment (and that probably has an ad for an upcoming Liberace concert on the side we can’t see) is the bold claim’s only corroboration. Well hey, I’m convinced!
What I’m convinced of is that, when it comes to dining establishments, there ought to be a statute of limitations on the right to claim such a status as “best” or “#1.”
So you won a spelling bee in the third grade; are you still putting it on your resume?
Who cares if you were voted #1 anything by a handful of your closest friends from the neighborhood back in 1981? You can’t rest on your laurels forever.
A close cousin to this type of place is the “world famous” dining establishment. I mean, if you are the Brown Derby, yeah, you may be world famous. But a hole-in-the-wall sandwich shop or oyster bar in Toledo is known worldwide?
So, if I were walking down the street in Istanbul and asked someone what they thought about Joe’s Subs or Guido’s Clam Bar, they’d know what I was talking about and give me an enthusiastic testimonial? Maybe I’ll give that a try sometime.
In the meantime, I think businesses that claim to be world famous should have to receive some official certification and a notarized document stating as much. Otherwise, how do we really know?
But, why should I care, even if it is world famous? Should that influence my dining choices? Hey, they’ve heard of this place in Johannesburg. Let’s eat here!
I swear, all this boastfulness is sometimes enough to put you off your food.