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Bill Rapaport's Buffalo Restaurant Guide

What the Ratings Mean

Last Update: Sunday, 8 March 2015

Note: NEW or UPDATED material is highlighted



Recently, JPa asked me which restaurants I would rate as 4 or 5 on a 5-point scale. I explained that I used a 3-star scheme, so he asked me what my 3-star restaurants were. I pointed him to Favorite Restaurants: What's Good, which lists them, but I was a bit embarrassed by some of the restaurants on the list, for various reasons, primarily my not having eaten in some of them in a long time (so my rankings for them are really old) or my not having some really good ones on the list yet.

Also, I have developed a "triage" theory of grading and ranking:

and I thought that I should really adapt it here.

On a triage theory, a restaurant would either be ranked as "good", "neutral", or "bad", where "neutral" means neither good nor bad, but somewhere in between.

However, since most readers should be primarily interested in the good restaurants, I also need to be able to distinguish among them, so, "recursively" applying my triage theory, I will award 3 stars for the really good restaurants, 1 star for the (merely?) good restaurants, and 2 stars for those that are not (yet) ranked really good or merely good. Thus:


My rating-code *s means roughly the following:

RatingInterpretation
[–]
I've eaten here at least once and did not like it at all.
0 stars (a) I have not eaten here (indicated by no review by me),

   or else

(b) I have eaten here (indicated by a review by me) and am neutral about it. It's not bad (else it would have received a "
[–]
"), but it's nothing to rave about, either.

   Alternatively,

(c) this is a restaurant that I used to eat at a lot, but have not been to in a long time, and so I do not want to continue considering it as good as I used to.
     Read my reviews to see what I used to think of it, and keep in mind that it may be just as good as before, but also might not be.

[*] I have eaten here at least once relatively recently and liked it a lot.
It is more than merely good or passable.
And I'd like to return for more!
[**] I have eaten here several times recently and think that it is better than a 1-star restaurant,
but I have not had enough experiences to raise it to 3 stars yet.
[***] I have eaten here several times recently and have never (or only very rarely) been disappointed.
The restaurant can be counted on to serve interesting specials and/or reliable favorites.

My rankings differ from those of others, and in some cases only reflect my not having eaten at a given restaurant.

So a restaurant with 0 stars might be worthy of [***] stars.

Read the comments before deciding not to eat somewhere!


Non Sequitur's rating scheme:


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