If you come to my town, where's the best place to go to look for that perfect restaurant, or opinions about a place you're considering dining at? Me. Seriously.
And maybe a few of my friends.
We know the truth.
You can sometimes get some of that truth from Toronto Life and Zagat.
Once in awhile, we'll maybe go write a review on Yelp. But probably not. If you ate at 50 places a year and 30 of them are really good, you'd tire of writing it up.
So, if you go to Google's review aggregation that includes results from TripAdvisor, OurFaves, and Google itself... you'll see a bunch of inexplicable one-star reviews for some of the best restaurants in the city.
"I could barely see my food..." Have you heard of ambience?
"The staff was unfriendly..." ... after you put ketchup on the filet of sole.
"Cramped..." Sorry it isn't the Rainforest Cafe.
Don't get me wrong: I'm a big fan of user-generated content and recommendations. Unfortunately, when you go to TripAdvisor, you often have to wade through the most inexplicable, knuckle-dragger "reviews" of some of the best hotels and restaurants known to mankind.
It's also an interface issue with Google's review aggregation, though. The Harbord Room actually averages four stars on Yelp... but you wouldn't know this from Google's tally, which makes it look like there are a lot of dissatisfied visitors, and the average looks like it's just over one star.
You know what? Just let me make the reservation, and if the place is no good, I'll take full responsibility. :)
In the meantime though you could trust good reviewers like this guy.