SanDiegoVille's Top Five Reasons for Not Jumping on the "Best of" Bandwagon

December 2, 2014

Everyone is looking for the "best" nowadays. You'll see "Best of" lists all over the place - best pizza, best burgers, best chefs, best restaurants, best dive bars, best beaches, best neighborhoods, etc., etc., etc., especially as the end of the year approaches (you'll soon see our super-hypocritical Best Bites of 2014 list). We don't blame people for wanting to maximize enjoyment by seeking out quality, but when it comes to "the best" of any particular food-related category, it's really a very subjective determination with each person having their own unique rhyme and reason. Although we'll occasionally discuss our personal favorites, we're not big into the "Best of" movement that is taking the Internet by storm. Here are our 5 top reasons for not jumping on the "Best of" bandwagon.

5. The 'Cheap Pop' - This term originated in professional wrestling. It's when a wrestler would say or do something to easily win the support of the crowd. We've applied that term to all this "Best of" bullshit. Lists get clicks. "Best of" lists definitely get exposure. It's a way of maximizing traffic to a given article by use of hyperbole. It's cheap. It's overused. Often times, the list is not contained on one single page, forcing you to click through a slideshow. Each slide is a different pageview, so as a reader clicks though the list, the website gets numerous views for essentially one article, artificially inflating their stats. It's also frequently used as a sneaky way to promote and suck up to the medium's paid advertisers.

4. Exclusionary - So, let's say we publish that Landini's is the best pizza in San Diego. Now we have Buona Forchetta, Bronx Pizza, Lefty's and Luigi's all pizza-ed off at us, saying things like, "Those jerks over at SanDiegoVille don't know what they're talking about." We don't want that. We also haven't tried every pizza at every pizza joint in San Diego...yet. Maybe Jamul Restaurant & Pizza makes the perfect pie. I have no idea - I've never been there, so who the hell am I to judge?

3. Age of Narcissism - With the rise of social media and sites like Yelp, everyone thinks their opinion should be revered. But a fool's opinion counts just the same as that of the enlightened. A one star review by a tech savvy child can figure into Yelp's "algorithm" the same as it would from superchef Gordon Ramsay. Anyone can make a "best of" list, but really, who makes the list is quite important. What are the list-maker's qualifications? What factors were considered for inclusion on the list? Who's paying who or doing favors for whom to be included on the list? Who the 'F' do you think you are?!? We need to know these things.

2."Best" is soo subjective - Personally, I'm not a fan of Chicago-style pizza. I prefer 'gourmet' burgers over the basic version. I like sushi places that have a lot of creative roll options rather than the more traditional spots. I think that a delicious hole-in-the-wall is more satisfying than fancy-schmancy elegance. If a place doesn't have at least 1-2 good craft beers, I usually won't dine there. All these eccentricities factor into my judgment, so someone with contrary idiosyncrasies may find my subjective "bests" to be their "worsts". We've read tons of local best lists and are usually rolling our eyes in disagreement. There should be some quantification in criticism.

1. The dumbing down of America - Do people even read anymore? It seems that all these lists are meant to appeal to America's evolving A.D.D. mindset. Throw a number in the article's title and people think they can skim through it quickly and easily...maximizing page views like one of Pavlov's dogs. We'd rather not promote devolution. There are certainly enough people and publications that do that.