SanDiegoVille's Top Five Best Reasons For Not Jumping On The "Best of" Bandwagon

December 1, 2017

Everyone is looking for the "best" nowadays. You'll see "Best of" lists all over the place - best restaurant, best chefs, best neighborhood, best opening, etc., superlative, etc., especially as the end of the year approaches. 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 subjective determination with each person having their own unique rhyme and reason. Although we'll occasionally discuss our personal favorites, we're not keen on the "Best of" movement that is taking the Internet by storm. Here are our top 5 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 more exposure than a normal post. 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 the reader to click through a slideshow. Each slide is a different pageview for statistical purposes, so as a viewer scrolls through the list, the website gets numerous hits for essentially one article, artificially inflating their stats, which helps when pitching advertisers. 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 Bronx's Pizza has the best pizza in San Diego. Now we have Buona Forchetta, Landini's, 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 pizzeria in San Diego...yet. Maybe Jamul Restaurant & Pizza makes the perfect pie. I have no idea - we'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, every talking head in town thinks their opinion should be respected and revered. Today it seems that a fool's opinion counts just the same as that of the enlightened. A one-star review by a tech-savvy child may 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. There should be some quantification in criticism. As Malcolm Gladwell once said, "Criticism is a privilege that you earn."

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.

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... resulting in increased page views like a bell ring for one of Pavlov's dogs. We'd rather not promote the devolution of intellect. There are certainly enough people and publications that do that. P.S. Are you still there?