I’ve heard many people tell me that it would be a great job to be a restaurant reviewer, where you actually get paid to eat out and write about it. I thought along the same lines several years ago until I actually got to know a few people who reviewed restaurants for a living, including our own Greg Cox. And one of the reasons I wouldn’t want that job is because in a market like this, you eventually have to write a review on a restaurant like Shula’s 347 Grill. Now I have nothing against Don Shula, the former coach of the Miami Dolphins (I grew up a Dolphins’ fan until I saw the light with my beloved Green Bay Packers), and I know he has steakhouses all across the country. I also like steak. But the problem with a place like Shula’s 347 Grill is that it’s pretty much the same as any other steakhouse in any city in the country. Look at the menu and find me one dish that you haven’t seen in a bunch of other places. So the problem with a place like Shula’s 347 Grill (and by the way, the 347 comes from the number of wins Shula had in the NFL) is not with the food, but with the review. I mean, how do you write something interesting about a place that you’ve seen time and time again? That’s the challenge for Greg Cox, and although I’m sure he’ll write a nice review, I’m also confident that it wasn’t his favorite assignment of the year.
But onto the review. I think that when it comes to steakhouses, it’s all about the beef and the value for Cox. First, the steaks have to be really damn good, or the place will not get a great review. Second, the place has to provide food at prices that don’t shock the consciousness. I’m pretty sure that Shula’s has decent steaks, but I have no clue about the value of the place. How expensive are the sides? If they’re pricey, is there a reasonable justification for the expense? I don’t know the answer to these questions as the Shula’s online menu provides no prices.
But if I had to bet, I’m thinking that Shula’s is going to be a solid 3.5 star review. The Angus Barn and Sullivan’s were both awarded 4 stars, whereas Fleming’s only got 3 stars. What’s the difference between these? I haven’t a clue — and that’s part of my point above, where steakhouses are so similar that trying to state one is better than the next is quite difficult.
Anyhow, here are this week’s odds:
5 stars — 60 to 1
4.5 stars – 20 to 1
4 stars — 4 to 1
3.5 stars — 2 to 1
3 stars — 3 to 1
2.5 stars — 7 to 1
2 stars — 15 to 1
1.5 stars — 45 to 1
1 star — 210 to 1
Have you been to Shula’s? Is it a touchdown or a fumble (ugh, sorry about that)?
Edit, June 25, 2010 — Greg Cox gave Shula’s 347 Grill 3.5 stars. And that’s all I have to say about that.