« Now THIS is a city that parties | Main | Surefire hangover cures »

January 1, 2009

Commenting, How to

Just so everyone understands the ground rules of commenting on Dining@Large, I'm going to state them here, as I did last Jan. 1 -- so we can start off the year on the right foot.

1) You don't have to use your real name or any name. You don't have to put in an e-mail, although there are certain advantages for you if you do.

2) I can't "publish" comments that might get me and/or you sued. If you are served a well-done steak at a restaurant when you ordered rare and want to talk about it, that's one thing. Saying that a place has rats unless the health department has reported it is another, even if I know you're probably right. If you've left a valid e-mail, I will tell you why I couldn't publish your comment.

3) I'm assuming that faithful readers have two things in common, no matter what their differences: They love good food, and their Holy Grail is the perfect restaurant experience.  That seems to me a good enough basis for a certain degree of civility when you're responding to other posts. In fact, please bend over backwards to be polite unless you know your comment won't be misinterpreted. I also hope people will try to not be too thin-skinned and realize that not every disagreement is a personal attack.

4) Posts that make me queasy are off-limits. To paraphrase Eddie Murphy in Beverly Hills Cop, my stomach is my life. Also I don't like juvenile bathroom humor. And, of course, profanity etc. etc.

5) I'm fair game, but not other reviewers, or really hateful comments about anyone else. See Rule No. 3. And frankly, if I'm having a bad day, really hateful comments about me aren't going to get published either.

6) I hope regulars will continue to encourage new people to participate by acknowledging their comments in some way, and will be extra-gentle when responding to first-timers. Commenting for the first -- or second or third -- time can be scary for everyone but Bucky. As I said to someone once, getting folks to comment is like trying to coax shy little kittens out from under the sofa. It's nice to have new voices in the discussion.

Thanks for reading -- and commenting,


Posted by Elizabeth Large at 7:54 AM | | Comments (21)
Categories: Commenting


When up in town for the holidays, my medium steak arrived barely medium-rare. But I ate it anyway without sending it back.

EL, as far as I am concerned, you are not fair game for snark, and neither is anyone else. A good-natured jab perhaps, but that is it.

This is a pleasant and civilized place to converse about restaurants and food in general. And of course, any other topic that a poster feels is worth a comment.

Happy New Year to All!!!

So let me think. PCB doesn't think EL is fair game. EL is in the pocket of the seafood industry. The Church controls the world economy via the seafood industry. It's all becoming quite clear.

Happy New Year to Elizabeth and the sandbox. Among my New Year resolutions: find more time to participate on D@L, and to make more frequent trips to MD for Berger's Cookies.

I'm with FL Rob on this. We have all typed remarks that spoken in person with an eyeroll or grin probably come off a LOT better than they do onscreen. There are some remarks made though, that are just plain ugly. They should no more be aimed at you, EL, than at any of us.

I have never commented on this blog but i read it loyally. I appreciate how often you post, how you get around town, your top ten lists, how thoughtful your reviews are, how kind you are to others, how you often respond to people's comments, and to the warm welcome you gave the shy kittens. Thank you

Yes, PCB Rob, I agree with you. Let's resolve to tone down the snarkiness in 2009!

Don't stop commenting now, loyal reader. It is a lot of fun to join the conversation, too!

Although I am not a Luddite, I'm not very savvy to the workings of these interwebs. My first e-mail ever was sent to EL. I love this blog. It makes getting out of bed and coming to work worthwhile.

Tone down the snarkiness? Hmm... then I would have to increase it in real life to even it out. They should have a blog that is totally random subjects. Kind of like what happens here but sanctioned.

Hi, Loyal Reader! Glad you decided to speak up and hope to hear from you again.

Welcome Loyal Reader. The more you comment, the more you will get a feel for things. I only started a year ago.

Yes, please join in Loyal Reader, and you too RayRay. I also was more comfortable communicating in fountain pen before I found this blog but you"ll find this to be a pretty tolerant bunch here (at least in regard to cyberability). Just leave the fancy stuff like web space hosting to Hal Laurent, VoR, and those who can link and speak in italics. You and I can just muddle along for a while reading and typing and laughing.

Questions and comments

Does anyone know if the owners and/or chefs of Trapeze in Maple Lawn have plans for another restaurant? The food was great but the location was out of the way.

Donna's Bakery in yesterday's article about Michelle Obama's birthday cakes - where is it? Is it wholesale? Associated with Donna's restaurants? After searching the web, one site said it was closed which contradicted the article.

Thanks for any answers.

sabine is donna's pastry chef and bakes all of the desserts for donna's out of a special "commissary" space. special cakes can be ordered by calling donna's bakery directly: 410 588 0550 or contacting donna at or if you are at a donna's, a manager can take your order.
thanks so much

I feel like I must take the time to write a quick review of the fabulous new bar menu at the Oceanaire Seafood Room. My husband and I stopped in for a quick dinner and found the dining room packed. Of course we didn’t make reservations so it was no big deal. We figured we would wait at the bar. Much to our surprise we found a delightful “small plates” menu at the bar to snack on. In fact we snacked so much we never left. We started with fresh, delicious, Chincoteague oysters, at a mere $1.50 per oyster. These salty and creamy delicacies whetted our appetite to move onto some other bits and bites.

My husband went with the crab cake sliders and truffle French fries. The jumbo lump crab meat cakes were so big even my husband had a hard time getting his mouth around it all. And the earthy aroma of the fries made my mouth water. I chose a little surf and turf and was equally pleased. The black and blue sirloin and the tuna tartare were perfect! The only downside was trying to keep my husband’s fingers out of my plate.

For those of you who want to try a few of Oceanaires creations and keep to your entertainment budget, I highly recommend the “Bar Delicacies” menu at the Oceanaire Seafood Room.

My favorite comment lately was this skewed personal attack:

I was driving to work today and there was a beat up rusty old Dumpster on the back of truck and it said "Owl Metals" At first glance I thought it said Owl Meat. Your in my head, you pretentious bastard.
Posted by: Hellp | December 17, 2008 10:59 AM

I laugh every time I think about it.

I feel like I must take the time to write a pathetic fake review of the smelly new bar menu at the Oceanaire Seafood Room. My werewolf and I stopped in for a quick bathroom break and found the dining room packed with zombies. Of course we didn’t make reservations because we're idiots so it was no big deal. We figured we would wait at the bar because we left out time machine at home. Much to our dismay we found a vengeful “satanic elf” gang at the bar to feast on our souls. In fact we paralyzed by fear and neurotoxins so much we never left. We started with fresh, delicious, Chico & The Man oysters, at a mere $101.50 per oyster. These retro and poorly written delicacies whetted our pants to move onto some other kibbles and bits and bites.

My Virginia werewolf went with the eel cake gastro-barf and bindle stiff French fries. The jumbo slave-labor Ecuadorian crab pies were so evil and guilt-inducing even my husband had a hard time getting his soul to stop screaming. And the earthy aroma of the hobo on my lap made my eyes water. I chose a little Smurf and turf and was equally smurfed. The black and blue eyes I gave my husband and the zombie chick giving him a lap dance were perfect! The only downside was trying to keep my husband’s fingers out of my partial plate.

Inside Gina's head: Hmmm.. there is no pertinent recent post into which I can insert this piece of garbage. so I will put it into the most general post about commenting, thus making it look ridiculously out of place and obvious. Oh, and make sure to sign it with my name so the client will know that I wrote it. These internet people are so stupid and this PR stuff is SO easy to do. I can't believe that those corporate clowns at Oceanaire paid me to do this. Ah, life is good.

For those of you who would like to hire Gina Ramsay to write a really obvious hacky bit of PR fluff for your restaurant, here is some background and contact info:

Gina Ramsey

Account Executive at Adventure Web Productions
Washington D.C. Metro Area Marketing and Advertising

Account Executive at Yellow Book USA
Account Executive at SBC/AT&T
Baldwin-Wallace College

Owl, your updated review is a hoot! The original is funny, too, but for all the wrong reasons.

*sigh* I love you, Owlie.

SWLML, glad you appreciated it. I woke up around 4:30 a.m. to a crisp 49° bedroom, a befeathered lady giving me the finger and this bit of hacky shillery. Given this blog's high Google rank, now this PR flack will be easy to find for potential new customers.

Oh thanks Stacy, I need all of that I can get. I signed up for eHarmony but all my matches were psychotherapists and women prisoners. 8>(

Post a comment

Verification (needed to reduce spam):

About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

Top Ten Tuesdays
Most Recent Comments
Baltimore Sun coverage
Restaurant news and reviews Recently reviewed
Browse photos and information of restaurants recently reviewed by The Baltimore Sun

Sign up for FREE text alerts
Get free Sun alerts sent to your mobile phone.*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for dining text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Food & Drink newsletter
Need ideas for dinner tonight? A recommendation for the perfect red wine?'s Food & Drink newsletter is there to help.
See a sample | Sign up

Stay connected