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Yelp! I need somebody 

In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.” These words spoken by the prophet, Andy Warhol, have never been truer. In the year 2012, everyone is a star. Just look at Rebecca Black, singer of the now infamously auto-tuned crap hit, “Friday.” Black, at 16, has more Facebook friends than Jesus and it’s all because she couldn’t be bothered to sing on key for four solid minutes. It’s hard to understand this trend that drives people to seek such flimsy, soul-sucking fame. 

But there is one realm where it is not only OK to seek glory; it’s encouraged.

I am speaking of course of Yelp.com. For those trapped in a time before wifi, Yelp is a website that allows users to submit reviews on restaurants, businesses, and services. It is driven solely by public content and fluctuates between brilliant, unintentional irreverence and glorious, refined comedic genius. Of course there are some inarticulate reviews on Yelp, but those are few and far between.

Locally, we have the crème de la crème of Yelp reviews at our disposal. The number of good reviews on local restaurants outnumbers the maximum word count of this article, so as an example we’ll stick to…let’s say, Mexican food restaurants.

First up to bat is a review of Chino’s Rock & Tacos in downtown SLO. Many users seem to love the place, however user “blake a.” gives the restaurant one star out of five and says, “My friend Rusty just loves this place, I however find their food to be dull & expensive. The taco salad is just a fried taco shell filled with old lettuce and covered in meat juice. What was Rusty thinking? Dollar taco night is a fun time, it’s just the aftermath I fear.”

It’s poignant, informative, and really does beg the question, “What was Rusty thinking?”

Next up is local favorite, Tio Alberto’s. There are over 44 reviews in English alone. Se habla Espanol? No problem, Yelp does that too! Yelp embraces the cultural diversity of our great state and when it comes to Mexican food, Spanish is a must.

User Johnny C. sums up the atmosphere and quality of Tio Alberto’s perfectly with, “Still the best burrito in five cities. Always get the famous vegetarian. Prices are right too! Lots of Jesus up in this joint.”

And sometimes, Yelp reviewers understand that less is in fact more. After all, who wants to hear anyone drone on for more than a couple hundred words about how palatable the taco sauce is? User Andrew B. seems to understand the beauty in brevity and sums up Tio Alberto’s with five stars and says it is “Amazing. Everything.”

I would definitely eat anywhere that is described as “Amazing. Everything.”

The point is, Yelp.com proves that locals don’t need a college degree or tenure at a fancy culinary school to write well about food. When this New Times writer is about ready to sink her teeth into a new restaurant, she always checks Yelp.com. Because if you can’t trust the people in your community to tell you how bitchin’ the burritos are, then you certainly can’t trust some anonymous desk jockey like me to give you good advice. 

Calendar Editor Maeva Considine compiled this weeks Bites. We want a bite! Send your local cuisine related news to Bites@newtimesslo.com.

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