It doesn't make me feel good when I write harsh restaurant reviews, but a small percentage of the reviews published at MyrtleBeachRestaurantNews.com contain negative feedback. My first responsibility is to readers, and they need to trust I'll be honest.
I'm especially critical if I visit a well-established restaurant and am served sub-par food. Maybe there are people out there who can afford to spend more than $150 on a meal for four and not mind if it's wasted on anything less than excellent food, but I'm not one of them. My dining out budget is tight, and when a restaurant that has been in business for more than 15 years wastes my money, I'm not overlooking it.
That was the case when my family and a friend and I visited Old World Italian Restaurant in Murrells Inlet last summer. We had high expectations for this 17-year-old restaurant because many people told me it's fantastic, but we were extremely disappointed.
Some readers thought I was either too harsh or just plain wrong in my opinions, but evidently I wasn't off the mark because a Food Network television series, "Restaurant: Impossible" is coming to town next week to make it over. The show's premise is Chef Robert Irvine and a construction crew rescue failing restaurants in two days with $10,000.
I'm delighted the Hayek family at Old World Italian reached out for help and will be eager to experience the changes.
Here's a bit of local food trivia: This is not the first time George Hayek Jr. (the founder's son and the chef at Old World Italian) will have been on national television. About a dozen years ago the program "Date Plate" came to the Grand Strand and taped two or three episodes. The show's celebrity chef was Cat Cora. George Jr. was one of the show's contestants, and he ended up winning on his episode. "Date Plate's" premise was a single woman tasted three meals cooked by three men, and after she selected the best meal she and the cook won a prepaid date.
The local food scene is heating up again after the holidays, with several new restaurants in the works I'll be checking out for you. Fat Greek's Restaurant opened, a new Murphy's Law is opening next week, I reported that The Fresh Market was on the City of Myrtle Beach Appearance Board agenda, went to a collards cook-off and more.
The new Sunday restaurant server column launches this weekend. I'm extremely excited about this new addition to our lineup called "Life Behind Bars." The writer, Troy D. Nooe, is a published novelist who also bartends. He's an entertaining read.
Here's a note to you restaurant owners and chefs: I'm collecting special menus, deals and events you're planning for the Super Bowl and for Valentine's Day. Readers are asking for these, so let's feed their desires!
On Twitter: @RestaurantGal