Join us for another edition of Adventures in Shilling, wherein we celebrate the grossest shills from around the world wide web. As always, you too can help fight shills.
It's been too long since we've checked in with the wonderful world of shilling, but we've culled a few suspects from the comments fields, Chowhound, Yelp and the rest of the internet. For today's edition, we've got a few newbies suspected of generating some extra opening buzz, the almost-expected shills from the front lines of the froyo wars, and an old-timer involved in some shenanigans.
A reader tipped us off to a smattering of five-star, first-time reviews for the brand new Limon Rotisserie. Up first, try some sides of Peruvian perfection:
My partner and I went here last night for its opening weekend. We both had the sangria and agreed that flavourwise it gave Cha-Cha-Cha's a run for its money ... I'd highly recommend this place. They have delicious tapas at a very affordable price. In fact, you can go the non-tapas, under-$10 route by getting a half-chicken and two sides of Peruvian perfection. That's food-stall prices at high-end taste.
Shill Probability: on its own, a modest 45%
Another review from the Limon Yelp page follows. It's not too bad on its own, but when combined with the multiple, similar reviews, the suspicion adds up:
I have been a huge fan of Limon on Van Ness, so when I learned of Limon Peruvian Rotisserie, I could not wait. This past weekend, made a trip up to the city and decide to have lunch at Limon Rotisserie. Walking in, the place is very intimate yet you do not feel like you are crowded at your table. Greeted by the friendly staff, immediately makes you feel welcomed to be there ... The chicken melted in your mouth it was so tender and juicy. The chicken was so good, and even ate the skin, in which I never do. Of course topping it off with a Peruvian beer. My recommendation is to go to Limon Rotisserie several times and just work your way down the menu.It's not an edition of Adventures in Shilling without some chatter from the fine froyo purveryors of San Francisco. From the comments:
Shill Probability: as a collection, 75%
I have been to Swirl Culture twice and I got to tell you, their soft serve yogurt is the best tasting yougurt I have tasted. I don't like my yogurt to tangy, so I was pleasantly surprised when I tried Swirl Culture's. When you add the toppings you have the potential to create literally millions of possible taste combinations and that's part of the total experience offered by Swirl Culture.Across the Bay, Miss Pearl's Jam House has a perfect score on Yelp, thanks to reviews like this:
The Swirl Culture look is different than the other guys. Really upscale and urban, with lots of natural light and a very comfortable seating area where you can just hang out, meet your friends, read a book or surf the Internet. I've tried the other yogurt shops in the City and this is the only one for me. I hope you will try it. Ask for Christopher.
Shill Probability: 83%
Miss Pearl's Jam House is due to open at the end of August. As the girlfriend of the Chef de Cuisine, I was able to get a sneak peak of the incredible operation that is Miss Pearl's. With the beautiful raw bar, wood oven and rotisserie this restaurant serves up a very elegant interpretation of new world and Caribbean cuisine. Miss Pearl's truly transports you to a feeling of true relaxation when faced with a wonderful cocktail and wine list, and a flawless menu. Be prepared for your palate to be dazzled by bold, exciting flavors!Granted, this above shill is a bit of a unique case, since there is some disclosure, but there are two other perfect ones from people who attended the previews, which doesn't seem quite just.
Shill Probability: 90%
Finally, on Chowhound (post has since been removed, rightly) someone wants to tell everyone that the Plumed Horse is relevant again:
I used to go to this place with my parents back in the day... this place invented old school service. I have just moved back to the area, I was on open-table making resos for Manresa on friday, and I saw on the opening screen, #9 on their "Best of teh Bay Area" was the PH. I thought for sure they must have mistyped something. I looked into it and I see the PH is under new ownership, a new Chef, and has a newly renovated building. All good things in my book. SO... I stoped in to see the dusty but beloved Plumed Horse yesterday. OMG! The pictures don't do the place justice. They have changed everything, even the location of the front door. The bar was sexy and modern, the building was super clean, even the kitchen, which you can see through the floor to celing window of the private chefs table. Can you say 3 story Glass wine cellar? anyone...Bueller? The attention to detail was amazing, right down to Frette napkins! a selection of knives for meats (who does that?!) all Ridel glasswear and table side service. They even spoted the Ridel emblems... *rolls eyes* I was in heaven. Chef Peter ArmeIllino has brought alot of his tricks from the 2* Michelin AQUA. But that isn't all, he also worked with names like Douglas Keane, Des Jardins and Laurent Manrique. So does the place live up to the 2*s that Chef Armellino is used to... I'd have to say it's on the brink... but form what I saw it 'll be a sure 2009 guide inductee. I'll be back. http://www.plumedhorse.com/Mercy.
Shill Probability: 99%
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