How We Rate Restaurants
This site is meant to help people find at least acceptable food when they are in an area without many options. And it’s also meant to highlight those establishments that are really doing great things. An establishment can earn one “spoon” for each of our 12 criteria they meet. A 1-Spoon establishment signals a place where that busy traveler will find at least a few acceptable dishes, whereas a 12-Spoon establishment signals a place that truly gets it; that’s doing everything right. We hope that as the site gains traction and food purveyors learn of it, they’ll want to know our criteria and how they can earn a higher score. We look forward to a day when there will be a number of high-scoring establishments in every locale, at a variety of price points.
Our 12 Criteria
- From Scratch: Serves mostly (i.e., more than half of the menu) fresh food, prepared from scratch. Does NOT rely primarily on kits or prepared/partially prepared foods from commercial food services. More…
- Local/Organic: Offers at least some locally sourced and/or organically produced food and/or wild-caught seafood. More…
- Pastured: Offers at least some pastured animal foods.
- Organs: Offers some dishes made with organ meats (liver/paté, sweetbreads, heart, kidney, brains, etc.).
- Cooking Fats: Cooks (sautés) in natural fats such as butter, lard, tallow, duck fat, coconut oil, or olive oil; uses lard, duck fat, or tallow for frying.
- Bone Broth: Makes own bone broths/stocks for use in soups, stews, gravies, and sauces (does NOT use canned broth or powdered soup bases).
- Seasonings: Makes own seasoning mixes (does NOT use flavoring packets or MSG)
- Salad Oils: Makes own salad dressings using olive oil or cold-pressed sesame oil.
- Breads: Offers genuine sourdough bread.
- Beverages: Offers lacto-fermented beverages (such as kombucha or kvass).
- Condiments: Offers lacto-fermented condiments.
- Desserts: Offers desserts made in house with natural sweeteners (such as raw honey, maple syrup, maple sugar, molasses, date sugar, palm sugar, coconut sugar, sorghum syrup, or malt syrup).