Question Of The Week: Are Star Ratings Fair?

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Seems like every week someone questions the Dallas Morning News star rating system. This morning, DMN critic Leslie Brenner posted a thoughtful discussion of its inner workings on their blog. But I wonder if stars will confuse or annoy readers, no matter what.

For instance, if you lump every restaurant into one large category, cheap-but-good diners stand little chance against the Stephan Pyles of the world. On the other hand, when you break them into separate categories, that sloppy Tex-Mex joint with 3 stars looks better than the mostly brilliant--but 2 star--AVA. Some readers just glance at the rating, after all.

Not defending our no-stars policy. Just wondering if a star system can please everybody. Also don't care if you answer here or on the Eats blog. It's just an interesting topic. Read Brenner's post, if you haven't already.

Results from last week, in which we asked why--given the cost-quality ratio--anyone orders pasta in restaurants:

Well, it turned into a private debate on food costs, mark ups and such between me and TLS...so apparently few others worry about the subject--except for luniz, who said "I was talking about this with a friend this weekend. It's not just pasta though, stuff like Screen Door's $30 shrimp and grits makes me laugh. It's poor people food. It's supposed to be cheap. It's good when it's cheap. Same with pasta. It's incongruous to pay a lot of money for this stuff imo. Sometimes it's worth it, I had a bolognese sauce at Nonna with a really nice pasta that was fairly unique for me; I have a limited experience with Italian food. But I don't understand why you would pay for an expensive version of comfort food. To me it's best when it's at its simplest (and likely cheapest)."

I do think Nonna is one place where it makes sense to order a pasta dish.

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