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Boy Writes Miami, Pissing Off Yelp and Others Along the Way

"[Reviews] aren't the place for rants about matters that don't address the core of the normal customer experience," a lady named Alma wrote on Yelp. She was reprimanding Orlando Winters for a review on the site. It wasn't surprising, considering his reviews usually approach near absurdity. But so what? Nobody can accuse Orlando of being boring.

This perhaps was the push that the 27-year-old engineer by day needed to start Boy Writes Miami, a collection of restaurant and bar reviews. Entertaining and mildly offensive (can't anyone take a joke anymore?), his writeups describe Miami with "gratuitous vulgarity included."


Favorite restaurant: Soya e Pomodoro.
Favorite bar: Abraxas.
West Kendall or Hialeah? Hialeah at gunpoint.
What's worse than Passion nightclub? Genocide. Maybe.

New Times: Let's get this out of the way first: Why won't Yelp let you be great?

Orlando: Maria [Argüello], the lass who runs Yelp Miami, is a great gal and apparently bumps heads with headquarters over whether or not I should even be allowed to download a Yelp app on my phone, let alone write reviews. If it wasn't for her, I would've probably been banned long ago. HQ wants people to take the site's reviews seriously. In order for that to happen, they deem it necessary for reviewers to color inside the lines, so to speak. Unfortunately, they believe I color outside the lines. With feces and orphan tears.

Was Boy Writes Miami a direct response to Yelp's ban?

I've never been outright banned by Yelp. Suspended, yes. Reviews removed, yes. I started writing on Yelp because Amazon, my original foray into stupid reviews, wasted no time in suspending me immediately after I submitted my thoughts about Glenn Beck's book in which I wrote a few limericks detailing how he hasn't responded to accusations of him raping and murdering a girl in 1990. At the same time, I wrote a review about Sarah Palin's Going Rogue where I mentioned I would call her a cunt if only she didn't lack depth and warmth.

After Yelp removed a couple of reviews and I expressed outrage, I wanted to follow Sarah Palin's cunty footsteps and go rogue. The same friend that suggested going on Yelp in the first place coined the name Boy Writes Miami. I'm not particularly fond of that moniker, but it does a good job of describing my maturity level.

From your mailbag, it seems like most readers fall into one of two categories: They love you or they hate you. Why do you think there is no gray area with you?

I tend to incite emotional responses. I'm not a benign writer with thoughts you may simply disagree with. If some guy says, "I don't like the taste of sushi," the most a reasonable person can do is either agree, disagree, or be completely indifferent with such mild commentary. Now, if some guy says, "I think sushi tastes like racism wrapped in Bill O'Reilly's ball sweat and anyone that likes it promotes pedophilia," you're going to have a lot of people laughing or a lot of people fuming. There really is no middle ground. Unless you're retarded.

See? There it is right there.

Why have a clean version of your site?

That's where I put all my tasteful writeups suitable for all audiences.

Some of your reviews seem to contradict what the masses have deemed good (i.e., Gigi or Bar). Do you think people are too easily influenced by what a few "tastemakers" say is good?

I should preface this by saying I don't dislike Gigi. I don't think it's worth the rampant circle jerking and unwarranted love affair surrounding it; however, they serve pretty good food, and I've been there again since the original review.

I have a tendency to dislike things that the mainstream palate enjoys. Sushi is probably the most notable. I'm sort of a picky eater. This is why I'm a terrible food critic. I'm always surprised when I receive an email from someone who says they took my suggestion and visited a place, or didn't visit a place, or mailed Pitbull an angry letter because he sounds like what I imagine the soundtrack to a vasectomy would sound like.

I don't necessarily believe people are too easily influenced by what a few tastemakers say is good. I think those tastemakers are influential in getting others to try new places, but ultimately these people need to jam that food in their faces themselves.

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