After following Miami's Restaurant Power Rankings on Twitter, we knew we had to find out more about this funny food loving character. Blogger Ryan Roman has something to say about everything and with a powerful sense of humor. Short Order asked him about the comments of foodies and the joys of blogging.
Name: Ryan Roman
Began blogging: 2009
Day job: I am a lawyer by day, a lawyer by night, and in-between I write a food blog.
Hometown: I am not from Miami. I was raised in a far away land known as Kendall. When I turned 18, I packed up all of my belongings and took off down the Snapper Creek Expressway, never to return.
The reason I blog: I wanted to find a way to make half of the chefs in Miami like me and the other half really hate me. Let's just say I'm halfway there.
New Times: Can you briefly explain how it is that you rank each restaurant? Does one mean best and 20 mean the worst of the best?
Ryan Roman: That is probably the question I get asked most often, but I don't mean to imply that people come up to me on the street and ask me questions. Short Order writers do, but you're a strange bunch. The answer is going to be soul-crushing for you: it is all in my head. There is a more in-depth explanation of the methodology posted here. I'd like to describe my role as a benevolent dictator, but depending on who you ask I might be more of a malevolent dictator.
Is Miami's Restaurant Power Rankings your first blog?
Hardcore fans of the blog may remember my first blog while I was a graduate student at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. It was called "I Arbored Ann" and it was a hodge-podge of news about new shops opening up, new restaurants, and other random commentary. It actually makes sense as a precursor to this blog in some ways. And in other ways it is extremely embarrassing and I hope nobody goes looking for it. (Seriously, don't click on this link.)
How do you feel comments on food blogs by "foodies" (I know you don't like the word) might differ from comments left on blogs that cover like Tyra Banks' face or Kanye's next album?
There isn't really a robust discussion in the comments of my blog. That also seems to be true of most of the food blogs around town. I guess people don't like to type with their mouth full. Also, it seems that people prefer to save their comments for Yelp, which coincidentally is the sound I make whenever I'm forced to visit Yelp.
How do you find the time to dine at all of these places?
My secret is that I have a conjoined twin and that we share a stomach. I guess that makes the blog more of an oligarchy than a dictatorship, but you get my drift.
Do you often go more than once before making a ranking?
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Since the power rankings are a list of places I genuinely enjoy, and not a typical restaurant ranking system where I could assign one or zero stars to a place I despise, I'm not afraid to rank a place based on a single visit. Blogs are supposed to be up-to-the-minute, right? So, I like to try new places and make an early assessment. Sometimes, I like to break into new restaurants that aren't even open yet, cook myself a meal, and then rank the place based upon my cooking skills.
Honestly, where is your favorite place to eat in Miami?
The power rankings don't lie, it is definitely Naoe. I mean, aside from my mother's cooking (her salmon belly nigiri sushi just isn't as fresh but don't tell her I said that).