They Came, They Ate, They Wrote

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Who needs a journalism degree? Today, anyone can be a food critic, thanks to the Internet.

Just google a local restaurant and you’ll find sites featuring citizen reviewers such as Greg Sabin, who writes for sacrag.com under the moniker sac-eats, and Magistrate Louise (Louise Mitchell), who recently presided over the circuit court of Sacramento for fudcourt.com.

Writing about food is fun, Sabin says, but he admits it’s not an altogether altruistic pursuit. I would love to pursue writing as a career, so part of the reason I write is to create a body of work that could actually go somewhere, says Sabin, who works as a retirement investor. (He also performs in a comedy troupe.) A prolific reviewer, he posts as often as three times a week, writing about everything from Ford’s Real Hamburgers to Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. He likes the idea that his reviews may inspire readers to try a new restaurant, and he has a genuine passion for food. I enjoy singing the praises of restaurateurs who do great work, he says.

Mitchell, who is between jobs, simply enjoys the creative outlet, admitting that she is probably not qualified to write about food. I don’t really know anything about food&emdash;except that I love it, says Mitchell, who reviewed Indo Cafe, Jim-Denny’s, Zachary Jacques, Centro Cocina Mexicana and Pancake Circus during her fudcourt stint. But she does have a reverence for properly made pie crust and a willingness to offer unsolicited advice&emdash;and in the world of citizen reviewing, that’s all that matters.