WASHINGTON - Washington Post food critic Tom Sietsema set off controversy online when he handed down a nearly unheard of 'zero star' review to Founding Farmers, one of the D.C. region's most popular restaurants.
The review panned almost everything from the chicken wings, to the grits, to a 'blimp' of a roast chicken.
Sietsema claimed the only highlight of his dining experience was the bar.
"I think I gave it a fair shot. I went a total of seven times and I usually go three or four times before reviewing a restaurant in the magazine," Sietsema told FOX 5. "You really have to work to be a bad restaurant like that."
"If you're serving bad food, don't serve it in huge portions the way they do at Founding Farmers," he added.
Sietsema didn’t care much for the atmosphere either. "You know when you walk into a restaurant and you expect good cooking smells, or something like that?" he told us. "It's not just about the food it's about the ambiance and everything else -- I didn't get any sense of that at Founding Farmers."
Sietsema says he attributes the restaurant’s popularity to its downtown location close to the White House. He also say the restaurant doesn’t face much competition.
While he hasn’t heard from the restaurant’s manager, Sietsema said he has heard from several former employees, who cheered him on.
"I go as many times as I feel I need to go, and the reason I went so many times this time was because it was so hard to get into," Sietsema said. "When you're going to come out this hard on restaurant, you really have to do due diligence, and trust me, I eat bad food so you don't have to."
In a statement posted on Facebook, Founding Farmers said in part:
"In regards to the Washington Post review, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. We’re proudly owned by American Family Farmers, and we work hard to deliver quality, affordable, delicious food and drink to every guest that joins us. From our first day, eight years ago, we’ve learned a lot, continuously strive for improvement each day, and have accomplished many milestones. Last year at our D.C. location we welcomed and served 575,000 guests. We value the thousands of reviews we’ve received on OpenTable and we’ll continue to work hard to deserve the 95% of our guests who say they would recommend the restaurant to a friend."
Read Sietsema’s FULL REVIEW Here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/food/founding-farmers-review-where-the-biggest-temptation-is-to-leave/2016/06/01/76b2c844-204e-11e6-9e7f-57890b612299_story.html?platform=hootsuite&tid=a_inl
Read The FULL STATEMENT From Founding Farmers: https://www.facebook.com/foundingfarmers/