Mike A vs. a Hater

One of the things I love about the contemporary internet is that I hold in my pocket, at any given time, a miniature touchscreen computer that’s always connected. If I’m on a road trip, and find myself in the middle of nowhere at mealtime, I have an easy way to research – on the go – a good local place that isn’t McDonalds or Subway.  

White Castle, however, is an exception. 

So, I have the Urbanspoon app, I use Yelp, and I use Chowhound to quickly look up what are good places to try that are off the Interstate, because travel should be about visiting other places, people, and things. 

Sometimes, however, these social review sites can invited bad behavior. Owners puff their joints while falsely driving down competitors’ ratings. Buyer beware is still in full effect. 

Back in early July, Buffalo Rising published a quick story about a Boston Globe writer praising local chef Mike Andrzejewski’s “Mike A’s at the Lafayette”. I’ve dined there, and although I have a few issues with the decor in particular, I thought it was outstanding. It’s easily one of the best special occasion/fine dining restaurants in Buffalo now. 

Some anonymous commenter posted a mockingly negative review of Mike A’s. It mirrors one that’s posted as a one-star review at Yelp – by someone with only one review listed. An anonymous reviewer also joined Urbanspoon on August 7th for the sole purpose of repeating the exact same review to that site. Clearly, someone with a vendetta. 

Usually, this would just be ignored or downvoted or similar. People are obviously entitled to their opinions, and to trash places where they had a bad experience. But here, there may have been more to the story, as Andrzejewski published his own scathing, exasperated, and indignant response. It’s worth a read, and it’s indicative of restaurateurs being able to put up with a lot of nonsense from horrible people, up to a point. 



  • I worked with Chris Hawkins about 8 years ago. Nothing in Mike A’s response surprises me. Hawkins was a complete overblown blowhard then, and has been the one or two times I’ve dealt with him since. 

    Glad he got called out publicly. 

  • and note, Tom Beecher used his real name, not some spineless “anonymous” and completely unimaginative screen name!

    ‎”Sr. Project Manager II, Business Transformation Office- Mortgage at HSBC Bank N.A. (USA)”

    these days, doesn’t that title basically mean:

    “glorified Repo. goon who has his people train their own replacements in India just before he fires them from HSBC ?”

  • Really nice post, Alan–I used to love Mike’s Tsunami, still love Seabar, and didn’t even know about this room–so I’ll check it out. And I’ll never forget Mike’s witty and heart-melting post-accident ad (in Artvoice, I think?), with photo, about how other restaurants in town “don’t have a leg to stand on” compared to Tsunami!

    This story, combined with Buck Quigley’s lovely skewering of Pa and Baby Holbrook, suggest that the use of screennames is a mixed blessing at best.

    Damn, now I’m thinking about the beef-on-weck rolls at Seabar. Damn you, Alan B and Mike A!

  • Respect White Castle, or you are doomed to suffer the full wrath of the Ultimate Sports Road Trip!

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