From “The Puzzling Goat: “Regina’s beloved bovid bistro is, well, I’m not sure”  in the Dec. 27 Prairie Dog: 

The steak was overcooked and not particularly tasty, the mashed potatoes were plentiful but bland, and the wild mushroom mix was disconcertingly citrusy and sharp. Maybe some people like acidic mushrooms but it seemed like a wildly misjudged combination.

From “Not Kidding Around: Serious foodie eats and savoury Caesars at Fainting Goat” in the Dec. 21 Verb:

“I started with the beautifully presented cedar planked fire prawns. The fat, juicy white prawns were served shell-on and butterflied on a charred and still-smoking cedar plank. This visually stimulating appetizer was seasoned with herbes de Provence, a fragrant blend that typically includes basil, thyme and maybe just a hint of lavender.”

Okay then.

So I’d chalk this up to an honest  difference of experience — our critic, Aidan Morgan, did say the Goat is inconsistent and he intends to return in a few months to see what’s up — but Verb reviews are always positive. Always. One might, therefore, be tempted to suggest that Verb’s writers ply their trade for their advertisers and potential advertisers, not for their readers.

Their restaurant column in particular is consistently written like an advertorial. Which would be fine, if it WAS a clearly-marked, paid advertorial. It wasn’t (clearly marked, anyway), which means Verb’s restaurant writers are spin doctors.

Sorry, I’m repeating myself. Long-time Dog Blog readers already know I am not a fan of advertorials posing as articles.

Another Verb gripe: I’m still wondering how Verb managed to get a review of The Hobbit, which opened on Thursday, Dec. 13, into a paper that was distributed Friday, Dec. 14. There were no advance  screenings in Saskatchewan. In fact, even the advance screening in major market Vancouver- – which our accredited critic attended — was last-minute: Wednesday, Dec. 12.

Verb’s critic is based in Saskatoon. The paper wouldn’t publish movie reviews written by someone who hadn’t seen the movie, would they?