To maintain a modicum of anonymity, I had always planned on using a pseudonym for my food blogs. After I settled on “Offal Offal” for the name of this blog, I was checking to see if the domain name was already registered when the “word” offaloffal.com just leaped out at me. So, I decided to call myself The Offalo. Silly, I know, but it’s a signal to my readers that I won’t be taking myself too seriously here.
I am a thirtysomething husband, father of two, technology geek/nerd. I’ve enjoyed food all my life but only recently gotten into writing about my dining experiences. I started because I wanted to document what I liked and what I didn’t like, and I do get a thrill when a person finds something I wrote helpful in some way.
- On Yelp, my reviews often exceeded the maximum character limit, and I did not like that submitting an update to a review essentially hides the previous reviews of the same business.
- On Chowhound, I had inadvertently violated a community rule my first week on the site, leaving me unable to recommend a restaurant that I truly love and want very much to succeed (Spoiler Alert: Shunji Japanese Cuisine).
The most galling limitation was the fact that neither site allows embedded inline images in reviews. This means that readers have to clumsily to switch back and forth between descriptions of specific dishes and their respective photos on both sites.
However, I will continue to contribute to both Yelp and Chowhound, even as I build my blogs, since both sites do have their strengths, the former in searching and aggregation of reviews, and the latter in lively discussions and sense of community.
I know food blogs are dime-a-dozen on the internet, but here on Offal Offal, I hope to distinguish myself by focusing on dishes containing ingredients relatively unexplored and unpopular in this country: offal.
I really wanted to narrow the scope of the blog, so that if I tried 11 different dishes at FIG, which I did recently, I didn’t feel obligated to come up with a long review covering every dish. By giving myself the freedom to focus just on the one or two dishes containing offal, I figured I would post more frequently.
At the same time, I do enjoy writing long-form reviews that take my readers through my experience at a restaurant. So, rather than dilute the focus of Offal Offal, I decided to start The Offalo as well, which is a more traditional restaurant-review blog, covering a variety of cuisines; I may even post on topics not related to food…