Why Read What I Write?

I'm a big fan of Yelp and have been posting there regularly since 2008. Recently I began noticing more and more that I was hitting the word count limit  and was having a really difficult time curtailing my review. The idea of this blog came from that - basically I have two versions of my reviews - the short version that I publish on Yelp, and my more detailed reviews on this blog. The other advantage is that I'm better able to place photos from the restaurants I review inline with the words and descriptions I use in the reviews. And finally, I'm also able to speak a bit more candidly about my experiences rather than fit into guidelines of "political correctness" expected when sharing reviews on Yelp.

I also post articles to Zomato via postback and frequently post about individual beers on Untapped. Most recently I've been reviewing beer more than food so be aware of that.

You can find me on Yelp here: johnnyapollo.yelp.com
And on Zomato here: https://www.zomato.com/johneatonatl

I was going to so many beer events like festivals and visiting so many breweries, that I've added that to the mix. My beer reviews can be found on Untapped: https://untappd.com/user/johnnyapollo 

Most recently I've been using Instagram for event photos and to describe individual beers - account here: https://www.instagram.com/johneatonatl/

My Instagram account links to a Facebook page so all of the beers I review eventually end up there (I do this so I don't flood my friends with constant photos of beer) - you can like the page here: https://www.facebook.com/IndyRestaurantReview/

Why read what I'm writing?

I was a 10 year classically training chef, using the skills garnered in various professional kitchens to pay for my college.This all started in Knoxville Tennessee where I worked at several restaurants (mostly now closed) including: The Exchange Restaurant (Prep and line cook), Buster Muggs (line cook), In Cahoots (bar-back and bartender), Kanpai of Tokyo (hibachi chef, also worked at locations in Chattanooga and Spartanburg NC), Kotsi's (waiter). I ended up in Atlanta initially in 1988 and later in 1992 working at several restaurants including: Buckhead Diner (line cook, also helped setup Chops and subbed at several other Buckhead Life Group restaurants), Mi Spia (line cook) and finally Indigo Coastal Grill where I expedited as Sous-Chef before retiring out of the restaurant business and eventually going into software development.

I think I discovered craft beer sometime in the late 90's - I had a friend who would call me when Sweetwater needed help packing cases of 420 (they used to do this by hand - not sure if they couldn't handle the capacity or their packing machinery was inferior) on Fulton Industrial Blvd. Around the same time Sierra Nevada started getting some distribution in Atlanta and that started by drift towards craft beer (these were just better alternatives to the crap being produced by the larger beer producers in the US and Guinness wasn't readily available) and I drank from those two brands all the way up until 2010 or so when I discovered the rather remarkable taps at Taco Mac. My first BrewUniversity entry was in 2012 (I checked) and it was a Sweetwater 420 so still my staple beer. Next came Bell's Oberon wheat, Duck Rabbit's Hoppy Bunny IPA and Highland's Oatmeal Porter and I've never looked back.

My beer philosophy is that to really like good beer, you need to taste a lot of beer so that's what I do. My favorites are the higher gravity beers like Belgian Quads, Barleywines and Imperial Stouts but really I'm fond of most of the styles - the only styles I don't care for too much are the traditional German/Bavarian styles, especially Pilsners - probably due to all the crappy Pilsners I drank while in college.

-- John

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