What prompts people to take the time to write online restaurant reviews? I explored Google and TripAdvisor reviews of Nanaimo restaurants, and by my investigation, it’s either a superb dining experience or an awful one. Yes, there are people who report on mediocre calamari in so-so restaurants, but the majority of the detailed, lengthy reviews tend to fall on either end of the spectrum. The “terrible” one-star reviews are my favourite; the authors often employ their finest attempt at dramatic writing, and the results are peculiarly poetic. I chopped up and rearranged the prose of three reviews into free verse in an attempt to accentuate certain poetic moments.



Would you rather eat at this McDonald’s, or eat a can of dusty beans? Spenser Smith

Nicol Street McDonald’s

Review by Dez Desjardins

left disappointed


wasting precious gas

burger was left behind

I even tried to call you

would rather eat a can of beans

slightly ajar

sitting in a dusty room

for uncountable years

than come back

your particular McDonald’s

has become dirty

the greasiest vendor

please, pplleeaassseee

close down

before I have a stroke


“Really? Aunt Jemima!? Gross!”

Review by Matthew M

stay away

lord have mercy



need to throw up

before we get back on the road

please folks

do not eat at this place

this is Canada


“Worst hamburger ever!!! Actually made me ill for a couple of days.”


Gourmet burgers at MGM—an outrageous lie according to 535russ. Spenser Smith

Review by 535russ

advertises in bold letters

“Gourmet Burgers”

this is an outrageous lie

the burger

has a standard

non-yeast commercial bun

frozen patty

pink burger sauce

A&W mama burger

is better

felt ill for two days

until my body purged it

should be ashamed

serving poison