Do you watch The Phantom Gourmet? Do you enjoy it? Do you generally agree with their recommendations? Do their opinions sway your decision on whether to visit a restaurant or not?
There are many foodies who dislike The Phanton Gourmet and it was the subject of much discussion on the Chowhounds board. Some feel the show just shills for its advertisers, thus lacks credibility. Others complain how it sometimes glorifies mediocre restaurants and foods that foodies find unappealing. Others dislike the Andelmans as hosts. Some in the discussion did support The Phantom Gourmet though the voices of naysayers outweighed them.
I do watch The Phantom Gourmet and find that it can be both entertaining and informative. Yes, it can sometimes be too cheesy and I sometimes greatly disagree with their reviews. But overall I think it is a good program that provides a service to the public.
I love their credit card roulette episodes. They are just plain fun. I have learned about the existence of certain restaurants from the show that I had not known about before. I can see photos of restaurants that I have heard about but not visited yet.
The Phantom Gourmet caters to all levels of food and restaurant interest. It is certainly not stuffy or pretentious. As with reviews by anyone, you should use your discretion. You will never agree 100% with any restaurant critic. Even critics have preferences that might not coincide with their readers.
Some of the recent backlash against The Phantom Gourmet resulted from their recent BBQ at City Hall. Their were complaints about the long lines at the event. I did not go so cannot verify what happened at the event. But, I can believe there were long lines at times. I have been at other events at City Hall and that has been an issue before. Maybe they could have run the event better.
My preference is the Phantom's fall Food Festival. Tickets cost $40 and then you can eat as much as you want from all the various vendors. The food is not generally haute cuisine. It is more comfort food, though generally good quality. I certainly had an enjoyable time last year at the event. Just get there early as it does tend to get crowded later in the afternoon.