Visually colorful. Overwhelming flavors of celery seed. Strong, peppery finish.
We’re not talking about the latest tasting menu at a fine dining establishment.
These are just some of the phrases Ed Sanborn has used to describe one of his favorite foods— coleslaw.
Along with his girlfriend Lisa, the Massachusetts native is giving the Michelin treatment to this humble American staple by reviewing coleslaws across the country—whether it’s served at a fast food joint, food truck or a run-of-the-mill restaurant.
“About two months ago [my girlfriend and I] started making it a thing to always try and order it when we were out having dinner or lunch,” Sanborn told FoxNews.com.“I said to her one day, 'You know we both like colelsaw so much, wouldn't it be hysterical to start a webpage where we could share our reviews and also invite others to share their reviews?’”
The couple invented their own eight-point scale and rate each dish according to liquid content, vegetable size, taste, texture, presentation, vinegar content, overall presentation and that certain je ne sais quoi.
The reviews range from enthusiastic-- "We both love KFC coleslaw! It is wicked awesome.”-- to absolutely scathing-- “Lisa believes mayo was the only ingredient. Ed thought it tasted like the sand on the beach."
But even among the lower-ranking dishes, Sanborn says it’s not about trashing the dish, it’s all in the name of improving the so-called “red-headed stepchild of side dishes.”
Says Sanborn, “If reviews on our page rate a coleslaw as sub par then restaurants and pubs are on alert to fix their recipe. It's about raising the game for coleslaw... and having some fun doing it!”
But, why coleslaw? After all, it’s just cabbage, carrots and mayonnaise…right?
Wrong. In a little over two weeks since it’s been up and running, the official Facebook page for Coleslaw Review has amassed almost 9,500 likes with dozens of commenters weighing in on their favorites. Sanborn believes coleslaw is a dish that really resonates with a lot of Americans because you either love it or hate it.
And if you want to submit a review, just make sure you use the proper sampling technique.
“It's important to sample it first before contaminating your palate with the rest of your food or beverage.”
The couple’s favorite coleslaws include the nationally-available KFC and a dish from The Nauti Dawg Marina Cafe in Lighthouse Point, Fla. Though coleslaw tastes are subjective, the couple repeatedly point to the importance of having enough vinegar and making sure veggies aren’t too soggy.
But Sanborn says he’s always open to suggestions, as the hunt for the perfect coleslaw is never really over.
“I still love KFC coleslaw but my eyes are wide-open now and I realize that there are other coleslaw recipes out there undiscovered, waiting for their chance to be recognized.”