Chase Compton is heartbroken, and he has found refuge in Yelp, where he chronicles the collapse of his love life through restaurant reviews that double as a (very) personal diary. His 19 essay-length posts are written in purple prose, and they are filled with revelations that were sparked by memories of restaurants he visited and foods he ate with ‘Him.’
Compton met his ex-lover on OKCupid, but things turned sour nine months into their relationship. The chronicling of his love affair began in December 2013 with a post about Café Mogador, “the scene for some of the best breakfasts of [his] entire life.” Compton covers the general guidelines for reviews—he describes his halloumi eggs (and his hatred for eggs), and comments on the service. But he doesn’t stop there.
“Being madly in love, I would sit on the patio…and stare longingly into his eyes like I could fall into them like an endless cup of dark brown coffee… He’s my favorite dining companion because everything tastes good when I’m around him…He reaches over the table without asking and removes the two eggs from my plate and places them on his own…Ever since I first met him, I knew that I would forever live on the patio of Cafe Mogador with him…There is nothing in the world I would rather do than sit there on that patio and not eat eggs with him.”
Two days after his Café Mogador review, Compton introduced the heartbreak that inspired his digital memoir in a post titled “French Roast.“
“French Roast would never again be that place where I ate French onion soup and frisee salads at four in the morning. Now it had become French Roast where I spent Thanksgiving that year that he broke my heart…I can remember the taste of the pumpkin ravioli that I ordered because it seemed like the most seasonally festive thing to have. I’m sure it was delicious, but it tasted like sawdust to me. He ordered the boeuf borgignon, and couldn’t get more than two bites down at a time without breaking into tears…That being said, the French Roast will forever hold a place in my heart. It was the first and the last, and the alpha and the omega of my once whimsical heart.”
Later, they fought over Minetta Tavern’s Black Label Burger.
“On the corner of the street is Minetta Tavern, another backdrop for one of many of our passionate rows….We were inseparable. Yet somehow that night, over a deliciously decadent Black Label Burger that they are so famous for, we came to blows over the same issue that we always did: his need to see other people. As always, it crushed me…So we ate our burger angrily as to get out of there as soon as possible. It was everything they say about the famed Black Label Burger. It was luxurious, and rich, and satisfying–just like my decadent little street in the West Village.”
Then, they built furniture together while slurping on lo mein from Uncle Ted’s Modern Chinese Cuisine takeout. As Compton points out, nothing says true love quite like not being judged for gorging on Chinese food.
Uncle Ted’s Modern Chinese Cuisine Chinese food always reminds me of being in love. It’s that age-old classic image of being completely involved with someone so romantically that you don’t mind letting them see you gorge on lo mein and General Tso’s chicken like an utter pig…Words cease to matter in that moment that you first begin to savor your eggroll…We were just two guys in love, building a home together, and eating Chinese. To this day, I still keep the little piece of paper from the fortune cookie from that day on a shelf beside my bed. Each time I looked upon it, I could feel my heart breaking because he wasn’t there anymore. It read: “Cleaning up the past will always clear up the future!” Then, on the back, it taught me how to say the word “Christmas” in Chinese.”
Our favorite review of all? His brilliant comparison of men and pizza in his post about Susanna Pizzeria.
“In this way, men in New York City are like pizza. I, too, have tried them all…There’s junk food men that cost a dollar and taste like they only cost a dollar, men who are artisanal and elitist, and men who taste good but leave you with a terribly upset stomach shortly after indulging in them. If I were a pizza, I have to assume that I would be a pie from Susanna Pizzeria. Men and pizza. Pizza and Men. Both will ruin your life if you have too much of them. They’ll make you fat and slow you down. They always seem like a good idea, but sometimes you really just need a salad. I’m glad I gave Susanna Pizzeria a try, if not only to prove to myself that I was going to be okay in a sea of other options, even if the other options were actually better. I decimated that pizza, left the waiter a 50% tip, and walked home. Was my mind blown? No. But I walked home proud knowing that I was still going to give everything a chance. I was still looking for the perfect pie, and the perfect man, and maybe neither of those things even existed, but I was going to take the virtuous road to get to either of them anyhow. It’s New York City. We’re famous for this stuff, but people get so caught up in the “Famous Ray’s” and the “Famous Ben’s” and famous whatever, and overlook the little guy. I’m still looking for the perfect pie. I think I’m on the right track.”
Compton’s project is more than just a memoir, and it has taught him a thing or two about life in general. His biggest takeaway is detailed in his post about 123 Old Rabbit Club:
“I would learn my lesson the next time I fell in love–keep some things to yourself. If I ever had a new favorite place to drink beer, I would go to it only by myself so that it could never be haunted by the utter sadness of losing ones heart. I just hadn’t expected that if I showed him my world, and the things that I loved, that he could potentially leave with it all.
Compton is anything but a typical Yelp reviewer, and he has received an “overwhelming response” from people who have discovered his tale. His goal is to allow readers to find beauty in a place where they’d least expect it; Yelp is definitely that place.
Click here to read all of Compton’s captivating posts.
[via Business Insider]