Creator Bio

Jamie Miller

My goal as a journalist has always been to share stories and perspectives about diverse topics. As I have explored the art of critical writing, this goal has remained constant. I aim to approach every critique with a curious mind and open heart, ready to learn and respect before offering my opinions. My core values of growth and learning, and my passion for writing, make the process of critical writing – from trying new foods and products to analyzing art – a joyous experience. 

In a world that is becoming increasingly accessible and information-filled, there is a place for critics now more than ever. Critics are important in helping audiences sort through endless online information to make well-informed, timely decisions. This is an essential part of a critic’s role because, after all, time is our most precious resource. In addition to offering opinions to help in the decision-making process, it is also the critics role to educate audiences on the topics that they are reviewing. Educating others will ultimately shape our world into a more accepting place, where diverse backgrounds and histories are understood and accepted. 

After taking critical writing at the University of Georgia, I learned that it is important to avoid reviewing things that I have not researched thoroughly. I also learned to monitor my predisposed feelings that might haze my reviews and to continuously educate myself on areas of thought that I have little experience in. I now know that it is so important to learn the stories behind art and culture pieces without just taking it at face-value. 

In the future, my goal is to continue writing with a curious mind and open heart. I aspire to write valuable content that is beneficial to my audience while also inspiring others to educate themselves and try new things. 

Creator Bio

Sarah DeBruhl

Throughout this journey of writing several critical reviews for mediums such as television, books and even food, I have gained a new perspective on what it really means to be a critic and how powerful my words really are. I have learned that the job of a critic goes beyond just stating whether you like or dislike something. This job goes to the extent of deeply analyzing a piece of work, being able to grasp relevant information and certainly being able to support your assertion with a plethora of imagery, details and examples.

As the world is constantly changing through the pandemic, I feel that the role of the critic is still relevant today and more important than ever. Since things are not as they used to be, some people don’t have the means, both financially and health wise, to be as active in trying every single restaurant, new movie, or the new art gala opening. These individuals have come to heavily rely on the critic to prove if something is worthy of their time, money and an overall worthwhile experience. This requires critics like myself to take the role seriously by being as honest, observant and transparent as possible.

In regard to how I see myself as a critic, I believe that I provide a valuable and unique experience on any select piece of work. As I was younger, I often found it challenging to express myself and share my opinion, especially if it differed from the norm. Through my experience and this critical writing class, I have been able to find my voice, stand strong on my values, and unapologetically assert my opinion and perspective. As a minority female of color, I also can appreciate that I have gained a newfound confidence in the value of my words. I believe that it is important to hear from and consider the perspectives of those who reflect the same background and have unique life experiences so that all voices are heard when digesting the work of art, its meaning, or how it may affect each person differently. 

Creator Bio

Megan Fitzgerald

As a critical writer, I strive to be honest and truthful with the opinions I give and provide a clear argument to offer readers insight into the item being reviewed. I hope anyone who reads my reviews finds that they are both entertaining and helpful to read. 

A critic must create honest and truthful reviews that allow readers to know whether they should watch, read, listen or purchase the item being reviewed. Critics should always be truthful when reviewing an item but never cruel. Reviewing is still very relevant today and critics play an important role in our society. They act as the eyes, ears, and taste testers for the audience they are writing for and have the power to influence public opinion on certain topics. As more sites such as GoodReads and Rotten Tomatoes develop and allow people to give their own reviews, critics must break away from the crowd and stand out as trusted voices for the public. 

This course has allowed me to develop a unique critical eye that helps me look at different types of art forms in a new light. I have gained more confidence in sharing my honest opinions and using my creativity to formulate and present my thoughts to the public. I am not afraid to give my opinion, however, I try to never be cruel with my reviews. I have also learned that in order to review an art form, a reviewer must look at multiple components in order to formulate their argument. It is important to highlight both the positives and negatives of the item being reviewed in a way that supports the argument the reviewer is trying to make. Overall, this course has allowed me to grow as both a writer and a critical thinker, something that I will always be grateful for. 

Food Post

Outback Steakhouse: A Steaklover’s Dream

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

By Sarah DeBruhl

A steak-lover’s wildest dreams are finally possible with a meal from this conveniently-located steakhouse. Indulging in a meal from Outback Steakhouse over the weekend left me highly satisfied. I visited the Outback in Greensboro, North Carolina on Wendover Ave. The satisfaction of my experience began well before I digested the steak. As I entered the restaurant, I was met with a live, cheerful, but not overbearing atmosphere. I was immediately greeted by a hostess who was able to accommodate and get me seated right away, something you generally wouldn’t expect on a Saturday evening at restaurants of a similar caliber. Within five minutes of being seated, I was greeted by my server who swiftly brought complimentary bread and my drink order to the table. She provided recommendations, answered questions and was very attentive to my specific requests. 

Beyond the service, the variety and options of food choice on the menu was endless. I began the evening with the Three Cheese Steak Dip. This appetizer was delightfully creamy and savory, with a mix of steak, gouda, parmesan and peppers. The dip was served hot with fresh homemade tortilla chips that I continued to enjoy even once the dip was gone. For my main dish, I was met with an endless amount of options. A select few that stuck out to me the most were Grilled Chicken on the Barbie, Perfectly Grilled Salmon, and Queensland Chicken and Shrimp Pasta. I ultimately decided to go with the specialty Outback Center-Cut Sirloin, which also included two sides for an affordable price of under $15. After careful consideration, I chose the Homestyle Mashed Potatoes and Steakhouse Mac and Cheese. After ordering, I was able to consume the basketball game playing that night as I was seated in great proximity vision-wise to the television. 

One factor that led to my slight disappointment was the timeframe in which it took from when I ordered my meal to when I actually received it. I found myself growing impatient as I had already received and finished my appetizer along with multiple rounds of bread and drink refills without any sign of my main dish. Like many, I did not come to the restaurant on an empty stomach and had trouble waiting over 35 minutes for my meal. If you’re someone that is capable of being patient and understands that all good things take time, then you’d be in for a treat. Once I did receive it, the execution of the meal was the most rewarding part of my experience. The steak was cooked to perfection just as I had asked for and envisioned. It was very tender, juicy and easy to digest. The Steakhouse Mac and Cheese was served fresh from the skillet and was creamy and made with a heavenly amount of cheese. I believe that the mashed potatoes could have used additional ingredients to enhance the flavor such as cream gravy, brown gravy, or even cheese. I then concluded with a slice of the Triple-Layer Carrot Cake. This slice was unlike your traditional slice of carrot cake you can find at any bakery or grocery store. It was very rich, sweet and moist, topped with coconut, pecans and vanilla cream cheese icing. The size was also commendable, as it covered the entirety of the plate. The slice was a great end to an already delicious and satisfying meal. 

Overall, the combination of customer service, options, and taste proved to be a worthwhile dinner experience. Although I chose steak, you do not have to be exclusively a steak-lover to enjoy a meal at this restaurant. The vibe provides a perfect location for a night out with the girls, date-night, or even an individual dinner. The price point for your night out is reasonable, especially considering the well-sized portions you receive. In rating my experience at this restaurant all factors combined, I would award a 4.6/5 and highly recommend it as a restaurant that can provide a valuable experience. 

Click to view restaurant website and full menu!

Feature Image: Outback Steakhouse by Postmates
Food Post

Sub Zero Nitro Ice Cream: A Scientific Subpar Treat

Rating: 3 out of 5.

By Megan Fitzgerald

When customers order a cup of ice cream at Sub Zero Nitro Ice Cream shop, they might be surprised to find a cloud of nitrogen gas flowing out of their sweet treat. Before their very eyes, the ice cream ingredients are flash-frozen using a blast of liquid nitrogen in this science lab-style ice cream shop. While the experience is exciting to witness, customers might be hesitant to come back after tasting the subpar, frozen treat. 

A picture of a bowl of Sub Zero brownie flavored ice cream. Freshly made, the ice cream has nitrogen gas flowing out of it.

This science-based shop offers a wide range of ice cream options on their menu, from their signature “sensations” to a build your own combination option. I first tried the Birthday Cake Capacitor ice cream which was packed full of a variety of flavors and treats including cake batter, fudge, cookie dough, and sprinkles. With all these ingredients combined into only two scoops of ice cream, I found the flavors to be rich but the consistency to be very dense and sticky. This contradicts the smooth ice cream the shop promotes that is said to be creamier than traditionally-made ice cream. It was a challenge to get a good scoop of ice cream due to the crumble-like texture. This coarse consistency continues once you place the scoop into your mouth. Instead of melting smoothly onto your tongue, the ice cream stays pretty dense and takes a while to dissolve. Even though I am not an ice cream scientist, a possible hypothesis for this type of texture may be due to the large number of ingredients that hindered the liquid nitrogen’s ability to create smooth ice cream. 

For my second serving of ice cream, I decided to create my own special combination that included brownie flavoring and chunks of cookie dough. I chose only one flavor and one treat to test if my scientific ice cream hypothesis was correct. While the ice cream was still very dense, the texture was smoother and did a better job at melting in my mouth. Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy the flavor of this ice cream combination. The brownie flavor of the ice cream tasted strange and didn’t have the rich chocolate taste that I was expecting. Also, I could barely taste the flavor of the cookie dough bites even though there was only a mild brownie flavor. After eating a few spoon fulls, I determined that I preferred the first cup of crumbly-textured ice cream over my dull, chocolate creation because it had a richer flavor. 

The ice cream at Sub Zero Nitro Ice Cream shop is freshly made using liquid nitrogen that flash freezes the ingredients in a metal bowl.

The main selling point of Sub Zero is the overall atmosphere of the shop and the customer’s ability to watch the ice cream being made behind the counter. When people step into the ice cream shop, they feel as though they are walking into a science lab when they see the large liquid nitrogen tank at the front door. They can watch as the “Cool Chemist” workers mix up the ice cream ingredients while a pump shoots liquid nitrogen into the bowl. Once the liquid nitrogen hits the air, it creates a cloud of gas that flows across the ice cream counter and adds to the effect that a science experiment is occurring. Many people would find this type of ice cream creation to be interesting to watch, especially families with small children. It is unfortunate, however, that the ice cream doesn’t add to the exciting experience the shop is trying to create. 

I am almost certain that my visit to Sub Zero Nitro Ice Cream was my first and last. While I did enjoy the science-based environment and the friendly workers, I know that I can find better ice cream for the same price at other places such as Brewster’s or Cold Stone. Neither of the two ice cream combinations that I tried were tasty enough that I would want to visit the shop again. I would advise that Sub Zero improve their formula and use higher quality ingredients to create better, more delectable ice cream that will leave customers eager to return. 

Click to view restaurant website and full menu!

Images: Sub Zero Nitrogen Ice Cream by ExploreGeorgia