While we hesitate to add momentum to a list of "best" restaurants from a website that describes itself as "a comprehensive resource [...] dedicated to celebrating Canadian destinations", a weekend
analysis takedown of Vacay.ca from Shawn Phelan, VP Integrated Sales and Branded Content at Vice Media Canada, is well worth a gander.
The flurry of tweets sent May 31 echo sentiments from Jen Agg, the owner of The Black Hoof and Rhum Corner.
Fuck this. I'm tired of this quid pro quo clubby bullshit. Explanations for CRAZY omissions just aren't good enough. http://t.co/MqW1P3n0Qu— Jen Agg (@TheBlackHoof) May 31, 2014
The criticism of the 2014 Vacay.ca Top 50 Restaurants in Canada list and subsequent - air quotes - controversy over omissions like The Black Hoof and Au Pied de Cochon hinges largely on the link bait, churnalism climate that infects so much digital media. Phelan is particularly cynical about Vacay.ca co-founder Adrian Brijbassi's verbose attempt to address concerns about the list.
"Some thoughts on the Vacay.ca controversy. First, their top 50 owes its existence to SEO [search engine optimization]. When people follow the click bait to Vacay.ca's top 50 they are treated to ancient web design with impossible navigation. Their judging panel gives them credibility but how [can] these chefs say no given Vacay.ca's first page Google status 'best in Canada'? Then Vacay.ca omits some Canadian icons to generate controversy. More click bait. Publishes rationale that asks for [sponsorship money]. Only controversy to me is why anyone takes Vacay.ca remotely seriously. Too much great talent wasting time on this farce. Rant over [Joe Beef and The Black Hoof] you guys get back to being great rather than total shit like Vacay.ca."