While the pinnacle of culinary success for some local youngsters this summer may have been finding a Popeyes restaurant still serving chicken sandwiches, Burbank sisters Taylor and Ashley Sinovoi thought outside the bun.
Taylor, 15, and Ashley, 11, students at Burroughs High School and Jordan Middle School, respectively, utilized their time providing content for their friends, family and community to digest.
The duo continued to cultivate their restaurant review blog — wereviewyouchew.com — with critiques of some of Southern California trendiest restaurants, including Beauty and Essex as well as Tao, and local favorites such as Castaway and Islands.
“We do a lot of research on the coolest places near us,” said Ashley of the blog they started in March 2018.
“We also do the most Instagramable places and things like that. We do a lot of research into what the best restaurants are, and we just go there,” she added.
In the past few months, the sisters have sampled from such locales as the famous Wolfgang Puck at the Hotel Bel-Air, back-to-back Diners’ Choice winner Barton G in Los Angeles, and West Hollywood’s Fig & Olive.
So far, the girls have reviewed 16 restaurants, including two in Pennsylvania and one in New York while they were on vacation.
“I always like when restaurants give you quick service, but it’s still needs to have good food,” Taylor said.
“We’re not really picky, but we always want to make sure that each place we go to delivers the best food it can,” she added.
The New York Times once credited late Los Angeles Times’ Pulitzer-Prize winning food critic Jonathan Gold for helping a city “understand itself.”
On a much smaller scale, the Sinovoi sisters are committed to opening a world of fine dining to peers they see stuck in a drive-thru at a fast-food restaurant.
“I feel like a lot of my friends lean toward fast-food places,” Ashley said.
Taylor added, “A lot of my friends are the same, but I’m starting to change a few minds.”
The sisters’ blog may be student-produced and written, but it’s also dedicated to younger children, with plenty of photos, colorful descriptions and articles with listed reading times of under 10 minutes.
“I put everything on the blog, and we do all the writing and take all the pictures,” Taylor said. “We do this for kids so that it’s something interesting and fun to read.”
Taylor credits computer classes at Burroughs and time as a member of the school’s yearbook staff for fostering technical and creative skills needed to run a blog now seen by thousands.
“We’re not really picky, but we always want to make sure that each place we go to delivers the best food it can.”
Perhaps the first person to buy into the duo’s blog was their father, Maxwell, 50, who admits he needed some refining.
“When I was their age, all I wanted to go to was Burger King,” Sinovoi said. “Getting one of those crowns was all that mattered.”
Sinovoi saw his daughters’ potential firsthand at family dinners and birthday parties.
“We would go out to eat — and I’m not a picky eater —and I thought the food was fine,” he said.
Sinovoi added, “Halfway through the meal, Ashley would come up to me and say, ‘You know, this is really good, but there’s too much pepper on it.’ Taylor would then respond, ‘You know, had they used more seasoning instead, it could have been much better.’”
Those small suggestions morphed into a blog that may very well expand.
“We definitely want to continue to grow the blog, and we’re going to add an international section since we do a lot of traveling over the summer,” Taylor said. “We want to continue to show people our age a different side of food.”