Jabaculê – ou simplesmente jabá – é uma antiga prática comercial, utilizada para promover produtos e serviços. Sua versão tradicional tem origem nas contrapartidas financeiras que jornais e revistas recebiam para publicar matérias sobre seus anunciantes. Visando atingir um público cada vez mais heterogêneo, a publicidade moderna desenvolveu novas roupagens, obrigando o jabá a se diversificar também. Os textos publicitários atuais se confundem com notícias. Conteúdo e marketing se misturam propositadamente, fazendo com que o consumidor seja influenciado pela credibilidade dos neocomunicadores digitais e seu poder de persuadir multidões de seguidores. Vende-se publicidade em forma de conteúdo, sobretudo nas redes sociais, onde o promopost é uma ferramenta fartamente utilizada. O jabá teve que se adequar, assim, às novas estratégias publicitárias. Hoje, eles se transvestem de presentes, convites, favores e outros tipos de gratuidades.

Na gastronomia, o jabá funciona assim:  uma parte precisa divulgar seu trabalho; outra parte tem a divulgação como trabalho. Empresários, chefs e produtores querem mostrar o que fazem para um grande número de pessoas. Jornalistas, instagrammers, youtubers e blogueiros precisam mostrar para um grande número de pessoas o que empresários, chefs e produtores fazem. Os interesses se encontram e estabelece-se uma troca com benefícios mútuos. É uma relação comercial, nada de errado com isso. Tudo perfeito quando o consumidor – uma terceira parte muitas vezes esquecida nesta relação – é devidamente informado de que a avaliação que está lendo faz parte do negócio. O sociólogo Carlos Alberto Dória e o crítico gastronômico Jota Bê ilustram o assunto, de forma magistral e bem humorada, no vídeo BocaLivre: seu restaurante serve jabá? (assista aqui)

Semana passada, ao sair para almoçar, vivenciamos uma situação que nos inspirou a escrever este post. Vamos dar spoiler logo de uma vez porque não gostamos de fazer suspense: foi um rotundo e monumental desastre.

Mas, antes de entrarmos na saga propriamente dita, convém reforçar algumas considerações sobre nós. Avaliar estabelecimentos gastronômicos é uma atividade multidisciplinar que requer conhecimento.  Não temos a qualificação técnica necessária. Só temos simancol e responsabilidade suficientes para nos limitar a fazer singelas crônicas gastronômicas. Brincamos com as palavras, enquanto contamos a história dos lugares que visitamos e as impressões que tivemos. Já falamos sobre isto na apresentação do “Sem Jabaculê” (leia aqui).

Resumindo:

O que nós somos ⇒ amigos da comida, pessoas comuns, que gostam de comer fora, de ser bem servidos e que têm limites de orçamento.

O que nós não somos ⇒ cozinheiros, críticos gastronômicos, digital influencers e gastro-setters. 

Identificou-se?   Deu match aí, leitor(a)?   Então continuemos.   É com você mesmo que queremos falar.

Dias atrás, um restaurante local recebeu a imprensa para divulgar a recente contratação de um chef e lançar o novo cardápio. Logo depois, as redes sociais de vários blogs especializados bombaram com as melhores referências sobre o lugar. Ambiente, serviço, comida, tudo de primeiríssima linha. Novidadeiros que somos, rumamos para lá na primeira oportunidade. Cheios de expectativas e nos achando as pessoas mais antenadas do planeta, convidamos a família para compartilhar a “descoberta”.

Chegando por volta das 13 horas de um feriado, percebemos que o local estava vazio. Quando falamos vazio, é vazio potência máxima: ninguém, nadie, nobody. Pensamos: normal, a casa é nova, detestamos fila de espera mesmo. A filha começou a fritar logo de cara. Contudo, por uma questão de princípios, consideramos que o argumento dela de “querer ver e ser vista” não era suficientemente relevante para abortar precocemente a missão.

Fomos à carta e ao menu. Primeira opção de vinho: não tinha. Primeira opção de tira-gosto: não tinha. Segunda opção de tira-gosto: não tinha. Meio que suando frio, cruzando os dedos e sentindo aquele ar de regozijo estampado no rosto da filha, escolhemos outro vinho e a indefectível batata frita, para afastar qualquer risco. Alívio! Tinha. Neste momento, até pensamos que a nossa sorte ia mudar. A batata canoa estava deliciosa.

14 horas, vendo que o ambiente não evoluía em termos populacionais, a filha deu o grito de independência. Avisou aos outros convidados – que ainda estavam a caminho – a intenção de abandonar o barco, pediu que a resgatassem e vazaram todos para outro restaurante. Mesmo com déficit de solidariedade familiar, insistimos, persistimos e não desistimos. Resolvemos almoçar rápido e abreviar a jornada.

Pedimos frango: não tinha. Pedimos costelinha de porco ao molho barbecue: não tinha. Justificativa: o cardápio era novo. Deu vontade de dizer: ok, então traz o velho, cara pálida. Aqui cabe um parênteses: cardápio fake, recheado de “tem, mas cabou”, é a regra nº 2 do Decálogo da Experiência Gastronômica Fracassada (leia aqui). A profecia se cumpriu. Pedimos então a única opção que tinha: costela de boi. A carne chegou fria à mesa. Quer saber? Nem ligamos mais. O importante naquela hora era só ter saúde. Já havíamos colocado no modo soft porque o coitado do garçom – que não tinha culpa alguma – jorrava pedidos de desculpas por todos os poros.

Para nós, reles mortais, este restaurante tem que melhorar muito para atingir a classificação de meia boca. Não dá para recomendar um lugar onde só se aproveita a batata frita, a simpatia do garçom e a inspiração para escrever um post. Reconhecemos, porém, que conhecer lugares novos é realmente um garimpo. Nos arriscamos a investir tempo e dinheiro e não encontrar nada precioso. Faz parte. Enquanto isso, restaurantes tradicionais, de qualidade comprovada pelo tempo, perdem clientes para as tais “novidades”, e muitas vezes sobrevivem no limite da capacidade financeira, só com a cabeça fora d’água. Foi o que nos veio à mente neste dia. Achamos também que bons chefs deveriam pensar bem antes de vincular seu nome a propostas temerárias. Empresários arrivistas usam este artifício como chamariz e conseguem decepcionar ambos – chef e clientes.

Comemos, bebemos e pagamos. Não voltaremos nem recomendaremos. Mas já assimilamos o impacto e vamos continuar explorando lugares novos. A condição da qual não abrimos mão é receber o mesmo tratamento de um cliente comum. Nada de evento especial, com tapete vermelho, banda de música, lembrancinha e almoço grátis. Não é a realidade que nosso leitor(a) vai encontrar quando for lá por indicação nossa. Pelo menos assim, quando recomendarmos um lugar e você não gostar, saberemos que se trata apenas de incompatibilidade de gostos.

É por respeito a você que não aceitamos jabá.

 

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