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This restaurant’s response to bad Yelp review is the toast of Instagram

When Jeff Brown’s restaurant received an online review he thought was particularly unfair this summer, he went big with his response. Really big.

The critique, on Facebook, came from David Yow, a retired civil engineering technician in Virginia Beach who wasn’t happy with his breakfast at Cotton Southern Bistro in Virginia Beach one morning in June.

Yow ordered country ham, but got only “a sliver of meat.” And “a single slice of toast. One slice? Really?” Yow sent back the ham and got corned beef hash as a replacement. “Couldn’t eat that either,” he said. And the grits “were a long, long, long ways off from being a true Southern offering,”

Overall, “it had to be the WORST breakfast I have ever, ever had,” he concluded.

Brown said he recalled Yow eating plenty of his food. The ham was a high-grade substitute that Yow had requested for the bacon, he said. And the toast was a slice of “big, thick country bread.”

Brown was struck by the intensity of the review: “The worst breakfast he ever had? That’s setting a high bar.”

The restaurant owner tried to one-up the critic. The next day, the marquee outside the restaurant read: “COME TRY THE WORST BREAKFAST DAVID YOW HAS EVER HAD.”

“It went all over Instagram,” Brown said. “People rallied behind it. We were slammed.”

Yow’s reaction to Brown’s counterattack?

“I thought it was kind of humorous,” he said this month. “I wasn’t offended.”

Yow stands by his critique, “but I’m sorry it got to the point it did. I didn’t mean for it to go there. If I met him on the street today, I would apologize.”

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