Tim Schroeder poses with food from Victoria's Ristorante & Wine Bar, Jan. 29, 2020.

Rochester’s newest food critic wants to know why adults have the final say on Rochester’s food scene -- then he wants to change the game.

Tim Schroeder, a 12-year-old at Lincoln K-8, posted his first restaurant review (of Smoak BBQ) on Tim’s Tidbits over winter break.

It garnered some attention on Facebook, and started, “The average human body is 55 percent edible meat* and so in honor of us the first place I visited was Smoak, a B.B.Q. restaurant.”

The fledgling critic started his food blog for a couple of reasons -- to convince his parents to take him out to eat regularly, and to introduce a kids’ perspective to Rochester’s restaurant scene.

Tim’s audience is mostly friends and family, for now -- but eventually, he hopes to become the leading authority on Rochester food, from a younger perspective.

It’s an underrepresented viewpoint, he says. After all, not all kids have a). a passion for different cuisines, b). parents willing to set up a Wordpress website, and c). the inclination to write up several-hundred-word reviews on a regular basis.

“I’ve always liked food and expressing my opinions,” Tim says. “And if everything’s told from an adult perspective, and you take your kids out, how are you going to know if they’ll like it?”

Parents Mark and Mindy Schroeder set up the Tim’s Tidbits Wordpress site initially, spell-check posts, and Mindy screens the comment section. But aside from that, they’re hands-off, they say. Tim forms his own opinions, writes the reviews himself, and Googles fun facts to add to each lede.

The young critic also chooses the restaurants visited, picks his own order, and then orchestrates their meals so he can try a range of proteins and types of dishes in one visit.

There are now four reviews posted on Tim’s Tidbits at the time this article was written -- Smoak, Hunan Garden, and Buffalo Wild Wings, and his latest. 

Most recently, he visited Victoria’s Ristorante & Wine Bar, and posted a review shortly thereafter. “I don’t usually have much experience with most of the restaurants,” Tim says, though he’s visited one or two a time before.

Next on his list? Possibly Flapdoodles or a non-American cuisine, like The Hyderabad Indian Grill of 55th Street NW. Tim says he’d like to jump around the globe, food-wise to help readers navigate foreign foods from a kid’s perspective.

“Every kid likes chicken tenders and fries,” he says. “They might not like chicken tikka masala.”

But then again, they might -- and if those parents and kids are waiting for a fellow young person’s approval, they’ll likely get it from Tim.

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