I like to think my girlfriend and I can judge pretty good. One thing we have going is we can definitely compare a lot as we eat out quite a bit (at least in 2007 we did!)
sometimes 3-4 times a week.
aside from that I travel a lot, europe, asia, and eat great food all over the world...again....my reviews are based a lot of comparison.
Since my interest in cooking my own at home....I have learned to review not only by comparison, but a lot better by taste. I too went to a kind of "best of" place yesterday for lunch, same thing, soup and a sandwich place, not quite as cheap....and we both felt ourselves reviewing the food more so for specific tastes rather than comparison. Cajun chicken soup with no chicken.....french dip on not french bread....french onion soup that I can cook better.
I am not sure if I'm just being a brat and too picky or what.
one thing you have to keep in mind is best of...a lot of factors come into play, not just food. Atmosphere, price, location, cuisine, staff, etc...I mean, Grays Papaya is a "best of" restaurant, but for 20 cents more I can get a much better tasting hotdog!! Same with the "Grease Trucks" of New Brunswick, NJ....or White Rose System......
take white rose, a place that is known for burgers, like a large white castle.....anyone would say the hamburger has waaaay to many not cooked well onions with what seems like the crappiest grade of ground "meat" i've ever seen.....me...I see it as a great greasy breakfast!