The Man Behind The GrubGrade Mask…

Hey everyone.  I’ve been meaning to get around to a more fleshed out About section for the site, but I thought I’d ask for your help with it.  I get random emails asking questions about me and my opinions on this or that.  I guess people might be interested in the person behind the blog.  We are coming up on our 1 year anniversary of the launch of GrubGrade and I’m ready to work on a little bio.  It doesn’t have to be all food related, as I am more than just a dude that writes a lot about food.  Maybe you don’t really care, but this is for the few that might and the new visitors.  I’ll do a little FAQ below to get things started.  Fire away any additional questions you may have or just leave your thoughts in the comments section.  I’m guessing most do not care and would just rather see me crank out reviews.  Doing a bio was actually a little uncomfortable, but oh well.  I’ll compile everything for an updated About section in the near future.  Thanks!


Name: Ryan

DOB: February 4, 1981

GrubGrade Headquarters: Frederick, Maryland

Family: Middle child with two brothers

Occupation:  Quality Assurance Analyst by day, GrubGrade CEO by night.

Height/Weight:  A lot of people think I’ve got to weigh about 600 pounds or more.  I’m 5ft 11inches and 190 lbs.  Which actually makes me overweight according to BMI 🙂 .  I’ll work on losing 10lbs, OK doc?

What is your idea of the perfect food? Pizza of course.  You’ve got most of your food groups in one tasty package.  I once tried to be a vegetarian and failed miserably after 3 days.  A pizza with no meat is still a beautiful thing.

What foods do you hate? I like rice, but have always hated my Mom’s rice growing up.  How do you screw up rice?  Sorry Mom.  So if you discard the odd foods that most people wouldn’t eat anyways such as sardines and pig snouts, I’m not really a picky eater at all.  If you give me a Dino-nugget with a missing head or an extra tail, I won’t touch it.

Favorite restaurant food? Mexican.  I love Southern California for the weather and the Mexican food.  Runners Up: Greek and Italian

Favorite Fast Food Place? Chick-fil-A

What got you started with GrubGrade? Some might say it all began with a hunger so bad in 7th grade that I used to draw cheesesteaks in science class.  But really, I was inspired by other blogs out there.  I was a writer for FastFoodCritic.  The end/hiatus of FFC kind of pushed me to start GrubGrade, and for that I am thankful.  I have an opinion and a camera so why not.

You cover a lot of fast food.  How often do you actually eat fast food? Good Week: Twice a week.  Bad Week: Yikes maybe almost daily. That doesn’t mean I’m pounding cheeseburgers, fries and soda though.  Lately I’ve had a lot more good weeks than bad.  I’m trying to find a better balance.

Do you make money from GrubGrade? Not much.  I do have a day job.  Taking in the cost to run GG, and the time I have put in to it, makes this just a hobby.  Anything I make I try to put back into the site or give away to the readers.  So I’m in the red.  It was never my goal for this to be about making money.

Other? Seeing good movies.  Sports, first loves are football and hockey.  Live music.  My iPod.  MacBook Pro.  Staring at my dusty guitar.  Addiction to the Internet.  Not watching my television.  My cat Ozzy.  Preserving my sexy.  Fearing marriage.  Fancying myself a runner.  Reading at least one great book per year.  Being terrible at golf.  Waking up at 4am almost every day.  I miss Bear Silber.  Being scared of oceans.  Going to new places to eat.  Traveling.  Road trips.  Taking pictures of anything.  Avoiding topics of politics and religion.  Avoiding negative people.  Avoiding death.  Avoiding my ex-girlfriends.  Avoiding the cold wind.  Avoiding answering my phone when an “acquaintance” asks me to help them move.

31 comments on “The Man Behind The GrubGrade Mask…

  1. brad says:

    I actually think a small bit of this type of stuff interspersed with your normal fare would make the site more interested, if only ’cause of the increased variety. But yeah, fun read!

  2. brad says:

    gah, interesting, not interested.

  3. I too miss Bear Silber. He seemingly disappeared without a goodbye. Just kind of vanished. I know why he left, but not the specifics. I don’t know where he went. I don’t know how long he’ll be there. I know that he’s a good man with tons of positive energy and he was a joy to interact with, even as limited as my interaction via Twitter and GG was. And it was VERY limited.

    Anyway, great read. You’re much more handsome than I would have thought. I’m not gay, I’m just saying. Handsome. 😉

  4. SkippyMom says:

    I always wonder when people speak of the cost of “running” their blogs.

    I realize you have your own domain name so that costs something, but really – how much does that actually cost in the long run? has all kinds of domains from 9.99 & up and although you get good traffic do you really lose a little money doing this?

    I am really just wondering, ’cause I don’t know.

    And HI! from Loudoun county – we’re neighbors – Have you ever had the fried chicken from the little hole in the wall gas station in the town of Point of Rocks? The stuff is AWESOME. Next time I go I will find out the name, but it is right across the bridge from VA to MD and the store itself is across from the MARC train. Epic. I tell ya.

  5. Jillian says:

    You forget “Loving the Detroit Lions and cross-dressing on the side.” You’re welcome.

  6. Mayor McCheese says:

    FFC is alive. Will you return?

  7. damn. this is barely a year old? quite an empire you have built.

    thanks for the bio page. i get flustered when i read blogs and can’t figure out anything about who is writing them. it’s the stalker in me.

  8. Adam says:

    Good to finally meet the “man behind the mask.” I too love Chick-Fil-A before all other FF establishments!

  9. ultradave says:

    Glad you did this!

  10. Michael says:

    You are doing a great thing with your Blog. Alot of Foodies appreciate it..Well done..and Thank you for all your fine work!

  11. Great list Ryan.

    I cannot believe GrubGrade is almost a year old.

    I want to know when you will do more video! 😉

    (I miss Bear Silber too)

  12. Ryan says:

    @ brad … Thanks man. I agree. I just try not to take the focus off the food. Maybe after some time passes I’ll mix it up a little more.

    @ Zac … Yeah Bear is a good dude. He was a great friend to a lot of blogs. Let’s hope he’s doing well and makes a return at some point.

    @ SkippyMom … Yeah domains are cheap. Hosting costs a little something. After a little more time passes, I don’t expect to be in the red. Even though the red isn’t that bad. I’m about 25min from that area. When you find out the name, please let me know.

    @ Jillian … I have no comeback for that.

    @ Mayor McCheese … Yes I know. I won’t be making a return though. I appreciate FFC getting me started with all of this. GG has been my focus since last February and I will keep it going.

    @ Katie … Yup…February 18th will be 1 year. It’s been fun. I sort of agree with what you said about bio’s. I just have trouble opening up I guess. I’ll work on it.

    @ Adam … Glad you are part of this team Adam. Any CFA’s near your school?

    @ ultradave … Thanks for reading.

    @ Michael … I appreciate your support. Positive feedback always helps me out when I don’t feel like writing.

    @ Greg … You are the dude I look up to for the video blogs. As far as GrubGrade is concerned…I’ve thought about it a lot actually. I have at least one new video in mind for now. We’ll see what happens.

  13. oh lawd. february 18th is my two-year anniversary at my (sigh) day job. that’s not such an exciting milestone though. that’s more of an I’m-throwing-my-life-away milestone… 🙂 congratulations

  14. Ayesha97 says:

    Congrats on 1 year! Just wanted to say hi from a Frederick County native as well 🙂 I have since escaped to Baltimore, but my parents are still up in your neck of the woods 😀

  15. Adam says:

    No CFA’s here Ryan, although there are a few in SLC. As much as my dining hall can try (actually, who am I kidding, they don’t) they can’t produce a worthy rendition of a Chargrilled Chicken w/bacon worth their life.

  16. plushpuppy says:

    Have you ever tried Zaxby’s fried pickles?

  17. Michelle says:

    I read a ton of food blogs, and yours is probably my favorite. I love that youre always quick to update with new things so that bored housewives like myself have something to do. Great work dude!

  18. Very cool Ryan. Great to learn a little more about you! 😀

  19. marianne says:

    I <3 Grubgrade.

  20. marianne says:

    @plushpuppy … Zaxby’s has fried pickles?! I may have found a reason to venture there ….

  21. Marvo says:

    Darn. I was hoping your picture for this post would’ve been you with a whole bunch of fries in your mouth like Morgan Spurlock on the cover of Super Size Me.

  22. mark says:

    Love the grub grading. Congrats on not being fat.

  23. wibia says:

    Very cool Ryan. Love the “other ” paragraph…I laughed at about everyone. Funny how these were next to each other… “Preserving my sexy. Fearing marriage.”

    Anyway, love the site and keep it up.

  24. Adam Bomb says:

    Thanks for giving us the full deal on who runs the show around here. Very interesting and entertaining 🙂

  25. BE says:

    “A lot of people think I’ve got to weigh about 600 pounds or more.” Haha, I laughed when I read that because my friend thought the same thing upon reading my blog.

    Rice is hard to screw up… What was wrong with your mom’s rice? Too dry? Too soggy?

  26. MonsterDan says:

    Big fan of he site for 6 months. Sorry did not catch you with the “FFC” . I love this site. My name is Dan, I’m 35 and crave Energy Drinks and fast food. I drive when ever possible to new food destinations. I think the food industry hates the Northwest. I currently live in Port Angeles Washington. I tell people about it all the time. I try the experiments and Debuts regularly. I started to look at food contests and challenges in the Northwest. So you live in Maryland. Well If you ever want “Dungeness crab” Fresh from the waters here in Port Angeles Washington caught in my boat, I have no problem sending you some seafood in the mail on Dry-Ice. You frikin inspire me here in Washington State (aka Ballard-Port Angeles). PS. my friends and I love Hockey and we drive to see Vancouver Canucks, Victoria Salmon Kings, Seattle-Kent Thunderbirds, Portland Winterhawks, Tacoma Sabercats games. We wish we had Pro-Hockey here (Paul Allen). “I have never Tailgated a game ever, This year we intend on tailgating several times this year with the Huskies and Seahawks. “Biggest continual interest is, who has the best Fries on the West Coast, I’m always on the look out and listening to what people say. I’m biased when it comes to Jo-Jo’s.

    Gotta Go, and thanks for running this dam great site Ryan.

  27. MonsterDan says:

    In case people don’t know:

    Fast Food Critic provides news, reviews, prices, nutrition information, food facts, original feature stories and opinions about fast food, the restaurants, and the quick serve industry.

    Don’t go wandering, This is the Site to Bookmark for sure !

  28. Ryan says:

    @ BE … I can’t quite put my finger on it. Maybe just bland. It’s crazy because everything else she made was great.

    @ MonsterDan … Thanks for checking in from the Pacific NW. I might have to take you up on that crab offer some day. When is peak season? Crab is a Holy item here in Maryland….but more of a summer time thing.

  29. enjoyable post. I always like to read about “the man behind the iron mask” or something of that sort. g’luck with balancing those bad food reviews and a life without pudge. 🙂

  30. jenipher says:

    I find it interesting you avoid things more then enjoy them. AND that you love to travel and “eat” but venture only in the fast food category.

    I hope when you travel you eat outside the bun, taco shell, whatever… 🙂

  31. Synfidie says:

    Just found this website today while on a search for a picture of the Magnum Caramel Ice Cream bar. I have no idea how i didn’t find this site when I was looking up junk food review sites and seeing what came up. Gives me hope that maybe my own website (heavily under construction atm) will actually do alright once it’s out.

    I’m apparently your neighbor as well as I live in MD…but originally i’m from Philly. This is why i hate crabs and all things seafood. I’ll never fit in quite right here. lol

    Anyways, just wanted to say good job on your website.

    To the person WAY above who asked about how much it costs to run a website – Depends..can range from 10 a year to a couple hundred..depends on your domain hosting package and what you need to “buy” for your website. It adds up quickly.

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