Natalie's Everyday Heroes: Dominic Dean, Wisconsin restaurant reviewer
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- You may have seen Dominic Dean's restaurant reviews on social media or online at OnMilwaukee.com. He's known around town as "Dominic the food reviewer."
His blog posts allow him to combine his passions for food and positivity.
"I'm so glad to see you," Dean exclaimed as he walked into Heaven's Table BBQ on North Avenue in Milwaukee recently.
It's evident that he is excited to be there.
"Look at that! Those ribs are getting cut right there," he said, watching as his meal was plated.
On the menu this night, Dean had to try the ribs.
"Super tender. I've got to say," he said, taking a bite.
He also tried the baked beans, potato salad and cornbread.
"You have to dip the cornbread in the barbecue sauce," Dean insisted.
Once or twice a week, Dean visits a different restaurant to write up a review, hitting spots all over southeastern Wisconsin and beyond.
He remembers his first review.
"Crossover Cantina in Waterford," he said.
That was in April of 2019, following a suggestion from a teacher that he start writing about food to help improve his writing.
"She wanted me to start a food review blog because I'm super obsessed with food, and I like going to different kinds of restaurants," Dean said.
His dad, Matthew Dean, thought it would be something Dominic just did for fun.
"We honestly thought it was going to be like parents, grandparents, like 15 people on his page," Matthew Dean said. "Like let's just have fun with this, and we went to one restaurant, and after one restaurant he had a hundred some followers."
Now, Dean's Facebook page -- Dominic's Milwaukee Restaurant and City Review -- has more than 12,000 followers.
His mom and dad often come along. His dad takes pictures to help out.
"Usually I just record things and take some pictures for him," he said. "I drive him and pay some."
These days, Dominic gets lots of suggestions of which restaurants to try, and he only has one rule.
"I don't write about a bad meal, if I have a bad experience," he explained. "I don't say anything negative, because I have the positive energy."
He hopes his positive energy will inspire other kids with special needs to find their passion, too.
"I'm going to take it wherever it takes me to," he said.
His parents couldn't be prouder of what he's created.
"It makes me feel great that he's got so much support and there's been so much positivity," Matthew Dean said.
Dominic is taking his food blog internationally next. The family is taking a trip to Sweden soon, and he plans on reviewing some restaurants while he's there.
If you'd like to nominate an Everyday Hero, send Natalie a message at NShepherd@cbs58.com.