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Old 10-22-2008, 04:46 PM
RHB RHB started this thread
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There has been a couple of resturant threads, as to what is acceptable, what "class" they are, food qualities etc...So how do you pick the ones that you eat at?

I like to find locally owned ones. I also find out how much, if any, they give back to the community.
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Old 10-22-2008, 04:48 PM
Location: Northern VA
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I like to pick ones that I haven't been to before. I like to try new things and being in Northern VA, there are SO many available that I'm almost overwhelmed.
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Old 10-22-2008, 07:50 PM
Location: Fredericksburg, Va
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Depends on what I'm hungry for! We have a lovely, delicious, locally owned place we frequent.(Olde Towne Steak and Seafood) I love "Japanese Steakhouses" (I know they aren't really Japanese, but they're great!!!)
Not much on the chains, like Applebee's, TGIFriday, etc..... but will do it if I have to, like when traveling, or something.
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Old 10-22-2008, 07:52 PM
Location: Minneeeesoootah
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It depends on what we are hungry for and if we have kids with.
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Old 10-22-2008, 07:56 PM
Location: Eastern Washington
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One thing I look for in unfamiliar territory is a restaurant that looks like it's been there a long time, but is very well kept. That's a pretty sure sign they have been doing good business for a while - most likely the food and service are good.

I definitely try to eat at independent restaurants as opposed to chains - the chains are a fall-back if none of the independents look promising.
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Old 10-22-2008, 09:40 PM
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We always look for the local independent places. I'd sooner eat a peanut butter sandwich in the car than go to the chain restaurants.

I look for places that portray the local flavor, the regional zeitgeist. I want to find the spot where the natives who've lived there all their lives go for comfort food. That's usually a good indicator that the place is worth a try.

We also hunt for ethnic restaurants that are owned and run by natives of whatever country's cuisine is on the menu. In this community, we're richly blessed with many, many fine ethnic restaurants: Nepali, African, German, Lebanese, Moroccan, Russian, Argentinian, Indian, Laotian, Thai, Vietnamese, as well as the usual Chinese, Italian and Mexican restaurants that most cities have. It makes for tough decision-making when we go out, but on the bright side, it's pretty hard to find a bad meal here.
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Old 10-23-2008, 05:03 AM
Location: Oxford, England
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I try to avoid chains, get trusted recommendations, read reviews ( local papers, national papers, trip advisor etc..) I always do my "homework".

I always prefer independent restaurants, and those who use local produce and have good animal husbandry standards, and environmentally friendly policies/ethical policies ( fair trade etc) too.

Then it has to do with atmosphere, and whether it fits the "mood" of the evening.
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Old 10-23-2008, 05:35 AM
Location: on an island
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I *really* try to avoid chains. I know they are not all the same, but too often they promote mediocrity.
No matter what type food, one of the most important qualities is fresh ingredients. Competent staff helps a lot.
I appreciate creativity, ethical practices, and cleanliness.
As others have said, it sort of depends on the mood. One night we might want spicy Mexican, another night I may prefer bohemian hippie food, perhaps French cuisine for my birthday..still another night, sushi may appeal...
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Old 10-23-2008, 05:45 AM
Location: Maine
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I prefer locally owned with locally grown foods offered. Living rurally, that's not easy to find so a wide variety of foods is a plus.
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Old 10-23-2008, 06:39 AM
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When in doubt, we always choose the resturant with the most vehicles in the parking lot. An empty parking lot at meal time is a dead give away to stay away.
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