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Old 08-29-2014, 04:11 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atlanta_BD View Post
I eat far more at chains than I did back home.
You do realize that's your own fault right? Just asking.

A few years back I "lived" in the Dallas area for like a total of two months without a car. Within walking distance from the place I was staying, the only chain available (that I can remember) was a Domino's and a Whataburger. Within that same distance was a great taqueria, some local Tex Mex, a dirt cheap Chinese restaurant, a donut shop and a bakery. This was in the suburb of Plano mind you.

I'm not trying to claim that DFW is some mecca for authentic dining, but local establishments are not hard to find.
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Old 08-29-2014, 04:36 PM
 
Location: Sweet Home...CHICAGO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mega man View Post
You do realize that's your own fault right? Just asking.

A few years back I "lived" in the Dallas area for like a total of two months without a car. Within walking distance from the place I was staying, the only chain available (that I can remember) was a Domino's and a Whataburger. Within that same distance was a great taqueria, some local Tex Mex, a dirt cheap Chinese restaurant, a donut shop and a bakery. This was in the suburb of Plano mind you.

I'm not trying to claim that DFW is some mecca for authentic dining, but local establishments are not hard to find.
"Fault?"

I'm new to Texas. Currently living in Arlington which is very walkable to mostly chains and very few local spots in the part I live in. Will be moving into downtown Dallas next month so I will see what I can find there or in Uptown or other areas close to downtown that are unique to Dallas. The Chinese food I've eaten here in the Dallas area and Atlanta is awful. Once you've eaten Chicago Chinese, or Chinese from other major cities that have a Chinatown, the Chinese food in the south really does not compare. They don't even use the same ingredients. I've had some good Thai here though. And I'm looking for more than Tex Mex and doughnut shops. We have those here in Arlington too near where I live.

I am in search of unique dining experiences in Dallas because it is chains that are more accessible than local fare, so as someone who is new here, some digging will be required and I get that. However,while you are saying that it's my "fault" for whatever it is you think is my fault, when I've asked some locals where to go to get good, local, non-chain food all I hear is crickets and the most suggestions I've gotten from locals so far is fried chicken joints. And when I talk to them about going out to dinner, the usually mention Olive Garden or Pappadeaux, not some local eatery. As a result, I started a thread in the Dallas forum asking where the good, non-chain restaurants.

You lived in Dallas for two months, I've been here for six months and so far I'm not seeing where good local food is easy to find outside of Mexican, fried chicken and doughnuts. There is a good variety of Asian restaurants here in Arlington (non-Chinese) that I'm looking forward to trying.
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Old 08-29-2014, 04:55 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
45,145 posts, read 36,338,000 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atlanta_BD View Post
"Fault?"

I'm new to Texas. Currently living in Arlington which is very walkable to mostly chains and very few local spots in the part I live in. Will be moving into downtown Dallas next month so I will see what I can find there or in Uptown or other areas close to downtown that are unique to Dallas. The Chinese food I've eaten here in the Dallas area and Atlanta is awful. Once you've eaten Chicago Chinese, or Chinese from other major cities that have a Chinatown, the Chinese food in the south really does not compare. They don't even use the same ingredients. I've had some good Thai here though. And I'm looking for more than Tex Mex and doughnut shops. We have those here in Arlington too near where I live.

I am in search of unique dining experiences in Dallas because it is chains that are more accessible than local fare, so as someone who is new here, some digging will be required and I get that. However,while you are saying that it's my "fault" for whatever it is you think is my fault, when I've asked some locals where to go to get good, local, non-chain food all I hear is crickets and the most suggestions I've gotten from locals so far is fried chicken joints. And when I talk to them about going out to dinner, the usually mention Olive Garden or Pappadeaux, not some local eatery. As a result, I started a thread in the Dallas forum asking where the good, non-chain restaurants.

You lived in Dallas for two months, I've been here for six months and so far I'm not seeing where good local food is easy to find outside of Mexican, fried chicken and doughnuts. There is a good variety of Asian restaurants here in Arlington (non-Chinese) that I'm looking forward to trying.
Well, as much as I love Texas and as loathe as I am to criticize anyone's town or region or state, I gotta say that Dallas is not one of my favorite Texas cities. I don't really know what the food scene is like there because I get in and out of there as fast as I can. I much prefer Fort Worth (including it's restaurants) over the concrete jungle of Dallas, but hey, that's just me. In fact, I'm going to Fort Worth this weekend and I can't wait to try out 24 Plates with my sister in law!

I live in the Tyler area and we have GREAT locally owned restaurants all over the place, including restaurants serving Lebanese, Greek, Thai, authentic Chinese and Japanese, Vietnamese, Cajun, a ton of taquerias, you name it. Yep, we also have plenty of chain restaurants too, and some of them are places my husband and I really enjoy visiting from time to time - IHOP comes to mind immediately but like I said, we also really like Sonic's drinks - and their BLTs!

For a town of about 100,000 people - we do pretty well when it comes to dining options.

Tyler
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Old 08-29-2014, 05:26 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mega man View Post
Yes Sonic is one of those places you usually end up stopping at even if you didn't intend to. Especially if you were travelling the back way on those state roads.
What is Sonic's? There are so many chains named on this thread I've never heard of!
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Old 08-29-2014, 05:53 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
5,286 posts, read 4,173,154 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atlanta_BD View Post
"Fault?"

I'm new to Texas. Currently living in Arlington which is very walkable to mostly chains and very few local spots in the part I live in. Will be moving into downtown Dallas next month so I will see what I can find there or in Uptown or other areas close to downtown that are unique to Dallas. The Chinese food I've eaten here in the Dallas area and Atlanta is awful. Once you've eaten Chicago Chinese, or Chinese from other major cities that have a Chinatown, the Chinese food in the south really does not compare. They don't even use the same ingredients. I've had some good Thai here though. And I'm looking for more than Tex Mex and doughnut shops. We have those here in Arlington too near where I live.

I am in search of unique dining experiences in Dallas because it is chains that are more accessible than local fare, so as someone who is new here, some digging will be required and I get that. However,while you are saying that it's my "fault" for whatever it is you think is my fault, when I've asked some locals where to go to get good, local, non-chain food all I hear is crickets and the most suggestions I've gotten from locals so far is fried chicken joints. And when I talk to them about going out to dinner, the usually mention Olive Garden or Pappadeaux, not some local eatery. As a result, I started a thread in the Dallas forum asking where the good, non-chain restaurants.

You lived in Dallas for two months, I've been here for six months and so far I'm not seeing where good local food is easy to find outside of Mexican, fried chicken and doughnuts. There is a good variety of Asian restaurants here in Arlington (non-Chinese) that I'm looking forward to trying.
What I mean is no one can force you to eat at chains.

You live in Arlington, which is easily one of the blandest suburbs in the state. I'd imagine it's pretty difficult to become familiar with what Dallas offers if you don't live in Dallas. Google helps a lot though. I have no clue what type of folks you are hanging around that are recommending Olive Garden but they are obviously not experienced diners.

Chinese food may indeed be bad in Dallas as it is in Atlanta. I do not think the same can be said of New Orleans or Houston.
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Old 08-29-2014, 06:01 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
5,286 posts, read 4,173,154 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
What is Sonic's? There are so many chains named on this thread I've never heard of!
Drive in burger and shakes joint. There's a little parking space equipped with a menu and speaker from which you order and your food is brought out you on roller skates. The food quality is generally subpar but their drinks and shakes are what they're famous for. My favorite is their Ocean Water which is coconut flavored Sprite.
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Old 08-29-2014, 06:16 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mega man View Post
Drive in burger and shakes joint. There's a little parking space equipped with a menu and speaker from which you order and your food is brought out you on roller skates. The food quality is generally subpar but their drinks and shakes are what they're famous for. My favorite is their Ocean Water which is coconut flavored Sprite.
As mentioned before, Diet Cherry Limeade is my guilty pleasure. Sonic uses great ice (that little crunchy kind) and they always put a lime wedge and at least one cherry in their cherry limeades - YUM. One of life's simple pleasures.
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Old 08-29-2014, 08:21 PM
 
Location: northern Vermont - previously NM, WA, & MA
9,450 posts, read 18,372,524 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
That being said, I'm not going to pretend that I never eat at a chain restaurant at home. For instance, my husband and I really like Texas Roadhouse. We also love eating breakfast for supper at IHOP. And though I have my favorite locally owned Italian restaurants, I unabashedly admit that I really like the salad and breadsticks at the Olive Garden, as well as several of their entrees, so we eat there a couple of times a year as well.
OK, I'm going to pour some honesty out here. So I've been one of the chain bashers here in this thread, and 90% of the time I do make an earnest effort to eat at non chain locally run restaurants when dining out. That said I'm living in America, and there a just times and places where there is no getting around the chains. But tonight my partner comes home with a $50 Olive Garden gift card given to him by his boss. OK, I'm not above that.

So here goes my yelp'sh review - We get there and any Olive Garden I've been to before usually had that Tuscan stone décor and exterior thing going. The one on San Mateo in Albuquerque was a blah covered in beige, an older one I guess. It's happy hour and the chipper and perky waitress whom I imagine probably has a really good sex life brings me my pinot grigio. It's Olive Garden, I know what I'm getting so I'm just in the moment happy to have a glass of wine in my hand.

Here come the endless salad and breadsticks. Oh yay, a bowl full of iceburg lettuce and house dressing. Whomever prepared it more or less included tomatoes, onions, and olives (at Olive Garden, go figure) as an afterthought. But there were a couple of jalapenos to bite into, that made me happy! The breadsticks are Pillsbury type dough sticks painted in butter and garlic salt. Hey, I'm not going to knock your indulgence for it, my partner was happy with it.

Entrees come out. I get seafood alfredo. Yikes, I should have known better. tiny scallops and shrimp from a bag frozen and then shipped from an industrial seafood farm in Philippines I'd imagine, then dumped into a pan and sautéed with mediocre canned alfredo, though the pasta was cooked al dente so props for that at least. My guy ordered the chicken masala. I asked him how it was and he said it tasted like it came from a box.

But hey, I'm not ungrateful. The service was good, I tipped her decently and I was in a pretty good mood tonight (why wouldn't I be on the Friday night before Labor Day) and the wine made up for it. I'm glad I went out to eat tonight, and happy that my man's boss was spreading the joy of gift carding tonight. And there you have it, Friday night at Olive Garden! Have a great Labor Day weekend everybody!

Last edited by Desert_SW_77; 08-29-2014 at 08:42 PM..
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Old 08-29-2014, 09:39 PM
 
Location: Sweet Home...CHICAGO
3,336 posts, read 4,006,839 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
What is Sonic's? There are so many chains named on this thread I've never heard of!
Your asking this question as a northeasterner just proves my point. I never heard of a lot of these chains either until I moved to the south and they didn't get them back home until after I left. If they were there before I left, I never saw them because their locations are nowhere near where I lived or frequented. Sonic really is gross. You aren't missing out on anything. Trust me. Some of the worst tasting ice cream I ever had was at Sonic. I don't get what the hype is about that place.
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Old 08-29-2014, 09:44 PM
 
Location: Charleston, SC metro
3,518 posts, read 4,410,019 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atlanta_BD View Post
Your asking this question as a northeasterner just proves my point. I never heard of a lot of these chains either until I moved to the south and they didn't get them back home until after I left. If they were there before I left, I never saw them because their locations are nowhere near where I lived or frequented. Sonic really is gross. You aren't missing out on anything. Trust me. Some of the worst tasting ice cream I ever had was at Sonic. I don't get what the hype is about that place.
lol

I feel the same way. Everything I have had there has been mediocre at best, yet I can't write it off because there is SO MANY things on the menu!
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