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Old 09-03-2014, 12:29 PM
 
Location: Charleston, SC metro
3,518 posts, read 4,404,120 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stateofnature View Post
How can you possibly know that? You would have to be a mind reader to know that.
I'm sure there are many examples of chain food where you could give me a blind taste test with the chain food alongside similar non-chain food and I would fail. But there are just as many, if not more, chains where from a mile away I can tell you that it's inferior. Olive Garden versus almost any local family-owned Italian restaurant, for example.
Watch the video I liked for just a sample. It's called Food Psychology. Most blind taste tests I've read about show that people can't tell the difference between controversial commercial products. Mexican coke vs. regular for example. Most couldn't tell the difference. Same with organic vs. inorganic.
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Old 09-03-2014, 12:39 PM
 
Location: Milwaukee
3,451 posts, read 3,398,911 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rorytmeadows View Post
Watch the video I liked for just a sample. It's called Food Psychology. Most blind taste tests I've read about show that people can't tell the difference between controversial commercial products. Mexican coke vs. regular for example. Most couldn't tell the difference. Same with organic vs. inorganic.
Well, come on...how would organic veggies taste any differently in a blind test? Most people can tell the difference between Olive Garden and a real Italian joint or White Castle and a good local spot. The ones who can't simply aren't very well attuned to food. And colas all taste pretty similar outside the can. The only "controversy" is in their marketing and advertising, otherwise I'm sure Coke vs Pepsi wouldn't be a "hot button" issue, LOL! This is exactly what you do not understand about chains, advertising and branding, which has nothing to do with flavor or nutrition.

I already mentioned the Pasta Hut ads/this phenomenon pages back and you have this backwards - all that fast food branding and advertising tricks people in a certain demographic to preferring Sonic tator tots (which are frozen and identical to the freezer burned ones in the local market) to tots everywhere else, just because of the location and decor. Likewise, you can sell some gullible people on frozen dishes in expensive restaurants, but a good chunk of people who care about food would never fall for it.

As for your original assertion that started this thread - no, I do not believe that the South has the best chains. I feel that most chains, regardless of where they originate, are bad food. My only personal exceptions are based in California (In N Out) and Wisconsin (Culver's), neither of which are in the South.
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Old 09-03-2014, 01:23 PM
 
Location: Land of Ill Noise
956 posts, read 1,775,158 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chava61 View Post
North also has Chipotle which is considered casual rather than fast.
I always thought Chipotle was a nationwide chain, though they seem to be mostly in big city metropolitan areas, and medium size city metropolitan areas of at least a certain size(100,000 people or more). I know the Bloomington and Normal area of Illinois(where I used to go to college) had at least 2 Chipotles(if not more), and I swear that I spotted at least one somewhere in Athens, GA, when I last visited my uncle and aunt there a year ago.

And while my experiences tend to confirm the fact independent places are usually better, I think there's nothing wrong with supporting a regional or local chain that's actually decent. Local examples in the Chicago area and Midwest include Portillo's, Culver's, Oberweis, and Steak 'n Shake(which is largely still Midwest and South, but has a handful of locations outside of those areas, such as one I noticed on a NYC trip I took a little north of Times Square in NYC, next to where Dave Letterman films his show). In the South, I thought Zaxby's and Waffle House(which has a limited number in the Midwest, but seem to be more concentrated in Ohio, middle and southern Indiana, and Missouri for the Midwest) are decent. I do really want to try Cook Out and Bojangles at some point, since my cousins all the time mention to me how good those chains are.

Will say while I agree it's slightly easier to find mom and pop places to eat in the Midwest and Northeast(my experiences in the Northeast are way more limited btw, vs. the Midwest where I live), I don't think it's impossible to find mom and pop places in the South. You often can find really good mom and pop barbeque places in a lot of places in the South, and not just along rural highways. Oh, and a lot of independently owned southern cafeteria style restaurants still exist in a lot of places(i.e. Longstreet Cafe in Gainesville, GA is a great example, plus now has 2 locations in that city!). I think it's easier to find mom and pop places in more populated Southern cities and at least midsize ones, than it is in small towns where often, one might be limited to the typical fast food chains that are everywhere. What I find usually works in midsize southern cities(i.e. Gainesville, GA, Dalton, GA, Bowling Green, KY), is that if you're willing to detour and drive a little bit away from the area right by an interstate exit, that one can be rewarded by finding a good mom and pop place to eat at. Also using sites like Tripadvisor and Yelp can help a lot when it comes to finding those great hidden gem places, that one won't be able to easily find otherwise.

And as I missed saying this point eariler, I totally agree that certain chains like Applebee's, McDonald's(though I will say their breakfast is a guilty pleasure of mine, and the only time I'll consider going to McD's...), and Burger King(aside from rare hankerings for a Croissan'wich) are really mediocre crap, and I try for the most part to steer away from eating at those places when possible.
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Old 09-03-2014, 01:27 PM
 
1,998 posts, read 2,933,575 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rorytmeadows View Post
Watch the video I liked for just a sample. It's called Food Psychology. Most blind taste tests I've read about show that people can't tell the difference between controversial commercial products. Mexican coke vs. regular for example. Most couldn't tell the difference. Same with organic vs. inorganic.
Mexican coke vs. regular coke? Organic vs. inorganic? Neither of those examples have anything to do with chains vs non-chains.
What is the "controversy" about chains vs. non-chains? There are too many differences to compare that debate to the examples you list. A non-chain Italian restaurant is usually going for something completely different than an Olive Garden. It's not like Mexican coke or inorganic food which is deliberately trying to be a facsimile of the "real thing."

So again, where is the evidence that chain food is indistinguishable from non-chain food? You don't seem to have it. I think you WANT to believe this but you don't seem to be able to back it up.

You really think someone would fail the blind taste test of Sbarro's vs. ANY family-owned pizza place in NYC? or Taco Bell vs. almost any Mexican restaurant? If you really think this I don't think you've eaten enough non-chain food to know the difference.
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Old 09-03-2014, 01:38 PM
 
1,998 posts, read 2,933,575 times
Reputation: 2150
Quote:
Originally Posted by rorytmeadows View Post
Watch the video I liked for just a sample. It's called Food Psychology. Most blind taste tests I've read about show that people can't tell the difference between controversial commercial products. Mexican coke vs. regular for example. Most couldn't tell the difference. Same with organic vs. inorganic.

By the way the video you linked does nothing to show your case. It's about how marketing and presentation can make chain food seem better to someone (ie if you serve it to them in a gourmet restaurant setting as they did in the video and use high-falutin terms like "bisque" to describe some KFC slop). It was not a comparison between chain versus non-chain food. Nowhere does it suggest that if you took that KFC slop and put it next to a similar meal but prepared by an excellent chef that someone couldn't tell the difference.
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Old 09-03-2014, 02:04 PM
Status: "could've~would've~should've used 'have', not 'of'" (set 20 days ago)
 
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
10,492 posts, read 14,325,180 times
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If I'm looking for a place to have a really nice meal in my hometown or some other place I'm familiar with it probably won't be a chain. But I do think chains have their place.
I travel a lot, when I'm on the road in an unfamiliar area it's nice to see a familiar name and have some idea of the type and quality of food available. To be honest not all local places are great, some them are downright awful. I've been to some that obviously used frozen or (gasp) canned foods in their dishes. You just don't know until you try it and I don't like that when I'm simply on my way from point A to point B and looking for a meal. I just want to be able to stuff my face with something I know.
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Old 09-03-2014, 02:19 PM
 
Location: Milwaukee
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^ I hear ya, all my fast food consumption is on the road or in a big hurry or both
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Old 09-03-2014, 02:30 PM
 
Location: Sweet Home...CHICAGO
3,330 posts, read 3,996,968 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PerseusVeil View Post
Assuming you're talking about Chicago, there is an Applebees in the city of Chicago. Same for Olive Garden. The sit down chains are slowly entering the market via the peripheral neighborhoods, although there is a Chili's in River North, and a Cheese Cake Factory in Gold Coast off Michigan Ave in the Hancock.

There are also most definitely Taco Bells in the city. There's one right at Clark and Addison in Lakeview, in addition to a McDonald's on the other side of the street.

You can also get Dominos and Pizza Hut in the North Side neighborhoods as well. I'm sure you can also get it elsewhere in the city as well, but I've only had to deal with ordering it on the North Side.



Sit down places I can definitely agree on, but not fast food. They're not everywhere like they are in the suburbs, but you're not going to have to bend over backwards to find a Subway, McDonald's, etc, either. The same goes for the city of St. Louis.
In my experience, I did have to bend over backwards to find most of the places you named. I noticed they are there more now but they weren't there before. I even did a search for these places in a few of the zip codes I used to live in Chicago and most of these places are not anywhere near where I used to live there except 2 or 3.

Last edited by Atlanta_BD; 09-03-2014 at 02:38 PM..
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Old 09-03-2014, 03:18 PM
 
Location: Charleston, SC metro
3,518 posts, read 4,404,120 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DubbleT View Post
To be honest not all local places are great, some them are downright awful. I've been to some that obviously used frozen or (gasp) canned foods in their dishes.
You got that right! In Mount Pleasant, there is a shrimping creek area that the tourists love to flock to. Tons of bars and restaurants and they love to say they tried the local SC shrimp!

Yeah, none of them serve local shrimp.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stateofnature View Post
Mexican coke vs. regular coke? Organic vs. inorganic? Neither of those examples have anything to do with chains vs non-chains.
What is the "controversy" about chains vs. non-chains? There are too many differences to compare that debate to the examples you list. A non-chain Italian restaurant is usually going for something completely different than an Olive Garden. It's not like Mexican coke or inorganic food which is deliberately trying to be a facsimile of the "real thing."

So again, where is the evidence that chain food is indistinguishable from non-chain food? You don't seem to have it. I think you WANT to believe this but you don't seem to be able to back it up.

You really think someone would fail the blind taste test of Sbarro's vs. ANY family-owned pizza place in NYC? or Taco Bell vs. almost any Mexican restaurant? If you really think this I don't think you've eaten enough non-chain food to know the difference.
Quote:
Originally Posted by stateofnature View Post
By the way the video you linked does nothing to show your case. It's about how marketing and presentation can make chain food seem better to someone (ie if you serve it to them in a gourmet restaurant setting as they did in the video and use high-falutin terms like "bisque" to describe some KFC slop). It was not a comparison between chain versus non-chain food. Nowhere does it suggest that if you took that KFC slop and put it next to a similar meal but prepared by an excellent chef that someone couldn't tell the difference.
This particular discussion point hinged on Food Psychology, particularly the thought that people may not like the taste of something because they don't want to like the taste of something. I'm not saying necessarily that you can't tell the difference, just that there is a concept of Food Psychology and listed some relevant (to Food Psychology), but still irrelevant (to the thread). I do think social psychology plays a major role in the rejection of fast food. People feel ashamed. Many people would hate to be caught in a fast food restaurant scarfing down a Big Mac. I knew many that had to sneak it into their office for lunch and then spray air freshener when they were done! It's a cultural phenomenon.

And no one really is saying chains are better than local restaurants. I think in order to really enjoy this thread, you have to just accept that chains can be good. People coming in and saying "all of it sucks" doesn't really add to it. It's literally like asking do you like Beach X vs. Beach Y? and someone replying, "Beaches suck, I like zoos." That's all well and good for the Beaches vs. Zoos thread, that you're welcome to start.

I love a delicious chef-prepared meal from a local restaurant in downtown Charleston. I love a lot of them and hope to try every one in this foodie town. But I do like me a Big Mac, tasty fries, and a coke. Food and beverage elitism is a myth. I have had well over 600 different beers, but sometimes I just want a cold PBR on a hot day. Problem?

Now we're way off topic! Any other regional or concentrated chains that we are missing?

Last edited by rorytmeadows; 09-03-2014 at 03:27 PM..
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Old 09-03-2014, 03:55 PM
 
1,998 posts, read 2,933,575 times
Reputation: 2150
Quote:
Originally Posted by rorytmeadows View Post
You got that right! In Mount Pleasant, there is a shrimping creek area that the tourists love to flock to. Tons of bars and restaurants and they love to say they tried the local SC shrimp!

Yeah, none of them serve local shrimp.





This particular discussion point hinged on Food Psychology, particularly the thought that people may not like the taste of something because they don't want to like the taste of something. I'm not saying necessarily that you can't tell the difference, just that there is a concept of Food Psychology and listed some relevant (to Food Psychology), but still irrelevant (to the thread). I do think social psychology plays a major role in the rejection of fast food. People feel ashamed. Many people would hate to be caught in a fast food restaurant scarfing down a Big Mac. I knew many that had to sneak it into their office for lunch and then spray air freshener when they were done! It's a cultural phenomenon.

And no one really is saying chains are better than local restaurants. I think in order to really enjoy this thread, you have to just accept that chains can be good. People coming in and saying "all of it sucks" doesn't really add to it. It's literally like asking do you like Beach X vs. Beach Y? and someone replying, "Beaches suck, I like zoos." That's all well and good for the Beaches vs. Zoos thread, that you're welcome to start.

I love a delicious chef-prepared meal from a local restaurant in downtown Charleston. I love a lot of them and hope to try every one in this foodie town. But I do like me a Big Mac, tasty fries, and a coke. Food and beverage elitism is a myth. I have had well over 600 different beers, but sometimes I just want a cold PBR on a hot day. Problem?

Now we're way off topic! Any other regional or concentrated chains that we are missing?
I agree that chains can be good. What I disagree with is the idea that in the cases where I do think a chain is terrible, that I am somehow psychologically deceiving myself and that I would really like it if I decided I wanted to like it. For you to know that, you would need to be a mind reader.
Some really do hate the taste of McDonalds. I think you want to believe that they don't really hate the things you like and that their "elitism" is leading them astray. But I don't see how you can discount the possibility that some people just don't like the taste of McDonalds just like you don't like the taste of some things, I'm sure. To ask them to abandon their "elitist" preference is like me asking you to stop enjoying a PBR on a hot day.
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