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Old 08-29-2014, 08:37 AM
 
Location: Hamburg, NY
1,172 posts, read 2,387,694 times
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Chains have their place. Part of their success is that small children like regularity and this allows for less drama during dinner time because your child will know exactly what they will be getting. This isn't as a much of an issue as kids get older but with small children it often is. Also, they offer a better value price wise compared to local places. This is most often true in larger cities where the local places can be more expensive, but less true in smaller metros where there may be more low cost independently owned places.

The quality of food is almost always better at local places without a doubt. However, there are times when cost or predictability are more important than quality. Sometimes dining is pragmatic and not "an experience" and that is where the chains have their place.
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Old 08-29-2014, 08:41 AM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
45,988 posts, read 41,967,271 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
To clarify, when I said I eat at chain restaurants sometimes when traveling, I meant when actually TRAVELING -like in an airport or during the driving part of a road trip. Once I reach my destination, I seek out locally owned places - the last thing I want to do is eat at some place "like" the places in my own home town when I'm on a trip with the intent of experiencing new things.
Gotcha. But sometimes on a tedious drive, it makes it fun to stop at an interesting restaurant. Like a surpisingly decent Mexican restaurant in the middle of Wyoming. Or more recently this place in New Hampshire, which we just discovered stopping. We weren't going to get a chain either way, we just stopped in one of the larger towns in the area, parked and walked around. There weren't any chains.

***** Schilling Beer Co. - Home

Bottom floor of an 18th century mill building (water-powered, along the river and near a covered bridge) serving German and Belgian beers they brewed with wood-fired pizza and a few other Italian-style foods. Pizza was quite good though maybe not amazing. Place is very popular.
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Old 08-29-2014, 08:43 AM
 
Location: Charleston, SC metro
3,518 posts, read 4,403,569 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Port North View Post
Chains have their place.
http://nypost.com/2013/07/28/the-gre...human-history/
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Old 08-29-2014, 08:46 AM
 
Location: Milwaukee
3,451 posts, read 3,398,087 times
Reputation: 2895
Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
I don't go that frequently, but for certain practical stuff (simple home items) around here it's really either Target or Walmart or maybe another big box chain.
Right, I sometimes pick things up at Target because it's the only cheapo chain department store within 15-20 minutes of me, but I'm not ingesting the products.

Clearly there are times where fast food/chains are necessary, like when you are on the road or in an airport or don't have any extra time to spare. But every metro has similarly-priced and superior food. Most small towns have local spots that have been there for generations. Agreed on kids - that's a huge part of fast food. You find a single item a picky kid likes (along with a toy or playland), you will go back there instead of going through the tantrums.
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Old 08-29-2014, 09:08 AM
 
7,278 posts, read 13,527,643 times
Reputation: 3610
Quote:
Originally Posted by rorytmeadows View Post
Ahh, yes. "shill". Hipster term for someone that says one good thing about something that is hipster to hate. I think Walmart is convenient. UH OH! SHILL FOR WALMART.

I think we're done here.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newsboy View Post


God forbid that someone should express a like for thing that doesn't meet the approval of the leftist PC / hipster / granola consuming PC police. Much less a political or religion opinion ...

That said, you've got to ask yourself how honest some of these people dissing on chain restaurants really are. Sure, I typically choose local places over chains AT HOME, in my own city. But when I travel, it's often just not very practical. For one thing, the highways and interstates are dominated by chains, and finding good local places when you're on the road just isn't easy to do.
Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
Amen and amen.

I travel a lot. When I'm home in East Texas, I know the local dives and locally owned businesses, and they are my personal choice when eating out. However, when I'm on the road, even with the help of "Urban Spoon" or "Trip Advisor" I still have had inferior dining experiences in locally owned establishments, even though I would, in theory, prefer to support those. So...now when I'm traveling, I'm defaulting to the Cracker Barrel or Applebees or Macaroni Grill. So hate me, I guess. I'm devastated.
So. Many. Straw. Men.

I am pretty sure I'm not a hipster, and if you met me, you'd probably agree. I don't even know, based on this weird thread, what the heck that would mean. I'm a dad and a pragmatist, and OF COURSE I eat at chain restaurants sometimes and OF COURSE that's especially true when I'm traveling (though if I have the time, that's a PERFECT opportunity to try a local joint, as I'll get to eat something that, in all likelihood, I'll never have again. To me, the minor risk of landing a crappy meal is still preferable to eating something tried-and-true but mediocre.).

It's a matter of personal preference. Eat where you like. FOR ME (and only for me), I prefer to keep my dollars local when I can and (separate issue) I also find that MOST chains are very concerned about consistency and don't take a whole lot of risks (either in what they provide or where they source it), and local places are more likely to have something on the menu that excites me. Plenty of local places serve crap food, but that's fine. I can easily give them a shot, be disappointed, and move on down the road. I want my city to have lots of unique local spots, and the only way that will happen is if I skip Wendy's and McDonalds (which is no big loss for me, as I don't care for most of their food) and hit up the local spot.
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Old 08-29-2014, 09:20 AM
 
Location: Work in NYC - Live in Philly - Transplant from Miami
2,304 posts, read 2,196,235 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rorytmeadows View Post
Hipsterism aside, most people eat at fast food restaurants. A lot of people just lie about it because this country's culture believes in shaming people into desired behavior.

Nonetheless, in the South, you have more it seems. Zaxby's, Chick Fil-A, Raising Cane's, Hardee's, Fatz, Dairy Queen, Firehouse Subs

In the North you have Tim Horton's and Boston Market.

In the west, you have In and Out Burger, Tastee Freez, Whattaburger.

I'm not saying that you can't have a few of each in other areas, just where the concentration lies.
I agree with you. I don't understand why people are so ashamed eating in chain restaurants.
But again, I am not a foodie. So I do not know.

On another topic if you define North as Northeast, we do have Chik-Fil-A and Dairy Queen.

There is Boston market in Miami. But there is POllo Tropical in Miami! (Only available in Brooklyn in the North)

And there is Jolabee in California!

Tim Horton is in Canada only if I am not mistaken.
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Old 08-29-2014, 09:23 AM
 
Location: One of the 13 original colonies.
10,162 posts, read 6,491,939 times
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The answer is so simple. If you don't like chain restaurants, don't eat there. If you don't like things in the South, the same road that brought you here will take you back.
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Old 08-29-2014, 09:29 AM
 
Location: Sweet Home...CHICAGO
3,330 posts, read 3,996,137 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
Cool map that shows where America's pizza CHAINS are. Wow, for all the posturing here about no one ever eating
This pizza map is to show which pizza chains are more popular in which part of the country and their relation to each other. It appears that Pizza Hut is the most popular. As someone who grew up eating "mom n' pop" pizza, when it comes to national chains, I like Pizza Hut the best. With that being said, when I visit my hometown of Chicago and I want pizza, I'm not going to go to Pizza Hut. Not because I look down on Pizza Hut, but because not only can I get much better pizza from a local pizzeria, I'd have to go out of my way to get to a Pizza Hut. I can easier get delivery or get to a mom n' pop pizza place in my Chicago neighborhood than I can get to a Pizza Hut or have a pizza delivered to me from there. Not only that, local Chicago deep dish and thin crust pizza tastes a million times better than anything Pizza Hut offers, even though Pizza Hut tastes good.

If you have never lived someplace like Chicago or NYC, you will not understand that the neighborhoods in cities like these don't have pizza chains in them but rather mom n' pop places. They are found more in suburbs, malls, airports and tourist areas. I can't speak for other's but I've never seen a Sbarro that wasn't in a mall or an airport.


Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
http://cdn3.vox-cdn.com/assets/4565573/pizza_map.png

And oops, oops - LOOK AT ALL THOSE MCDONALD'S in the NE! I guess zombies are eating there, because certainly no one else is, right?
Again, speaking as someone from a major, industrial, rust belt city, while there are McDonald's there, eating there is rare or occasional depending on the kind of neighborhood you live in. There were more mom n' pop places in my neighborhood (as with other neighborhoods in the city) than fast food places. Being in that kind of city, when you want something quick, you are more likely to order from the neighborhood mom n' pop Chinese takeout than to go get McDonald's, because McDonald's isn't right around the corner or right up the street, but the Chinese takeout is. Not that chains are non-existent, it's just that the mom n' pop food is eaten on a more regular basis because there's more of it and easier access to it than chains up north.

In major cities in the northeast and midwest, you have to leave your neighborhood to get to chains. And growing up or living in that environment, you aren't going to go outside your neighborhood for something quick to go to a chain when chains aren't immediately there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
http://cdn0.vox-cdn.com/assets/45655...onalds_map.jpg

OMG, look at the plethora of chain restaurants on this map - but nyahhhh, nyahhhhhh, it can't be right, because it shows all sorts of chain restaurants all over the US...but everyone knows that southerners are the only ones awash with chain restaurants. Everyone else is eating organic food that's locally grown and served by Mom and Pop in their uber eco friendly little restaurant where every entree is under 500 calories.
http://cdn3.vox-cdn.com/assets/45697...withKey-01.png
Yet again, I could easily walk out my door in Chicago and get local food than I had access to chains. In the south I have more access to chains than to local restaurants. It's all about what's more accessible in the city proper of major rust belt or NE cities. In my experience local food is more accessible. I never heard of Applebee's until I moved to the south. There wasn't an Applebee's anywhere around me in Chicago. Without Google, I wouldn't be able to tell anyone where the nearest Applebee's is in Chicago.
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Old 08-29-2014, 09:31 AM
 
Location: Austin, Texas
3,093 posts, read 4,136,204 times
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I'd like to add that not all chains are bad.

Whataburger
Chick Fil A
Original Pancake House
Cheesecake Factory (For Brunch)

These are examples of good chain restaurants.
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Old 08-29-2014, 09:31 AM
 
Location: Charleston, SC metro
3,518 posts, read 4,403,569 times
Reputation: 1386
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolinaBredChicagoan View Post
So. Many. Straw. Men.

I am pretty sure I'm not a hipster, and if you met me, you'd probably agree. I don't even know, based on this weird thread, what the heck that would mean. I'm a dad and a pragmatist, and OF COURSE I eat at chain restaurants sometimes and OF COURSE that's especially true when I'm traveling (though if I have the time, that's a PERFECT opportunity to try a local joint, as I'll get to eat something that, in all likelihood, I'll never have again. To me, the minor risk of landing a crappy meal is still preferable to eating something tried-and-true but mediocre.).

It's a matter of personal preference. Eat where you like. FOR ME (and only for me), I prefer to keep my dollars local when I can and (separate issue) I also find that MOST chains are very concerned about consistency and don't take a whole lot of risks (either in what they provide or where they source it), and local places are more likely to have something on the menu that excites me. Plenty of local places serve crap food, but that's fine. I can easily give them a shot, be disappointed, and move on down the road. I want my city to have lots of unique local spots, and the only way that will happen is if I skip Wendy's and McDonalds (which is no big loss for me, as I don't care for most of their food) and hit up the local spot.
That's fine. But don't attempt to insult others for being open to eating at all types of restaurants.

Quote:
Originally Posted by asiandudeyo View Post
I agree with you. I don't understand why people are so ashamed eating in chain restaurants.
But again, I am not a foodie. So I do not know.

On another topic if you define North as Northeast, we do have Chik-Fil-A and Dairy Queen.

There is Boston market in Miami. But there is POllo Tropical in Miami! (Only available in Brooklyn in the North)

And there is Jolabee in California!

Tim Horton is in Canada only if I am not mistaken.
I've been to many many restaurants and want to try as many local spots as I can. But I'm not going to pretend like chains are beneath me. Can't beer connoisseurs enjoy a PBR once in a while?

Tim Horton's is in the US.
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