U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S.
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 10-24-2019, 06:31 PM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
1,165 posts, read 413,185 times
Reputation: 2769

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by MB1562 View Post
The last time I ate at a (non-fast food) chain restaurant was Cheesecake Factory 7 months ago. I grew up in a white-bread area where chains were basically the only choice. I ate them enough to know they aren't worth it when you have a million other choices within a few blocks. I live in New York now and, before that, Philadelphia. Why would I choose to ever go to an Applebee's when there's a boatload of other American restaurants that serve the same thing but much better? Large food/coffee chains bland their products down to the lowest common denominator so they have the widest appeal. It's good for business, but generally doesn't ever give you a taste that blows you away.

Perhaps you associate chain restaurants with the 'lame' place you grew up in and now you're in the big city, so you gotta show you've 'arrived' by buying into the 'hole in the wall' hipster thing to signal that you're no longer the lamer from some white bread area. As someone who's spent his entire life in big cities I've seen it a million times in newcomers. Zeal of the converted and all.



Now Applebee's is a classic middle of the road chain and unlikely to blow anyone away, but that doesn't mean all chains are just 'average'.



One of the most popular spots around the D.C. area is Uncle Julio's tex-mex which is a chain out of Texas with a strong position in this region. It's one of my go-to options, and I prefer it to most of the independent dining options in this area (many of which are forgettable Middle Eastern and Asian options). And I'm not the only one..it's one of those places where it's all but impossible to get a table without waiting a long time on a Friday/Saturday. You got congressional leaders and government officials, yuppie couples on dates, birthday parties of regular families, work lunches, pretty much everyone in every scenario. Never met anyone who didn't like it though I don't associate with 20 something hipsters anymore. I didn't even know it was a chain until I saw other locations other than the one I go to.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 10-25-2019, 09:14 AM
 
Location: Somerville, MA
8,293 posts, read 16,425,431 times
Reputation: 9708
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veritas Vincit View Post
Perhaps you associate chain restaurants with the 'lame' place you grew up in and now you're in the big city, so you gotta show you've 'arrived' by buying into the 'hole in the wall' hipster thing to signal that you're no longer the lamer from some white bread area. As someone who's spent his entire life in big cities I've seen it a million times in newcomers. Zeal of the converted and all.

Now Applebee's is a classic middle of the road chain and unlikely to blow anyone away, but that doesn't mean all chains are just 'average'.

One of the most popular spots around the D.C. area is Uncle Julio's tex-mex which is a chain out of Texas with a strong position in this region. It's one of my go-to options, and I prefer it to most of the independent dining options in this area (many of which are forgettable Middle Eastern and Asian options). And I'm not the only one..it's one of those places where it's all but impossible to get a table without waiting a long time on a Friday/Saturday. You got congressional leaders and government officials, yuppie couples on dates, birthday parties of regular families, work lunches, pretty much everyone in every scenario. Never met anyone who didn't like it though I don't associate with 20 something hipsters anymore. I didn't even know it was a chain until I saw other locations other than the one I go to.
That's a bit harsh. I think it's fair to say that most of the bigger chains (Uncle Julio's is definitely a chain, but not nearly on the same scale as Applebee's, Chili's, Longhorn, etc.) are generally just average at best. Their business model is to appeal to the masses at the lowest possible cost to the company. They're the Adam Sandler movies of the food world - everyone knows them, they range from bad to perfectly fine, but they're never going to win any awards. You can enjoy Happy Gilmore on repeat and still appreciate Citizen Kane while understanding the difference between the two.

And of course not every independent restaurant is a winner. Nobody has said anything to the contrary. But generally speaking the best restaurants at every price point in most places will be independent. If not, it's generally a testament to the dearth of options in the area rather than an endorsement of a chain. Would you argue that Uncle Julio's comes anywhere near the to best restaurant in the DC area? As a former resident of that area, I certainly wouldn't. It's perfectly fine, and you can make a case for it being the best tex-mex option in the region, but I'd call that more of a testament to the lack of tex-mex options in the DC Area (the whole Northeast, including NYC is a void on that front) over a ringing endorsement of Uncle Julio's. If you're in Dallas, you're not likely to rank Uncle Julio's as the best. It's arguably the reason why Uncle Julio's has as many locations in Virginia/Maryland as they do in the entirety of Texas. It's the same reason Red Lobster has more restaurants in St. Louis than it does in the entirety of New England.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-25-2019, 05:56 PM
 
483 posts, read 193,239 times
Reputation: 444
Chains in ND are frequently better than independent restaurants (not always the case, but maybe 40-50% of the time)...Many of the independent places here are just more money than the chain restaurants and the food is different, but actually not any better.

As far s this list goes, I think this list is ridiculous for having Florida and Arizona so low. Florida should be at least top 20 or so IMO. While Arizona is blah for the state's size and population food-wise, it is still somewhat underplaced.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-25-2019, 09:13 PM
 
1,124 posts, read 421,655 times
Reputation: 1191
I think there are two worlds in regards to chain restaurants. Not every place has a deep enough restaurant pool to match the quality consistency/price point that chain restaurants do right. For those places, chains fill a hole.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-25-2019, 09:30 PM
 
1,083 posts, read 480,922 times
Reputation: 841
I usually don’t like these types of lists but this one actually seems pretty on point. All 3 West Coast states are in the top 10 - with CA at #1 - and that is absolutely correct.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-26-2019, 08:07 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
47,086 posts, read 37,900,940 times
Reputation: 66917
Quote:
Originally Posted by MB1562 View Post
The last time I ate at a (non-fast food) chain restaurant was Cheesecake Factory 7 months ago. I grew up in a white-bread area where chains were basically the only choice. I ate them enough to know they aren't worth it when you have a million other choices within a few blocks. I live in New York now and, before that, Philadelphia. Why would I choose to ever go to an Applebee's when there's a boatload of other American restaurants that serve the same thing but much better? Large food/coffee chains bland their products down to the lowest common denominator so they have the widest appeal. It's good for business, but generally doesn't ever give you a taste that blows you away.
Well, I'll tell you how I usually end up in a chain restaurant - here's a perfect example from just the other day in my life. My best friend and I rotate out choosing where to eat. I always - ALWAYS - choose a locally owned place because that's how I roll. But she chose Cheddars. So we went to Cheddars. And it was fine - no one grew horns or gained ten pounds or anything like that. Was it FABULOUS? Meh. But was it awful? No. I had half a club sandwich and a salad and it was pretty good. Not anything I'd be beating the door down to get again but next time I end up there with other people I'll probably get something similar.

I don't live in NY but we have tons of locally owned restaurants here to choose from too - just to address that point. And I like most of them a lot. Not all of them, but most of them.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-26-2019, 08:41 AM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
1,165 posts, read 413,185 times
Reputation: 2769
Quote:
Originally Posted by lrfox View Post
That's a bit harsh. I think it's fair to say that most of the bigger chains (Uncle Julio's is definitely a chain, but not nearly on the same scale as Applebee's, Chili's, Longhorn, etc.) are generally just average at best. Their business model is to appeal to the masses at the lowest possible cost to the company. They're the Adam Sandler movies of the food world - everyone knows them, they range from bad to perfectly fine, but they're never going to win any awards. You can enjoy Happy Gilmore on repeat and still appreciate Citizen Kane while understanding the difference between the two.

And of course not every independent restaurant is a winner. Nobody has said anything to the contrary. But generally speaking the best restaurants at every price point in most places will be independent. If not, it's generally a testament to the dearth of options in the area rather than an endorsement of a chain. Would you argue that Uncle Julio's comes anywhere near the to best restaurant in the DC area? As a former resident of that area, I certainly wouldn't. It's perfectly fine, and you can make a case for it being the best tex-mex option in the region, but I'd call that more of a testament to the lack of tex-mex options in the DC Area (the whole Northeast, including NYC is a void on that front) over a ringing endorsement of Uncle Julio's. If you're in Dallas, you're not likely to rank Uncle Julio's as the best. It's arguably the reason why Uncle Julio's has as many locations in Virginia/Maryland as they do in the entirety of Texas. It's the same reason Red Lobster has more restaurants in St. Louis than it does in the entirety of New England.
Im not saying that its the best restaurant option in the entire area, Im saying its comparing favorably to many independent restaurants. And if you are in the mood for a certain type of food and dont want to travel very far a chain may very well be your best option on a given night even in a place like DC.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S.
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:20 AM.

© 2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top