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Old 05-11-2007, 02:45 PM
 
Location: wrong planet
5,128 posts, read 10,258,280 times
Reputation: 4190

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crew Chief View Post
You live in MA, you have AWESOME food from every part of the world and local restaurants still know what "service" is. Hell, even the lunch trucks are GREAT! Why do you need chain restaurants???

I don't
I hate chain restaurants, except the ones mentioned and out of those, I really only love CPK - they make the most creative pizzas. BUT, I'd rather eat at a local restaurant any day!
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Old 05-11-2007, 02:58 PM
 
5,102 posts, read 5,979,372 times
Reputation: 3116
Quote:
People love Chain Restaurants and in some cases their food can be pretty good. In NVA where I live there is a general shortage of good chain restaurants.
If there is a lack of chain restaurants, I wouldn't call it a shortage, I would call it a blessing.

I cringe when people get excited about the Cheesecake Factory. I guess having a large menu of which they making nothing particularly well, but give you a lot of not particularly good food is something that people go for, but few are excellent and Cheesecake is far from good.

Yes some chains have decent and good food, but they can't be a good local place - and a good local place doesn't have to some fancy one - some of my favorite experiences are really good mom n' pop places with good service and excellent food.
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Old 05-11-2007, 06:28 PM
 
2,158 posts, read 6,731,358 times
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I disagree about people loving chain restaurants (with few exceptions, mainly steak houses - Ruths Chris, Mortons, Capital Grille). Center City Philly which used to have great privately owned restaurants now has an over abundance of chain restaurants. They have taken over the city. There is nothing interesting or unique about them. The only purpose I can see for them is that if someone is traveling in a city not known for their cuisine, they can get a boring, but safe meal at a chain.
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Old 05-12-2007, 08:55 AM
 
Location: NEW JERSEY
859 posts, read 3,065,207 times
Reputation: 509
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreggB View Post
High Quality CHAIN Resturants. Do you really believe that there are "HIGH QUALITY" Chain Resturants?? If so, I have a bridge for sale--Care to make an offer?????? I'll even throw in a coupon for a FREE Grand Slam breakfast at Denny's!!!

I agree with you. I am kind of confused by this thread. I am not sure I understand what a high quality chain resturant is.

Where I live, we have almost every chain, I eat at all of them, but I don't consider it high quality, I just go because it is cheap and close. When I want to spend a lot for an extra nice meal, I always pick a local place.

The only type of example I can think of for a high quality chain is maybe a Charthouse...which is very good, a nice seafood place, usually always on the water and I think there are 20 to 25 of them in the U.S. But the charthouse actually is a fine dining establishment with dress code, extensive wine collection and fresh seafood.

I don't see how places like Olive Garden or the Cheescake Factory is high quality. People go there in jeans and OG has a very low quality italian food.
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Old 05-12-2007, 10:20 AM
 
Location: NJ
12,284 posts, read 31,762,597 times
Reputation: 5220
Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleMissSunshine View Post
I agree with you. I am kind of confused by this thread. I am not sure I understand what a high quality chain resturant is.

Where I live, we have almost every chain, I eat at all of them, but I don't consider it high quality, I just go because it is cheap and close. When I want to spend a lot for an extra nice meal, I always pick a local place.

The only type of example I can think of for a high quality chain is maybe a Charthouse...which is very good, a nice seafood place, usually always on the water and I think there are 20 to 25 of them in the U.S. But the charthouse actually is a fine dining establishment with dress code, extensive wine collection and fresh seafood.

I don't see how places like Olive Garden or the Cheescake Factory is high quality. People go there in jeans and OG has a very low quality italian food.
Technically, as someone pointed out - Ruth's Chris is chain. Their food is excellent. Also, Shula's and Delfrisco's can be classified as chains since they have a presence across the US. Although I normally think of chains as the Applebees and Mac Grills of the world, I've now been swayed to think that yes, there are high quality chains out there..
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Old 05-12-2007, 10:51 AM
 
942 posts, read 1,066,517 times
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Although there are chain restaurants in Portland as well as the rest of Oregon, I find it the most limited selection I have seen in this country.
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Old 05-12-2007, 03:13 PM
 
Location: Way on the outskirts of LA LA land.
3,040 posts, read 10,446,359 times
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I don't always associate "chain restaurant" with high quality, but I have on some occasions. Normally, though, my association of chain restaurants is with consistency, which is great for me, since my kids are somewhat picky.

Most areas of southern California have a pretty good selection of chain restaurants, whether it be San Diego, Orange County, the various areas in the L.A. metro region, Bakersfield, the central coast, and so on.

Here's the stuff you see in many of those places:

TGI Friday's
Applebees
Olive Garden
Sizzler
Black Angus
Macaroni Grill
El Torito
Marie Calendar's
Roadhouse Grill
Claim Jumper
Red Robin
Chili's
Mimi's Cafe
Panda Express
Yoshinoya Beef Bowl
Dennys
IHOP
Wood Ranch
Logan's Roadhouse
Bob's Big Boy (in a few select locations)
Coco's
Carrows
California Pizza Kitchen
Boston Market

There's also the chain "fast food" which is generally pretty dull, but there are a few notable exceptions:

In-N-Out Burger (everything's made fresh-not frozen)
The Original Tommie's (with the "shack" logo)
Baja Fresh (fresh too, no freezer or microwave)
The Burrito Factory (small local chain)

There are a few that are missing from southern California, too:

Winger's (at least in the areas I frequent)
Cracker Barrel
Shoney's

Some areas, like where I live, have no chain restaurants, except for fast food. This is OK here, since we have the chains (and shopping, malls, etc.) within an hour in any of three directions.
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Old 05-14-2007, 01:21 AM
 
Location: Warwick, NY
1,173 posts, read 5,512,189 times
Reputation: 975
Well somebody has to be eating at these places.

I admit, I'm not a chain restaurant fan but then I'm from New York where we know from good food.

Our county's Miracle Mile city, the aptly and generically named, Middletown, has become chain restaurant heaven. In a city of only 35,000 people we now have:

Legal Seafood
Red Robin (closed due to bankruptcy)
Charlie Brown's
Subway (dreadful excuse for a real deli)
Ruby Tuesday's (Horrible diarrhea every time I've eaten here)
Jimmy Buffet's Cheeseburger in Paradise (only place I've waited an hour to receive my appetizer and desert arrived instead)
Outback Steakhouse (As Australian as Irish Spring is Irish and tastes about the same)
Red Lobster (wretched sea food)
Olive Garden (a crime in such an area rich with real Italian places)
TGI Friday's (not horrible but not great. place is an icebox in summer)
Hoolihan's
Chucky Cheese (I refuse to set food in it)
Chili's (there is NOTHING I like on the menu here)
Ponderosa
Panera (explained to me they couldn't not put tomato on my sandwich)
Friendly's
Ground Round
Applebee's (worse than Chili's)
IHOP (flavored sugar water is NOT maple syrup)
Johnny Rocket's
Pizza Hut (ghastly)
El Bandito (actually not bad at all. small, local chain)
Quiznos
Howard Johnson's
Arthur Treacher's
Blimpy (marginal but more fattening than Subway.)
Boston Market
Cosimo's Brick Oven (decent, again a small local chain)
Mr. Smoothie
Nathan's Famous Hotdogs
Perkins
Planet Wings/Planet Pizza (good wings, awful pizza)
Denny's (place is one giant deep fat fryer. revolting food unless you're drunk)

And probably a zillion others I've temporarily forgotten where underpaid kids are wearing their required pieces of flair.

They're servicable in a pinch, but really, who wants to eat in a homogenous corporate-designed consumer environment being fed products created in a factory with the lowest common denominator focus groups determining not only what size my portions will be, but precisely how they will be cooked, seasoned, and presented on my plate??

They're sad examples of consumerism being mistaken for and, in some cases, replacing culinary culture.

Last edited by Jason_Els; 05-14-2007 at 01:40 AM..
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Old 05-14-2007, 06:02 AM
 
Location: Fly-over country.
1,765 posts, read 6,378,895 times
Reputation: 907
I agree "high-quality" and "chain restaurants" are often mutually exclusive.

But, if that's what you are looking for, my bet is on Houston TX. You can't open one eye without seeing a chain, and two of the regional ones are actually good: Tortuga (Coastal Mexican Cantina) and Pappadeaux. I hear Pappadeaux is branching out into other states. Another one to look for is Red, Hot and Blue, found around the middle south and into places like TX, VA, MD.

I say eat at home! :-P It's always better.
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Old 05-14-2007, 12:45 PM
 
Location: 602/520
2,441 posts, read 6,120,370 times
Reputation: 1815
Phoenix, AZ has the highest-quality chain restaurants in the U.S. The city is often ridiculed for its lack of mom-and-pop restaurants, however, one thing it does has is good chain restaurants. As people continue to migrate from many different areas of the country, regional chain restaurants often open frachises/restaurants in the Valley of the Sun.

In-N-Out Burger (CA), Whataburger (TX), Ono Hawaiian BBQ (CA), El Pollo Loco (CA), Sonic Drive-In (CA), Jamba Juice (CA) are just a few of the wide selection that we have here in the Valley.
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