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Old 05-14-2007, 12:53 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
5,608 posts, read 20,725,122 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miamiman View Post
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.
No way!! The two biggest chains there for Japanese fast food, Kyoto Hole and Tokyo Stop, are so disgusting it is unbelievable. Filibertos? sick. I've eaten at boatloads of chain restaurants in Denver that blow away what Phoenix has.
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Old 05-14-2007, 03:22 PM
 
609 posts, read 2,722,513 times
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I personally believe DFW has the best high quality restuarant chains. Not only does the Metroplex have mid-tiered, we also feature chains found in only a handful of cities. Ie. House of Blues, Nobu, Roy's Hawaiian fusion, etc.
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Old 05-15-2007, 01:00 AM
 
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I don't know what you'd consider high quality chain, but at least when I took an econ class a few years ago we were told that Toledo (where I'm from) has the most restaurants per capita of any city (at least in the US). Whether that's true or not, I'm not sure, but since I work at a hotel in just outside toledo and can think of at least forty restaurants just on the two streets we sit between, I'd venture it probably is.
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Old 05-15-2007, 10:11 AM
 
Location: The great state of New Hampshire
792 posts, read 2,904,055 times
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"In-N-Out Burger"

HA! I got a good laugh out of that trademark name! Never heard of it as I don't think they are any where east and I don't even remember seeing them in the west. But I got to say I know its not the intention w/ the name, but I might be hesitant to try it....sounds like another version of "sliders" from White Castle.
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Old 05-15-2007, 10:25 AM
 
Location: The great state of New Hampshire
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Texas Roadhouse has few locations in New England and I absolutely fell in love with their BBQ, not to mention their bread and some of the apps. I like Fuddruckers (not that they are easy to find) and some of what even Chili's will offer. But really, any small city, even if far from cosmopolitan, will offer various cuisines that would blow away what you would get from most chains. It just amazes me some times how much Americans are incapable of thinking outside the box and maybe trying something different beyond what is thrown in their face on Commercial Boulevard. I actually heard someone say once that "Hooters" had excellent food when this establishment doesn't even have incentive to try and make good recipes. Obviously it was something else being thrown in such a person's face for them to make such an outlandish remark, if you catch my drift.
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Old 01-31-2008, 10:46 PM
 
Location: The Heart of Dixie
7,825 posts, read 12,335,844 times
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Default Chains in Maryland

I think we've got everything here:

- Applebees
- Outback Steakhouse ....more on this later
- PF Chang's

- TGIF
- Cheesecake Factory
- Lone Star Steakhouse
- Carrabbas
- Olive Garden
- Clyde's
- Red Lobster
- Bugaboo Creek
- Red Robin

- Bennigans
- IHOP
- Dennys
- Waffle House
- Cracker Barrel
- Chili's
- On the Border
- California Pizza Kitchen
- Old Country Buffett

- McDonald's )my #1)
- Chipotle's (my #2)
- Arby's (my #3)
- Wendy's
- Burger King
- Taco Bell
- Pizza Hut
- Dominos
- KFC
- Popeyes
- Subway
- Sbarros
- Quiznos

A good local chain is Philip's Seafood, based in Baltimore with with locations in various parts of the state

Two chains (though more fast food type) I wish were closer to home are Cracker Barrel (location too far away), Waffle House (too far), Sonic, and Bojangles. Never had In N Out before but heard its supposed to be good. Oh yeah and what about White Castle, I didn't know that existed until the movie.
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Old 01-31-2008, 10:59 PM
 
Location: The Heart of Dixie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dingler View Post
There are some good chain restaurants Outside of Beltway but within 5 miles of Annandale, VA the only choice is Outback Steak House. Most people love chains. The privately owned Steak and Potatoes places are closing down.
Within the Washington, D.C. metro area, I'd say that Rockville, Gaithersburg, Germantown, Waldorf, and Laurel have a good collection of chains, ESPECIALLY Waldorf along Crain Highway (US-301). Its one lined up after another, same with Route 1 through Laurel.

Rockville Pike also has plenty of chains but its more spread out along the road. Again the best clumps of chains in this area are probably the palces I mentioned in Rockville, Waldorf and Laurel, and also the Rio/Washingtonian Center in Gaithersburg and downtown Silver Spring.

Usually suburban areas have more chains compared to both cities and small towns. I remember working in DC one summer and there wasn't a single fast food place within walking distance of the LIbrary of Congress. McDonald's seem to also be very spread out in Baltimore.
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Old 01-31-2008, 11:04 PM
 
Location: Silver Springs, FL
23,440 posts, read 31,739,509 times
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please dont take this as rude...... support your local restaurants! You are far more likely to find better food. I will only eat at a chain when I cant find an independent. Chain food is derivative, and not likely even made in the kitchen, but made in central kitchens and shipped, reheated and served. I was in the biz, saw it soooooo many times.....
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Old 01-31-2008, 11:28 PM
 
Location: The Heart of Dixie
7,825 posts, read 12,335,844 times
Reputation: 4779
kshe95girl, I also work part-time at a chain (Outback) right now and they do make the food in the kitchen instead of reheat it. I also like local restaurants a lot but my area had few to begin with, except ones in downtown Washington, D.C. that are ridiculously expensive. I used to rail against chains too but its not that simple.

Every chain is different and every location is different. I've always had a fascination with small-town middle America and thought its a shame that Main Street is replaced by commercial strips along highways but I've met a lot of people from small towns who actually like the changes. They say that what was there before was usually inferior, and the best local restaurants still survive in small towns I've traveled to recently. They never understood why I would (and still uncontroablly do) idealize the idea of Main Street and Mayberry).

Most non-chain restaurants here are ethnic food, mostly Chinese and Japanese (and every Chinese buffet or sushi bar feels the same to me, and I'm of Asian descent). Almost every Mexican restaurant that an American here will eat at is a chain because most local Mexican restaurants are very run-down, the quality is poor, and the clientele is sketchy sometimes. There are 2 local Italian restaurants in my town. one of them feels just like a chain and is in a self-standing building in a strip mall (that is...IF Timpano's is not a chain). The other one is a small place owned by an Italian family but to be honest, the food was not as good as Olive Garden or Carrabbas and it was overpriced.

Also, chains also depend on the individual location. The one I currently work at is great. I've been there 2 weeks and I already know a lot of the regulars by name. People use the Outback as a neighborhood bar, they go there after work and watch sports and have a few beers. Some families come every week for dinner and my boss actually sees kids grow up, people celebrate birthdays, etc. People actually get to know one another here. I think the people who work here and come here make it different from the other Outbacks scattered across the country. The place has a very personal feel and sometimes we can pretend we're in some small town in middle America when we're really in suburbia.

And also, some chains, even fast food, were independents to begin with. Carrabbas (now part of the Outback "family") was started by an Italian American family in Houston based on recipes their grandfather's brought from his country. I don't think they were bought out by Outback, more like they chose to enter into a contract that would benefit them, and their family name is still maintained and the recipes are true to their original ones. They eventually spread out. People in Houston loved Carrabbas, and I think its a good thing that this family's contributions are now enjoyed in cities around the nation. There are local restaurants that I love here and guess what, I wish they would have more locations everywhere so everyone can enjoy them, though the quality and atmosphere must be maintained.

McDonalds started out with one location by Ray Kroc in Illinois. Chipotle's was a local college eatery in Denver. These brands spread because people like it. Chains like Roy Rogers that suck don't make it. The best local restaurants do survive very well. For example, there's a place called Houston's here in Maryland that only has 4 locations around the nation I think and its always been my favorite place to eat. There's another great place limited to Maryland and Delaware, all owend by one family, called Jake's Seafood and no amount of competition from chains can put them out of business.

Super-exquisite cuisine by master chefs, like you can find in New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Miami, Chicago or New Orleans, that's a league of their own really.
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Old 01-31-2008, 11:33 PM
 
Location: Southeast Missouri
5,812 posts, read 16,661,713 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kshe95girl View Post
please dont take this as rude...... support your local restaurants! You are far more likely to find better food. I will only eat at a chain when I cant find an independent. Chain food is derivative, and not likely even made in the kitchen, but made in central kitchens and shipped, reheated and served. I was in the biz, saw it soooooo many times.....
I think local restaurants are neater, but the better chain restaurants probably do make their own food.

There's a Dogs'n'suds maybe an hour from here which is nice.
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