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Old 05-05-2007, 07:25 AM
 
Location: VA
786 posts, read 4,320,363 times
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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.

What metro area has the best selection of higher end chain restaurants? What are your favorites?
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Old 05-05-2007, 09:40 AM
 
Location: The Bay State
331 posts, read 1,483,388 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dingler View Post
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.

What metro area has the best selection of higher end chain restaurants? What are your favorites?
Well, no, not everyone loves chain restaurants. While I admit that some are decent, the main thing they really offer is location-to-location consistency. While I do go to chains, I much prefer going to independent restaurants. I think they are much more interesting. I kind of think of the chains as places I'd take the kids, but if I were on my own or with other grownups and wanted a good meal, I'd go to an independent place, even if it were a little more expensive.

That being said, I do have some favorite chains: I like Texas Roadhouse for steaks; Red Robin for burgers and other burger-like sandwiches; Applebees is OK for general food. PF Chang's is pretty good Chinese food. And I don't know why, but I actually like Cracker Barrel, even though for some reason I feel as if I shouldn't . . .

I really don't know what metro area has the "best" selection, since it seems that lots of metro areas have pretty much every chain. I can tell you that I lived in the Louisville KY area for a while and they had all the places I just mentioned, (except Red Robin, which was a big disappointment), and then some.
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Old 05-05-2007, 09:50 AM
 
Location: The great state of New Hampshire
792 posts, read 2,903,745 times
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I'm not sure who would have a supposed shortage of chain restaurants unless your way in the boonies. Northern Virginia has a shortage of chain restuarants? What in green's earth could an area like that be lagging for chains? I'm not so sure how anyone could live almost any where in 21st century America and perceive a lack of good chain restaurants. I'm not saying I don't have a few favorites of my own and Texas Roadhouse is one that isn't common so I can't frequent, but after a point I can't imagine people thinking the food is so diversified and better than what they can order from some of their locally owned restaurants. Applebees's, Chili's, Friday's, Houlihan's for example....a dime a dozen and not a whole lot to discern amongst them.
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Old 05-05-2007, 10:39 AM
 
Location: Helena, MT
373 posts, read 1,705,283 times
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I live in the boonies and we only have three chain restaurants (Applebee's, IHOP, and Perkins) in a population center of about 50,000. That's unless you count fast food chains. However, I don't perceive a need for more. People often do say longingly, "I wish we had an Olive Garden or a Red Lobster." We have to drive 4 hours to get to an OG. I don't personally feel like we need more chains though.

In fact, I'm taking my best friend to Washington state in a couple of weeks, and her biggest lifelong dream other than seeing the ocean is to visit an OG. WOW. Yikes. I'm not that big of an OG fan...so gee, I can't wait . I did chain that we have out here in a neighboring city called "Johnny Carino's" and I really liked that. I thought it was better than OG. Sadly, people will actually make shopping trips to Billings (4 hours away) just to go shopping at places like Coldwater Creek and Talbot's and to eat at OG. Dream big, folks, dream big.
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Old 05-05-2007, 12:05 PM
 
357 posts, read 1,699,350 times
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eeek chain restaurants!!!

Hate em! Well there are a few really high quality good ones! If in the So FLA region, do try J Alexanders, Houstons, and the Outback is acceptable. The rest like Applebees and fridays...yik!
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Old 05-05-2007, 04:50 PM
j33
 
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Not everyone likes chain restaurants. My BIL is a chef and owns a t-shirt that states 'friends don't let friends eat at chain restaurants'. That being said, I've had a decent meal at Chili's and Red Robbin in a pinch, but I'd say that about 85% of my dinners out are not at the chain places, and I prefer it that way. I'm not too big on PF Chang's and I hate Applebees and Olive Garden.
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Old 05-05-2007, 05:01 PM
 
Location: NJ
12,284 posts, read 31,771,213 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dingler View Post
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.

What metro area has the best selection of higher end chain restaurants? What are your favorites?
Really? NoVA has about EVERY type of chain restaurant you can imagine. What do you think they're building after tearing down everything old? Strip malls, "lifestyle" centers with all the latest and "greatest" chains. It's mind boggling. Honestly, NoVA is probably the queen bee of chains.

To answer your question, I live in an area with practically zilch (which is cool with me). But out of the ones I have been to, I like Chipotle, even though I wouldn't classify it as "high end" (high end chain restaurant seems like an oxymoron ).
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Old 05-05-2007, 05:55 PM
 
Location: VA
786 posts, read 4,320,363 times
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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.
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Old 05-05-2007, 06:29 PM
 
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska (moving to Ohio)
673 posts, read 3,752,987 times
Reputation: 474
Omaha is very big on chain restaurants in the west side of town. One chain restaurant after another.

The Twin Cities metro area tends to have a very large amount of chains also
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Old 05-05-2007, 06:49 PM
 
2,359 posts, read 8,188,893 times
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Metro Columbus, OH

That city must have every metro it's size beat. Guess it's because Columbus is considered a "test market" city. Syracuse used to be THE test market city in the 1950s and 1960s before the economy went south....
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