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General Question

ibstubro's avatar

Generally, would you rather eat at a local, home owned restaurant or a chain with consistentently reliable food?

Asked by ibstubro (10689 points ) January 18th, 2014

Personally, I’m always looking for the ‘local favorites’ restaurant. If there’s local culture or ethnicity, I’m game and score. What’s to loose? You love it, you have a great memory, you hate it, you have a great story.

Friends determined we’d eat at Texas Road House tonight. It was, as I suspected, long (getting seated), loud (they scream things about birthdays that are unintelligible to all but the table) and chaotic (the employees line danced in an area not walkable.

Fast food? I’m all about Taco Bell, Subway or Quiznos. That’s a separate topic.

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11 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Do you mean family-run restaurants? If so, they are always a better bet. The uniformity of food in the chains is scary.

Seek's avatar

I hate, hate, HATE chain steakhouses.

I keep trying local places, with mixed results. Rarely awesome, usually mediocre. And the awesome places never seem to stay open very long.

RockerChick14's avatar

Home owned are the best kind of restaurants.

hearkat's avatar

Local, chef-owned places. We have a lot of great options within a half-hour of our home.

The only chain we eat at is Bonefish Grill. We often get just appetizers – their calamari, waygu beef dumplings, and ceviche are delicious!

glacial's avatar

Chains are consistent. Consistently awful. But then, family-run restaurants are often awful as well.

I prefer a new start-up, something with a fresh approach. They’re still excited about their menu and their customers, the quality is still excellent, they want to impress and it shows. If they survive the competition, they’ve likely done so because they’re good. If not, some wonderful new thing will have taken their place.

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

The Arcade in Memphis, TN
The little place I haven’t been to in so long I forgot the name where catfish fridays are all you can eat in Bonapart, IA.
Burke’s downtown Baltimore, MD.
The Canteen, in an alley in Ottumwa, IA.
Maid Rite in Quincy, IL.
The Awful-Awful cheeseburgers at The Little Nugget in Reno, NV.
I have favorite places spread out all over the continental US. Some Are not so little, some seat like, four. I can’t think of any chain joint I feel that loyal about.

hey_now's avatar

I’ve had good and bad from both, but I prefer restaurants that aren’t chains.

DWW25921's avatar

I’ll try a mom and pop place a few times before I make a judgement. I do like the little guy. More personality.

Zaku's avatar

Local unique places.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I’m in a town where the variety and selection of good restaurants is mind boggling. One of the problems with living here is that EVERYONE wants to visit. Currently my spectacular niece and her fiance are here for a week of restaurant tours because she is possessed with the insane determination to be married here at the peak of the tourist (and fog ) season. Chains are regarded with great derision in this town, and a great many of them actually wither and die. The Chevy’s franchises have all but disappeared, and a single Olive Garden clings to existence in an outlying shopping mall. Chain steakhouses (Outback, Roundup etc.) don’t even try, and ethnic chains can’t stand up to neighborhood restaurants in either quality or price. There can be varying levels of competence and a great deal of variance in the quality of food in the upscale chains. For example, the il Fornio restaurant here can’t hold a candle to its cousin 20 miles down the road in Burlingame.

ucme's avatar

I’ve no idea what “cosistentently” means.

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