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The chain restaurant topic


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"Beefcarver 30: No More Fun. Now it's Just Meat"

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

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Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Kate, shall we make a project out of you? :biggrin:  :cool:  :biggrin:

Sure :biggrin: I know I don't need a lot, but I mean, I can't even make good grilled chicken with what I have.

My wall mounted spice rack is sitting on top of my microwave because the nails won't stay in the wall. I have one area big enough for a cutting board and the rest of my counter space is covered by a microwave, blender, toaster and dish drying rack.

The first time I used the oven, I turned it on to preheat, and the smoke alarm went off :huh: I love to cook, but I get so frustrated in these tiny apartment kitchens. That's why settling for Olive Garden doesn't seem so bad :biggrin:

Okie dokie.

I'll start a new thread.

Jin, will you assist in helping Kate?

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Okie dokie.

I'll start a new thread.

Jin, will you assist in helping Kate?

Aw, you guys are too much. Be sure to direct me to it :biggrin:

Who needs a job? I learn so much from you all.

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Another problem I have with chain restaurants is the portion sizes! WTF is up with that? My SO and my Dad are now so hung up on portion sizes and "value" that if we go to a fancier place where the portions are more normal, they gripe about it. So now I'm stuck trying to eat with people who go into convulsions if the entrees are over $15.

Different people place different meanings on "value", unfortunately. One of the ways the chains lure people in and make them suck up to their concept of value is by making it seem that you're getting your money's worth by perpetuating the concept of "bigger is better". Well, yeah, that's sometimes the case, but not, for instance in a salad bowl with lackluster wedges of iceberg lettuce and tasteless cherry tomatoes as opposed to a good mix of flavorful spring lettuces and in-season, ripe, juicy tomatoes. The chains are able to get away with it because they try to go for the next to lowest possible common denominator (foodwise) without making it seem too obvious, and then tuning up their marketing and public relations people to package things in a way that makes it seem like you're getting your wallet's weight in gold.

I'm not sure what you can do to convert people who define value in purely economic terms as opposed to a mix of economic and aesthetic terms over to your side. I suppose one way you can do it is to introduce them, slowly but surely, to the finer points of eating and cooking. It might take months, sometimes years, but hopefully, eventually, you'll win out in the end.

But then again, you might be a more patient person than I. :biggrin:

I'm also unsure if the surge in chain restaurants is a reaction to a nation of individuals who don't know how to cook, or for whom, cooking is an exercise in tedium, or perhaps, cooking is a thing to do -- not an act that one finds enjoyment or pleasure in doing. If that's the case, then we're on a worrisome path, eh?

Cheers,

Soba

Edited by SobaAddict70 (log)
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Sorry for the rant. I've been to chain restaurants far too many times for my taste in the past month, and I get incredibly depressed each time I get dragged into one. I need to find new dining companions.

Rant all you want, ChocoKitty -- you're preaching to the choir as far as I'm concerned!!

Life's too precious to patronize restaurant chains.; fortunately, Socrates is of the same opinion. Of course, good food was one of the things that initially drew us together all those years ago. :wub:

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I don't think they'll give you beer through the drive through, but it wouldn't shock me at all - I saw a drive through liquor store near Austin the other day.

I grew up in Miami, and back then there were drive thru liquor stores every where. Granted I left there in 1987 so things might have changed since then, but back then, that was where we would go to buy alcohol because they never carded you. Also, if you bought a bottle of wine, they would open it for you and hand it in through the window.

Back then I loved it! Today it scares the pajamas off of me :raz:

Cat in Chicago

cat lancaster

catchi@ix.netcom.com

Portland, OR

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How about the "Red Bull Inn". My parents used to take me as a child to dine at this restaurant, which apparently was part of a chain in Pennsylvania. Anyone else know anything? I was decorated as a sort of pseudo-English, turn of the century pub, and the waitresses, with ample cleavage, were dressed as a sort of fin-de-siecle bar wench. I loved it!

Hey, we had one of those. Different name, but same theme and also a chain -- Clinkerdagger, Bickerstaff & Petts or thereabouts. Anyone else remember them? Definitely wenches. And soup was a thick steak potage in pewter bowls. Four foot pepper grinders before anyone was doing that.

Two specific negatives I can give on Olive Garden from personal experience are that it all tends to be saltier than I like (esp those breadsticks) and often the meals aren't microwaved long enough -- still cold/frozen bits in the middle of the plate.

The four or five times I was in the South, I loved having breakfast at Cracker Barrel. It was downright foreign.

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if anyone gets Consumer Reports - begining on page 18 of the July issue is an article called Best Meals/Best Deals - Chain Restaurants

they were separated into categories - American Traditional,Italian, Mexican, Pub-style or Grill, Seafood, Steakhouse, Various and Family Restaurants

several "favorites" on this and other threads appear including Cheesecake Factory, Legal Sea Foods, Red Lobster, Ruth's Chris, Chevy's Romano's Macaroni Grill and Olive Garden and P. F. Chang's

Edited by suzilightning (log)

Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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My favorite chain restaurant is Crée in France, a seafood chain with attractive nautical decor and terraces and FRESH fare.

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly....MFK Fisher

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  • 6 months later...

Mad TV tonight had a hilarious parody of one of the frequent targets in this thread--The Olive Garden commercials. If Mad TV hasn't shown in your time zone yet, tune in. It's the very first skit.

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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Mad TV tonight had a hilarious parody of one of the frequent targets in this thread--The Olive Garden commercials. If Mad TV hasn't shown in your time zone yet, tune in. It's the very first skit.

I saw it! My boyfriend and I (chain-haters each) were hysterically laughing.

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Mad TV tonight had a hilarious parody of one of the frequent targets in this thread--The Olive Garden commercials. If Mad TV hasn't shown in your time zone yet, tune in. It's the very first skit.

You're right, it was hilarious. A bunch of bogus NY Italians around the table, one of the sons brings his black girlfriend. The highlight was the chicken nuggets on dry spaghetti, and the "easy cheesy pepperoni pleasies" (or something like that) which were Ritz crackers with a slice of pepperoni and ketchup. Can't OG sue the hell out of them?

Mark

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Can't OG sue the hell out of them?

If you had seen The People Vs. Larry Flint, Parody is protected as free speech. At least at the moment.

Living hard will take its toll...
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My parents live in a place where there just aren't very many good restaurants. There's an Outback and a TGI Friday's, and a smaller, tonier place or two, but that's it. Many times when visiting them, we've just gone to Outback because it was a no-brainer -- the food wasn't the best we'd ever had, but it didn't suck dingo kidneys either. I'm reminded of a slogan a taco place near me used to use -- "Our food is...good enough." Yeah, that's about it.

Fortunately, my dad is a foodie and has gotten used to better food, so sometimes if they really want to do it up better Dad cooks.

One advantage of chain places in a city like NYC -- a lot of the tourists go there, leaving the really good places empty for us locals. Heh.

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One advantage of chain places in a city like NYC -- a lot of the tourists go there, leaving the really good places empty for us locals. Heh.

The day after Christmas, we spent two days in NYC. On the 26th, we noticed there were people waiting on line to get into the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company and TGI Fridays while a number of local establishments were not very busy. We walked into the Morrell Wine Bar in Rock Center late that afternoon and grabbed seats in the bar area without difficulty. We didn't eat but if we did, I'd guarantee we would have had better food and drink than the other establishments mentioned without spending much more money.

Edited by sammy (log)

"These pretzels are making me thirsty." --Kramer

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One advantage of chain places in a city like NYC -- a lot of the tourists go there, leaving the really good places empty for us locals.  Heh.

And even better, a lot of people with kids, tourist and local alike, favor chains to independents. Kids in restaurants. Bah Humbug!

I've also always maintained, perhaps even earlier on this thread, that chains keep suburbanites in the suburbs. At least the type of subarnite that should stay in the suburbs. Present company excluded of course :smile:

Edited by Holly Moore (log)

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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I've also always maintained, perhaps even earlier on this thread, that chains keep suburbanites in the suburbs. At least the type of subarnite that should stay in the suburbs. Present company excluded of course :smile:

And of course chains make some suburbanites want to beat their heads against the wall.

Bill Russell

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I don't 'get' Olive Garden.

When one opened here (Fayetteville, AR), it immediately became the busiest restaurant in town. So I was curious about it, as I'd never been in one -- why is it that everyone *I* know hates it, but it's so popular?

So I tried it one day. Overcooked pasta! Yecch! A sin against God and nature.

But a couple of weeks later, I was thinking, "Well, maybe they were having an off day... it can't be that bad if so many people like it..." and, like an idiot, I went back.

Overcooked pasta that hadn't even been drained, so there was a big puddle of water at the bottom of the plate!

What's up with the popularity of OG? Haven't other people had real Italian food?

BTW, Fayetteville does have good locally-owned Italian joints. So there's just no excuse.

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