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Do you consider chain restaurants when going out to dinner?

Yes!, It's a restaurant.
68 (52.7%)
I just want to eat.
8 (6.2%)
I would rather eat somewhere else.
43 (33.3%)
I work hard for my money and want a true dining experience.
10 (7.8%)

Total Members Voted: 128

Author Topic: Going out for dinner  (Read 14326 times)

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Going out for dinner
« on: November 10, 2012, 05:38:09 PM »
DH, DS and I have discovered a new non chain restaurant in our area.  We save and go once every few months.  We have found that we don't go out much since our discovery.  We are finding that local chains are not filling our needs. 

What are your local, non chain restaurants like?

Harriet Jones

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Re: Going out for dinner
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2012, 05:42:47 PM »
There's not a huge selection of restaurants in our immediate area, so if we eliminated chains, our selection would be pretty small.  As long as the food and the service are decent, it's on our list.


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Re: Going out for dinner
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2012, 05:44:32 PM »
There isn't much in the way of chains in my area, but the local restaurants are amazing!  My hometown had a good mix of chain and local, including a couple local chains.  I tend to eat at local places except for a couple favs like Panera or Red Robin when I have a craving.


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Re: Going out for dinner
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2012, 06:02:50 PM »
We seldom go to chain restaurants.  The closest I've can come up with is local restaurants that now have 3 or 4 locations.  Even with dining out weekly, I don't think I've eaten at a national chain in the last year.  We used to eat at Pei Wei frequently as there was a location very close to us, then I took a look T their online nutrition info and I dropped it.

Out teens will pick up fast food at Smashburger, Whataburger, Taco Cabana  or Canes for lunch a couple times a month.

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Re: Going out for dinner
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2012, 06:10:08 PM »
We don't ever eat at chains unless it's at someone else's invitation. (The only time that happens is when we join some elderly relatives for a meal out, so we're glad to do it.)

We're lucky to live where there are both lots of fine dining options, and also quick/cheap non-chain options. 


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Re: Going out for dinner
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2012, 06:40:13 PM »
I love Potbellys, and Ruby Tuesday is good. I am not anti-chain- I want both options. Some days, I don't want to struggle with a menu, I want RT salad bar and soup. Other days, I want to go to the place that does marscapone sandwiches and eggplant fries.
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Re: Going out for dinner
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2012, 06:41:34 PM »
I generally prefer not too. Most of the chain restaurants in my town are American food, and as a vegetarian there aren't many options for me on the menu. The lone Chinese chain in my town is more expensive and not as good as the local places. Finally, I rarely eat fast food because of A) the vegetarian thing and B) they're generally not healthy.


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Re: Going out for dinner
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2012, 07:12:29 PM »
I also prefer non-chain. In my area, there are tons of Italian and other types of restaurants.  And near my mom, who lives in a tourist area, whenever anyone goes and asks for recommendations, my list says "everything from fast food to chains - pretty much anyone you can think of" and then I list the non chains that my mom and I love.

there are a number we like, for various reasons.  One is a pub like place, and Mondays they have 1/2 price burgers and microbrews. Another is fancier and pricier, but have a couple standbys on the menu we love.  we like to try new places as well.


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Re: Going out for dinner
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2012, 07:27:41 PM »
Our dinner decisions take in a lot of factors. There are times when we want the predictable consistency of a chain. There are lots more times when we want something unique. Fortunately, we live in an area where we have plenty of selection.
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Re: Going out for dinner
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2012, 07:36:52 PM »
Sometimes. It really depends on the place. When I go out for dinner, it's probably about 70/30 in favour of non-chain, but that has to do with what's nearby. I can find something I like just about anywhere, whereas my dining companions can have various food restrictions, so I tend to let them pick unless they say they don't care. I'm not sure if I'm just terribly uncultured but I really don't notice a huge difference between Local Pizza Place and Romeo's, or Burger Place and Red Robin's much of the time. Well, that is, they have different styles but I enjoy them all.

I didn't even realise what places were and weren't chains til I was well into my 20s anyway.


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Re: Going out for dinner
« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2012, 07:37:48 PM »
My DH really likes local, and we have an abundance around here, thankfully!

Even when travelling, we ask the front desk, "please tell us where YOU like to go, not where the top paid advertiser for this hotel suggests guests should go."
And we have never been steered wrong by travelling a bit off the beaten path.

And, it is not more expensive! 

Now, for fine dining, I cannot answer much.  But farmer's market produce, chef in the back, the menu changes seasonally, yeah, we like that stuff!
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Re: Going out for dinner
« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2012, 07:54:39 PM »
I never go to chain restaurants. Never. Money is too precious to waste on plain dining out. I can make better things at home so when I do choose to dine out I want a real experience along with food I am unlikely (or unable) to make at home. I'd rather have quality over quantity.


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Re: Going out for dinner
« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2012, 11:04:04 PM »
When we travel, I'm always looking for local restaurants, but when we get to a tourist area, all we can find are chains. Orlando, anyone? Over the years, we spent far too much time there, even without visiting Disney. At least we found Sonny's, which is a chain we don't have here. We won't be going to central Florida again, so advice not needed. Thanks anyway. :)

Yet St. Augustine has dozens of one of a kind places. Go figure.

Unless we are exhausted and in a real rush, we try to seek out the local dineries.

There is also a big difference between McDonald's and Olive Garden. I'm a snob, too, I guess.


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Re: Going out for dinner
« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2012, 12:22:58 AM »
We have no chains in my village or the nearest town. So at home there's slinky one way to eat out and all of it delicious and well worth it.

In London? Well, it depends. There are chains and there are chains. I'm happy to eat in some of the nicer chains (nicer in my opinion), while others just aren't for me.


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Re: Going out for dinner
« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2012, 12:45:06 AM »
I live in a city that has very good restaurants/bars/coffee shops so I think it is a waste of time to eat at a run-of-the-mill chain restaurant.
Unfortunately, in my immediate area there are only chain coffee shops (and one non-chain place that I despise for its atmosphere, not its food), so for a quick dinner we go to a chain place.

I have a friend who wants to meet me at a bland chain place every time he's in town. I just don't get it...