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Author Topic: Restaurant Suggestions?  (Read 4554 times)

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Restaurant Suggestions?
« on: March 22, 2013, 02:55:13 PM »
I have been thinking about this, I think it's easier to give suggestions to friends and family, since you probably know their tastes. However if a stranger asks you "hey, what restaurants can you recommend?" what is the best way to answer. Do you go with "large chain" "local place" trendy, homey place with yummy peach pie?

I remember being out with a friend at an outdoor concert in a really cool part of the city and 2 women came up and asked if we could suggest a restaurant and I said "well City Bistro" is up the street they have REALLY great food and good wine. They looked uneasy and said that it was too pricey and my friend suggested a famous national chain, and they seemed happier, which was good because I'm glad they discovered a place that they would like. I wouldn't have thought to suggest it because I don't like the restaurant and I like more local places. I had a really long layover in Chicago once and wanted to leave the airport to grab food and a Burger King was suggested :( I consulted with yelp after that.

So do you give multiple suggestions, ask probing questions? What is the best etiquette?


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Re: Restaurant Suggestions?
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2013, 03:03:32 PM »
I usually ask a few probing questions.  Sit-down vs. fast food. Date night quality vs. family dinner, etc.  I may ask if they want to try something particular to the area. Then I will typically throw out a few options.


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Re: Restaurant Suggestions?
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2013, 03:06:05 PM »
If a stranger asks me for a recommendation I always follow with "sure! What kind of place are you looking for?" Sometimes I might immediately add:  "There's a cute Italian place over there, its mid-priced at about $14 for entrees, or a diner down that way that's a bit more affordable, or if you are looking to splurge there's Tres Fancy down this way." Which lets them know there is plenty around. But even if I just stick with my opener, I feel its a polite response, after all, I do need more info to give a good answer.

And sometimes price isn't the concern but rather "kid friendly" or "vegetarian" or "quick" or some sort of specific ethnic-food concern.


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Re: Restaurant Suggestions?
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2013, 03:06:30 PM »
I ask a few questions and give a few options.

"How much time do you have for dinner? "Are you in the mood for something ethnic - Italian, Japanese, Middle Eastern ..."

Then I relate some of my experiences - "sometimes I get their fish for about $12 but they have a really good sub sandwich too. And I've heard their steak is delicious."

Then I throw in
"There are some good chains "X, Y and Z".


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Re: Restaurant Suggestions?
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2013, 03:07:20 PM »
I'll give multiple suggestions, but that's just me :)


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Re: Restaurant Suggestions?
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2013, 03:13:14 PM »
I always ask questions too. Do you have a price range you want to stay in? What kinds of food do you like? Do you like spicy or not? Do you want a restaurant with a view? Are you looking for breakfast, lunch or dinner? And so on.

I often end up giving the names of several to cover more than one meal. And I tell them in some detail about the restaurants, the atmosphere, the ratio of tourists to locals, what they can expect.


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Re: Restaurant Suggestions?
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2013, 03:18:59 PM »
I do a few quick questions, followed by my ideas.  But I also have to admit I think it's a little clueless to ask this question without providing even a hint what they're wanting. I love asking locals for ideas, but I always give them something to work with (eg, small and ethnic).


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Re: Restaurant Suggestions?
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2013, 03:33:07 PM »
As others have said, I try to find out what they have in mind as far as price, atmosphere, food quality, food ethnicity/genre, etc. goes before I rattle off any suggestions. Then, I go from there.

I also agree with Mikayla - it's good for the questioner to give an idea of what exactly they're looking for. You don't want to suggest, as WillyNilly put it (loved the term, by the way, hehe), Tres Fancy when Tres Fancy is not within their budget and/or they're not looking for a place that will only let you in if you're in black tie, nor would you want to tell someone who's looking for a five-star restaurant to go to the local diner or dive.

All that said, I pretty much always suggest local, if any local restaurants fit their preferences. I typically don't suggest a chain unless there's nothing local that fits their preferences, or if they're actually looking for a chain.
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Re: Restaurant Suggestions?
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2013, 04:56:48 PM »
My mom lives in a touristy area, where there is an abundance of restaurants, from every fast food imaginable, to very nice pricy restaurants. Several friends and co-workers have done there and asked for recommendations. So I created a list, with my favorites, and details. I listed them sort of my category, pricy, mid-range, etc. I also listed any other relevant information. And then at the end i said "there is also every chain imaginable, and fast food, if that's what you're in the mood for"  I figured most people know about the chains etc. so I only needed to put details for the others.

If someone else asks me, say, someone here in town on business or not familiar with the area, I'll ask what do they want, chain or non-chain, and price range, and then go from there.  I myself prefer non-chain places since if I'm away, I want to try something I can't get at home.