You think you know, but you don’t know. And you never will – Jim Mora
He and She Said:
The incredibly quotable Jim Mora was talking about football, but this truth applies vividly to the received wisdom about the cost of dining out. We posted a rather animated rant recently about the particular disdain one of us has for chain restaurants or, perhaps more accurately, the Casual Dining segment represented by venues like Applebee’s, Olive Garden, and the like. We won’t rehash those arguments here, but they inspired a passionate counterpoint by one of our readers. Among other objections, he voiced these:
chains, while maybe low denominator in taste (according to your buds), are consistent, cheaper (particularly compared to the NOLA examples you usually favor), quicker, prepared to handle the varied tastes of a family and more diverse
Put yourself in the role of most American families…your spouse and kids are hungry, you just got off your second job (or your shift) and you just happened to come across an extra $60 after paying your bills. Where can you take the family, get a full meal (entree, veggies, salad), maybe a beer for you and wifey, that has reliable service, food your kids will eat (not all can be tricked into enjoying goose liver) and can deliver all that in a timely, inexpensive manner so the family doesn’t go stir crazy, without reservations?
Fair criticism? Perhaps. As we thought about it, we realized we didn’t know whether he was right or wrong. We write nearly five days per week, much of it about food, almost all of it about New Orleans, and we weren’t entirely sure.