Hot!Roadfood Loyalty Oath?

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JRPfeff
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2013/12/05 10:32:31 (permalink)

Roadfood Loyalty Oath?

wanderingjew

On an aside, I live in a  small-medium sized city and although I  keep "normal" hours meaning I'm never out past 11pm or before 7am, I have never had to resort to going to chains...It is simply beyond my comprehension why this is "such a problem" for others.
 
I guess I missed the pledge to forgo all chain restaurants when I registered at Roadfood.com. Frankly, I think the very suggestion of this is ridiculous and I make no attempt to avoid chain restaurants. In the last 12 months I've patronized the following chains and am damn proud of it:
  • Smashburger
  • Domino's
  • Bojangles
  • P.F. Changs
  • Which Wich?
  • Five Guys
  • Noodles
  • Culver's
  • Papa John's
  • In-N-Out Burger
  • Jimmy John's
  • Dickey's Barbecue
  • Sonic Drive-in
  • Stir Crazy
  • Pei Wei
Of those, the only place I was less than completely satisfied was Five Guys. They never taste as good as they smell.
 
In that same period I have dined at many non-franchised restaurants (including Roadfood-reviewed places) and have been disappointed very often. I believe that most non-chain restaurants are rubbish. There's a reason that chains continue to thrive, they are generally better than Mom & Pop restaurants. In fact, the very existence of this website and the Roadfood books supports my belief. If good non-chain restaurants were easy to find, Roadfood.com would not need to exist.
 
It's a fact!
 
post edited by JRPfeff - 2013/12/05 13:10:01
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    TJ Jackson
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    Re:Roadfood Loyalty Oath? 2013/12/05 10:36:11 (permalink)
    Domino's?
     
    seriously?
    #2
    JRPfeff
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    Re:Roadfood Loyalty Oath? 2013/12/05 10:39:20 (permalink)
    The several local pizzerias I've tried in Raleigh are all vomit worthy. I went to Domino's for their $7.99 weekday special and am happy with their pizzas. I've returned several times.
    post edited by JRPfeff - 2013/12/05 10:43:29
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    TJ Jackson
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    Re:Roadfood Loyalty Oath? 2013/12/05 10:52:03 (permalink)
    wow
     
    the Dominos here are quite bad, even at the 5 dollar price point
    #4
    JRPfeff
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    Re:Roadfood Loyalty Oath? 2013/12/05 11:02:25 (permalink)
    TJ - Before coming here, the last time I had Domino's was while living in Amelia 30 years ago. It was so bad I didn't try it again until this year.
    #5
    lleechef
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    Re:Roadfood Loyalty Oath? 2013/12/05 11:15:59 (permalink)
    JRPeff
    You missed the pledge?  Really?  Roadfood is like the Masonic Lodge, full of secret pledges.  Thou shalt not eat at chain restaurants.  Period.  But before I took the pledge I did eat at In-N-Out in CA and it was not bad.  After I took the pledge I was afraid of the NSA. 
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    TJ Jackson
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    Re:Roadfood Loyalty Oath? 2013/12/05 11:49:37 (permalink)
    Amelia as in Amelia Ohio, on Ohio Pike a bit east of I 275, like 5 miles from where I live?
    #7
    JRPfeff
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    Re:Roadfood Loyalty Oath? 2013/12/05 11:54:37 (permalink)
    Yes indeed. I was there when the Zimmer nuke plant was cancelled.
     
    Maybe we were ordering from the same Domino's.
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    CCinNJ
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    Re:Roadfood Loyalty Oath? 2013/12/05 11:57:16 (permalink)
    I like In-N-Out....



    As far as the Roadfood opinion of Jane & Michael Stern...

    http://www.roadfood.com/R...iew/1647/innout-burger

    Also in the Roadfood book The Lexicon of Real American Food.
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    harriet1954
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    Re:Roadfood Loyalty Oath? 2013/12/05 12:07:06 (permalink)
    I've never been (though I did live in California in a past life), but my daughter Shayna has to have at least one fix of In-N-Out whenever she's out there visiting.
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    TJ Jackson
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    Re:Roadfood Loyalty Oath? 2013/12/05 12:10:30 (permalink)
    All that said, there are at least two (certainly may be many others) chains I know of that are listed as Roadfood, and ergo are Roadfood
     
    In and Out (as mentioned above)
    and
    Original Pancake House
     
    I would say that a typical roadfood establishment is not a chain, but there mere fact that a given eatery is a chain is not a basis for it to be excluded as Roadfood.
     
    Said another way, if being a chain means you can't be a Roadfood eatery, then those two (et al) would not be listed as such
     
    Keep in mind that WJ's views (no offense intended to WJ, we've had this discussion a few times already) are his own and while they have some correlation and substantial overlap to Roadfood, they dont exactly match the roadfood definition of things
     
    On Dominos - I was tempted when working from home earlier this year by their half off deal available at lunch hours.  I was able to get a 1 topping medium pizza for under 4 bucks from the location on 8 Mile in Anderson.  For under 4 bucks, I was not expecting much.  The pizza fell well short of meeting my very low expectations.  I have not been tempted since.   
    post edited by TJ Jackson - 2013/12/05 12:14:42
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    ScreamingChicken
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    Re:Roadfood Loyalty Oath? 2013/12/05 12:15:11 (permalink)
    JRPfeff
     
    In the last 12 months I've patronized the following chains and am damn proud of it:
    Start watching for windowless black vans parked on your street, and you might want to hire someone to start your car in the mornings.
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    JRPfeff
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    Re:Roadfood Loyalty Oath? 2013/12/05 13:23:52 (permalink)
    I think it's been over a year since I've eaten at any of the following. I'm not avoiding them, and would not hesitate to go back, I just never had the urge to go when going out to eat. This is especially disturbing for Taco Bell because I love a crunchy taco and bean burrito for a dirt cheap supper.
    • Applebee's
    • Olive Garden
    • Taco Bell
    • McDonald's
    • Fleming's
    • Wendy's
    • El Pollo Loco
    • Tim Horton's
    • Big Boy
    • Black Bear Diner
    • Chipotle
    • Cracker Barrel
    • Taco John's
    • Chili's
    • BD's Mongolian Grill
    • Ruth's Chris
    • TGI Fridays
    • Macaroni Grill
    • Qdoba
    • KFC
    • Original Pancake House
    • Panera
    • Steak 'n Shake
    • Mo's
    • Skyline Chili
    Topping the list are two recent "lightbulb goes on" choices. After dining at a locally run alehouse with coworkers, it dawned on me that they were trying to be Applebee's clones and failing badly. And last week we decided to try the Italian dinners at our favorite local pizza place in Wisconsin. After leaving we felt ripped off. The food, service, ambiance, and value were are inferior to what we'd expect from Olive Garden.
     
    Chains are chains because they work. It's time I actively seek some of them out again.
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    joerogo
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    Re:Roadfood Loyalty Oath? 2013/12/05 13:58:49 (permalink)
    One of the main reasons I avoid chains, is that you can't trust their ingredients.  Just recently, there was a salmonella breakout at Olive Garden from their Mexican salad, Joe's Crab Shack, clams from vietnam, etc.
     
    In order to control costs, a chain would serve you anything our illustrious FDA allows, which is just about anything they want.  Just think about it, somehow, it makes financial sense to serve lettuce grown in Mexico, at an Olive Garden in Jersey.....IN THE SUMMER!   I would rather take my chances with the local joint.
     
    With that said, I couldn't give a flying fiddlers leap where anybody else eats! 
    post edited by joerogo - 2013/12/05 14:00:09
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    pnwchef
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    Re:Roadfood Loyalty Oath? 2013/12/05 13:59:14 (permalink)
    Fast food has run it's course, it will change for the better soon. Fast food places like In-n-Out burger, Chipotle Mexican Grill and serving a better quality product. They are also showing the customer is willing to wait for a better product. CMG, is giving the customer fresh, good quality menu selections. In-N -Out burger, the Cult  burger chain from Cali are showing how a fast food joints can serve up fresh made frys, shakes and burgers to order" Dbl Dbl Animal style please with fry's and a Rootbeer float, thank you". Windy's has come out in the last few months with a pretzel bun bacon cheese burger, Chicken sandwich and now another one with a cheese sauce. This is just the beginning of a new era of quality made to order food ......watch and see, within the next year, you will see people on this site bragging about some of the quality foods served at their favorite fast food chain restaurants..........pnwc
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    MetroplexJim
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    Re:Roadfood Loyalty Oath? 2013/12/05 14:22:14 (permalink)
    Wow.  This is a thoughtful thread.
     
    Once upon a time in Arlington, VA during Reagan's second term I was yet again buying some Brenner's Bakery goods.  I mentioned my need for a quick lunch to my familiar counter girl and she recommended a little hamburger stand a few doors down and urged me to try it.
     
    I did.  It was a walk-up with no seating area.  The kids running it were playing DC-101 way too loud for my comfort, but my 'reward' for waiting through the cacophony was free peanuts-in-the-shell and I waited for my burger (with A-1, grilled onions & shrooms at no extra charge!), fries, and a Coke (their entire menu save for the toppings).
     
    I was pi$$ed at myself for my immediate hunger resulting in my having to eat in my new Euro Coupe and was pi$$ed further that I stained one of my Charvet ties in the process.  But, it was wonderfully simple and simply delicious.
     
    In Roadfood terms this was a true 'discovery'.  Had the site existed then I would have written a glowing review immediately to share wonderulness!
     
    That pitifully tiny joint tucked away into a nearly invisible corner of a small strip center on the NE corner of S. Glebe and Columbia Pike no longer exists in that location. 
     
    But it does now exist elsewhere -  and nearly everywhere. 
     
    It was the original Five Guys
    post edited by MetroplexJim - 2013/12/05 14:48:53
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    Heartbreaksoup
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    Re:Roadfood Loyalty Oath? 2013/12/05 14:24:54 (permalink)
    One question I've always had is when is a restaurant believed to have crossed that boundary?  Is two locations acceptably small?  Five?  Does it cross the crap threshold when it reaches nine locations?
     
    I understand and agree with a desire to cut out national chains, sure.  At some point - and maybe it has less to do with "number of stores" and more to do with "number of states your food must travel across," your food dollar is being spent on TV ads in cities you'll never visit, on payroll divisions for middle management in cities I'll never see.  Wendy's is in (something like) phase two of a six-phase plan to refresh its brand across three to four years, and while I applaud the idea of small construction firms in 49 states getting jobs to refit bathrooms at 1700 stores, I don't want to have to worry about that when all I want is a good hamburger.
     
    At the same time, every single time anybody asks where they should eat in Atlanta on this forum, somebody suggests The Varsity, which is, Roadfood cred be darned, a huge brand with at least seven locations in three metro areas.
     
    My policy is a simple one: when I'm at home, I don't want to eat at a place that I can visit anywhere else, and when I'm anywhere else, I don't want to eat at a place that I can visit at home.
     
    Except Del Taco.  Don't you judge me.  I'll eat there at home.
     
    And Sonic, for drinks and milkshakes.  I don't know what the food there tastes like anymore, but darned if I can rely on finding a cherry slush anywhere else.
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    ChrisOC
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    Re:Roadfood Loyalty Oath? 2013/12/05 14:45:28 (permalink)
    When I am visiting family in Arizona I enjoy eating Pad Thai at Pei Wei and a Jumbo Jack at Jack it the Box
    I do not have either of them near me.
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    CCinNJ
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    Re:Roadfood Loyalty Oath? 2013/12/05 15:04:35 (permalink)
    I like the mini churros @ JITB...

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    plb
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    Re:Roadfood Loyalty Oath? 2013/12/05 15:13:23 (permalink)
    joerogo

    One of the main reasons I avoid chains, is that you can't trust their ingredients.  Just recently, there was a salmonella breakout at Olive Garden from their Mexican salad, Joe's Crab Shack, clams from vietnam, etc.

    In order to control costs, a chain would serve you anything our illustrious FDA allows, which is just about anything they want.  Just think about it, somehow, it makes financial sense to serve lettuce grown in Mexico, at an Olive Garden in Jersey.....IN THE SUMMER!   I would rather take my chances with the local joint.

    With that said, I couldn't give a flying fiddlers leap where anybody else eats! 

     
    And you trust non-chains' ingredients?  Who has more food scientists and quality control people, chains or Joe Blow's Grill?  Who is more likely to scrimp on costs, corporate chains were 35-40% of the cost is bourn by other taxpayers and the remaining by the stockholders, or Joe Blow were every penny comes from his pocket?    

    post edited by plb - 2013/12/05 15:16:12
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    felix4067
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    Re:Roadfood Loyalty Oath? 2013/12/05 15:27:12 (permalink)
    Steak & Shake is also Roadfood, at least according to this site. It's been featured on the home page more than once.
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    bartl
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    Re:Roadfood Loyalty Oath? 2013/12/05 16:08:55 (permalink)
    felix4067 Steak & Shake is also Roadfood, at least according to this site. It's been featured on the home page more than once.

    OK, first of all, let me say that I am by no means against fast food, although I don't eat at them as much as I used to, for health reasons (I was the one who actually ordered the celery sticks from McDonald's). For example, I find 5 Guys burgers to be a bit on the greasy side, but like the toppings and the french fries.
     
    So, given that, let me say that, from my one trip to a Steak & Shake, with another person, that it was, without question, the greasiest burger I have ever had in my entire life. I found it to be practically inedible. And this is from someone who, while greatly prefering a fresh burger off a charcoal grill, will eat dollar menu burgers from McDonald's, Burger King, and Wendy's.
     
    Bart
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    rumaki
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    Re:Roadfood Loyalty Oath? 2013/12/05 16:12:34 (permalink)
    I am a long-time Steak 'n' Shake fan.  The various locations can be uneven, but I like their Steakburgers!  A Smashburger outlet has opened near my house and I am planning to try it at some point to see whether it is comparable/better.
     
    Most of these other places, I don't go to.  I've simply never eaten fast food very often.  Even when I was in high school in Indianapolis, when everybody else was going to get burgers and shakes from Burger Chef, I didn't.  The one milkshake I had from there disagreed with me, and I just don't particularly like hamburgers of any stripe (apart from Steakburgers). I don't judge others who do like them.
     
    I had Popeye's fried chicken and biscuits once in the Atlanta airport when Paschal's had a power failure (or something), and it wasn't bad.    And I confess (oh, horror!) to eating at a Cracker Barrel a couple of times when I was out of town and had no transportation and the place was walking distance from my motel.  I find their fried chicken livers and biscuits to be edible.
     
     
    #23
    joerogo
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    Re:Roadfood Loyalty Oath? 2013/12/05 16:55:17 (permalink)
    plb

    joerogo

    One of the main reasons I avoid chains, is that you can't trust their ingredients.  Just recently, there was a salmonella breakout at Olive Garden from their Mexican salad, Joe's Crab Shack, clams from vietnam, etc.

    In order to control costs, a chain would serve you anything our illustrious FDA allows, which is just about anything they want.  Just think about it, somehow, it makes financial sense to serve lettuce grown in Mexico, at an Olive Garden in Jersey.....IN THE SUMMER!   I would rather take my chances with the local joint.

    With that said, I couldn't give a flying fiddlers leap where anybody else eats! 


    And you trust non-chains' ingredients?  Who has more food scientists and quality control people, chains or Joe Blow's Grill?  Who is more likely to scrimp on costs, corporate chains were 35-40% of the cost is bourn by other taxpayers and the remaining by the stockholders, or Joe Blow were every penny comes from his pocket?    

     
    Wow, You really have a sour opinion of small business owners.  Scrimping was invented by corporate chains!  
     
    I'll take Joe Blow thank you.  Had an excellent burger for lunch today at this place https://www.facebook.com/279BandG Quality people putting out a top notch product.  Had lunch here yesterday https://www.facebook.com/pages/Napolis-Pizza/84964029862 Quality people who care for their customers.
     
    Go over a chain restaurant menu with the restaurant manager sometime and ask where the food is coming from.  Maybe you appreciate a food scientist preparing, freezing, thawing, heating and serving your meal.......me, I'll stick with fresh, local, quality food, prepared by a small business person who KNOWS he must be the BEST he can be to compete with the chain restaurants!
    #24
    JRPfeff
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    Re:Roadfood Loyalty Oath? 2013/12/05 17:20:48 (permalink)
    pnwchef

    ... This is just the beginning of a new era of quality made to order food ......watch and see, within the next year, you will see people on this site bragging about some of the quality foods served at their favorite fast food chain restaurants..........pnwc

    That has happened already at a barbecue forum I participate in.
     
    Arby's Brisket Sandwich resulted in I am nearly in shock... A member claimed it was the best brisket sandwich he has ever eaten.
    post edited by JRPfeff - 2013/12/05 17:23:38
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    carolina bob
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    Re:Roadfood Loyalty Oath? 2013/12/05 17:48:29 (permalink)
    Just out of curiosity I tried that Arby's brisket sandwich a few weeks ago. Paper-thin slices of nearly flavorless meat ( and not much of it ) covered with a rather mediocre excuse for barbecue sauce. I won't be wasting my money on that thing again.
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    Re:Roadfood Loyalty Oath? 2013/12/05 17:49:44 (permalink)
    plb

    joerogo

    One of the main reasons I avoid chains, is that you can't trust their ingredients.  Just recently, there was a salmonella breakout at Olive Garden from their Mexican salad, Joe's Crab Shack, clams from vietnam, etc.

    In order to control costs, a chain would serve you anything our illustrious FDA allows, which is just about anything they want.  Just think about it, somehow, it makes financial sense to serve lettuce grown in Mexico, at an Olive Garden in Jersey.....IN THE SUMMER!   I would rather take my chances with the local joint.

    With that said, I couldn't give a flying fiddlers leap where anybody else eats! 


    And you trust non-chains' ingredients?  Who has more food scientists and quality control people, chains or Joe Blow's Grill?  Who is more likely to scrimp on costs, corporate chains were 35-40% of the cost is bourn by other taxpayers and the remaining by the stockholders, or Joe Blow were every penny comes from his pocket?    

     
    I would choose joe blow over the HS aged "cooks" that throw together your meal in the back of the lab errr I mean kitchen at the local McDs or Arbys.
    #27
    mayor al
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    Re:Roadfood Loyalty Oath? 2013/12/05 17:52:13 (permalink)
    I really think that a person's likes or dislikes are highly 'personal' and for someone else to disparage the original person because their viewpoints differ is un acceptable social behavior...
     
    Often I make a food stop because I am going somewhere, and find myself looking for a burger and a coke from a 'drive-thru' to keep me going on the journey. Not every trip has a food-destination built in...That is my choice.  If someone thinks less of me because I choose a quick service FF over a sit-down for an hour or so for a meal...too bad. I do what is best for my situation, and frankly I don't care if you prefer to plan your day around the three meals (or more)... To each his/her own, and quit bad-mouthing the folks who may have a different opinion than yours.
    #28
    CajunKing
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    Re:Roadfood Loyalty Oath? 2013/12/05 17:52:48 (permalink)
    carolina bob

    Just out of curiosity I tried that Arby's brisket sandwich a few weeks ago. Paper-thin slices of nearly flavorless meat ( and not much of it ) covered with a rather mediocre excuse for barbecue sauce. I won't be wasting my money on that thing again.

    Bob
     
    I agree with you, the sandwich was a very poor excuse for a BBQ Brisket sandwich, which they can over price and fleece their customers out of MORE of their hard earned money.
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    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:Roadfood Loyalty Oath? 2013/12/05 17:54:31 (permalink)
    I confess. I got a Sausage McMuffin at a McDonald's drive-thru this morning on my way to attempt to slay Bambi's mommy.
    #30
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