I got a good chuckle reading your comments about RI'ers who like Taco Bell and Smokey Bones. I know what you mean. ... (As a side note, there is a decent BBQ place in Middletown, RI called Becky's BBQ, located in an old house on Route 138 a little north of the Newport line.... just north of where 138 and 114 split, and on the west side of 138. The guy has a commercial smoker in back of the building, uses hickory, and does a great job.).
As for "tourist trap", I understand. If it is truly a tourist "trap", then that's a good reason to avoid it. But, some called it "touristy". Touristy might .... or might not.....be bad. I see the the word "touristy" used in a negative connotation a lot here. Touristy is just that ... it gets a lot of tourists, irrespective of food quality, which could be terrific or bad.
One of my favorite BBQ joints is Pierce's Pitt BBQ (yes with 2 T's) in Lightfoot, VA, just outside Williamsburg. I went to Pierce's a lot in college (Wm. & Mary) for my weekly dose of BBQ. Back then, Pierce's was not much more than a roadside stand with a take-out window. Now it is a mid-sized establishment with a room or two added on, serving several hundred people on a nice weekend. It has become very TOURISTY. ... It gets lots of tourists. Yet, the food is just as good as always.
There's a case where a "touristy" place is not bad. They became "touristy" because they had darn good BBQ, and got lots of tourists as word spread.
So, how do places that suck become touristy? Is it that they were good at one time, then got too busy, grew a big head, and let quality went down? Quite possible. But, many touristy places, such as Pierce's, kept the quality up.
My problem is that it seems that on RoadFood.com, the word "touristy" is always used in a negative connotation, even though being "touristy" is not necessarily bad. WJ, I realize you said "tourist trap", but many do seem to use "touristy" in a negative light.
<message edited by Glenn1234 on Tue, 11/1/11 11:59 PM>