Dining in America

October 3rd, 2012

Dining in America

Ranting time…

I just learned that Chilis (a popular, downscale chain restaurant in the U.S.) has started to offer pay-to-play apps at the table via a touchscreen.

I’ve been to Chilis a few times, and all I have to say about this is that they have a lot to work on in terms of food and service before they should be worried about selling apps.

More importantly, the fact that there is a market for people to sit in a boring chain restaurant, and play knockoff apps for 99 cents while waiting for bad food is an untellable sorrow.

To me, sharing a meal at a restaurant is quality social time. It should be an experience; time spent enjoying the company of others and (hopefully) the food. This is your time to enjoy life, connect with people, and share a good meal. It’s not a time to play a crappy imitation of Bejeweled on a greasy touchscreen, while your loved ones sit by and wait for heat-lamp faux-southwestern food to be delivered to a table.

Restaurant chains in general frighten and often disgust me. Is there such a thing as a good restaurant chain? I think so. Din Tai Fung comes to mind, or something like Bon Chon. Establishments that do one thing and do it well, with a focus on the food, are appreciated.

But not this. This is just… everything is wrong with this.

Dining in America
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“Understand, when you eat meat, that something did die. You have an obligation to value it - not just the sirloin but also all those wonderful tough little bits.”
~ Anthony Bourdain