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  Opening in December - Smoque BBQ
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  • Post #331 - February 18th, 2008, 10:20 am
    Post #331 - February 18th, 2008, 10:20 am Post #331 - February 18th, 2008, 10:20 am
    BP wrote:I went to SmoqueBBQ again on Saturday. I believe that SmoqueBBQ is as near to perfect as a restaurant can be.


    I wouldn't go that far. I've enjoyed Smoque and have told anyone that would listen that it has to be considered one the best (if not the best) bbq places is Chicago. I even told my brother that my wife and I would take him there this past Saturday. We were very excited to not only have the bbq but also spread the gospel and convert another. We purposely did not have meat for lunch knowing we would overdo the dinner. On Saturday night we stopped at home, grabbed a six pack of beer, picked up my brother and headed to Smoque. Yes, there was a line but also a sign on the door saying that they have sold out of brisket, pulled pork, and ribs for the night but still have chopped brisket. We turned around and went back to the car.

    Funny thing is, there were two other parties that had the same smiling, brisket anticipated faces, holding their own byob who got to the door and had the same look of disappointment. One of the guys said something like, "this is the last time we try this place, they always run out of food!"

    Since I've not heard this, I wanted to throw it out there. Mind you, this was 8pm on a Saturday. How do you run out of virtually everything? Needless to say, I won't be gambling on Smoque in the future, if it's a Friday/Saturday night. Too bad.
  • Post #332 - February 18th, 2008, 10:38 am
    Post #332 - February 18th, 2008, 10:38 am Post #332 - February 18th, 2008, 10:38 am
    tyrus wrote:Since I've not heard this, I wanted to throw it out there. Mind you, this was 8pm on a Saturday. How do you run out of virtually everything?

    The Smoque-running-out-of-stuff has been discussed a lot here. I totally get the connection between the running-out-of-stuff and the high quality of the food at Smoque. The "you-can't-have-this-stuff-sitting-around-and-have-it-be-this-good" thing. I don't argue that for a second, because I don't have the expertise to do so; I yield to those here who do have it. I'll just say that all the reports of "sorry, we're out of [your choice here]" have so far inhibited me from trying Smoque. If I lived a block away it wouldn't matter--no harm done--but driving twenty minutes to get there in order to be frustrated doesn't sound like a good time. I wonder if there's truly nothing they could do to ameliorate that situation without compromising the quality of the product.
  • Post #333 - February 18th, 2008, 11:03 am
    Post #333 - February 18th, 2008, 11:03 am Post #333 - February 18th, 2008, 11:03 am
    I haven't hit Smoke yet, but it sounds like lunch or early dinner would be a good plan.

    What can they do about this? Well, the short answer is to be willing to throw food away at the end of the night, and accept that gamble of X% more sales versus Y% food cost.

    I would hope that a restaurant that has been open for over a year is able to make that calculation, and predict their traffic well-enough to be prepared for any given day.

    I've oversimplified the economics above:
    a) How much more would be spent on the food?
    b) How much more would be spent on the labor to prep more food?
    c) Is there capacity in the smokers for enough food for all customers?
    d) How much overrun is going to happen on any given day to guarantee that the majority of dishes are available through to closing?
    e) Is there a shelter that might take overrun and give a tax deduction to offset a-d a bit?
    f) Can the quality keep up if more food must be produced?

    It's a complicated gamble. A normal restaurant expects most dishes to be ready within 30 minutes, something you can't do with smoke. You also don't want to hold the stuff under a lamp or on a steam tray too long, or factor (f) above comes into play with a vengeance.

    On the other hand, if there's still a line out the door when almost nothing is left, there's little reason to make the other calculations: there's money being made probably as fast they can.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #334 - February 18th, 2008, 11:15 am
    Post #334 - February 18th, 2008, 11:15 am Post #334 - February 18th, 2008, 11:15 am
    JoelF wrote:On the other hand, if there's still a line out the door when almost nothing is left, there's little reason to make the other calculations: there's money being made probably as fast they can.

    Yes, I think this is the key. The business that I am withholding from Smoque (because I don't relish being frustrated) is business that Smoque doesn't want or need. In fact, were I to go to Smoque, I would only make Smoque's problems more difficult. What do they want with more customers (who may end up being frustrated), when they are making money as fast as the size of their location will allow? This is a fact I can accept without rancor. The good thing is that LTH exists so that I can learn that, good as the food at Smoque is, the experience is not for me.
    Last edited by riddlemay on February 18th, 2008, 11:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #335 - February 18th, 2008, 11:20 am
    Post #335 - February 18th, 2008, 11:20 am Post #335 - February 18th, 2008, 11:20 am
    The legendary Sonny Bryan's in Dallas makes it clear that they're only open until the food runs out. And they have been around for nearly 100 years. Go early, or be disappointed.

    Hopefully Smoque can increase their capacity, either in their current kitchen or by opening a second location a few miles away. But I'm not going to fault them if they feel that they'd rather sacrifice profit instead of quality.
    "Fried chicken should unify us, as opposed to tearing us apart. " - Bomani Jones
  • Post #336 - February 18th, 2008, 11:22 am
    Post #336 - February 18th, 2008, 11:22 am Post #336 - February 18th, 2008, 11:22 am
    While I haven't experienced Smoque running out of food, I have experienced it at another bbq place. It is frustrating.

    The only thing I'd add to JoelF's nice summary of the issue is that there is a difference between being sure you *never* run out of food and making calculations so that you *rarely* run out of food.

    I don't know how often Smoque runs out of food, but I could imagine the owner running the numbers, determining that 10 out every 12 Saturdays he gets less than 100 orders of brisket, but 2 out of every 12 Saturdays he gets over 150 orders. Importantly, he doesn't know when those big Saturday nights will be - he just knows that he tends to get 2 of them every 12 weeks. So does he prepare for 150 orders every Saturday?

    Maybe he decides that he is willing to accept running out of brisket 2 out of 12 Saturdays. It's unfortunate for the people whose first/only/occasional visit happens to be on the one Saturday per six months that he runs out of food.

    To me, the big issue is how often does the restaurant run out.
    Last edited by Darren72 on February 18th, 2008, 11:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #337 - February 18th, 2008, 11:24 am
    Post #337 - February 18th, 2008, 11:24 am Post #337 - February 18th, 2008, 11:24 am
    threadkiller wrote:Hopefully Smoque can increase their capacity, either in their current kitchen or by opening a second location a few miles away. But I'm not going to fault them if they feel that they'd rather sacrifice profit instead of quality.

    I think they are, in fact, maximizing profit by their current practices, but I hope it's clear from what I wrote that I totally agree with the sentiment behind your statement. Smoque is doing a bang-up job of doing its thing. That this thing is not for me is another matter entirely. As I said, my patronage would only make the situation at Smoque worse. Better I (and anyone else who doesn't enjoy frustration) should just stay away, and leave more food for the rest of you.
    Last edited by riddlemay on February 18th, 2008, 11:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #338 - February 18th, 2008, 11:30 am
    Post #338 - February 18th, 2008, 11:30 am Post #338 - February 18th, 2008, 11:30 am
    Hi,

    Smoque is at capacity. What they did not anticipate was the demand for their product and instant success. They were delighted sometime ago when Southern Pride sent their rep to show them how to get 14% more capacity from their existing smoker. The only way they can process more meat is to get another smoker, which I don't think is in the cards at their present location.

    Probably the best you can do is call ahead for their estimates.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #339 - February 18th, 2008, 11:47 am
    Post #339 - February 18th, 2008, 11:47 am Post #339 - February 18th, 2008, 11:47 am
    riddlemay wrote:
    threadkiller wrote:Hopefully Smoque can increase their capacity, either in their current kitchen or by opening a second location a few miles away. But I'm not going to fault them if they feel that they'd rather sacrifice profit instead of quality.

    I think they are, in fact, maximizing profit by their current practices, but I hope it's clear from what I wrote that I totally agree with the sentiment behind your statement. Smoque is doing a bang-up job of doing its thing. That this thing is not for me is another matter entirely. As I said, my patronage would only make the situation at Smoque worse. Better I (and anyone else who doesn't enjoy frustration) should just stay away, and leave more food for the rest of you.


    I agree with riddlemay. I'll add that it isn't just about quality vs. profits. As tyrus said, it's also about the ability to plan your evening.
  • Post #340 - February 18th, 2008, 1:50 pm
    Post #340 - February 18th, 2008, 1:50 pm Post #340 - February 18th, 2008, 1:50 pm
    While waiting for my carry-out order to come up last week, I had the opportunity to be standing in the far back corner of the hallway where the restrooms are located, giving me a direct line of sight to the smoker just as it was being loaded up. I watched as meat was slung in there, filling every rack from edge to edge, four or five briskets across. Based on what was visible to me, I would guesstimate that the Southern Pride unit they use will hold nearly 100 briskets or their equivalent when mixed with pork shoulders, racks of ribs, and the occasional chicken.

    That's a lot of dang meat! It will feed a lot of dang people. Smoque is just experiencing such great success and feeding so many people that even that large quantity is not enough. They do not run the risk of throwing anything away at the end of the night, as was suggested, not because they under prepare, but because they are working at absolute capacity and even that is not enough.

    I spoke with Barry last week and he said they were looking for ways to expand into more space in the same building with the intent of putting in a second smoker. This should alleviate the problem of running out of food. The expansion is not likely to happen in the immediate future, so the best bet is to get there early.

    Buddy
  • Post #341 - February 18th, 2008, 2:18 pm
    Post #341 - February 18th, 2008, 2:18 pm Post #341 - February 18th, 2008, 2:18 pm
    Just a note about getting there early - some of the items come out of the smoker at a few very specific times of day, so it's possible that you can get there early and they may not have every item, because certain ones aren't ready yet.
  • Post #342 - February 18th, 2008, 4:59 pm
    Post #342 - February 18th, 2008, 4:59 pm Post #342 - February 18th, 2008, 4:59 pm
    Just to confirm, the problem Smoque has is space to cook. They can only make so much food per day, and that amount is almost always less than the amount they can sell. They do not hold back on preparing food for fear of having to dump it. As restaurant problems go, too much demand is not a bad one.

    I get to Smoque frequently and enjoy their brisket as much as the next guy. The fries are tasty as well. I always get a chance to speak to Barry (one of the owners) there, and last time I asked about expansion. I was hoping for another outpost closer to downtown. He did mention that he was working out a way to get more space in the same building for more smokers. It was not a done deal yet, but he seemed confident.

    I found it amusing that he was more interested in added space for cooking than added space to fit more paying customers. I always assumed that a restaurant would hit maximum capacity in the dining room before the kitchen.

    I do know that Barry had no idea how much business he would be doing when he chose the location. He still looks surprised by the lines. I think if you would have told him before he opened, that his biggest problem would be a lack of capacity, he would have never believed you.

    At any rate, with food phenomenons (including Hot Doug's and Kuma's Corner), I always shoot for the time between lunch and dinner, like 3pm. That way I can avoid the crowds. Plus I can work up the appetite by skipping lunch, and eat enough to tide me over until breakfast.

    Mel
    Today I caught that fish again, that lovely silver prince of fishes,
    And once again he offered me, if I would only set him free—
    Any one of a number of wonderful wishes... He was delicious! - Shel Silverstein
  • Post #343 - February 18th, 2008, 5:10 pm
    Post #343 - February 18th, 2008, 5:10 pm Post #343 - February 18th, 2008, 5:10 pm
    As someone who seeks out great barbecue (whatever that means in the region of the country I'm in) in my travels, I must confess to chuckling at the angst of the folks on this board of people who find it outrageous that a barbecue joint would run out of meat. In fact, at some of the best places in the U.S.A., that's part of the deal and very common, especially at the best mom and pop places. When something takes hours and hours to cook, you can't blame them for running out of meat.

    As a lifelong Chicagoan, I also must acknowledge that our fine city is not even in the list of the top 20 cities for cue in the country, no matter what your definition of cue is. Once I started seeking out barbecue, I realized what we're missing.

    My personal favorites are:

    Smitty's Market (Lockhart, TX) - How can a simple pork chop be the best taste of smoked meat I've ever had? They don't even give you a fork and it's served on butcher paper. The piles of wood in their parking lot are even a sight to behold. Their smoker is almost as long as my driveway.

    Rendezvous (Memphis) - My favorite ribs of all-time. I grew up with ribs slathered in sauce, so I was amazed that a dry rub can produce such a fine taste. I now drive hours out of my way just to stop for a slab.

    Lexington Barbecue (Lexington, NC) - The coarse chopped pork plate with hush puppies and slaw is from heaven. Add in the counter and the paneling on the walls, plus the scores of locals coming in for carry out, and not much has changed in decades.

    I've also been to the original Dreamland in Tuscaloosa, and while it's cool to go to this barbecue palace, the places above have better food for my tastes. Have also been to the famous Kansas City locations and was pretty much underwhelmed by all of them.

    In Chicago, Smoque is the best, in my opinion. The pulled pork and brisket especially stand out.
  • Post #344 - February 18th, 2008, 7:18 pm
    Post #344 - February 18th, 2008, 7:18 pm Post #344 - February 18th, 2008, 7:18 pm
    abevigoda wrote:I must confess to chuckling at the angst of the folks on this board of people who find it outrageous that a barbecue joint would run out of meat.

    I haven't seen a lot of angst, or outrage. Speaking just for myself, although I know I would enjoy Smoque's meats if I ever had any, I have attained perfect nirvana* with the concept of not having any until such time as Smoque's capacity to produce catches up with demand.

    *an ideal condition of harmony and bliss characterized by the extinction of desire
  • Post #345 - February 19th, 2008, 4:13 am
    Post #345 - February 19th, 2008, 4:13 am Post #345 - February 19th, 2008, 4:13 am
    riddlemay wrote:I have attained perfect nirvana* with the concept of not having any until such time as Smoque's capacity to produce catches up with demand.


    that time is about 2:00 pm during any weekday.
  • Post #346 - February 19th, 2008, 5:34 am
    Post #346 - February 19th, 2008, 5:34 am Post #346 - February 19th, 2008, 5:34 am
    abevigoda wrote:In fact, at some of the best places in the U.S.A., that's part of the deal and very common, especially at the best mom and pop places. When something takes hours and hours to cook, you can't blame them for running out of meat.

    Abe,

    Agreed, simply the nature of small batch attention to detail BBQ. It's a lot easier to turn out mediocre BBQ for the masses than top quality BBQ for the few.

    abevigoda wrote:Once I started seeking out barbecue, I realized what we're missing.

    Disagree. I celebrate the regional aspect of BBQ, Chicago is a tips, links and spare rib town. We should revel in our strengths not lament what we are missing.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #347 - February 19th, 2008, 5:43 am
    Post #347 - February 19th, 2008, 5:43 am Post #347 - February 19th, 2008, 5:43 am
    riddlemay wrote:Speaking just for myself, although I know I would enjoy Smoque's meats if I ever had any

    I'm puzzled. You have posted multiple times to the thread* feel comfortable making definitive statements as to how Smoque should be operated, yet have not seen Smoque first hand, much less tasted the BBQ.

    They are open 11-9, Fri/Sat till 10, closed Monday.

    *I was tempted to count, but felt that might be a wee bit OCD
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #348 - February 19th, 2008, 7:07 am
    Post #348 - February 19th, 2008, 7:07 am Post #348 - February 19th, 2008, 7:07 am
    G Wiv wrote:I'm puzzled. You have posted multiple times to the thread* feel comfortable making definitive statements as to how Smoque should be operated...

    Gary, with all due respect, I think you're confusing my posts with somebody else's. While it's true that months and months ago I was vicariously irritated with Smoque when I read about others being frustrated by lack of supply, it has been quite some time since I felt that way. I think if you relook at my posts, you'll see they tell a different tale. As long ago as last March, I was writing sympathetically with Smoque, seeing the problem from their point of view, yet worrying--on their behalf--about the long-term:

    "Obviously, the only reason they run out of food is that they're selling everything they can make, and what business could ask for a better "problem" than that? And one could argue that there's no problem, since, when you subtract the disappointed customers who won't be coming back, their future potential clientele will decline to exactly the number of people they can actually feed, which works out. But the bad will engendered might eventually cause their clientele to decline to fewer people than they can actually feed--when people stop calling in the first place or bothering to drive over, because they don't want to get pissed off--and that would be a problem."

    I don't see that this is me telling Smoque how they should run their business. That is up to them. It is just an analysis of a business problem I'm sure they understand (and understood at the time) as well as anybody.

    It has been a while since I've posted anything in a Smoque thread, but if you look at my posts from yesterday, you'll see that they are about my subjective inclinations re Smoque (to go or not to go), not about how they should run their business. And you'll see that there's no anger or irritation in them. Mostly you'll find pure acceptance that the situation at Smoque is what it is, and that this doesn't work for me as a potential customer. When I say that I am happy for Smoque to continue to do what it's doing even though it doesn't work for me, I really mean it. That's what's in my posts. If you're seeing a different meaning in them, it's because you're not taking them at face value. But you should.
  • Post #349 - February 19th, 2008, 7:18 am
    Post #349 - February 19th, 2008, 7:18 am Post #349 - February 19th, 2008, 7:18 am
    riddlemay wrote: If you're seeing a different meaning in them, it's because you're not taking them at face value. But you should.

    Riddlemay,

    Quite possibly you are correct, though if you are putting this much time and effort into writing/thinking/reflecting on Smoque you should take it from theoretical to practical. In other words, go there for a meal.

    Regards,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #350 - February 19th, 2008, 8:36 am
    Post #350 - February 19th, 2008, 8:36 am Post #350 - February 19th, 2008, 8:36 am
    G Wiv wrote:...if you are putting this much time and effort into writing/thinking/reflecting on Smoque you should take it from theoretical to practical. In other words, go there for a meal.

    This is good advice! I hope to follow it soon.

    One reason I have posted as much as I have on Smoque (and you're right to note it) is that my salivary glands keep telling me to go there. If I could just ignore them and listen exclusively to the anti-schlepping-for-uncertain-reward part of me, the matter would be over and done--I wouldn't even click on a Smoque thread, let alone post to it. But those pesky salivary glands keep butting in. They have been giving me the very same advice you just did. Time will tell which of the two sides of me will prevail in this fight.
  • Post #351 - February 19th, 2008, 8:41 am
    Post #351 - February 19th, 2008, 8:41 am Post #351 - February 19th, 2008, 8:41 am
    riddlemay wrote:If I could just ignore them and listen exclusively to the anti-schlepping-for-uncertain-reward part of me, the matter would be over and done


    I've been to Smoque about 4 or 5 times and have never once been denied food.

    Consider this: If you schlep down there and find that they don't have what you want available, there are plenty of other great (better, if you ask me) places to eat within a 10 minute drive.

    La Oaxaquena, which remains as consistently excellent as ever, is practically walking distance away (if it weren't so cold).

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #352 - February 19th, 2008, 8:55 am
    Post #352 - February 19th, 2008, 8:55 am Post #352 - February 19th, 2008, 8:55 am
    Also remember Cathy2's advice above about calling ahead to check on availability.

    You can call ahead to place a carryout order and they'll tell you when it will be ready for pick-up. I presume you could also call ahead to place your order and then eat-in, rather than carry-out.
  • Post #353 - February 19th, 2008, 8:56 am
    Post #353 - February 19th, 2008, 8:56 am Post #353 - February 19th, 2008, 8:56 am
    riddlemay wrote:Time will tell which of the two sides of me will prevail in this fight.

    Riddlemay,

    Frankly, it's just not that big of a deal. Smoque is easily accessible, 2-blocks from the major intersection of Irving/Pulaski, it's less than $10 for a sample platter and there is no chance they will be out of all the various meats they offer.*

    Stop thinking, start eating.

    Regards,
    Gary

    *Plus, as Michael mentioned, it's quite near a number of other good spots to eat.
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #354 - February 19th, 2008, 8:59 am
    Post #354 - February 19th, 2008, 8:59 am Post #354 - February 19th, 2008, 8:59 am
    eatchicago wrote:
    riddlemay wrote:If I could just ignore them and listen exclusively to the anti-schlepping-for-uncertain-reward part of me, the matter would be over and done

    ...Consider this: If you schlep down there and find that they don't have what you want available, there are plenty of other great (better, if you ask me) places to eat within a 10 minute drive.

    Wonderful humitas, chilean stews, and the city's best empanadasare absolutely within walking distance, and served in a place that'll never deny you food. Take a chance on Smoque, then head over to Elston if it doesn't work out.
  • Post #355 - February 19th, 2008, 9:59 am
    Post #355 - February 19th, 2008, 9:59 am Post #355 - February 19th, 2008, 9:59 am
    Kennyz wrote:Wonderful humitas, chilean stews, and the city's best empanadasare absolutely within walking distance, and served in a place that'll never deny you food.


    Wasn't denied food per se, but was denied a humita in my one visit there for lunch on a Saturday.
  • Post #356 - February 19th, 2008, 10:03 am
    Post #356 - February 19th, 2008, 10:03 am Post #356 - February 19th, 2008, 10:03 am
    another thread veering off topic, seems to happen quite often on here. - Criticisms/debate from a person who has never been to Smoque, and now rec's for mexican spots in the neighborhood. :?

    Smoque deserves all the praise it gets, we should keep the discussion on Smoque in my humble opinion.
    Last edited by jimswside on February 19th, 2008, 10:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #357 - February 19th, 2008, 10:07 am
    Post #357 - February 19th, 2008, 10:07 am Post #357 - February 19th, 2008, 10:07 am
    Some people have claimed, directly or indirectly, that Chicago is not a great barbecue town.

    Looking at this topic and others of the same ilk, you will find that there are many places that do barbecue here, with varying styles. You will also find that there is no consensus here on which one is "best"; for every barbecue place that a lot of people like, there are others who don't care for it or like some other place better.

    What all that tells me is that Chicago is indeed a great barbecue town! However, unlike many other parts of the country, we don't have a single barbecue style that predominates, but instead you can choose from many styles that are found elsewhere around the country, including places here that do those styles well. That, combined with the fact that more and more barbecue places are opening all the time, makes this a great town for enjoying variety as well as quality in our barbecue.
  • Post #358 - February 19th, 2008, 10:28 am
    Post #358 - February 19th, 2008, 10:28 am Post #358 - February 19th, 2008, 10:28 am
    jimswside wrote:another thread veering off topic, seems to happen quite often on here. - Criticisms/debate from a person who has never been to Smoque...

    Since that person is obviously me, I'll defend my posts as being on topic. They were about Smoque. That they were my reactions to the posts of others rather than reports of my own experiences there does not make them less on topic.

    If we are going to limit discussion on restaurants only to reports from people who have been to them, the moderators will have to weed out about half the posts on every restaurant thread here. Most of those posts from LTHers, I would assert, are on topic--which is why they rarely get weeded.

    (Further, I think you're going to have to comb through my recent posts pretty finely to uncover any "criticisms/debate." More like acceptance. And, dare I say, openness.)
    Last edited by riddlemay on February 19th, 2008, 3:46 pm, edited 4 times in total.
  • Post #359 - February 19th, 2008, 10:29 am
    Post #359 - February 19th, 2008, 10:29 am Post #359 - February 19th, 2008, 10:29 am
    jimswside wrote:another thread veering off topic, seems to happen quite often on here. - Criticisms/debate from a person who has never been to Smoque, and now rec's for mexican spots in the neighborhood. :?

    Smoque deserves all the praise it gets, we should keep the discussion on Smoque in my humble opinion.


    Latin Sandwich Cafe is a Chilean spot. To each his own, but I actually think it's entirely relevant to this thread, as knowing what other options exist might help people decide whether to make the trek to Smoque even though the place may have run out of food. If anything takes this off-track, it'll likely be when posters start to discuss whether other posters' posts belong in the thread. Clearly, I've now contributed to that.
  • Post #360 - February 19th, 2008, 10:37 am
    Post #360 - February 19th, 2008, 10:37 am Post #360 - February 19th, 2008, 10:37 am
    Unless I have been to a restaurant I do not make a comment on how they do things, or their food.

    I may ask for parking info, or rec's regarding a place I am wanting to try, or have never been to,, but not form opinions regarding how they run their business, or opinions on their food, since I would only have formed that opinion from hearsay not facts..

    Big difference between those scenarios.

    To each there own.

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