I just started my doctorate at SUNY Stony Brook, but I took some time off, so I'm a bit older than my classmates. Whenever my friends and I try to go out to eat, my main request has been: "No buffets and no chains." This is met with blank stares and "Um, that's going to be hard." While I had a hard enough time with Chili's, Cheesecake Factory, and Applebee's when I was a teenager, I really cannot stomach it now. Adding insult to injury, these places often have an HOUR wait!! Any advice on your favorite places? I've done some searching and found some fancy places that are probably out of budget, but any cheap to middlerange suggestions?