This SF Bay Area review of these restaurants talks about why these places are so popular that people will wait 90 minutes to get in. The reviewer says his dinner for two at Cheesecake Factory for $100 was ‘reasonably good’
“There's something reflexive for me, however, about rooting for chef-owned or family-run restaurants. Like independent bookstores, they seem worth supporting even when cost and convenience might not be in their favor.”
Then goes on to give these restaurants newsprint for those people who might not be aware they exist or what to order.
You know, I’ve enjoyed dinners at places like that, but the more I read Chowhound and try some great suggestions, the less interesting Cheesecake Factory & PF Changs become. Despite my odes to McDonalds foods, I eat there less and less.
No snob appeal. There’s just better stuff out there if you look.
It just reminded me of something I re-read on this site the other day …
“.... the very point of this site is to never give up. Somewhere out there somebody is doing it and doing it well. And that person quite probably thinks nobody cares, since the place ain't likely to be written up in newspapers, etc, and drawing foodie crowds unless the owner's smart and slick enough to send out a lot of clever press releases (or, more likely, rich enough to hire a publicist). And that person may be doomed by neglect to switch to, like, air conditioning and refrigerator maintanence and be lost to us forever.
We need to find people like that before they find themselves withering on the vine (proving to myriad onlookers that quality DOESN'T PAY), and connect them with people like us before we find ourselves fatalistically embracing the easy, convenient, soulless mass market alternative.”