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Retro | Nov 27, 200106:32 PM     23

Interesting how often I read posts with lines something like: "no self-respecting chowhound would ever go to..."

I guess I don't have much understanding for extremists of any kind, and that includes food fans.

Cheesecake Factory, for example. I've been twice, and enjoyed it. The food was good, the price was fair, the service was very good. So it's part of a chain - I'll go back. Given the right circumstances, I'll probably go to Gordon Biersch again. McMenamin's is a small operation, but they have more than one location, in more than one state - are they now a "chain" that I must avoid?

I'll continue going to Icon Grill, Panos Kleftiko, and dozens of other wonderful, locally-owned places (Oops! Icon's no longer locally-owned - do I have to stop going there now? I should no longer support all the locals who work there, and have been working there all this time, just because the ownership has changed?)

Sometimes I shop at my neighborhood independent bookstore, sometimes at a big-box store, sometimes on-line. Do I have to limit myself to just one, or can I spread my dollars throughout?

Variety, folks, variety. If a restaurant really stinks, don't go there. If enough people stop going, it'll fail. But just because there's more than one location doesn't automatically mean the fare is crap. Extremism is very closed-minded.

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