I coined the term "food optimist" below, but thought about it later and was worried that referring to someone as more of a "food critic" may be seen as an insult, like a 'food snob'. Not my intention. And thinking about it, my friends DO call ME a food snob because I do all I can to keep them from dragging me to Outback, Joe's Crab Shack, Olive Garden, etc. So I figure I may be a little lower on the scale than some here, but if we didn't all score high on the critic scale, we wouldn't be on this site!!!
So, for fun I jotted down a "FOOD OPTOMIST/CRITIC SCALE this weekend. It's not scientific, though I do believe that personality traits do guide where you might steer someone. Feel free to help me revise!
Anyone feeling brave can rate themselves. I lean a little more to the middle (I say a 6 to 6.5, but am a 7 at home so may climb up there as I experience more NOLA cuisine) because I believe strongly in balance and looking on the bright side (optimist) without being blind (critic)! But I can see advantages for scoring high (having highly selective tastes means that when you get it right, you maximize your ecstasy) and low (being easy to please means you're usually happy) though scoring the extremes (10/1) probably means you're impossible to please/should just be put in a pen and slopped with the hogs. So, here it is if anyone want to play! I'm predicting from what I've read that there are lots of 8s on this board and a healthy presence of 7s. 6s seem a little rare, and nothing much lower. No real 9/10s either.
Oh, and I kept it NOLA based so we don't get kicked off to General Topics!
10) Ive had a few decent meals in New Orleans, but even the top tier restaurants cant compare with New York, Paris, or Milan. Chain? Dont even dare ask.
9) There are 3-5 good restaurants in the city where I consistently have excellent meals (maybe even 1 thats slumming it by my standards, such as Uglesichs), but I find even many of the well renowned spots to be overrated. Id rather die than eat in a chain.
8) Im very selective as to where I spend my money. I love most of the highly touted places (e.g. Commanders Palace, Galatoires, Bayona, Brigtsens) though I just dont get the appeal of a few of them considering the slop they serve. There are also a couple of dives/funky mid-level joints/PoBoy shops around that really surprise me. If my blood sugar is dropping and my car is almost out of gas, I will stop at a TGIFs and force down a cardboard salad to help me survive until I get somewhere that offers actual food.
7) I like spots all over the city, from the little dives to the fanciest affairs; however, I have several that I avoid like the plague on every level of the dollar/prestige spectrum and am particularly cautious about going to high dollar places since a lot of them arent any better than the moderate priced joints. Ill eat at a chain in a pinch, such as when driving.
6) I love eating in NOLA and enjoy most of the places Ive been. There have been food duds for sure, especially a few of the tourist traps in the Quarter, but I leave most meals in the city with a happy glow. Will eat at a chain on occasion and enjoy myself, but prefer local foods whereever I am.
5) I love all NOLA food! Whether a tourist trap on Bourbon or a coat & tie in the Garden District, Im tickled pink just to be dining in my culinary home. Tourist: I will eat at chains frequently at home but never here. Local: I probably eat local to chain 60/40%.
4) I look forward to dinner and rarely get a meal I dont enjoy. I like to rotate in a local spot thats affordable (Mothers, Gumbo Shop, J-Is on a budget-breaker) every third or fourth night out with my familiar and reliable chains (Outback, Bonefish, Olive Garden).
3) I dont mind an occasional adventurous night out at some packed, open air restaurant on Bourbon Street, but am just as happy to stick with the shorter lines at places near my cheap hotel in Metairie/home in the burbs. After all, foods food.
2) I could go to a Brennans spot, but why bother when you can get Cajun Chicken Fingers at Ruby Tuesdays that are just as good as anything they got?
1) Give me that Popeyes PoBoy thats been setting on the counter all night. After all, salt and congealed grease are pretty good flavors!