i think there is room for a third category of food-oriented people. the "chowdie" would fall between the 'hound and the foodie; someone who knows good food, but also falls for the hype. the type of person who, given the choice between the excellent, little hole-in-the-wall and the good, new, buzz-worthy place in town, will always choose the latter, because talked about has to be better, right?
from chowhound's intro page...
"Chowhounds know where the good stuff is, and they never settle for less than optimal deliciousness, whether dining in splanky splendor or grabbing a quick slice of pizza. They are the one in ten who live to eat.
We're not talking about foodies. Foodies eat where they're told; they eagerly follow trends and rarely go where Zagat hasn't gone before. Chowhounds, on the other hand, blaze trails, combing gleefully through neighborhoods for hidden culinary treasure. They despise hype, and while they appreciate refined ambiance and service, they can't be fooled by mere flash."
if you're after a good meal, chowdies won't steer you wrong. however, they fear or disdain striking out on their own, and require the bolstering of other chowdies' opinions to be sure their own are worthwhile. they know good food, and won't frequent a place just because of the buzz, but also won't frequent a place without the buzz. in other words, to the chowdie, the flash is as important as the food. know that their suggestions are good, and likely superior to those of a foodie, but that they may not be the best.