Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Happy days for U.S. diners, survey finds
Reuters ^ | 11/01/2006 | Reuters

Posted on 11/02/2006 8:38:56 AM PST by Responsibility2nd

NEW YORK (Reuters) -- When it comes to eating out in the United States, Texans do it the most, New Yorkers pay the most, and Italian is the country's favorite cuisine, a study showed Wednesday.

Zagat Survey released its "America's Top Restaurants," a guide covering 1,389 eateries in 42 cities, which is based on 21 million meals worth of experience by more than 123,000 people.

It found that during 2006 restaurant openings have been far outpacing closings and that the cost of a meal increased 2.8 percent, less than the 4 percent rise in the country's Consumer Price Index.

"These are happy days for food lovers -- this marks another year where restaurant quality, diversity and value have improved across America," Tim Zagat, chief executive officer of the survey, said in a statement.

The survey showed that 83 percent of people eat out as often or more than they did two years ago and that people in Houston, Texas, eat out the most at 4.2 times a week, followed by the Texas cities Austin and Dallas-Ft. Worth, where residents dine out four times a week.

Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Miami come next, with people eating out 3.8 times a week.

In New York people eat out 3.3 times a week, which the survey said could be due to the high cost of dining there -- the city is the most expensive in the United States with an average meal costing $39.43.

"Sadly its the same old story across the country when it comes to service," the Zagat Survey found. "72 percent of diners say service is the greatest irritant when it comes to eating out."

Nearly a third of diners said Italian food was their favorite, with American food coming in second at 16 percent and French third at 12 percent. But when Japanese, Chinese and Thai were combined they ran a close second with 25 percent.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: diningout; eatingout; restaurants
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-83 next last
Nearly a third of diners said Italian food was their favorite, with American food coming in second at 16 percent and French third at 12 percent.
`snort` Yeah, right.

1 posted on 11/02/2006 8:38:57 AM PST by Responsibility2nd
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Responsibility2nd

Real Men Don't Eat Quiche.


2 posted on 11/02/2006 8:40:13 AM PST by Fishtalk (http://patfish.blogspot.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Responsibility2nd
I have lived in Houston, Dallas and now Austin. My take is that Mexican food is better in Dallas versus Austin (haven't lived in Houston resent enough to make a judgement).

However, BBQ is much better in Austin than in Dallas.

...still looking for a great Mexican resteraunt here.

3 posted on 11/02/2006 8:41:49 AM PST by lormand (0 to 10,000,000 people read my posts everyday)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Responsibility2nd

I got one of those books and there was not one restaurant in San Antonio in there! And everyone knows we have THE best Mexican food!

French food?! Nah.


4 posted on 11/02/2006 8:43:27 AM PST by Froufrou
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: lormand
Try San Antonio.
No Place Better.

5 posted on 11/02/2006 8:43:27 AM PST by Responsibility2nd (Abortion is to family planning what bankruptcy is to financial planning)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Froufrou
One year for Christmas we received a gift coupon for La Madeliene. Went there once.

Whatever.

French food is bland.

6 posted on 11/02/2006 8:45:21 AM PST by Responsibility2nd (Abortion is to family planning what bankruptcy is to financial planning)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Responsibility2nd

Slightly off topic post here, but I thought yawn EFFING kerry said that everyone in America was in soup kitchen lines. How can we possibly afford to eat out?

LOL!


7 posted on 11/02/2006 8:46:53 AM PST by goresalooza (Nurses Rock!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: lormand

Leo's (sadly now closed) had the best Mexican food in Houston. The inner sleeve of the ZZ Top album 'Tres Hombres' depicts one of the plates. Billy would go in there, but not to eat. He would order an ice tea, but brought his own plasticware and sugar.


8 posted on 11/02/2006 8:47:40 AM PST by harwood (Ann Coulter: Future SCOTUS nominee!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: HungarianGypsy

food ping


9 posted on 11/02/2006 8:48:32 AM PST by Responsibility2nd (Abortion is to family planning what bankruptcy is to financial planning)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Responsibility2nd
Oh, crap, I forgot about San Antonio, and I lived there for 3 years of my life.

Mi Terra's in San Antonio's El Mercado used to be good, but the last few times I ate there, it was grissle city.

Taco Cabana is now better than Mi Terra

10 posted on 11/02/2006 8:48:42 AM PST by lormand (0 to 10,000,000 people read my posts everyday)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: harwood
I am a big fan of Billy Gibbon's guitar playing.

I'm all ears when it comes to Billy Gibbon inside info like you just shared with me.

I always use the inside cover of Tres Hobres as an example when illustrating a Tex-Mex feast. That inside cover makes my mouth water.

11 posted on 11/02/2006 8:51:22 AM PST by lormand (0 to 10,000,000 people read my posts everyday)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Andy'smom; bradactor; politicalwit; Spunky; mplsconservative; don-o; boadecelia; freeangel; ...
** Freeper Kitchen Ping **
12 posted on 11/02/2006 8:52:03 AM PST by HungarianGypsy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: lormand
Mi Terra's in San Antonio's El Mercado used to be good, but the last few times I ate there, it was grissle city.

It was fantastic on Labor Day weekend. Did you order something like the 'Cabrone Grande Especial', the 'Cidad las Grissle', or the 'Gringo burger', by chance?

13 posted on 11/02/2006 8:54:17 AM PST by pikachu (Be alert --we need more lerts!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Responsibility2nd
Oohh I'll be in San Antonio tomorrow...CAN you recommend a good restaurant to eat dinner at?
14 posted on 11/02/2006 8:57:39 AM PST by RoseofTexas
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Responsibility2nd
and French third at 12 percent.

Well, if you count French Onion Soup...

15 posted on 11/02/2006 8:58:43 AM PST by Darth Republican
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RoseofTexas
I should have added NO Mexican restaurants! I live near the border and have eaten some good excellent Mexican food. I want something different! Perhaps a steak place or something different! :)
16 posted on 11/02/2006 9:00:39 AM PST by RoseofTexas
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: pikachu

It was the chili con-carne that they topped my dish with. It seemed like 60% gristle, and it happened on two back to back occasions.


17 posted on 11/02/2006 9:01:52 AM PST by lormand (0 to 10,000,000 people read my posts everyday)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: lormand

In Austin:

Fonda San Miguel: Excellent Fine Interior Mexican Cuisine

The Habanero: Best Spiced meats.(think Southern New Mexico, Juarez, El Paso)Best Beans and Rice, Best Gordita

El Chile: Great Interior Fusion

El Michoacanna: Best Breakfast, Chickory Coffee and Handmade Tortillas, Real Hamsteak and Real Chorizo

Maudies: (stick to the one on south lamar) Best Enchiladas, Best Frozen Margarita, try the straight plate with Verde Sauce.

El Chilito: Best Fast Food, the puffy taco!

Curras: Best Tamales, really good margaritas. A fusion of interior and tex mex.

Changos: Best Tacos Al Pastor. Handmade tortillas pressed and cooked at the time of order.

Las Manitas: (breakfast only) Great Coffee, Great Huevos Mexicanas.

Luna el Sol: (breakfast only) Chori-Migas!!

Azul Tequilla: Good all around inexpensive.


Famous names to watch out for:


Matts El Rancho: Old El Paso right out of the can.

Nuevo Leon: Something tells me this place used to be really good before they got so large. Now it is Sysco Food Service and a layer of clear grease on top of every plate.

Chuy's: Tex Mex Classic, meaning you will have to dig through an inch of Jack Cheese before you find your food. (plus they will call the cops on their patrons ;)

Polvos: The food is really good, but the service needs to improve. A Brunch favorite, but if you sit on the patio, get under the awning and go ahead and get your own chips and salsa.

Las Manitas: yes on both lists. Eat there at lunch, avoid the pork...

Trudy's: Best Mexican Martini in town. Have two, then the food is fine... everything is fine.

-- lates
-- jrawk

But none of it compares to the fare back in New Mexico.


18 posted on 11/02/2006 9:02:06 AM PST by jrawk (RAWK)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Bacon Man; Hap
When it comes to eating out in the United States, Texans do it the most,

They're on to us!

Seriesly, I really want to cook more. (I think it was cataloging 70 of my cookbooks last night that put me in the mood.)

Maybe after the Festival is over . . .
19 posted on 11/02/2006 9:02:43 AM PST by Xenalyte (Viva Espaņa!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Responsibility2nd

If you walked away from a french restaurant thinking french food is bland, it was poorly made. We can bash the french all we want (and it is fun), but well prepared french food ain't bland.


20 posted on 11/02/2006 9:03:34 AM PST by dmz
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: RoseofTexas
Salsilito's (sp?) on Naccodoches Road.

Fiesta Patio on Pat Booker Rd.

El Barrio on Blanco Road....

Give me a minute more... I'll think of some more good ones.....

21 posted on 11/02/2006 9:04:21 AM PST by Responsibility2nd (Abortion is to family planning what bankruptcy is to financial planning)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: jrawk
"(plus they will call the cops on their patrons ;) "

I remember clearly.

Thank you very much for that comprehensive list of Mex/Tex-Mex resteraunts in Austin.

...bookmarking now

22 posted on 11/02/2006 9:05:21 AM PST by lormand (0 to 10,000,000 people read my posts everyday)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: RoseofTexas

Steak? Try The Barn Door on New Braunfels.... Salt Grass Steak house on 281 and the Texas Land & Cattle Co. on Loop 410.


23 posted on 11/02/2006 9:06:19 AM PST by Responsibility2nd (Abortion is to family planning what bankruptcy is to financial planning)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: dmz; Responsibility2nd

That is so true. French cuisine is exquisite when prepared correctly. My mother-in-law's cooking is my favorite.

That being said, I would give almost anything to have some good Mexican food right now. Even a chain like Ninfa's or On the Border. There are no Mexican places around here! Oh well, thank God for Old El Paso. It's all I got.


24 posted on 11/02/2006 9:14:51 AM PST by Minette
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Responsibility2nd

I have to confess I love La Madeleine, but I wouldn't really call it French. But yeah, it's kind of bland. It hacks me off they stay thin [although I heard this week that 40% are overweight.]


25 posted on 11/02/2006 9:15:06 AM PST by Froufrou
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Responsibility2nd
When it comes to eating out in the United States, Texans do it the most...

Rosie O'Donnell responds: "Way to go Texas!".


26 posted on 11/02/2006 9:24:55 AM PST by PBRSTREETGANG
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Responsibility2nd

DC area has so many great restaurants of every imaginable variety, but that's true of any large metropolitan area. It's just our nightlife that sucks for younger adults.


27 posted on 11/02/2006 10:12:25 AM PST by youthgonewild
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Froufrou

I heard on some food show on TV that the French did not have a cuisine until they stole it from the Italians they tweaked it and oo-lala you have French cuisine..... I usually go with the original, Italian.


28 posted on 11/02/2006 10:37:00 AM PST by Kimmers (As a former fetus, I am against abortion.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: harwood

Billy is quite the health freak from what I hear.


29 posted on 11/02/2006 10:39:24 AM PST by dfwgator
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: RoseofTexas

County Line BBQ on the River Walk.


30 posted on 11/02/2006 10:39:35 AM PST by DarthVader (Conservatives aren't always right , but Liberals are almost always wrong.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: dmz

That's what I was thinking. Can you imagine telling a French chef his or her food was bland? There would be a nice little knife-throwing exercise back in the kitchen. With the Sous Chef as target.


31 posted on 11/02/2006 10:41:36 AM PST by 1rudeboy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Kimmers

That makes no sense, at least to me. The French are known for their sauces, and Italian cuisine is, well, Mediterranean.


32 posted on 11/02/2006 10:46:41 AM PST by 1rudeboy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: Responsibility2nd
French food is bland.

Boy, have you not had good French food...
33 posted on 11/02/2006 10:49:35 AM PST by Stone Mountain
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: dfwgator

Yeah, you can tell by how well he has aged.


34 posted on 11/02/2006 10:56:56 AM PST by Rte66
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: Stone Mountain
What can I say.... I live in San Antonio. There are maybe 3-4 French restaurants in a city of a million plus people.

This place looks good..... http://www.restaurantlereve.com/menu.php

But at a $100.00 plus per meal....

I'll stick to Los Numero Dos Dinner at the local tex-mex.

35 posted on 11/02/2006 10:58:58 AM PST by Responsibility2nd (Abortion is to family planning what bankruptcy is to financial planning)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: Responsibility2nd

Now that I'm a cash-strapped dropout from Houston cafe society, I gotta say I do miss keeping up with my neighbors by eating out at every new foodery that opens.

OTOH, my ex-DH may have been right when he said our house was the best restaurant in town - it's just that I have to do the cooking. As much as I love to do it, almost everything tastes better to me if it has that "cooked-by-someone-else" factor.

What I miss most is keeping up with new restaurant dishes so I can duplicate them at home, my favorite hobby.


36 posted on 11/02/2006 11:01:47 AM PST by Rte66
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Responsibility2nd

Hmmm.... the French food may be better here in San Francisco. There is an awesome place called Le Charm which features a 3-course tasting menu for something like $28...


37 posted on 11/02/2006 11:03:31 AM PST by Stone Mountain
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: Responsibility2nd

Most likely, the best Tex-Mex eateries in SA and Houston are not listed in Zagat's. A lot of us have neighborhood favorites.


38 posted on 11/02/2006 11:03:52 AM PST by Rte66
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: Stone Mountain

Perhaps our fellow poster visited after the violet garlic shortage began.


39 posted on 11/02/2006 11:05:43 AM PST by Rte66
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: 1rudeboy
The French are known for their sauces, and Italian cuisine is, well, Mediterranean

Next thing they'll be trying to tell us is that Escoffier was Italian.

40 posted on 11/02/2006 11:08:49 AM PST by Mase
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: Mase

I'll wager that the person saying it was Italian, and simply getting in a dig on his neighbors.


41 posted on 11/02/2006 11:10:48 AM PST by 1rudeboy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: Stone Mountain
I'm still having a chuckle imagining what would happen . . . I have a friend who worked as a pastry chef under one of the better French chefs in LA, and he claims to have dodged his share of kitchen utensils. That, and he now has the sort of French vocabulary that would make a Legionnaire's heart swell with pride.

My favorite was roughly translated as, "you are a whore in the house of ****."

42 posted on 11/02/2006 11:16:51 AM PST by 1rudeboy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: dfwgator

Yep. Skinny as a rail as well. But IMHO, the best blues guitarist going.


43 posted on 11/02/2006 11:18:31 AM PST by harwood (Ann Coulter: Future SCOTUS nominee!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: 1rudeboy
No doubt. It's been going on for a long time and probably got worse after the World Cup. French and Italian are both at the top of the list when choosing a restaurant but since I married an Italian, the latter usually prevails.
44 posted on 11/02/2006 11:21:57 AM PST by Mase
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: Kimmers

I heard on some food show on TV that the French did not have a cuisine until they stole it from the Italians they tweaked it and oo-lala you have French cuisine..... I usually go with the original, Italian.
____________

LOL. That was one pretty uninformed food tv commentator. Perhaps you'll notice almost no similarity between the 2 cuisines.


45 posted on 11/02/2006 11:37:02 AM PST by dmz
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: Kimmers
I heard on some food show on TV that the French did not have a cuisine until they stole it from the Italians they tweaked it and oo-lala you have French cuisine.....

More or less true. During the Renaissance, Italian cuisine became very elevated. When an Italian princess was married off to some French royal or another, she brought the notion of haute cuisine with her and the French developed it further. Meanwhile, Italy fell on hard times and the craft of truly elevated cooking faded away. In the mid-19th Century, French food had reached its peak and it spread to Italy, who were perturbed that their invention had been taken by the French. The Italians tried to reinvent their own cuisine. One sign of this is that basically every Italian dish that had the name of a city in it--Bolognese, Milanese, Fiorentino--is the Italians trying to make their dishes sound like French dishes.

As you might imagine, this is all a very sore subject in Italy. It's important to remember as well that we're talking about very high cuisine here, not the pizza, pasta-with-red-sauce, sausage and peppers Italian, which is basically peasant food. Delicious peasant food to be sure, but different from truly high end stuff.

46 posted on 11/02/2006 11:50:01 AM PST by Bubba Ho-Tep
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: Responsibility2nd

Must be counting pizza as "Italian food"...


47 posted on 11/02/2006 12:03:44 PM PST by G Larry (Only strict constructionists on the Supreme Court!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kimmers; Red Badger

The French do good sauces. They have so much wine, you know. I try to stay away from it and I don't eat escargot anymore or crepes so I really eat only omelettes and roasted rosemary chicken.

What am I saying? I'm French!


48 posted on 11/02/2006 12:14:12 PM PST by Froufrou
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: Froufrou

I have eaten escargot, and enjoyed it. I'm not wild over French food because it's detrimental to my waistline and arteries, but if I were young, I'd do it all overagain. BTW, supoosedly the red wine is why the French don't have as much heart disease as the should considering their diet. The so-called French mystery..........


49 posted on 11/02/2006 12:18:16 PM PST by Red Badger (ECCLESIASTES 10 The heart of the wise inclines to the RIGHT, but the heart of the fool to the LEFT.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 48 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger

I know, that and their #Q%#!&&! pastries, and none of the women have cellulite and they smoke like trains!


50 posted on 11/02/2006 12:20:43 PM PST by Froufrou
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 49 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-83 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson