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Mom-and-Pop Restaurants In The Suburbs


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#51 bilrus

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 08:54 AM

I guess small minds think alike? ;) To make blanket statements about a community is thinking small! I have been to 2 Amy's many times, as well as Comet. This may come as a shocker, but most of the people are not eating the soft-shell crab or more adventurous pizza. If the pizza's here are able to serve two people for about $20, then that would make them cheaper than 2 Amy's or Comet, as these are single servings pies. Additionally, on my last vast to Comet a few weeks ago, families with 2 or more kids had taken over the place, and some were even sharing pies!

When talking about a community the only way to discuss it is to talk about its commonalities and make assumptions based on those.

And, despite what you want to believe, in general the people that live around 2 Amys and Comet ARE different than the people that live in Ashburn. People who have chosen to live in the city do so because they want to be around the types of amenities that are offered there - including the restaurants. The people who live in Ashburn chose to live there because of the amenities that are offered there - and restaurants are not among them.

Granted, there are exceptions - I live there because it is convenient to work and I long for better dining options which are slowly coming this way. But every time a new place opens up that is attractive to me, I worry about its potential for success because, as a double income, no child household, my wife and I are in the minority and a place that is targeted to our tastes isn't necessarily targeted to the tastes of the community at large.
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#52 DLB

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 09:13 AM

When talking about a community the only way to discuss it is to talk about its commonalities and make assumptions based on those.

I think we all know what happens with we make assumptions. ;)

#53 DonRocks

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 09:21 AM

I think we all know what happens with we make assumptions. ;)

And also when we don't. I got burned the last time I self-righteously refused to generalize based on information I had available. That damned stove-top sure looked hot, but I was like, nah....

Cheers,
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#54 brian

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 09:32 AM

I wonder how adventurous the typical customer orders were during OPENING WEEKEND at 2 Amy's?

#55 Heather

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 09:59 AM

Remember, 2 Amy's has a FULL menu. There are appetizers and alternatives to pizza. AF has a total of 9 pizzas, one salad and two desserts. There is NO Coca Cola or Pepsi Cola. Only Dominion Root Beer. No carry out. They open after 4:00 on weekdays and after 3:00 on weekends. 2 Amy's is open for lunch, sells Coke and has carry out. You can walk to 2 Amy's, there's a bus stop within steps and you can hail a cab on the street. None of these are options for AF. 2 Amy's is considerably less expensive

This is a generalization, but I have to agree with Joe and Bill that this does not sound like the kind of pizza place that will do well in the suburbs. Not open for lunch? Most suburban pizza places make a killing on post-little league pizza parties, etc. Not offering anything but root beer might be strike against too.

#56 DanielK

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 11:01 AM

I think we all know what happens with we make assumptions. ;)

Cartoon Network puts Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends on at 4pm, and Family Guy on at 11pm. Switching them would violate the generalization that shows geared for kids should be on in the afternoon, and those for adults later at night. You can argue that not only kids watch Foster's, or that some kids might watch Family Guy, but making the generalization that those aren't true is just good business.

JoeH didn't say "all Ashburn residents are hicks, they'll never appreciate it", he said (paraphrased) "Ashburn residents are NOT the target audience for a place like this, compared to the city or a close-in suburb." That seems a reasonable generalization to me. Could it succeed anyway? Sure. Could JoeH be wrong? Sure.

There's a difference between arguing that a generalization allows you to assume that everyone behaves like that, and using data trends to generalize as to whether a business plan that requires the population NOT acting like your generalization in order to succeed. I think JoeH is on the right side of that line.

#57 Bob Wells

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 11:27 AM

And not too far off the mark either.

Riiiiight -- that would explain why an Indian restaurant featuring that very bland, boring Indian-Chinese cuisine just opened in Ashburn.

From all of us in Loudoun County to all of you "closer in" -- keep your money at home. We'll see if this place stands or falls without you. Us hicks with the highest household income in the US will do have to bumble along on our hown.

Of course, the folks at American Flatbread could just be complete morons, huh? They must have thrown a dart to come up with such a nonsensical location.

"Consider the source" -- Jim Bouton, Ball Four.

 

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#58 DLB

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 11:38 AM

In Ashburn families are into sharing. They are also not into trying the unfamiliar.

But for now they are stuck with their first outpost in Ashburn, a town where families need to be "educated" what to try.

I actually doubt that most in Ashburn know what they have in American Flatbread or that really funny looking wood burning oven in the middle of room is Mecca for those who include pizza in their Last Supper

All the above are from Joe H. How does he know this? All seem to suggest that Ashburn is some kind of hick town, when in fact, its a fairly educated and affluent area.

#59 DanielK

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 11:55 AM

All the above are from Joe H. How does he know this? All seem to suggest that Ashburn is some kind of hick town, when in fact, its a fairly educated and affluent area.

To me, the statements suggest that Ashburn is a place where there are a lot of families with kids who have moved there because the close-in suburbs are too expensive, and (contrasted with the city or a close in suburb), the family is more likely to go to Pizza Hut and drop $30 on dinner for 4 rather than AF and $75.

Which could turn out to be wrong, but castigating JoeH for suggesting that it might be the case given the relative lack of expensive or interesting restaurants out that way doesn't add up to me.

#60 Bob Wells

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 12:00 PM

All the above are from Joe H. How does he know this? All seem to suggest that Ashburn is some kind of hick town, when in fact, its a fairly educated and affluent area.

The whole thread is quite insulting. As if most people at Wisconsin and Macomb or wherever order the pizza with swiss chard on a regular basis.

What's interesting is that many of the "nondescript" strips and plazas in LoCo are home to the same kinds of interesting ethnic eateries found in really nondescript strips and plazas farther in that people like Joe H often rave about. The ones in Loudoun are just newer. Rangoli in South Riding, for instance. Less than a year old and already it's made it into the Washingtonian Cheap Eats guide.

"Consider the source" -- Jim Bouton, Ball Four.

 

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#61 DLB

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 12:07 PM

To me, the statements suggest that Ashburn is a place where there are a lot of families with kids who have moved there because the close-in suburbs are too expensive, and (contrasted with the city or a close in suburb), the family is more likely to go to Pizza Hut and drop $30 on dinner for 4 rather than AF and $75.

Which could turn out to be wrong, but castigating JoeH for suggesting that it might be the case given the relative lack of expensive or interesting restaurants out that way doesn't add up to me.

Have you seen some of the homes in Asburn? The same could have been said about Wegmans opening in Leesburg, with sushi and wine on hand. I am just shocked that there are so many people with such a narrow view of the world and of the DC area on this board.

#62 Bob Wells

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 12:13 PM

Have you seen some of the homes in Asburn? The same could have been said about Wegmans opening in Leesburg, with sushi and wine on hand. I am just shocked that there are so many people with such a narrow view of the world and of the DC area on this board.

Wasn't it also Joe H who told us that Wegman's was the greatest supermarket on the face of the earth?

Leesburg is also home to the European Gourmet Bakery -- http://www.europeangourmetbakery.com/. Somehow it's making a go of it out among the hayfields and silos. ;)

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#63 DanCole42

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 12:22 PM

This thread belongs in the "Shopping and Cooking" thread.

That's because it's a recipe for disaster.

Yuk yuk.

Generalizations = useful cognitive shortcuts, as any psychologist or neurosurgeon will tell you
People Who Take Offense at Innocuous Generalizations = overly touchy

Bad Generalization = People from Ashburn and all suburbs are inferior, and I refuse to buy a newspaper from them, nor will I hire one for my business, nor should they be permitted at the same water fountains as me
Good Generalization = Suburbs generally (generalization, GENERALLY, get it?, as in NOT EVERYONE!) have different demographics than cities, and businesses should make their decisions accordingly. Some of these demographic patterns are...

I've said my piece, but this thread should be deleted.
-Dan

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#64 bilrus

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 12:42 PM

Riiiiight -- that would explain why an Indian restaurant featuring that very bland, boring Indian-Chinese cuisine just opened in Ashburn.

From all of us in Loudoun County to all of you "closer in" -- keep your money at home. We'll see if this place stands or falls without you. Us hicks with the highest household income in the US will do have to bumble along on our hown.

Of course, the folks at American Flatbread could just be complete morons, huh? They must have thrown a dart to come up with such a nonsensical location.

I think you're being a little defensive here. I live in Ashburn and have for five and a half years. A high median household income does not necessarily mean a high level of disposable income. And it doesn't mean that dining is a priority. As I've said before, there are exceptions. People from Loudoun County who are on DR.com are exceptions. More common are the people on the Broadlands message board who complained because Bonefish was too fancy and expensive.

Hell, I'd like to think that our community is sophisticated enough to support a place like this. But my gut is that I'll believe it when I see it. Plus, the suggestions Joe and I made in the original thread woudl help that.

And as for Mirchi, have you tired it? I couldn't believe I was reading about the same place I've been to when that review came out. Nearly flavorless or strangely flavored my initial reaction on sampling some of the dishes there.
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#65 Bob Wells

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 01:17 PM

I think you're being a little defensive here. I live in Ashburn and have for five and a half years. A high median household income does not necessarily mean a high level of disposable income. And it doesn't mean that dining is a priority. As I've said before, there are exceptions. People from Loudoun County who are on DR.com are exceptions. More common are the people on the Broadlands message board who complained because Bonefish was too fancy and expensive.

Hell, I'd like to think that our community is sophisticated enough to support a place like this. But my gut is that I'll believe it when I see it. Plus, the suggestions Joe and I made in the original thread woudl help that.

And as for Mirchi, have you tired it? I couldn't believe I was reading about the same place I've been to when that review came out. Nearly flavorless or strangely flavored my initial reaction on sampling some of the dishes there.

Haven't tried Mirchi yet -- I read of another place in Centreville that not only features Indian-Chinese dishes, it specializes in that cuisine. Of course I can't think of the name right now. ;)

As for dining not being a priority out here, let's not forget that we're still talking about a pizza joint. I don't think it really takes that much disposable income per household for this place to do well. Now, whether that may require some menu tweaking or being more welcoming of carry-out orders, time will tell. But to say that the place is wrongly situated because few people order swiss chard pizza is just ridiculous.

As for people complaining about Bonefish on the message boards, I suspect they complain about a lot of other stuff in their lives too. They're probably the same people whining about their Internet service. :P

"Consider the source" -- Jim Bouton, Ball Four.

 

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#66 DanielK

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 01:31 PM

I don't think it really takes that much disposable income per household for this place to do well. Now, whether that may require some menu tweaking or being more welcoming of carry-out orders, time will tell. But to say that the place is wrongly situated because few people order swiss chard pizza is just ridiculous.

You're putting words in people's mouths. What was said was this place is wrongly situated because too many families out here will not appreciate paying well more than twice the price of a neighborhood joint for a family dinner if they're NOT ordering a swiss chard pizza.

As for people complaining about Bonefish on the message boards, I suspect they complain about a lot of other stuff in their lives too. They're probably the same people whining about their Internet service.

So in the first half of your post, you're defending your fellow Loudonite, and on the second you're making the same back of the hand generalizations. I think bilrus' point is well made - the people who should be the target audience willing to spend more on dining, those motivated enough to post about restaurants - are the ones slamming a moderate-priced, slightly-better-than-average seafood house as being too fancy and expensive. Can you really see that same group dropping money on a "fancy and expensive" pizza?

#67 Bob Wells

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 01:52 PM

You're putting words in people's mouths. What was said was this place is wrongly situated because too many families out here will not appreciate paying well more than twice the price of a neighborhood joint for a family dinner if they're NOT ordering a swiss chard pizza.
So in the first half of your post, you're defending your fellow Loudonite, and on the second you're making the same back of the hand generalizations. I think bilrus' point is well made - the people who should be the target audience willing to spend more on dining, those motivated enough to post about restaurants - are the ones slamming a moderate-priced, slightly-better-than-average seafood house as being too fancy and expensive. Can you really see that same group dropping money on a "fancy and expensive" pizza?

Listen, if this place tanks, it's no skin off my back.

Since you appear to be a Loudounite, you probably know that there are more than 250,000 people living here, the vast majority within a few miles of this restaurant. So what if a tiny minority whines about Bonefish? Those people don't seem like the target audience of American Flatbread at all. There are many more people very interested in seeing more and varied dining options. Several of my colleagues live out here and every one of them is an avid restaurant-goer.

"Consider the source" -- Jim Bouton, Ball Four.

 

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#68 DanielK

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 02:09 PM

Since you appear to be a Loudounite, you probably know that there are more than 250,000 people living here, the vast majority within a few miles of this restaurant.

Actually Potomac, MD, which if you count Chevy Chase/Potomac/Poolsville/Bethesda zip codes, is nearly 200,000 people, and even higher per capita income than Loudon.

So what if a tiny minority whines about Bonefish? Those people don't seem like the target audience of American Flatbread at all. There are many more people very interested in seeing more and varied dining options. Several of my colleagues live out here and every one of them is an avid restaurant-goer.

The friends of mine who live in Loudon (bilrus excepted) are all families with young children who bought way more house than they could afford, and have little disposable income. You say that this population isn't the target audience of AF? I agree with you. But when you make the assumption that there "are many more people interested..." I think you're being specious. The people that log on to a Broadlands website to discuss restaurants SHOULD be the target audience, but if they dismiss Bonefish as "fancy and expensive", that's a sign of trouble for AF to me.

#69 Bob Wells

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 02:24 PM

Actually Potomac, MD, which if you count Chevy Chase/Potomac/Poolsville/Bethesda zip codes, is nearly 200,000 people, and even higher per capita income than Loudon.

That may be, but Loudoun is an entire county and Potomac isn't. Comparing apples to apples, its per capita income is higher than Montgomery or Fairfax or Howard or any other county in the US. I'm sure people find that hard to believe but it's indeed the case.

But when you make the assumption that there "are many more people interested..." I think you're being specious.

How many people are ranting about Bonefish on those message boards? I'll be generous and guess 50. Maybe 100? I don't think it's much of a reach at all to say that "many more" people than that are interested in seeing new restaurants like AF.

Given the massive success of Wegman's in Loudoun, I'm really sort of amazed that people find the opening of this place to be so shocking. When I saw the ad for AF in one of the local fishwraps, I thought, "Hmm. another new place to try. Looks interesting." No big whoop.

"Consider the source" -- Jim Bouton, Ball Four.

 

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#70 ustreetguy

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 02:28 PM

Although I do find this thread entertaining, how much more of this "my penis is bigger than your penis" do we have to take? ;)
Larry T.

Still waiting to get my refrigerator fixed...

#71 DLB

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 02:29 PM

Actually Potomac, MD, which if you count Chevy Chase/Potomac/Poolsville/Bethesda zip codes, is nearly 200,000 people, and even higher per capita income than Loudon.
The friends of mine who live in Loudon (bilrus excepted) are all families with young children who bought way more house than they could afford, and have little disposable income. You say that this population isn't the target audience of AF? I agree with you. But when you make the assumption that there "are many more people interested..." I think you're being specious. The people that log on to a Broadlands website to discuss restaurants SHOULD be the target audience, but if they dismiss Bonefish as "fancy and expensive", that's a sign of trouble for AF to me.

Please ;) I am sure there are many people in DC area that bought more house than they can afford, but that does not stop them from eating out. Actually, northern VA as a whole has a higher per capita income that southern Maryland. This is why we have better shopping, and a least one 4 star restaurant.

#72 mdt

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 02:30 PM

That may be, but Loudoun is an entire county and Potomac isn't. Comparing apples to apples, its per capita income is higher than Montgomery or Fairfax or Howard or any other county in the US. I'm sure people find that hard to believe but it's indeed the case.

What does this have to do with anything? People with money have better taste? I think that one it quickly proven to be false. And Wegman's popularity does not have much in common with a upscale pizza place. Granted they carry specialty items, but the vast majority of the items in the store are regular items and regular prices.

#73 Tweaked

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 02:34 PM

My parents dragged my brother and I to the Bonefish Grill in Myrtle Beach it sucked. Four times we had to go through the waitress asking us what "Awesome Side" we would like. I cut her off before my head exploded.

It epitomized everything that is wrong with corporate run mass dining.

I don't even know what the F**k you guys are arguing about on this thread, but that's my rant about Bonefish.

Play on.
Meat is Murder...Tasty Tasty Murder

#74 DanielK

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 02:38 PM

Boy, this is fun.

FWIW, there's no Wegman's in Montgomery County because they can't get the zoning variance to build a store of the size they want. I don't think that there's any question that a Rockville Pike location anywhere in the county wouldn't be hugely successful, but there's nowhere to put a store of that size.

#75 brettashley01

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 02:41 PM

Wow, 22 users reading this topic.

How many of you join me in raised brow, embarassment and wondering when the second part of the Civil War (Battle.....PIZZA) will officially begin?
Jeeeez....

#76 gourmetgrazer

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 02:58 PM

Why, JoeH, do I and my wife and three kids need to be educated? I don't live in Ashburn, I live in Alexandria, but how unseemly it is to make a derogatory generalization about "families". The assumption here is not that Ashburn is a hick town, but it is populated by people too stupid to appreciate good food. Irregardless of the economic standing of individuals and families in Loudoun County JoeH has made the case that families who live in the suburbs are stupid and boring. I know those two words do not appear in his posts, but there is an unwritten subtext at the core of his argument. Basically it states that this pizza joint for whatever reason is wasted on people in the suburbs. I do not agree. A great meal should be an everyday thing for all people, and what constitutes a good meal is defined by individuals who eat them. Are you saying that my in-laws are stupid because they wouldn't pay 20 dollars for any pizza, let alone 16, that they are unfrefined because they like to eat at a local meat and three that you wouldn't include in your superfluous fluff pieces singing the praises of has been celebrity chefs? I think you forget that people are entitled to enjoy what they want without having to hear about how wrong they are from others. tatse is an individual thing, subjective and free from outside coinstraints. When you comment on how people don't get what they are missing, or need to be educated, you fall into the political trap of "if people only knew what I know, they'd think like me", how boring a world where we all eat chain made BBQ pizza.
PS-
What is the problem with vans in the parking lot as well? What the f does it matter what people drive, are my kids ruining your enjoyment of a BBQ pizza, which having never tried it nor planning to, smacks of CPK mish mash, a suprise that someone so effusive in his praise for absentee chefs and their brand of hyper regionality would find comfort and joy in a BBQ pizza. I think BBQ is BBQ and Pizza should be pizza, sauage and peppers, sure, pepperoni, great, oh god I may just like plain cheese don't tell Jose or I may never get a table at minibar again...

#77 ferment everything

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 03:17 PM

Although I do find this thread entertaining, how much more of this "my penis is bigger than your penis" do we have to take? ;)

My penis is the biggest.

And DC is the best. :P
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#78 Waitman

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 03:23 PM

Actually, the biggest problem with suburbanites isn't that they only go to crappy chain restaurants, it's that they're so defensive about where they live.

By the way, if you're going to try and make the point that suburbanites are not morons (some of my best friends.... ;) it's probably best not to start a sentence with the non-word "irregardless."

I'm just saying....

"Don't go braggin' about how cool and clean your kitchen is. 'Caus if your kitchen's so cool and clean, ain't nothin' cookin'!"

-- Jesse Jackson


#79 DonRocks

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 03:24 PM

[The cat is back
from playing tennis,
my little mice.

Click]

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#80 DanielK

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 03:40 PM

My last post, I swear.

Why, JoeH, do I and my wife and three kids need to be educated?


He didn't say or imply that - you did.

I don't live in Ashburn, I live in Alexandria, but how unseemly it is to make a derogatory generalization about "families".

His generalization wasn't derogatory - it was an attempt to make a business plan justification for where a store should go. I have a family and live in the suburbs, and I thought his characterization was pretty spot on for most of the suburban families I know.

The assumption here is not that Ashburn is a hick town, but it is populated by people too stupid to appreciate good food. Irregardless of the economic standing of individuals and families in Loudoun County JoeH has made the case that families who live in the suburbs are stupid and boring. I know those two words do not appear in his posts, but there is an unwritten subtext at the core of his argument. Basically it states that this pizza joint for whatever reason is wasted on people in the suburbs. I do not agree.


None of us agree with that assumption, because nobody said that. You did. You can't ascribe unwritten subtext to an author who is coming out and saying something else.

A great meal should be an everyday thing for all people, and what constitutes a good meal is defined by individuals who eat them. Are you saying that my in-laws are stupid because they wouldn't pay 20 dollars for any pizza, let alone 16, that they are unfrefined because they like to eat at a local meat and three that you wouldn't include in your superfluous fluff pieces singing the praises of has been celebrity chefs?

Holy crap, where did this one come from? The point is not that people are wrong for not choosing the $20/person pizza, but that the people who are likely to do this frequently don't live in Loudon! I'm house rich and cash poor, like many dual-income with kids families, and I wouldn't make AF my regular stop either.

...a BBQ pizza, which having never tried it nor planning to ...


Which is actually the entire point, and thank you for proving it.

#81 DanCole42

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Posted 04 June 2007 - 03:41 PM

I'm making a citizen's locking of this thread.

[Locked]

You people have sullied the waters of the Lagoon of Peace!
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