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  1. As I grow older, some of my positions harden to immovability, but on the topic of national restaurant chains, I find myself softening somewhat. While I still greatly prefer independent mom-and-pops, as well as a few local chains, there are a very few national chains starting to grow on me. I'm eliminating the hamburger and pizza chains, and I'm avoiding the high end Ruth's Chris or Morton's as well. I'm eliminating local chains, which takes Lebanese Taverna off my list and GAR Group restaurants off your list. And I remain repulsed by Olive Garden, Chili's, TGI Fridays, and Outback Steakhouse, and that ilk. I'm talking about The Waffle House, where you can get honest food for reasonable prices. If you don't expect much, you'll come out of there happy and full, and without a significant dent in the wallet. I'm talking about Sizzler, and whenever I'm in the SoCal area, I'm hitting a Sizzler for that salad bar that goes perfectly with my so-so steak. I'm talking Hillstone Restaurant Group, with its local outpost the Woodmont Grill, which has a national standard of quality for all of its restaurants. And I might even be talking about PF Chang's, even though the "PF" is Paul Fleming, but I can't resist those chicken lettuce cup appetizers and my guilty pleasure crispy string beans. There, got that off my chest.....
  2. "Coffee Outsiders Have Their Eye on DC - Are They Going To Hurt the Local Shops?" by Tim Carman on washingtonpost.com Tim Carman's take on the coffeeshop turf. I understand that Taylor Gourmet sent the Chinatown Coffee crew a bunch of Philly sandwiches in response to this article!
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