Question Of The Week: Does Dallas Really Have More Restaurants Per Capita Than Other Cities?

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You know, I had planned to further stoke the vegan-meat eater fires lit by Veggie Guy. But someone posted this question on the blog and it caught my interest.

We've all heard it--Dallas has more restaurants per capita than New York, or than all other American cities...there are a few variations. Not only is this difficult to quantify, with restaurants opening and closing all the time this is a difficult statement to verify as well. And when we began questioning the definition of restaurant, it becomes even more difficult.

So--what do you think? Is this just crap made up by marketers? Was it true at some point? Is it still true? Or, more importantly, why should we consider quantity so important?

Results from last week, in which we asked if watching reality food programs was worth the time...

The question generated some serious back and forth, so we'll keep it simple with three examples of what people think about this issue...if, indeed, we can rightly call it an issue.

From Jean Piaget (who died while writing Stuck in the Preoperational Stage, said to be based on my adult life): "'Reality' food programs are worth watching (for those concerned about food), not as entertainment or education (since the 'reality' always earns scare quotes), but because the personalities, plots, and themes do influence the reality of dining--customer expectations, food styles, the way chefs present themselves to the public (even the fact that they increasingly present themselves to the public rather than staying in the kitchen). How about watching the show and analyzing it, not in terms of the content (as everyone else is doing), but with an eye towards the medium?"

It was a very good point, countered by tireoftheimbeciles, who said: "It would be very difficult, I think, to judge with an eye towards medium as opposed to content, since the content is within the medium. If the content within the medium makes one want to gouge one's own eyes out with ancient hairpins because of the moral and ethical atrocity one witnessed, ala Oedipus Rex, one would say the medium is not worth judging. Not because the medium itself lacks merit, but because the content within has become such a separate entity beyond the medium, the medium becomes irrelevant."

He/she had us at ancient hairpins.

Leave it to the indomitable TLS to see value in both sides: "If you are looking to learn something from reality television you are wasting your time but if you wish to be highly entertained you must tune in! I watch too many reality shows (stop looking at me like that) and I know they have ceased to be reality, are often scripted, and employ contestants more for their shock value than their talent but dammit I love them!"

Just how the hell did she know I was giving her a look? TLS, you can always watch football instead.

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