Question Of The Week: How Long Do You Wait Before Checking Out A New Restaurant?

We've discussed this in the past, though in regards to restaurant reviews. Critics generally allow a new place one month to work out the kinks before we pounce.

This practice has drawbacks, of course. Years ago New York Times writer Eric Asimov called it "bullshit" when I mentioned that chefs expect such a delay. His point: if they haven't worked out the kinks, they shouldn't be charging full price; if they are charging full price, they are open for review.

Sounds reasonable. Besides, by the time I get around to a newly opened restaurant, hundreds of people have already tried it and made their decisions.

But are those decisions fair? If you have a disappointing experience at a new place, do you give it a second chance? Or do you, too, wait for the kitchen to work out their problems?

Results from last week, in which we asked if Dallas really did have more restaurants per capita than other cities, as is so often claimed:

Surprisingly, many think the claim may indeed have some merit--not that anyone is counting. TLS, for example, declined to do the higher math involved in truly answering such a question...well, she said "long division," which to some of us is higher math...but said numbers were important. Someone under the name curmudgeon (well, curmungeon, actually--but we don't mind typos at City of Ate) added: "As someone who has traveled quite a bit and been associated with the restaurant biz, I would bet that it is correct if you consider ALL the food venues. The next time your driving anywhere try and count all the food service operations you see. It is crazy but that is what Dallasites do. There isn't much else to do around here."

This caused the discussion to unravel. But before it turned into a listing of what there IS to do in this city, respondents decided to shrug off the claim as a Dallas thing.

As luniz put it: "I'm sure Europeans would say "how very American" regarding quantity over quality, Asia would scoff at how provincial we are. It's not the kind of thing to brag about." And, finally, according to

The Big Guy, "Dallas is a town that has created it's own mythology about such important topics as it's: Founding (No reason to be here except commerce), Race relations (Never had the problems with integration otehr southern cities had), Business climate (Can Do city)... Why should the 'more restaurants per capita' mythology be any more accurate, or less self serving?"

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Dave Faries
Contact: Dave Faries