Question Of The Week: Which Is More Important--Service, Atmosphere Or Food?

Both Leslie Brenner and I hammered the kitchen at Nick & Sam's Grill. But there's no denying the restaurant's popularity. Some people rank Mi Cocina amongst the city's top ten restaurants while others--myself included--consider it mediocre at best. Again, it turns out, those who favor the local chain comment on people watching as much as the restaurant's dishes. Clearly great food isn't necessary for an establishment's success. But why not? Isn't that what we want from a restaurant?

Results from last week, in which we asked if there were truly 'jinxed' restaurant locations:

The results are indisputable. Yes, some buildings carry the burden of bad luck, at least according to those who responded. As foodbevlaw points out, locations "can be jinxed with poor visibility, ingress/egress, traffic flow, etc. It is exceedingly difficult to overcome the public's perception that a restaurant going into one of those spaces will not make it, which leads to diners not getting too attached." Only Cassandra Fonti del Cedro really demurred, drawing a distinction between jinxed spots and bad ones.

Personally, I don't buy into the jinx idea. But I think foodbevlaw is right: people respond to a belief that restaurants in a certain location fail. Still, those places are often popular for a period before closing down, so...Of course, we liked this approach to the problem, from TLS: "If I took over a jinxed location you can bet I would be having some feng shui, voodoo magic, priest blessings, whatever it took to get it right. And then I would name my place 'Jinx' and laugh in the face of bad luck."

Not a bad idea at all. So the Cubs could rearrange the seating, pour weed killer on the vines and change Wrigley Field to 'Field Available for Rent After October 4'...

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