It seems that so many times when I read a review of one of my beloved local restaurants here in the suburbs, I see a comment like "Pretty decent for the 'burbs." Or, "Surprising to find such quality in the suburbs!"
Is there a pretentiousness to the city? Is it deserved? For example, Philly Magazine's Best Sushi for 2010 was Ooka, out here in Montgomeryville. Personally, that place is no higher than 4th on my list of sushi places near here.
Are you trolling, or tying to open a dialogue about ubran-centric views in the Mid-Atlantic region?
If you are looking to have a thoughtful discussion about post WWII housing development, race and ethnicity in the Philadelphia area, the effect of per-capita income on corporate location planning and the way urban planning shapes individual perception, then I am certainly interested.
I certainly was not trolling, and I'm not sure how my post could come across as such. In case the question was missed: Is there a general perception that restaurants in the downtown area are likely better than their suburban counterparts? Is there good reason for this perception if it does exist? Or is this general perception a misconception by suburbanites?
Hmmm. Not sure if that was directed at me... Just in case it was, let me respond by saying that my question is straightforward, on topic, and not seeking to provoke anyone. I am not attacking people from any region. I am asking about the perception of the quality of food based on where it is served. Either respond to the question or don't. I don't want my thread hijacked by interwebs noobs tossing around terms they don't understand.
It could be directed at me. I am not really sure either.
Yeah, I completely forgot about this post after my somewhat inflammatory reply. Sorry about that. I was really interested
Here is thing about downtown vs. Suburban restaurants in my opinion: Downtown has just plain more. There is a question of volume before you take anything else into consideration. More quality places with a broader customer base that can pull from a larger pool of skilled workers. You could also argue (as I am) that this creates a more competition in general.
The Second major issue is crappy chain restaurants. They don't like the urban core. Apparently according to the numbers, there is less profit to be made in dense urban areas (I don't understand the reasons behind this. But it applies to major retailers as well. The IKEA in south Philadelphia targets Suburban New Jersey shoppers for example). Most of the offerings that Suburbanites have are lousy chains that serve near -identical menus dictated from corporate headquarters. I think that in most suburban areas it is exceptionally hard to get a good meal at any price.
That being said I know of some excellent and superior restaurants . For example the Main Line has some very good places, some of which I worked at in college when I was a server. I am not familiar with your area, but it sounds like it also has some terrific specimens. Particularly of Sushi places which Philadelphia is somewhat lacking in. I would argue that these areas are the exception, rather the norm. They are the result of concentrated wealth around an old 'main drag' arrangement that fosters centralization of businesses (malls don't usually count).
So, there is my 2 cents. There is a perception of urban superiority in fine food offerings. I don't think that it is a result of pretentiousness on the part of urbanizes dictating the perceptions of their suburban peers . I think that it is broadly representative view with few notable exceptions.
Like I said, I am not familiar with your area and I would be interested to hear a description of it since it seems to be an exception to my views.
There are probably some pretty big hoes in my argument. Feel free to have a poke at them. Have a nice day.