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Apr 21, 2005 08:41 AM


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The Hartford (CT) Advocate, the local alternative newspaper, just published the results of its annual "Best of Hartford Readers' Poll". Named as both "Best Beer" and "Best Domestic Beer" was Budweiser! Captain Morgan was voted "Best Rum". I despair!!

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  1. This is not particularly surprising; I have seen similar results in every city I have ever lived in. The sad fact is that most people (the general public, the teeming masses, the great unwashed, or however you wish to think of them) like lousy food & drink; in fact have lousy taste in general. This is the only theory that explains the popularity of boy bands, reality tv shows, Micky D's, twinkies, and so on.

    But keep in mind, as I think Mark Twain said, in matters of opinion, our adversaries are insane.

    For the rest of us, there's

    13 Replies
    1. re: Fydeaux

      Well put. Each year Pizza Hut is voted best pizza here - yes it's Pittsburgh but what town DOESN'T have one place better than Pizza Hut?

      1. re: AimeeP

        The results of those polls are always tainted because distributors/owners force all of their employees to vote the correct way.

        1. re: AimeeP
          JK Grence (the Cosmic Jester)

          Reminds me a bit of the Tucson Weekly's Best of Tucson, For the last 16 years running, their Best Pizza has gone to a local chain called Magpie's, and they always win by a ridiculous margin. I think that it's crossed a certain threshold and now people vote for it more as a running joke.

        2. re: Fydeaux

          I agree with everything you said, except the reality TV part. I find, if you select the right reality shows, they are far superior to 95% of the "creative" crap that's on the air. Truth is stranger than fiction and I'd rather see reality TV than some Hollywood hack's idea of (melo)drama or listen to a laugh track on a sit com while the SAME joke is recycled yet again.

          And the other thing of note about the original post is that this was an ALTERNATIVE paper that picked Bud as best beer. Apparently the readers aren't as "alternative" as they would like to beleive.

          1. re: danna

            The "alternative" paper in St. Louis also runs a restaurant poll and the top picks are generally well-publicized chains (best salad: Sweet Tomatoes) or over-hyped local places (best bagels: Saint Louis Bread Company) (which now serves its asiago-tainted dough-balls nationwide as Panera). SLBC bagels became so popular that my favorite bagel shop closed because there wasn't enough demand for real bagels.

            I hate the restaurant polls.

            1. re: Grace

              Real "alternative" people never take the trouble to respond to polls (unless they decide to send in one that's completely blank).

          2. re: Fydeaux

            reminds me of the time about 10 years ago when I was in Harrisburg PA and they had a top 10 restaurant list that included Red Lobster
            my term for the general non-Hound public is "civilians"
            And two more reasons to explain McDeath's popularity (twinkies too for that matter) is that it's cheap quick and convenient. 3 reasons.

            1. re: Jamie D

              4. I can walk there in 5 minutes
              5. It's open at 5 AM

              If Chez Panisse could do the same, I might eat there more often 8-)

              1. re: Shep

                Yes, but do you vote for it as "the best of" anything???

                1. re: Sir Gawain
                  JK Grence (the Cosmic Jester)

                  Best Big Macs, definitely.

                  And there is nothing quite like sneaking some fries out of the bag just after you pull out of the drive-thru lane; no other fast-food place quite gives me the same reaction.

                  1. re: Sir Gawain

                    Co-finalist "Top Five Places Serving Food At 5 AM Sunday"

                    Other finishers being Taco Bell, Jack In The Box, Nation's Giant 1/4 Pounder, and Denny's.

                    Actually, a beef-and-potatoes burrito and a diet Coke is pretty special at dawn....

              2. re: Fydeaux
                bob oppedisano

                Glad to see the board free of nasty elitism. Come on: what does a silly "poll" in some give away rag say about anything? I'd venture that the po' folks pushing carts in Krogers you sneer about don't care either. I don't choose to buy pop corn or soda or frozen anything, and avoid when I can fast food, because it's just not to my liking. But something has to explain why I seem to always have a choice of extra virgin olive oil or fresh greens or at least some locally sourced "chowish" food at even a remote red-state market. And why whenever we do get to eat at what you'd bless as a chowish place, they always appear to be filled.Somebody's buying, and they can't all be reading this post.

                1. re: bob oppedisano

                  I am 43. I grew up in California. When I was a kid, I had never seen balsamic or rice wine vinegar, wine in a bottle with a cork (other than Mateus), lettuce other than iceberg, toasted sesame oil, ungrated Parmesan, Meyer lemons etc in a grocery store.

                  Things are changing both for the better and the worse. People who don't care about food have more terrible choices of chips and sugary breakfast cereal. People who care have more choices, too.

              3. Far Far, If you want to get REALLY depressed, just look at the contents of the shopping cart in front of you at the grocery check out line. Rarely will you see anything but all pre-prepared foods, diet sodas and mountain size boxes of Goldfish crackers. The good news is, most of these people will be gone soon.

                7 Replies
                1. re: Leper

                  This topic was recently the subject of a great rant in SF Gate. Linked below.


                  1. re: Grace

                    Now THAT is what I call a rant. Excellent ranting skills has Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist.

                    1. re: Grace

                      Grace, Thank you for the link! What a great interpretation of what I was feeling. Fortunately, I work in an area with many small, individually owned ethic stores. It makes shopping a joy. I have one "grocery" store that Asian owned with a Hispanic meat department, Chinese takeout and a Russian deli. (All in one location proving that, yes, we can all get along.) My local German grocery smokes their own meats, makes their own breads and sausages. Shopping there is not a joyous as they are first generation German and humorless. (Still, that adds to the unique atmosphere as well.) Finally, I have a theory about the amount of diet soda in a cart and the correlation to the size of the cart's owner. But it's just a theory and will require further observation.

                      1. re: Leper

                        Well, they (the great scientific "they") have found correlations between obesity and drinking diet sodas - as in, those who drink regular soda are overall slimmer. This surprises me not in the least. I figure anyone who can drink that nasty, chemical-tasting stuff probably isn't pairing it with fresh vegetables and fruits.

                      2. re: Grace

                        Really. Thanks for the link and turning me on to Mark Morford. Checking the archives, so of his stuff is hilarious. The man must have the lowest blood pressure in town. Besides, I assume, eating healtily he must be totally stress free with all that venting.

                        Now if the Chronicle would only make him a restaurant critic we might have something.

                        1. re: Krys

                          He's a yoga instructor, too.

                        2. re: Grace

                          Great column, all right. Made me hungry. I gots to get by Albertson's on the way home.

                          Thanks, Krys.

                      3. These polls only reflect the opinions of people that take the time to fill them out.

                        Did you put your two cents in?

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Tugboat

                          Good point, Tugboat. I must confess that I didn't.

                        2. What a travesty of justice with Thomas Hooker beers being readily available in that area. The masses are asses.

                          1. Oh, come on - why the surprise? Every "poll" of the general public (and ESPECIALLY polls of precious little "alternative newspeper" twenty-somethings) results in THE LATEST PIECE OF POPULAR DRECK being voted "the greatest [fill in the blank] of all time."