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Aug 20, 2006 11:02 PM

Are you a Chowpioneer or a Chowfollower?

I have noticed a number of posts from people who pass by a restaurant day in and day out but come to Chowhound to see if others have actually gone in.

So my question is, do you try out a place in the hopes of discovering a buried treasure or do you wait until others have ventured in first?

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  1. I am both, I think. I love discovering new, great (and even not so great, sometimes) places on my own, but I also get excited about trying chow I've seen discussed here. I'm not sure I've ever asked the boards myself about a restaurant I was curious about--I figure I might as well just walk in and eat something.

    1. I'm also a little of both. If I find a great new gem, I'll gladly share it. But I also like to know what i'm getting into at some places.

      1. I'm a bit of both too..but seem to be a chowfollower more. It's ok to try new places for me if it's not too expensive ($5-$10pp) but when it gets up in price I like to know others had good food there and what they ordered.

        Sometimes I forget my notes of places I want to go and order poorly or just skip the restaurant until I have my notes.

        1. I love finding new places , traveling to an unknown city and ignoring conventional advice and following my nose to find and understand local joints is possibly one of my greatest pleasures in life . Zagats got nothing on me , as far as I'm concerned . And really , my opinion is the only one one ( with the exception of my wife ) that I really care about . Curiously , the exception is my home town , where I think we all need to listen to others .We all have our favorite this and that , but new places open up all the time . Example - I have always felt that a close by place made the best pizza in metro Detroit ( Como's ) until I followed up on a post on a different board and tried Tomato Apizza . Best pizza I've ever had . Anywhere . So , it pays to listen , but I still trust my instincts , and my nose .

          1. For the latest trendy restaurant of the monement, I'm a follower. I usually wait two months after reading posts. If there is a love fest for the place when it opens, in is almost two months to the day when the first 'it isn't all that' report comes in.

            If people hate the place when it opens, same thing, someone finally pipes up and says they like it.

            In the meantime I'll pay attention to the good and bad dishes and any hints. I will usually order a dish that I have't read about. When I'm spending major bucks for food, I'd rather do some lurking for a while.

            For everything else, I'm likslier to step in the door, get a menu, and look for what is unusual on the menu.

            It gets me crazy when I hear people who pass places by for years and then ask on the board. I can't urge people enough to at least step in the door and take a look.

            And yet I don't take my own advice. I've lived in this area for almost two years now and never stepped in any of the local Mexican markets. I started doing that recently and learned most places make their own chorizo. There are hidden gems in the most unlikely places.