Monday, July 04, 2011

Bowie Restaurant Project: Introduction

When we started to talk about moving to Bowie, one of the things that worried us was the lack of quality restaurants. When I discovered that the City of Bowie had posted a restaurant guide, I hoped that it would help me get a handle on the local dining options. At first glance, the choices did not look promising. Among the guide's 91 options were 2 McDonald's, 2 Pizza Huts, 3 Starbucks, 1 Starbucks/Pizza Hut and 7 Subways.

And yet, I knew there were some decent restaurants in Bowie. Grace's Fortune, for example, is always an excellent choice for taking someone out to lunch who is visiting our office.

Soon I got the idea that I would visit all of the restaurants in Bowie and review them on my blog, to ferret out the gems in between the fast-food sameness. I call this my "Bowie Restaurant Project".

Some explanations/ground rules.

1. I am using foursquare to track my visits to these restaurants. (As of this writing, it looks like I've been to 21 of them.) In some cases, I visited restaurants before I started using foursquare in January 2010. I will try to revisit those to have a more recent experience, but I don't promise to.

2. In fact, I reserve the right to modify the project as it goes along, based on my whims and tastes. In particular, I may not visit all 7 Subways, and even if I do, I probably will not be able to tell them apart.

3. To start, I am going to knock the total of 91 restaurants down to 89. First, Bowie counts "Vacant" at "13015 9th Street" as one of the 91. Although that location appears to be served by "Mama Cocoa's Delights" now, since it isn't listed in the guide, it doesn't qualify. (Maybe when the 2012 guide comes out I'll be able to determine whether a candy shop counts as a restaurant.) Second, another of the 91 is Seattle's Best, which was located in Border's, which is now closed.

4. I am going to rate the restaurants on a 5-star scale. Rather than rating solely on quality and value, I am also going to judge how much the restaurant contributes to the Bowie restaurant landscape.  A mediocre Chinese restaurant might get 2 or 2 1/2 stars, because Bowie already has 10 Chinese restaurants. But a hypothetical mediocre Thai restaurant might get 3 or even 3 1/2 stars, simply because Bowie currently has no options for Thai food.

5. You can view all of the reviews collected here.

6. Update (7/23/11): I have disqualified 10 more "restaurants" for either not serving meals or being takeout-only.
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