For a list of all the Bowie Restaurant Project reviews, look here.
At 18 out of 78(ish) restaurants reviewed, I'm about a quarter of the way through this project. The process has been somewhat ad hoc -- for example, where I decided what constitutes a restaurant.
One thing I've been thinking about is how many visits to give a restaurant before writing a review. One visit might not be enough -- I could catch a place on a rare bad day, or I could miss the fact that an establishment is terrible half of the time. On the other hand, this is not exactly a profit-making project, and I don't have the time to eat at every Subway twice in order to establish that it's exactly like every other Subway.
So here are the criteria I've established.
- If it's part of a chain, and I've already visited other restaurants in the chain, one visit will suffice.
- If not, two visits should suffice.
- If the restaurant has table service, at least one of the visits should be dine-in; otherwise, I'll just look around at the seating options and feel free to take my food home.
That leaves...about 50 restaurants to go. Ouch. Some are going to be tricky due to the dine-in requirement -- it's not easy dragging toddlers to new restaurants (though it's fun when they love it, as happened at one place this weekend). Some are going to be a pain because they have a dine-in requirement and are so uninspiring that I'm going to have trouble convincing someone to join me for the dine-in, with or without toddlers. (On a related note, see this article "What Does Your Choice of Casual Dining Chain Say About You?" Of the six chains they make fun of, Bowie lacks only a Red Lobster.)
On the other hand, half of what's left can probably be knocked out with a simple willingness to branch out during my lunchtime forays. This conflicts with my desire to pack a lunch more often, as well as the tempting convenience offered by the Uptown Cafe, whose arrival I noted last month. Still, if I end up at one or two a week, the project should move along to its planned 2012 conclusion.