Saturday, July 23, 2011

Bowie Restaurant Project: What's a Restaurant?

When I went to the Bowie Town Center food court to review The White Tiger, I took a few pictures of other restaurants for future reviews. Afterwards, I kept thinking about Auntie Anne's. My thoughts shifted from, "When am I going to get around to reviewing it?" to "Wait, is that really a restaurant?"

The answer is "no". If you look at the definition of "restaurant", it's
an establishment where meals are served to customers
The key word here is "meals". A pretzel is tasty, a pretzel is a snack, but a pretzel is not a meal. Even if you put pepperoni on it. On the basis that they do not serve "meals", I am disqualifying the following six listings from the Bowie Restaurant Guide:
  • Auntie Anne's
  • Best Pie Company
  • Cakery
  • Cold Stone Creamery
  • Rita's Italian Ice
  • Simple Pleasures Ice Cafe
While I was discussing this with Christina, she suggested that a place would need to have seating to qualify as a restaurant. While I initially objected -- there is nothing explicitly in the definition requiring seating -- I was persuaded by two things. First, practically everyone on Facebook and Google+ who answered this question agreed with her. Second, Christina pointed out that if you don't require seating, the deli counter at Giant would qualify as a restaurant. On that basis, I am disqualifying the following four takeout establishments:
  • China Chef
  • Crescent Food Market
  • Domino's Pizza
  • Papa John's
I am not totally certain on the Crescent Food Market, but it appears to be a convenience store with a deli counter. Since we're going to be living right around the corner from it, I will find out more and reserve the right to re-qualify it.

After taking into account the two vacant/closed establishments, that brings the total number of restaurants in Bowie down to 79. There are a few more that may end up being disqualified. In particular, the Muffin Man Caribbean Cafe has yet to open, and walking by it, I'm not sure if it ever will.  But -- I figure if it opens before I review all the other restaurants in Bowie, I'll give it a chance.

On another note, I have decided to release all of the photographs from this project under a Creative Commons license. Basically, that means that other people are allowed to use the photos; all they have to do is to give me credit. I'm not sure if anyone will want to, but it's part of a general effort I'm making to have my web efforts be of as much use as possible. You can find an album of the photos below; I'll be copying more in the future. (And you can find out some of the upcoming reviews based on the photos.)
Bowie Restaurant Photos

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