During these tough economic times we must be careful how we spend our money and tough choices must be made. I know that here lately I (my wife and I) think twice about going out to eat, as I am sure most everyone does. But when the the decision has been made where do you go... Local chef/owner place or a big ole' chain? Well the choice for me and EASY... the local chef/owner place. I almost never go to a chain restaurant, never have and definitely not now. Why? Well I want to spend my money where I know the people. There are only a few places that I go when I go out and I know the owners/chefs and most of their staff. I know how they operate and their food philosophy and want to support what are trying to do. And the food is ALWAYS better.
If I am going to spend money I want to know that is going to be spent on something truly great. I mean isn't that what its all about... the food and then how you are treated while there. I know for me it is. Chains just cannot compare. Don't get me wrong there are a few (very few) chains that do some of the things right. But why take a chance? Go to where you know you will have a good experience and the food will be amazing. After all money does not grow on trees and if you are going to spend it, spend it wisely.
So get out there and do your research and get to know the owners and the chef's of the local places and spend your money where you will feel good about it and not regret the decision afterwards.