There's no denying that this country loves to grub. Google and Zagat teamed up to question more than 9,000 diners across the United States to determine the State of American Dining in 2016. The national survey reveals some major insights into Dallas-Fort Worth's restaurant scene — and the diners themselves.
Unsurprisingly, the vast majority of DFW residents consider themselves foodies. While 40 percent of local respondents confidently claim the title, another 42 percent say they secretly hate the term, and 17 percent completely reject the label. It makes sense that most of us are foodies though, because locals also report dining out an average of 5.5 times per week.
Those meals are easier on our wallets than the rest of the country. DFW's self-reported average for one dinner is $31.47, which just barely misses out on being among the 10 least expensive price tags. When it comes to tipping, we go over the national average by leaving an 19.2 percent gratuity.
So what kind of food are we spending all that dough on? No surprise, but Mexican is our favorite culinary genre, with 22 percent of the vote. American food came in next with 20 percent, followed by Italian (16 percent). Seafood, Japanese, and steakhouse fare tied next at 7 percent.
Fifty-one percent of DFW denizens claim they had their "best meal ever" at a high-end restaurant, while neighborhood joints came next at 19 percent, home kitchens at 15 percent, and local dives with 13 percent. Although we love going out, our dining deal breakers include cash-only establishments (39 percent), jacket requirements (32 percent), communal tables (29 percent), and prix fixe menus (25 percent).
It may not be a deal breaker, but we are very concerned about the noise levels at local restaurants — 25 percent of respondents said that service was the No. 1 problem with dining experiences. Behind aural disturbances, we're annoyed by service (24 percent), prices (14 percent), parking (13 percent), the food itself (12 percent), crowds (18 percent), and traffic (2 percent).
Surprisingly, phones aren't that annoying to DFW diners. Fifty-seven percent report that using a phone at the table is okay in moderation, with only 38 percent claiming that it's totally unacceptable. As far as food trends go, we're mostly over gluten-free dishes but pretty evenly split on veggie-centric menus and mason jar drinks. Chefs, take note: We are still digging Sriracha and ramen, but it's time for quinoa to go.
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