Article: “Trying Out Top Restaurants but Without the Usual Fuss” (Jul.2006)

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excerpt:
“You don’t buy a car without taking it for a spin, a pair of pants without testing the fit. But when it comes to a meal in a fancy restaurant, which can cost a lot more than slacks, you have to commit to many bites, minutes and dollars without any advance taste of how well it will suit you.

Except, that is, when you don’t.

…In the lounge a visitor can get a snapshot of what a chef can do and what a restaurant can be without having to pledge fidelity to the tune of two and a half hours and $200.”

source: “Trying Out Top Restaurants but Without the Usual Fuss” by Frank Bruni (New York Times, Jul.12,2006)

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Article: “Consumer Reports’ Survey of Chain Restaurants Finds Best Value in Seven Casual Dinner Houses” (Jun. 2006)

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excerpt:
"Consumer Reports' latest survey of restaurant chains shows that readers were especially happy with meals at some of the newer chains-and that casual restaurants usually offered the best bang for the buck.

Readers told Consumer Reports that they found the especially good value-$15 to $19 for a very good meal-at seven casual-dinner chains: Claim Jumper, Romano's Macaroni Grill, Johnny Carino's Abuelo's Mexican Food Embassy, Texas Roadhouse, Red Hot & Blue, and Famous Dave's.

Conducted by Consumer Reports' National Research Center, the survey results are based on information from 66,000 readers about 149,000 meals and 103 full-service restaurant chains between April 2004 and April 2005…"

source: "Consumer Reports' Survey of Chain Restaurants Finds Best Value in Seven Casual Dinner Houses" (Consumer Reports, Jun. 5,2006) [Press Release]

Article: “Discount books’ prices drop in time for summer travel” (May 2006)

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excerpt:
"A bit earlier than usual this year, Entertainment is discounting its discount books. Regularly priced at $24 to $45, all books, valid through Nov. 1, now cost $12.99 each.

…The main focus is on restaurants, where the typical deal is an additional entree of equal or lesser cost when you buy the first entree at the usual price. Other deals include dollars-off discounts and twofers. Participating restaurants run the gamut from upscale establishments to fast-food and takeout places.

…You can check out the deals before you buy. Log onto www.entertainment.com, enter a ZIP code for an area of interest, and the site displays a list of available restaurant deals."

source: "Discount books' prices drop in time for summer travel" by Ed Perkins (San Jose Mercury News, May 21,2006)