Reader: Fast-food chain coverage doesn't belong on Cafe Society

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Yesterday, Jenn Wohletz offered her assessment of the new Chick-Fil-A desserts in the latest installment of Jenn in Chains, her semi-regular look at developments on the fast-food scene. She loved the brownie, lusted for the waffle fries (and the cute little ketchup packets)...but isn't a fan of Chick-Fil-A's politics, and said it was unlikely she'd return.

Still, her look at fast-food sweets left a sour taste in one chef's mouth.

Writes Chris Cina:

Is it really necessary to provide ink promoting the Denver chains? It's bad enough we have to compete with them as restaurateurs for dining dollars. The annual marketing budgets for these corporations is roughly a year's revenue for the average independent restaurant. Now we have to compete with them for content in the local free paper/site? Come on...

For the record, we have an official restaurant reviewer who writes about local restaurants (who's on vacation this week, by the way, just as Lori Midson was last week), and Jenn in Chains is offered in addition to her reviews, not as a replacement. So there's no competition for space or our attention.

So, is there no place for coverage of chains and/or fast-food chains on Cafe Society? What else should we be writing about? What shouldn't we be writing about? First five commenters (who want them) get a coupon for a free Chick-Fil-A dessert.

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20 comments
Denver Lady
Denver Lady

Fiddle-de-de, "Fast Food" restaurants are apart of the Denver economy, and they employ Denver residents.  That said, I eat at Fast Food restaurants, and I assure you, although I enjoy reading about the strange and new places to eat that are reviewed, it is a rare day I eat Ethopian food, as but one example. I really enjoyed the Burger King review, went right away and tried the sweet potato fries, and they were heavenly!!!  - - same for the frozen lemonade. My point is............review any and all restaurants that we all go to, and don't be so stuffy and silly and not allow a few reviews for chains, too.  These days, isn't it all about helping to show people where good food is, and keeping places open to supply jobs for folks??

Frank
Frank

I'm not sure how we got so arrogant as to not think that discussing fast food chains "doesn't belong". I recall driving many miles to find a White Castle, the same distance that I drive to Bud's Bar in Sedalia to enjoy one of their gut bustin' burgers. I wouldn't want to eat at either one every day, but it's good to know where to find a good burger, big or small. We want to read about what is good, and what is not so good. I can do without hearing about the corporate politics, but that's what comes with reading a column in WW.  

My 2 cents
My 2 cents

I get where Chris Cina (of Ghost Plate and Tap) is coming from, but it would ring truer if Chris worked for a restaurant that wasn't part of a fairly large local venture with quite a few resources of its own.  Chick-Fil-A has 29 restaurants in Colorado.  BW Holdings has a combined 12 restaurants in Colorado with a 13th on its way on S Pearl.  BW holdings also has enough clout to push through rather quickly HB 1347, a bill that raises the production limits for "brewpubs." This bill will most immediately benefit Breckenridge Brewery.My point being, if Cafe Society should not mention companies who have the means to get the word out themselves, where do we draw the line?  And on what side of that line does a fairly sizable venture (though not Chick-Fil-A sized) like BW Holdings lie?  

GFTW
GFTW

"What else should we be writing about? What shouldn't we be writing about?"

1. Stuff that's not left-wing.2. Stuff that's left-wing.

I applaude WW though for taking Jenn off the streets and giving her a job! Though in the end I think she'll sue WW for making her eat all that crap.

Mantonat
Mantonat

I read Jenn's blogs because her writing is humorous and skeptical, not because I plan on following her lead to the line for deep-fried chicken mcbrownies. I loved her Dollar Tree holiday series too. She's the Marilyn Hagerty for the hipster generation.

Uncledave8
Uncledave8

Well, I agree that fast food joints are not my cup of tea and normally I would have zero interest in reading about them in Cafe Society.  Jenn's article was more about Chick-Fil- A's politics than their food and I find that in keeping with Westword's left-leaning slant on pretty much everything.  That suits me just fine and Jenn's article will keep me further away from Chick-Fil-A than I already am.

steveville
steveville

I occasonally visit fast food chain restaurants and really don't mind reading something about them as long as it's interesting, such as something new or changes being made.  Chick-Fil-A desserts and Taco Bell's new Dorito shell tacos are new and I've tried the tacos.  If I hadn't read ablut them in Westword, I never would have known about them.

Yup
Yup

To me it is not about if you should or you shouldn't write about fast food chains,  it is your blog write whatever you feel is appropriate.  As a member of your audience though,  I don't really care about fast food places.  Unless you live in a hole without exposure to media in general you probably know about fast food places and what they have to offer.     This blog is at its best when it is telling us about a little mom and pop shop in the middle of a strip mall that we would not normally visit.  Those are the types of things I come here to read about.  If I want to know about McDonald's latest offerings,  I'll turn on my TV. 

Christopher Cina
Christopher Cina

 I understand your point, but each of those 12, soon to be 13, restaurants is independently run. They have their own concepts, they have their own menus, the have their own chefs, they use their own vendors and their own policies and procedures.  Many are successful, some struggle just like every other independent restaurant.  I can't tell you anything about the beer side because as a chef, I'm not privy to those business dealings.  Chick-Fil-A did $3.5 billion in sales in 2010, there really is no comparison of the 2 companies.

Jenn the Taco Whore
Jenn the Taco Whore

 I applaud this as well. At some point I may have to go back to selling bags of oranges in parking lots.

Jenn the Taco Whore
Jenn the Taco Whore

 @Mantonat: That is the nicest thing anyone's said about me, possibly ever. Thank you--this balances out the time a reader called me a "drive-by ghetto reviewer," in a strongly-worded letter to the editor.

Jenn the Taco Whore
Jenn the Taco Whore

 Fox News wouldn't hire me. I was heartbroken, but I decided to pick up the pieces and go on.

GFTW
GFTW

Not me! I'm going to con all the lefties I know into eating at Chick-Fil-A!

Christopher Cina
Christopher Cina

 Exactly the point I was trying to make, only not as eloquently.

NoBo Bear
NoBo Bear

Hear, Hear! To the "mom and pop shop" comment.

At the other end of the spectrum from fast-food, "Cafe Society" does slurp up ALOT to the usual bold-letter names and places in the industry (and surely not to just keep in their good graces, thus, have an easier time to get a table when packed ;-). Yes, we get it, so-and-so and their restaurant is great (or so-and-so mixes a great drink), WE GET IT! But it's not bringing anything new to the table to post about the same places and people over and over and over again.

Jenn the Taco Whore
Jenn the Taco Whore

@GFTW:disqus : Nuh-uhhhh! I bet you don't know any lefties! (Looking for a "yo momma" joke here.)

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