Or at least you would think. Ajay and I got into that discussion today as we were trying to decide which Taqueria to go to near my Dad's South San Francisco pad. We ended up choosing La Taqueria Menudo thanks to Yelp.
But as we were walking the streets we passed by several empty spots and a few more crowded places. We immediately casted off the empty spots as must-suck's and kept our eye open for places with a crowd. After a second though, I was a little hesitant about my logic.
I started to recall experiences where a place was super-hyped, filled with lots of people, but I was a little dissappointed by the food. So I began to think to myself, how good of a predictor is crowdedness for the quality of food at a restaurant.
From my research (aka digging through memories of food experiences), I think that usually when I get a great meal the place is pretty packed. I've had experiences in spots where I've had to wait long lines and ended up with not-super-impressive food, but usually something made up for it like the story behind the place, the decor, or the location. The food, though, was never bad. I would just be dissappointed because I expected better.
However... on the other hand of that. I definitely can recall eating crappy food at empty places. Thinking to myself, "ah yeah that's a gem." But turns out it wouldn't be a gem... just a poorly maintained space.
I think in general the following things are true (in general!):
- When you find yourself eating great food, you probably have a good amount of company.
- When you find yourself eating alone, the food is probably not going to be great and you need to find a friend.