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What Does It Mean When Restaurants Advertise "Fine Foods" or "Fine Dining"?

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Leslie Coriell
Walkabout

"Fine dining is just good eatin' with fancy cloth napkins instead of moist towelettes."

Dunkor Imani
Entertainment Editor, St. Louis American

"Correct silverware, a lemon wedge in your water, some guy with a French accent -- there's got to be an accent. Fine dining's OK, but I like a place where you can get down, eat sloppy, sling grease up on the curtains -- just so you don't find any roaches in your food or have to make reservations at the health department for gamma-globulin shots."

John Kennedy
Grocery Clerk, Dierbergs

"It seems like if they have tell you what it is, it might not be."

Debbie "Zuzu" Birmingham
Clerk, Applegate Market

"Clean utensils, a placemat and a napkin. The sugar's in packets, not out of a dispenser. Genuine artificial margarine. The servers have all their shots, and the cook's name is Pete or Joe. The Buttery on South Grand -- that's fine dining, certainly a step above Rally's, but a word to the ladies: Watch your purse there."

Doral "the Grumpy Gourmet" Chenoweth
Restaurant Critic, Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch

"'Fine' encompasses service and presentation, the freshness of the product, but mostly the pedigree of the chef. Fifty and 100 years ago, fine food meant French. That's all changed. You have fine dining in your town in Tony's, and that's Italian. Sad -- they lost a star in that gasoline rating system. 'Surveyors' from Mobil -- those assholes don't eat the food; they're more concerned with how the toilet paper is hung on the wall."

P.J. Grim
Laboratory Technician, Chippewa Eye Center

"Well, fine dining to me is more like elegant dining. The meal should be excellent, superb and usually pricey but worth it. Like when you go to Famous-Barr, fine jewelry is the most expensive. It can be a bit misleading, though. There's Mary's Fine Foods on Gravois, sort of a hole-in-the-wall place. It's just OK. I had the fried chicken, and it was good, but it wasn't fine, honey."

CORRECTION:
In last weeks Street Talk, the photographs of Sam Carbone and Greg Teason were mistakenly switched. We regret the error.

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