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03/01/2012

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Valerie Sager

Question 2

No, McMillan is not actually being critical of Applebee's customers by describing their meals. The rhetorical purpose of her descriptions is to show that Applebee's is not a glamorous restaurant which serves elaborate, ethnic foods, but rather a restaurant which takes its customers back to the twentieth century American dream when dining out was easier. The article supports my conclusion by McMillan's statement, "Our customers might not visit Ethiopia or Indonesia or a lush farm upstate by eating here, but it takes them somewhere else that’s becoming just as rare: the twentieth century American dream...".

Elias Ayoub

Question 4:McMillan argues that a family sit-down dinner at a restaurant is an important component of the American Dream. Do you agree? Why or why not?

McMillan raises an interesting point when suggesting that families going out for a sit-down dinner are fulfilling the American Dream, and I agree with here to some extent. The American Dream can be defined many different ways. Some would describe it as working hard to get from rags to riches, others would describe it as the pursuit of happiness. Regardless of how the Dream is defined though, going out to eat fulfills all of these definitions of the concept. First of all, only people with reasonable wealth are afforded the luxury of dining out of their homes and being served. Also though, eating out allows a family not to have to cook and just enjoy the night, thus they are pursuing happiness.

In certain parts of the world, even having a meal is considered a luxury. Here in America however, a large amount of people have the opportunity to have huge quantities of food served to them. This is the American Dream at its best, living in a country where the worry isn't if there will be a next meal but what the next meal will be.

John Wypijewski

After glancing at the title, I had the author pegged to conduct an appeal-to-the-masses-induced undercover expose on one of the most popular restaurant chains in America. I predicted a rant on how everything prepared in the kitchens came from a package and heated up in a microwave. Upon describing the patrons, I pictured picky eaters seeking comfort and familiarity; whose palates have succumbed to bland tasting foods. I was expecting an opposition to such chain-restaurants and an outcry in support of local culinary fares in order to truly experience a particular locale. Why did I have these pre-conceived notions? Mostly in part that I believe in opposing chain restaurants whenever possible and to support locally owned businesses. What I discovered instead was how a restaurant could reflect the image on how America’s middle-class is now defined. A middle-class that after a hard day’s work just wants to let someone else cook for the family with hopes that the wait for a table isn’t too long. Upon dissecting how chain restaurants have accelerated to functioning on a global scale, I can see how the author could believe it could be alright to order the same kind of burger in Seattle that is also offered in Georgia.

Kelsea

1. When I am planning on a night out for dinner I usually look for places that are not too expensive and that are a family enviroment because when my family and I feel comfortable, we have a better time. I choose a place that everyone that is planning on attending will enjoy and that has variety! If I was a planning a "night off from the daily grind" I don't think that my criteria would change because if I need a break from all the stress I want to go to a place that makes me and everyone else feel comfortable, as I said before.
2. No, I don't think McMillan was being critical towards what Applebees serves. She was just stating that Applesbees makes it easier for families to go out together to a place that's not necessarily fancy or super expensive. It's an easy way to go out and have a meal without having to impress people and it's an easier way to enjoy a well cooked meal. McMillian states: "Our customers might not visit Ethiopia or Indonesia or a lush farm upstate by eating here, but it takes them somewhere else that’s becoming just as rare: the twentieth century American dream" This supports what I said because it's saying that they want their customers to remember a time when it was easier.

3. Yes, this is important to me because I think that the food should be prepared for just my order not everyones all at once. I also would want my food to be prepared by someone that cares about the customers that they are getting, not by an undustry.

4. I think that it is very important to a have family sit-down dinner because it allows the families to talk and communicate like they use to in the 1920's. Now a days we let so many other things suchs as phones, television, computers and so on distract us from what is really important, which is family.

5. My family did not go out to eat that often when I was growing up but when we did I always felt that everyone was happier. We all loved being able to order what we felt like eating and not just what our mom wanted to make. Also my I could always tell that my mom enjoyed it the most because she actually got to enjoy her meal without having to worry about us. She didn't have to make or clean up the meals so it was enjoyable for her. I felt like we all talked with eachother more and had time to share what was going on in our lives. When we would eat at home we wouldn't sit down until dinner was ready and we would get up right after it was done but at a restaurant you have to wait for your food and your check, so you have more time for communication. I feel that overall eating out is a great thing for families to do every so often.

Steezy

Question 4
McMillan argues that a family sit-down dinner at a restaurant is an important component of the American Dream. Do you agree? Why or why not?

McMillan argues that family sit-down dinners at a restaurant is an important component of the American Dream. For me, the American Dream means to live a happy life surrounded by the people i love and care about. I do agree with her when she says that family dinners are important for this "Dream" but i feel like dinners at home with the family are more meaningful and better for the American Dream. When I am out at some restaurant with my family, the meal always seems very rushed by the waiters and i do not feel like i am able to connect with my family as well as i do when at home around the dinner table. I feel like family dinners at home are more meaningful because you are in the comfort of your own home and you can have a nice talk over dinner without feeling the rush of a waiter. Even though i feel this way, i still believe family sit-down dinners at a restaurant are nice every once in a while because it takes away the stresses that come along with cooking and then cleaning up the mess you made in the kitchen. Restaurant family dinners can definitely provide you with a few minutes to relax from the daily grind.

Jay R.

McMillan argues that a family sit-down dinner at a restaurant is an important component of the American Dream. Do you agree? Why or why not?

Although I personally think that family sit-down dinners are an important component in family life. I don’t think that sit-down dinners at restaurants are part of the American Dream, but rather are a modifier created by corporate America in an attempt to create business. I think that the modern idea of taking out your family for dinner 3 or 4 times a week demonstrates a shift in family structure and function. Because of this, I think it is really difficult to argue that dinner at restaurants is an important component of the American Dream because this idea is highly adaptable to an individual’s lifestyle, morals, social status, and socioeconomic background.

Nancy Sakurai

Growing up in the American Dream of home cooked meals, “Leave It To Beaver” style was an epic experience. But, after high school, attending college, working long hours, and the lack of time; eating out at fast food chains and restaurants became convenient. Grocery shopping and spending time cooking meals and cleaning afterwards became less time efficient. Hojo’s (Howard Johnsons), Burger King, McDonald’s, and Del Taco, to name a few, became the staple and acceptable replacements for home cooking. The author, Tracie McMillan, argues that even though the American economy has “stalled” with unemployment and poverty on the rise, people continue to eat at fast food chains and restaurants. Instead of cooking meals consistently at home, Americans enjoy that outing with friends or family regardless of the quality of food to experience the atmosphere that a restaurant attains. Growing up, our family would occasionally, go to breakfast after church at Lindel’s for an unexpected treat. The author continues citing Applebee’s as a restaurant chain that has managed to create a menu that can be replicated at a national level of consistency and has expanded abroad providing that uniformity in their food. The author states that restaurants have become “the Hallmark of American property”, offering food quicker and cheaper to the public. True, Applebee’s is a far cry from adventures in gourmet dining and should be put into perspective the cost verses quality. Regardless, it is not the food that draws the person to the restaurant, but the company of friends and family. I agree with the author, that dining out with friends and/or family is an important component of the American Dream. It allows time to recant the week, reconnect with family, discussions, laughter, and time to unwind and not worry about the stress of cooking and cleaning. In today’s society, it is difficult to consistently provide that meal together seven days a week due to work, school, and activity schedules of family members. Quality time brings structure back into focus and eating out at ones favorite restaurant or fast food location provides that venue. See you at Tutti Mangia!

Briana Oropeza

To begin with I enjoyed reading this blog because it talked about the people that this person was not able to know where exactly are they coming from. In this case people could walk into an Apple Bee’s and just have enough money to eat one good meal for the day and have to wait for a pay check at the end of the week. It is unclear to me why only middle class would attract this kind of restaurant. I am sure someone that makes a decent amount of money would to want to eat at Apple Bees. Apple Bees offers a great range of food and their prices. After reading this article it makes me want to actually go to one. I have never been to an Apple Bees before however I do not see anything wrong with it. And just like anywhere people will judge what it is like you look at. For instance, when I would go out to dinner with friends when I was younger I felt like much attention was not being sent our way because they thought we would not tip well. However, when going to eat with my parents it was much different. I am most certain that the waiters look at the crowd they are about to serve and assume what kind of tip they will be receiving. It is strange that someone that works at Apple Bees would come out with an article such as this one because she is stating a claim about who goes. This does not seem right because this person only works at a certain Apple Bees and I am sure that all are different and attract different crowds. It is stated to be more of a good thing to do to go out to dinner with the family however it is not, I disagree because it is something that attracts others by word of mouth.

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