Foodar -- the sixth sense for good restaurants -- is hard to explain, but if you have it, you know what it feels like.
Some tiny nondescript place in a strip mall inexplicably calls out to you, and it turns out to have amazing food. Or a place is crowded with happy-looking people, yet you just know it's going to suck.
But how do you know?
Intuition is often your unconscious mind processing information that, if you stopped and thought about it, would make perfect sense. Because I care so much about food, I've been trying to unravel the clues behind foodar for years. Here's what I've come up with.
10. It's ethnic food, but nobody of that ethnicity is eating there
You don't have to ask other diners if they're Korean or Japanese or Chinese, but if there isn't anybody who might be, get out of the tofu soup house.
9. Many diners are wearing t-shirts sporting the name of the town you're in
Restaurants for tourists don't have to be good, so usually they're not.
8. Miller Light paid for the menu
If you see big color pictures of mass-market beverages, assume your food will be made about the same way.
7. Seafood has a large section of the menu, but all of it is shrimp
Shrimp is almost never fresh. Restaurants that don't want to deal with fresh foods will choose it over fish every time.
6. Nobody's eating there when nearby restaurants are full
Sometimes price can be responsible for this, or a restaurant might be brand new (though in this town, that's an advantage). Bad restaurants usually don't get a lot of repeat business from neighbors.