A restaurant similar to a theme restaurant but with less of a centralized focus. Usually located in shopping malls and suburbia they are stamped out mechanically. Using methods originally only used by McDonalds Burger King and other fast food chains they appear wherever shoppers congregate. Unlike their fast food cousins they attempt to provide a ‘classier’ dining experience albeit transparent. They typically showcase various knickknacks on the walls distracting the customer from the lack of style and class that the establishment contains. Places that exhibit this are franchised or corporately owned. Each incarnation of the establishment is exactly the same as the others in layout and menu. They are places that people usually go for work lunches and for movie nights.

The food, deceptively appetizing in the menus, is usually high in fat, cholesterol and calories. Many of the foods are fried, barbecued or Tex-Mex in origin and contain an ethnic or silly name with hopes of enticing the eater to select it from the menu. A bar is usually a prominent fixture in the center of the establishment however the place is deemed family restaurant by the balloons and crayons given to children. Even with the abundance of alcohol, an air of Norman Rockwell family and fun inundates the eatery.

The service at these places is annoyingly friendly. Many times the servers are adorned in the same manner as the walls with inane bits of junk. Their perky friendly attitude seems consistent with one who will someday snap back into reality and realize how annoying they really are and undertake a task that is quite brash. They are eager to please however are lacking in finesse.

Some restaurants that fit this classification are Chili’s, Applebee’s, Bennigan’s, Red Robin, TGI Fridays, Ground Round, and Ruby Tuesday’s. Each putting their unique spin on how and what Americans like to eat. While exceptions are possible for the formula they all are driven by set marketing practices that the American public literally eats up. Some other restaurants that are a bit more fringe bistromatic in classification but still fit the mold are the Brew Moon and Dave and Buster’s and Hooters.

Bistromatic establishments serve their purpose. While not in the league of the local diner, which is suffering from being overrun by corporate America, and cannot be confused with true eateries (the Bravo Bistro as an example) they provide a simple quick dining experience for many Americans.

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