Zagat Releases 2011 Washington/Baltimore Dining Survey: D.C.’s Marcel’s and Baltimore’s Charleston Are Top Rated; Zaytinya and Woodberry Kitchen Voted Most Popular; Amsterdam Falafel and Five Guys Are Best Buys

July 27, 2010

NEW YORK, July 28 /PRNewswire/ — Zagat Survey today released its 2011 Washington DC/Baltimore Restaurants Survey, covering 1,219 eateries in the Washington, DC and Baltimore areas, including Annapolis and Frederick, Md., the Eastern Shore and Northern Virginia. This year, 6,484 local diners submitted their opinions on ZAGAT.com, incorporating a collective 883,000 annual meals’ worth of experience into the Survey — from their favorite restaurant choices to their main complaints. The local diners eat out 2.6 times per week compared with Zagat’s 3.2 national average. With virtually no inflation, the average cost of a meal in the Washington area this year is $35.99 and $34.29 in the Baltimore area, bookending the U.S. average of $35.36. In addition to bookstores, the guide can be accessed on ZAGAT.com, ZAGAT TO GO for iPhone and iPad, and nru for Android, as well as through Foursquare, where diners can unlock the Zagat Foodie badge.

Winners: This year’s survey winners across the major categories are as follows:

                             Washington, D.C. Area
         Top Food         Top Decor           Top Service    Most Popular

    1) Marcel's       1) Inn at Little     1) Inn at Little   1) Zaytinya
                         Washington           Washington

    2) Inn at Little  2) Trummer's On      2) Komi            2) 2 Amy's
        Washington       Main                

    3) Komi           3) CityZen           3) CityZen         3) Central

    4) CityZen        4) 2941 Restaurant   4) Marcel's       4) Citronelle

    5) Rasika         5) Oya               5) L'Auberge/     5) Inn at
                                              Francois          Little Wash.

                     Baltimore and Surrounding Areas
       Top Food        Top Decor      Top Service      Most Popular

    1) Charleston   1) Charleston   1) Charleston   1) Woodberry Kitchen

    2) Volt         2) Pazo         2) Volt         2) Charleston

    3) Prime Rib    3) Scossa*/E    3) Prime Rib    3) Volt

    4) Samos        4) Milton Inn   4) Tersiguel's  4) Cinghiale

    5) Di
       Pasquale's   5) Antrim 1844  5) Linwoods     5) Prime Rib

    * Indicates tie with restaurant above.  (E=located in the
     Eastern Shore)

The Economy’s Impact: The following charts (particularly 1, 3 and 4) show how the slow economy caused diners to eat out less and be more price-sensitive. Chart 2, in turn, reflects the positive effects that the economic downturn has had in changing habits:

(1) What effect, if any, has the weak economy had on your dining out habits? (Check all that apply)

    I'm eating out less                       38%
    I'm being more attentive to prices        36%
    I'm eating in less expensive places       28%
    I'm skipping appetizers and/or
     dessert                                  19%
    I'm cutting back on alcohol               15%
    I'm going to expensive places for
     lunch                                     9%
    I'm less likely to try new places          8%
    Other                                      2%
    -----                                    ---
    Economy hasn't affected my dining
     habits                                   33%
    ---------------------------------        ---

(2) Has the economic downturn had any positive effects on your dining habits? (Check all that apply)

    Finding better deals at restaurants       52%
    Cooking more and enjoying it              44%
    Feel patronage is more appreciated        34%
    Easier to get a table at popular
     places                                   26%
    Eating healthier (cutting alcohol/
     rich foods)                              20%
    Dine at better restaurants to ensure
     value                                    15%
    ------------------------------------     ---
    Other                                      5%
    -----                                    ---

(3) Of 14 possible lunches & dinners in a week, how many do you:

                                 2011    2009    2007    2005
    Skip?                         0.9     0.9     0.8     0.9
    Cook at home?                 7.5     7.0     6.8     6.7
    Eat out/take out?             5.6     6.1     6.4     6.4
    -----------------             ---     ---     ---     ---
    Total per week out of
     14:                         13.1    13.1    13.2    13.1
    ---------------------        ----    ----    ----    ----

    % of meals eaten/taken
     out:                          43%     47%     48%     49%
    ----------------------        ---     ---     ---     ---

(4) Compared with 2 years ago, do you eat out…?

    More                    24%
    Same amount             44%
    Less                    32%
    ----                   ---
     NET DECLINE             8%
     -----------           ---

Health and Greening: Charts (5) through (12) illustrate the importance of health and “green” issues to the public:

(5) How important to you is having low-carb, low-fat, or heart-healthy menu items available when dining out?

    Extremely important         12%
    Very important              20%
    Somewhat important          40%
    Not very important          21%
    ------------------         ---
    Not at all important         7%
    --------------------       ---

(6) Have the reports regarding the mercury levels in fish affected how you order when dining out?

    Yes, I'm avoiding certain types of
     fish now                               20%
    Yes, I'm cutting down on all types
     of fish                                 3%
    ----------------------------------     ---
    No, it hasn't affected how much
     fish I eat                             77%
    -------------------------------        ---

(7) Should trans fats be banned from food preparation in restaurants?

    Yes                   67%
    ---                  ---
    No                    33%
    ---                  ---

(8) Should restaurants be required to conspicuously post a letter grade reflecting the results of their health dept. inspection?

    Yes                   83%
    ---                  ---
    No                    17%
    ---                  ---

(9) How important is it that the food you eat is “green” (i.e. locally sourced, organic, or sustainably raised)?

      Extremely important        6%
      Very important            16%
      Somewhat important        46%
      Not very important        24%
      ------------------       ---
      Not at all important       8%
      --------------------     ---

(10) Do you typically seek out restaurants with menus that focus on “green” (i.e. locally sourced, organic, or sustainably raised foods) ingredients?

    Yes                  34%
    ---                 ---
    No                   66%
    ---                 ---

(11) Has the environmental impact of bottled water affected the kind of water you drink at restaurants?

    Yes, I've changed to tap/filtered
     water                                    10%
    No, I always drink tap/filtered water     75%
    No, I still order bottled water if
     available                                 7%
    Changed to tap/filtered water to cut
     spending                                  5%
    ------------------------------------     ---
    I don't drink water in restaurants         3%
    ----------------------------------       ---

12) Are you willing to pay more for food that is “green” (i.e. locally sourced, organic, or sustainably raised)?

    Yes                   63%
    ---                  ---
    No                    37%
    ---                  ---

Service is the Weak Link: Unfortunately, service remains the main complaint about dining out, with 68% of votes. All other complaints cumulatively total 32%:

(13) What irritates you most about dining out?

    Service                 68%
    Noise                   14%
    Food                     6%
    Prices                   6%
    Parking                  3%
    Crowding                 2%
    --------               ---
    Other                    1%
    -----                  ---

Details: The 2011 Washington DC/Baltimore Restaurants guide ($14.95) was edited by John Deiner with local editors Olga Boikess and Marty Katz. For information on Zagat’s mobile products, please visit http://www.zagat.com/mobile. Both the guide book and the above apps have many breakouts of top lists by cuisine type, special features and neighborhood. And be sure to follow Zagat on Facebook and Twitter @ZagatBuzz for daily news and updates!

About Zagat Survey, LLC – Zagat Survey is the world’s most trusted source for information about where to eat, drink, stay and play around the globe, and such has become a symbol of quality. Zagat Survey rates and reviews airlines, restaurants, hotels, nightlife, movies, music, golf, resorts, shopping, spas and a range of other entertainment categories in more than 100 countries. It has been lauded as the “most up-to-date, comprehensive and reliable guides ever published” and as “a necessity second only to a valid credit card.” Zagat content is available in print, on the web, on the mobile web, iPhone, BlackBerry and on TV. For more information, visit ZAGAT.com.

SOURCE Zagat Survey

Source: newswire

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