Restaurants healthy despite lean economy

This anorexic economy may be costing us our jobs and life's savings, but it's not stopping us from finding comfort in eating out. Zagat, the restaurant rating organization, found in its latest survey that the national percentage for restaurant and take out meals dropped only 2% this year -- from 50 to 48% this year -- while the average cost of a meal climbed 1.2%.

The survey, conducted among more than 145,000 diners, found 26% of respondents saying the economy is not playing the Grinch on their dining habits. Oh and there's more-- 61% of those surveyed said they are willing to splurge more on "green" products and menu items.

I definitely wasn't surveyed for this one. A devout foodie and sushi addict, I can't remember the last time I went out to my favorite places. Much of my nigiri and chirashi allowance these days is helping Pampers, the diaper guys, make some money, while I find solace in pancakes and eggs Benedict at my neighborhood diner.

For those of you not shying away from keeping your favorite eateries in business, there's reciprocation from the other side. Customers told Zagat they are getting better deals, and feeling more appreciated at restaurants.
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