Listen, if I had a lot of good "real food" choices around here, I’d use them. I don’t, but in this area, the chains that came in didn’t force out smaller restaurants. They built these shopping centers, and the houses, and so on, on farm land, for the most part. Fifty years ago, my county was a sleepy farm community. I’m sure a few mom and pop places closed, but it’s not like the chains came in and wiped everyone out. More often, what I see is a chain going out of business (like the Friendlys around here) and replaced by another chain.
And there’s no way a mom and pop could afford to come into this area without a huge amount of capital anyway. It’s just too damned expensive. So I do my "roadfooding" up in Baltimore, where small, good places abound.