My wife and I went to the Oregon Coast this weekend, Lincoln City specifically. It was a sunny but cool day which was beautiful and restful. On our way home, we decided to visit a restaurant called Moe's which is very well known and popular here. (http://www.moschowder.com/home.cfm?dir_cat=13368)
The line was out of the door when we arrived. We decided to stay anyway since every one we have met in Oregon has asked us if we had eaten here. I can say a few things about Moe's and none of them are very good. The service was atrocious and the food was mediocre. The plates were sloppily maintained. More importantly, it cost $40. Now I am not usually one to complain about food. I have shared a meal of dogs and horses with a thousand flies before while seated on the dirt floor of a thatched roof hut but I find as I get older my tolerance for laziness and incivility has diminished.
Anyway, my wife and I discussed it for awhile on the two hour drive back and came to the conclusion that Moe's is simply a victim of its own success. At one point it was no doubt a small mom and pop chowder stand that did well during the tourist season. However, it had grown too big (6 locations) to maintain quality or perhaps they had just stopped trying. I think it is probably a mixture of both. On my way out, I asked the cashier, as I pointed to the line of at least 50 people spiraling slowly out the door, if it was always "this" busy and he replied with exhausted eyes, "Yes, always." I asked myself if I would keep trying hard every single day if even my most mediocre efforts were rewarded. I didn' t like the answer I gave myself...*sigh*