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Published: Tuesday, 7/16/2013

Where to eat when you cheat

BY DAN NEMAN
BLADE FOOD EDITOR

 

Just so we are all clear on this matter, I am not cheating on my spouse.

However, if I were cheating on my spouse, now I know where to do it.

A Web site called Ashley Madison came out with a list of the 10 restaurants adulterers are most likely to frequent while they are adulterizing. The survey was actually conducted in April, but I only learned about it now because, as I mentioned, I am not cheating on my spouse and I therefore do not typically spend my time looking at the places people go to when they are in fact cheating on their spouses.

In other words, I am not looking at AshleyMadison.com, which is a Web site dedicated to introducing people who are adulterously inclined to each other and to facilitating their affairs. Another, more old-fashioned word for people who perform this service is “pimp.”

The very fact that AshleyMadison.com even exists kind of stuns me a little. It was founded and run by a man named Noel Biderman, and I can state with complete certainty that I am glad I am not his wife. Apparently, the site is sort of like an updated version of personal ads, only everyone who is writing these ads is already married to somebody else.

One of the things the site does that is not directly related to pimping is it conducts unscientific surveys of its members. Naturally, the subjects are all related to their favorite topic, infidelity. Which brings us to Morton’s the Steakhouse.

The Morton’s the Steakhouse chain is known for many things. It is known for top-quality food (and the prices to match). It is known for bringing all the available raw cuts of meat out on a cart so the patrons can see exactly what they are ordering. It is known for having a name with questionable punctuation.

And now it is known for being the most popular place to go to on a romantic date with someone who is not your spouse. Morton’s the Steakhouse was listed as the No. 1 restaurant for people to meet when they have a cheating heart and an empty stomach.

If it’s 20 miles away or more, the respondents said, so much the better. This way, they can be at a fairly large, public place where they will not stand out or be noticeable, and yet be far enough away from home that they won’t be seen by friends or acquaintances or, you know, their wife or husband.

The site asked its members “Have you dined out with your affair partner?” and “What restaurant(s)?” The 42,890 respondents in the United States and Canada — and that is a jaw-dropping number of respondents — came up with Morton’s first, followed by Ruth’s Chris Steak House (also a high-end steak chain with dubious punctuation), Houston’s P.F. Chang’s, The Cheesecake Factory, Del Frisco’s Grille, Chili’s, Outback Steakhouse, Red Lobster, and Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse.

What can we learn from this list? Well for one, people who cheat on their spouses must like chain restaurants (though to be fair, chains by their very nature are the only places likely to appear on a national list). And two of the top-10 cheatatoriums were co-founded by Paul Fleming; he’s the P.F. in P.F. Chang’s and the Fleming in Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse.

Mr. Fleming may be a very nice man and he certainly knows how to run a successful restaurant chain, but one hopes he is at least a little bit ashamed.

We also learn from this list that people who cheat certainly like their steak. Four of the restaurants named are primarily steakhouses, and all the others besides P.F. Chang’s serves steak. Even Red Lobster.

The restaurants cited are also all, or mostly all, destination restaurants. They are a little fancy, in general, a place to go to for a special occasion. This is a fact that did not go unnoticed by the company founder, Mr. Biderman.

“It’s almost traditional,” he is quoted as saying on the Web site. “Men want to impress — even in the realm of an affair.”

I wouldn’t know. I’m not in the market. Just to be clear.

Contact Daniel Neman at: dneman@theblade.com or 419-724-6155.



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