Outback Strikes Back

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Ezra Klein's right to bemoan the sneering condescension in this NYT piece on suburban chain restaurants. For me, this is made all the worse by the knowledge that the attitude of contempt is almost certainly fake. I was actually born and raised in Manhattan by fancy-pants parents who wouldn't dream of darkening the door of an Outback Steakhouse. Indeed, to the best of my knowledge by father has never tasted the joys of Chili's (those two are my favorites).

All of which has mostly made me aware of how rare this is. Most of New York City's elitists grew up in very conventional middle class suburbs and then moved to the city sometime after college. They may look like -- indeed, be -- Greenpoint hipsters now, but they come from the same places as all the other college educated white people in this country. Moreover, one suspects that the exotic locales visited by the Times' intrepid correspondents -- such places as Westchester and northern New Jersey -- are just where many Times readers live and dare I venture to guess that perhaps a few of the Times's writers and editors even commute in from the suburbs. Indeed, their section on the Olive Garden might have mentioned that there are three Olive Gardens in New York City one of which is about five blocks from the NYT building.

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Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

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