Kevin Burke, a loyal MR reader, asks me:
Are dining policemen a good sign that the restaurant/takeout place you've chosen is a good place to get quick, cheap food?
Arguments in favor:
1) cops patrol a specific beat, which means they'll eat most of their meals in one area
2) police work naturally entails lots of downtime, some of which, I imagine, cops spend discussing where to eat or what they just ate;
3) as frequent diners, cops will remember and avoid places that gave them or a patrol mate food poisoning (although I developed this theory in a "B" grade restaurant in LA)
1) Cops' dining preferences may simply mirror the public's, in which case it wouldn't be a very reliable signal.
My take: I have to vote against the cops, if only because I don't see them at the places I frequent. Maybe the problem is the least common denominator effect, namely that the cops won't go to places that disgust or turn off some members of the group. I once (asking for directions) entered a Maryland Dunkin' Donuts and lo and behold, the cliche seemed to be true as the place was full of cops. Maybe cops require sugary foods to regulate their moods.
A related problem is that, as far as I can tell, not so many Asian immigrants become cops. When it comes to the United States, apart from the wealthy, they are the people most likely to be eating good food.
What do you all think about this question?