Some people complain about how the proliferation of huge restaurant chains has destroyed America's regional diversity. What these people fail to realize is that restaurant chains don't destroy regional culture; they demarcate it. Take Bob Evans for example. That middle American dining institution has no franchises in New England and only a handful of them in the other northeastern states (unless you consider Pennsylvania part of the northeast - PA is lousy with Bob Evans franchises).
I had kind of forgotten about Bob Evans until I was back home for Thanksgiving and saw a commercial advertising their answer to KFC's Famous Bowls. It's called the Chicken Fried Deep Dish Dinner, and it takes the KFC Famous Bowl and goes a step further by adding a biscuit into the mix. I've always been fascinated by the Famous Bowl. I'm convinced that the dish was created when someone at KFC headquarters walked into the test kitchen and demanded that the chefs create a new dish that incorporated all existing KFC menu items. I'm not the only one who is fascinated by the Famous Bowl either - comedian Patton Oswalt has carved out a niche for himself in the comedy world with his Famous Bowls routine. With Bob Evans' recent shot across the bow in the Famous Bowls Wars, both of us should have plenty of material to feed our Famous Bowls obsession for the foreseeable future.