I guess you could call me and my wife foodies. We don't own a Viking range or know Charlie Trotter personally or anything like that, but we have always loved going out for great meals whenever we're on the road (great restaurants are harder to come by locally). We developed this affection for epicurian delights while living in Boston a decade ago, and our trusty road map was the Zagat Restaurant Guide.
The guide has its quirks. For one thing, they use a 30 point scale to rate the restaurants on food, service and decor. Every locale is graded on a curve (experience has shown me that a 27 in Orlando is not the same as a 27 in Manhattan), and suburban restaurants are the most likely to have inflated ratings (I guess the locals are happy to have a decent place nearby to eat).
Zagat has become quite a phenomenon since we picked up our first guidebook all those years ago: they've branched out to provide ratings for everything from movies to hotels and airlines, to New York City theater. Everywhere you go, from San Francisco to Philadelphia to London and Paris, restaurants are proud to display their maroon "Zagat Rated" signs in the front window (I've even seen Zagat listings touted by places which are not-so-well rated — I guess there's no such thing as bad publicity).
But with such widespread acceptance and visibility has come, I feel, a tempering of viewpoints, and hence, a decrease in the guide's usefulness. Specifically: I noticed recently that the online Zagat guide ratings no longer include their symbol for when reviews about a restaurant are strongly mixed. The paper and internet guides both used to show a filled-in square next to the restaurant name when customer reviews were generally uniform, and a half-filled square (it looked like two triangles, one filled, one empty), when views were split.