The recent threads on 'local experience' while traveling have me wanting to hear from you folks about whether you feel similarly about travelers who say they want to dine like the locals do or eat with the locals.
I live someplace with great cuisine from all corners of the globe, so when I'm on travel, I want to sample the best food that typifies the local culture, which many times is not the best meal to be had -- I don't want to go to the best French bistro in Denver when I can get great bistro food in my own neighborhood and in France, what I want in Denver is Denver food.
Cosmopolitan cities complicate this -- are the best restaurants in London and Berlin serving 'local' cuisine? Maybe not. Locals don't want expensive fish'n'chips or schnitzel, they want something creative, maybe exotic -- like when I see Napa wines on menus all over the world (if I make the mistake of going into a major chain hotel dining room). 'California' has a pacific breeze to its name, and appeals to diners in gray locales all over the world. So, if a Berliner is looking for an enjoyable meal and heads for a spot with a pacific-themed menu (whichever of the many coasts of the Pacific), more power to them, but if I'm in Berlin looking for dinner, I want Berliner cuisine. Probably.
OTOH, there is romanticizing going on between everywhere and everywhere else -- Californians say they miss good ol' diner grub like their parents had before they moved out here, but then I hear my parents talking about dishes like liver and onions or baked scrod and I realize that we in the enlightened West don't really want to look too closely at what the less evolved peoples of Old America are eating. (I'm using that in the same way that Don Rumsfeld used 'old Europe' as a derogatory dig). /s