Do you judge a restaurant by its bathroom?
I do, which puts me solidly in the majority, according to this Detroit Free Press story. I make it a point to visit the loo on my first visit to a restaurant as a scouting mission of sorts a/ to see what degree of cleanliness we're dealing with, b/ to check out all the stylish fixtures that are so much nicer than those in my own home and, of course, c/ to do what nature requires. (Have to add, however, that I never gone so far as to pull a Jimmy Fallon.)
If the restaurant's dining room is the first impression, its bathroom certainly makes the lasting one. You pay money and expect a certain level of excellence; the restaurant's job is to deliver that to you.
That said, one of my most beloved restaurants in Chinatown, Tin Yen (R.I.P.), had a bathroom in its basement that would send shivers down your spine. Cramped. Ripe. Dingy. And yet, I went back to the restaurant again and again and again. (Come to think of it, the one time I went to the bathroom at Tin Yen was the last. I must've just held it all those other times.)
We all have our levels of tolerance. What's yours?