Rachel Ray used to have a show, “$40 a Day,” and it featured tips for finding good restaurants while traveling. In the episode, she usually did a little spot of asking locals for advice on where to eat. Although it worked for Rachel Ray, this only works for me half the time.
I love finding out the place where locals go to on a regular basis. Yet, when I try to ask locals about where they would recommend, the recommendation I get is for the pricey steakhouse that serves pretty generic fare. For some reason, when asked, most locals don’t give you the best choice, they give the one that they think would be of interest. If the local you ask responds by asking questions back about what you are looking for, I take that as a good sign of credibility. I always feel a little bad when someone visiting Staunton asks me about where to eat because the answer is usually more than he/she bargained for.
When traveling, feel free to keep asking; but, ask several people, try to be clear about what you looking for, and take it with a grain of salt.