site stats WhizGidget Wonders...
Friday, August 05, 2005
It's Friday!!! And I'm Hungry.

...we’ve reached yet another Friday and are wholly intact. Well, mostly. And the next few weekends look like they’re going to be busy ones or ones that have *something* going on that will keep us busy and tire us out. And somewhere in there we need to keep our energy up and eat something.

Speaking of eating, the Friday Forum is about just that. Eating.

1) What's the best restaurant that you've *ever* been to? Think about customer service, atmosphere, food presentation, taste of the food, decor, location, etc. How about the *worst* restaurant? Why was it so bad?

Best restaurant that I’ve ever been to? Hrm. I’ve been to lots and lots of good ones and there are places that I love that aren’t necessarily the best – after all, there are some real dives out there that serve the absolute best Mexican food in town. Thai too.

I guess there was Manhattan’s, which was a white tablecloth fancy sort of restaurant. They were excellent (except the broccoli rabe, hate that stuff) – beautiful clean interior, wonderful service, we knew the executive chef. They don’t exist anymore. Houses are built there now.

There was also Renzo’s. A very busy 5 course sort of place in the middle of a shopping center. Well, they had their own building. They were great too. Yes, were. They’re gone too since the shopping center had a makeover. Hardly anyone remembers either of those places.

Then there’s La Foret. Now *that* place had better not go under because I want to go back someday and hope that there’s buffalo steaks on the menu again. Absolutely incredible food, wonderful service, quiet atmosphere.

Worst place I’ve ever been to? I’ve covered that one already – when I found a hair in my food at a local diner we used to like to go to and I will probably never set foot in again.

2) Imagine that you order something at a restaurant but discover that you *totally* dislike the food after tasting it. Do you complain to the server and send it back, requesting something else? Or do you just keep quiet about it, not eat it, and continue with the rest of your meal?

I’ve never considered sending food back unless there’s something seriously wrong with it. As in, it’s not the right food. Or if it’s something that I’ve had before and it tastes completely wrong, I’d send it back then too. I’ve had this happen only once in my life.

Otherwise, I’d just keep eating it. Like the broccoli rabe. Hate the stuff, realized that about two bites into it – but I finished it. There’s always a way. Salt and pepper helps if it’s at hand, and you can have it.

3) Do you prefer eating outside, in a restaurant's outdoor seating area? Or would you rather eat your meal inside? Why?

I tend to prefer eating inside, unless I can be guaranteed an almost insect free dining experience. There’s nothing worse than trying to eat your meal and having yellow jackets or flies landing on your food, or attempting to fight you for it.

Wind also makes eating outside a challenge, unless you don’t care if you have napkins or that anything else that could blow away does. I like eating outside when it’s raining (and the restaurant has patio coverings over the eating area) – a nice gentle rain in the spring makes the air very fresh smelling and adds a nice touch to a dining experience.

4) Are there any new restaurants in your area [or elsewhere] that you've been dying to try? Do you enjoy dining out, or would you typically rather eat at home?

There’s always new places to try, and I’d love to visit a few more of them. Nothing that I’m *dying* to try, or would go out of my way to try, but if I was in the area, I’d probably cruise in that direction, check out the menu and probably step in and have a meal.

While I like dining out, we tend to eat more at home. Both DH and I are capable cooks, we’ve not poisoned anyone with our cooking (as far as I know) and eating out is just so darn expensive.

Of course not all meals are more expensive out than in. Take tacos for example. Tacos for the 4 of us would be a lot cheaper than the version of tacos, rice and beans that I’m going to make tonight for dinner. Even if I’m going to have enough to split it over 2 meals. Maybe even 3. But tacos are cheap and they’re high in fat at the fast food places, and they’re really expensive at the Mexican restaurants, so I’m not doing too badly.

Besides, my kids have chosen to have my tacos over Taco Bell and Del Taco a few times.

5) You and a friend go out to eat for lunch. Do you split the bill between the two of you, or do you offer to pay for everything if you're the one who invited your friend? Would you say that you're a pretty good tipper? Do you know people who aren't?

When friends and I go to lunch, it depends on the place. If it’s one of those order at the counter sort of places, we’re usually on our own unless someone has offered to buy lunch before we set foot towards the destination. Sometimes the invitation is issued in a “Come on, I’ll buy you lunch” sort of way, and that’s considered contract. Sit down places are a little different, and it’s a matter of who grabs the bill first. I’ve paid for my share of lunches, and had quite a few paid for in return. It all evens out eventually, but I tend to try and pay my way unless someone insists that I shouldn’t.

That reminds me, I owe a couple of someone’s a meal, and hopefully I’ll be able to return the favor by the end of the month.

I’d say I’m a decent tipper. Reconfiguring my brain to do the math on 15% instead of 10% for a minimum tip has been a challenge, but I’m ok with math, so that works. I won’t tip over 15% unless it was really good service. And I mean they went above and beyond.

So, that’s about it at the moment. I’m looking into a busy weekend, but for the life of me I can’t remember what was going to be busy about it. I know B has a birthday party to attend on Saturday afternoon, and that’s about it. Oh well, I’m sure I’ll figure it out eventually. Maybe until I do, I’ll follow Alton Brown’s advice about organization: it will save the world. Bathroom cabinets, here I come!