Seagull So…Where do you want to go?

So…Where do you want to go?
When my husband and I went on our first date, we had a conversation that should have prepared me for all future outings with this oddly interesting, captivating guy. It went something like this:

Him: “Where would you like to go eat?”
Me: “Anywhere would be fine”.
Him: “It’s up to you. Where would you like to go?”
Me: “I like most anything. Anywhere you want to go.”
Him: “You pick. I’m happy with anywhere.”
Me: “Okay, how about Mexican?”
Him: “Hmmm.. I had that for lunch.”
Me: “Okay, how about Italian?”
Him: “Well… I just had that earlier this week and it didn’t set right”.
Me: “Barbeque?”
Him: “Hate that”.
Me: Sigh…”Well where do you want to go?”
Him: “Anywhere you want is fine.”

That’s my husband, “master of indecision”. But over the years we have come up with favorite places and our relative set routine. We are fans of eating out- which stems partly from our fight against our anti-social tendencies and maybe a little from the fact that I’m not the best cook in the world. I have lost 56 pounds in the last year and still eat out often. I believe that if you keep yourself educated and make informed choices, that almost no restaurant is out of bounds for a dieter. This is a life change after all and I want to be able to enjoy restaurants with no guilt. So we eat out at least once or twice a week and we have a few restaurants that over the years have become favorites. This of course was with a lot of trial and error and with the above conversation happening at least once a week for years. In fact it still happens.

Good service is hard to find and my husband and I have been on the other end of both good and bad over the years. I remember once when we were recommended to a local country cooking restaurant located out in the cornfields, miles from civilization, but apparently a local favorite. Being northerners, my husband and myself are a bit wary of country cooking as it usually entails odd slimy vegetables such as okra and pork fat and lard. Lots of lard. Buckets of the stuff. Southerners aren’t shy with frying things. Vegetables and all. Heck, I even saw a booth at a local fair recently selling fried coca cola. It’s a southern thing.

We took the kids with us, my youngest was still in diapers at the time, so I’m thinking this was at least 17 years ago. But I remember it well. Ha! The service was abysmal. We waited and waited for what we ordered to arrive. Those of you that have small children know that patience is not one of their early skills. In order to keep her from going into a total spaz fit and taking the restaurant down with her, I slowly fed her crackers out of cracker packets that had been left on the table. When I ran out of crackers, I handed her butter packets. I know- huge mistake, but I was desperate.

Finally, our salad arrived and along with it, they set a lazy susan in the middle of the table with five bowls of dressings to choose from. Impressed with the selection, we spent the next ten minutes tasting each dressing with the spoons provided to decide on our choices and then adding the dressings to our salads. What a great idea! Just put a sampling of everything so that you can try them all out! After we started eating the salads, the waitress showed back up at the table, picked up our lazy susan and promptly put it on another table.

We looked at each other in shock. Apparently it was a “community” lazy susan and we had just put our germs all over it. And then the more you think about it, who’s germs had been there before us? How many tables had it been on before ours. How many folks had set aside their chewing tobaccee to sample the dressing? Bleh. I don’t even want to think about it. We had difficulty finishing our meal. Not to mention that the combination of butter packets and a baby in a diaper is not a good thing. Let’s just say we regretted our visit in more ways than one. We never went back.

Which brings me to this past weekend as my husband and I sat in our local IHOP. They have a great menu for those of us that are watching what we eat including a large selection of egg white omelletes and turkey sausage. We were enjoying our last cup of coffee and were thinking about getting ready to leave when the manager came up and moved another table up against ours. We gave her a questioning look and she replied, “I have a group of ten waiting for a table”.

Really. Suddenly I wanted another cup of coffee. So we sat back and enjoyed another cup and let her figure out a new place to put her group. Nothing like being rushed out. It won’t affect our choice of restaurant as we really like IHOP.  Heck, IHOP is where I had my famous sports injury.  But we sure do appreciate good service when we run across it. 
So.. when I get in the car tonight, the conversation will begin again.
“Where do you want to go?”
“Anywhere is fine.”

Probably Italian. Hope you all are having a great weekend!