Embracing new experiences

I’ve often been described as a stick-in-the-mud when it comes to new experiences in food.  I’ve been known to eat the same thing for lunch for many days in a row without getting tired of it.  When my wife and I go out to eat, pretty much she can predict where I’ll want to go, and what I’ll order when we get there.  Red Lobster; I used to always get chicken.  I’d say for the last 12 years or so, I get the ‘create your own feast’ option with the same entrees.  Sometimes I’ll get three, sometimes two, depending on how much I want to take home.  Olive Garden, I like the ‘Tour of Italy’ option, where you can get three samples of items, and if it’s too much (I love their Toscana soup and breadsticks) I can always take the leftovers home.  It tickles me sometimes as it reminds me of the scene in ‘Defending Your Life‘ where Rip Torn’s character mentions that the people at the restaurants love to send stuff home.  And there’s always vast quantities of food going home with them.

One thing that I definitely don’t do often is want to go to new restaurants.  That sort of thing can be my Kryptonite, especially when it comes to not knowing if I’m going to find something I’m going to enjoy or even eat there.  Having a little ‘heads up’ about what’s on the menu can go a long way towards making or breaking an evening.  While our guests were here, we decided that we wanted to go out to a more ‘fancy’ restaurant than the pizza joint we’d been to the night before.  Friday evening they were going to cook for us all, so it was going to be our last chance to dine out together. (they left Saturday morning)  Our ‘go-to’ place wasn’t yet open for their full summer schedule; when I called to get a reservation, I got the answering machine, which told me they weren’t open.  So we needed somewhere else to go.  There were two quasi high-end options, but neither of those places ever appealed to me, as I always got the impression the staff was looking down their noses at me, and I never really felt comfortable going there.  I always had the notion someone was going to approach me suggesting I needed to be wearing a tie, or I was using a salad fork instead of a dinner one.   When I inquired as to how our guests felt, they seemed to be reluctant to go to either of them as well.  So again, we needed a new option.
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