Saturday, April 18, 2009

Hot Date!

Brandon and I got a babysitter and went out last night. Hot dates these days involve eating food I don't have to prepare and conversations that don't get constantly interrupted.
One of those conversations included special talents that we have that have no lucrative value whatsoever. Example...Brandon can smell something and describe it in a wacky but perfectly spot on way--"smells like a wet dog that ate some parmesan." Okay I can't think of a good example, I'll start taking notes from now on. Anyway...
One of my special talents would be a food/restaurant critic. I love going out to eat and I always find myself dying to fill out a comment card after. I like to let people know what I liked and how the food or service could be better... this is only in a restaurant situation, don't worry! Have I ever been sent by the local paper to dine free at a restaurant and write a review column? No.
Have I ever had the satisfaction of filling out a restaurant comment card? No. Have I ever had the guts to ask for one? No.
Here's the comment card I would have filled out about last night's restaurant experience.

1. CUSTOMER SERVICE--excellent. 6 out of 5 stars. Why?
  • our waiter checked on us OFTEN (which was good cause I needed way more toppings for my salad)
  • IMMEDIATELY gave us ice water WITH LEMON and STRAW
  • gave extra napkins
  • gave us our own salsa bowls for dipping chips
  • apologized for the "cook in training" for forgetting the aforementioned salad toppings.

2. ATMOSPHERE--excellent. 5 stars

  • not too cold or too hot
  • very stylish decor and menus
  • booth seating
  • no loud or annoying music

3. FOOD--fair. 2 stars

I ordered the strawberry chicken salad with sugared almonds, tortilla strips, bacon bits and poppy seed dressing. Sounds fun doesn't it? Did I already mention it was served without the almonds, tortilla strips, or bacon? (good thing I memorized my entree selection.) Of course, this was easily remedied by the waiter as mentioned above but something more was served on a bed of shredded iceberg lettuce (think taco filler). Salads these days have got to be GREEN. Throw some spinach leaves in there or at least some Romaine, please!! I went to all the trouble to resist the smothered fried chimichanga--at least make my healthy selection actually look healthy!

The strawberries could have been fresher and the chicken tasted like a refrigerator. So, I just had to load on extra dressing and nuts. Yeah, so much for being healthy. The chips and salsa were my favorite although the salsa tasted like it came out of a jar. Always best to go with fresh salsa! My advice to the manager in 2 words: GREEN and FRESH.

4. PRICE--excellent. 5 stars.

  • We took advantage of our buy one get one free entree coupon!
  • This month's special was FREE fried ice cream with every entree!
  • Our total food bill came to $10! (plus a great tip for great service)

All in all a pretty good deal for some good conversation.

Do you have any special but unmarketable skills? Are you as picky about your food and restaurant experiences as I am? Do you ever go out to eat?


T said...

I've always thought I would make a good restaurant critic... and then I realized that my weird food allergies and aversion to chocolate would limit what I'd be willing to try...

I'll stick to my book critiques - which is a completely unmarketable skill as well :)

cold cocoa said...

I'd love to critique food, too. That way I'd actually dare veer off my "easy" choice and brave something fun and not have to pay for it.

That shredded lettuce is a killer. It screams "low class (most likely fast food) establishment".

I took Isabelle out to Old Spaghetti Factory to redeem a reader coupon (darn those things!) and sadly wasn't impressed with the food at all. And the waiter wasn't nice with my questions about menu but then had a change of heart later on (he remembered tip possibilities) and started asking Isabelle about her cast. Too late! Now I'm convinced to stick with the 2 or 3 places you love to spend your precious $$$.

THanks for the good topic that allowed me to write this essay.

Megz said...

Only ten bucks! That makes even yucky food more palatable. Did I spell that right?
I read the dining reviews every week and wonder what the rule is on how the paper compensates. Because the reviewer always refers to his 'party' and they get appetizers, entrees and dessert. Who wouldn't love that job??
How many restaurants could you review in R-Field? Just curious....

LC said...

Well Megz, even though we Don't have to many eateries I think I could just cycle through them, make the rounds every so often, you know, just to make sure they are implementing all my improvements.

Sher said...

Wow, I haven't ever wanted to be a restaurant critic. I eat the same thing every time and am happy to do it. I'm not really adventurous at all. I'm not sure what skills I have that are "special but unmarketable". I'm good at talking on the phone too long? Anyhow, I just read about the deer. I'm glad you and Brandon were okay and I hope the door pounding was helpful.

gmoney said...

Sounds like a good business...I'm sure there are several websites that critique restauarants but are any of them household names? I mean, the first movers aren't always the best(i.e. google, microsoft, dell, etc.)

There's gotta be some way to monetize this!