I am a restaurant snob. For five long years of my life, I worked as a hostess at Ruby Tuesday. This experience has made me unwilling to eat at chain restaurants. When I see commercials for TGIFriday’s 3-course meals or Ruby Tuesday’s “garden” bar, I feel ill. Applebee’s, Chili’s, O’Charley’s, or anyplace with a bunch of tchotchkes hanging on the wall are all on my “no eat” list. (On an aside, this feeling does not extend to breakfast spots, as I love, love, love Cracker Barrel and IHOP. Go figure.) Buffets are also on this list. The thought of retrieving my dinner from beneath a sneeze guard is just plain unappetizing. This restaurant snobbery is actually something Tate and I see eye to eye on.
Not that it happens often anyway, but when we do eat out, we prefer to eat at local establishments. We are particularly fond of brew pubs and places with a whole-in-the-wall type atmosphere. Even with my love of these kinds of restaurants I get positively nervous trying a new place. My fear is ridiculous, but real. First, I worry about the way the whole being seated thing works. Sometimes it’s not obvious when you first walk in, do you seat yourself or do you wait for a hostess? I hate standing around looking like an idiot. I don’t know why, but I don’t want them to know it’s my first time there. Irrational? Yes.
Some of these restaurants expect it’s customers to order the correct way. I like to rehearse what I’m going to order in situations such as these. This is especially true in BBQ restaurants and any place with the word “bistro” in it’s name. I fear stage fright and ridicule if I order the wrong way or mispronounce a word on the menu. My stomach gets all knotted up whenever it’s the kind of place that you order from the counter and have to read the menu up on the wall behind the cashier. I always feel so rushed and it’s always so hard to figure out what to order. It’s even worse if there are experienced orderers standing behind you, waiting to place their orders.
Also, before trying a new restaurant, I like to know if it’s kid-friendly. I don’t want to walk into a divey looking place, thinking it’s going to be all noisy and therefore kid-friendly, only to find that it’s some swanky joint, complete with matching waitstaff all dressed in head to toe black and white table cloths. Places like these look down upon us breeders who show up carrying two kids and ask for a high chair. Eating in a place like this is sure to make me sweat. Really, I literally sweat when I get nervous like this. And sweating in a posh dining spot is typically looked down upon.
It’s making less and less sense as to why it is I don’t like chain restaurants, isn’t it?! At least at Longhorn Steakhouse, you know what to expect. Maybe it’s the adrenalin rush I get when I try a new restaurant?
So there you have it. I’m officially a weirdo, who likes to unnecessarily stress herself out for the sake of a decent meal.
Update on the Standoff…
Great news! Tate picked up his socks!!
I’m not even kidding. The Standoff has now resumed.