I would love to say that we eat out all the time because I’m a foodie. But really, it’s because I’m lazy. And not just when it comes to cooking. My laziness extends to meal planning, coupon cutting, grocery shopping, and dish washing. The whole process of making meals is utterly exhausting when you think about it.
Some people derive great joy from cooking. From start to finish, they make it look like art. They sing as they wash, chop, and sauté. They dance through the kitchen from refrigerator to stove to sink. It really is a beautiful thing to watch people who love to cook.
Which is exactly why I go out to eat. They love it. I don’t. Without further ado, what I know about going out to eat:
1. It can save a bad day. Thinking about preparing a meal is sometimes enough to make me grumpy. If it’s not a particularly good day to begin with, the idea of making dinner throws it all off. There is no better way to save those days than getting this text from my husband, “You wanna grab Thai tonight?”
2. If there is more than one variety of macaroni and cheese on the menu, GO THERE. EAT THERE. Unless it’s Golden Corral or The Sizzler (Are there Sizzlers anymore?!) or Old Country Buffet. Don’t go there. I once had a boss who loved having three hour meetings at Old Country Buffet because they didn’t kick us out. You know where else doesn’t kick you out after three hours? McDonald’s. That would have been the better choice. This leads me to my next point …
3. Chain restaurants. There are very few that are even remotely acceptable. Chick-fil-a. The nuggets. Nothing else. Chili’s has a bottomless basket of overly greasy and overly salted tortilla chips for $1.92 … you may go there for those as well.
4. Always order something I tell you to order. I’m not bragging here. Some people are born with good intuition about people, business, or life decisions in general. I was born with menu intuition. I can look at one and tell you within 30 seconds what the top three things on the menu are. We won’t get into the fact that it usually corresponds with the three items with the highest caloric index.
5. The dirtier the building and the less English spoken, the more delicious the food. Don’t look in the kitchen, just smile and say thank you and enjoy the best meal of your week/month/life. Bonus: it’s probably cheaper than whatever you were going to make at home that day anyway.
6. Dieting and going out to eat are maybe the worst combination in the world. There is nothing sadder than paying someone else to put lettuce in a bowl for you. And who likes to be this person: “Excuse me … could you roast the chicken with no oil/butter/salt/deliciousness? And all the carbs and cheese, could you take those out of the dish too? THANKS!”
7. A city’s restaurants can make you fall in love with it. If I can get a little romantic about food here: it’s the fastest way to learn the culture of a place. The food that people eat says a lot about who they are: sweet, spicy, rich, simple, rare, surprising, hearty. I know for a fact that if it weren’t for the food here, I would still be struggling to fall for Denver. But you know what Denver? You had me a green chile.
If you wanna follow my eating adventures, check out my Instagram page. I have a hashtag: #eatingwiththegreimans so you can have a visual guide, joining me on my weight gain journey.