Thursday, February 21, 2013

Blog Guelph: Restaurantouring

Fine Dining by peterkelly
Fine Dining, a photo by peterkelly on Flickr.

I was brought up to believe in cooking for myself and I do dislike microwaves, dishwashers, and short-cuts. Anything that can heat your food to blazing hot and not the plastic container that it's in – well that just has to be wrong. Dishwashers use chemical soaps and besides, you have to wash your dishes before you put them in there anyway. I use cast iron frying pans and won't go near those toxic coated magical no-stick varieties…

Eating out can be a test of faith, confidence, and trust.  Hygiene, chemicals, short-cuts, freshness, nutrition, safety – all factors that people likely don’t consider as they sit down to examine the delicacies on their plates.

There is the emotional side though – eating out is social, it marks occasions, it creates memories. It’s totally convenient.

Restaurantouring in Guelph can be quite an adventure I would say.  While I've had some great experiences, I've had some terrible ones too.

I've had waitresses rudely argue with me about putting my coffee in a take-out cup instead of a mug when I was in a hurry.  I once literally found a hair-ball in my coffee.  I was once served a creamer that had a used napkin stuck in it. My friend went into a restaurant for lunch the other day and was shushed by the waitress who was talking on the phone! Once, several years ago a waitress actually spent her evening pathetically trying to hit on my boyfriend (I paid that tab just to see the look on her face when she got no tip).  I've even been trapped at my dinner table, forced to watch inappropriate public fraternizing among establishment staff and management. Wait, am I in a culinary establishment or did I accidentally visit a petting zoo?

And then there are those places that are really “cliquey” – you feel awkward if you’re not dressed for Woodstock 69 or if you washed your hair that day.

Yet, there are times when eating out is such a pleasure too. When you run the risks and you actually have a really winning time. I have some very fond memories with family, loved ones, friends - memories that span more than a decade now here in Guelph.

If others are like me and they don’t go out all the time, when they do go out, they want to be treated with a professional attitude, with care and diligence, respect, and politeness. In fact, everyone should be treated this way all the time.

You don’t need to offer me love or a side-show, but you could offer me a really clean, smooth, visit with a good meal and attentive wait staff.

~ Aidan M.D. Ware

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