Eating Out (And How It's Changed)

Last week, after having worked all day in the yard, I trudged back to the house absolutely beat. I asked Greg if he would cook. Instead he offered to take me out to eat.

I should've known better and just made dinner, but having a meal I didn't have to prepare sounded so good at the time.

We went out, and even though we split a dinner and an appetizer, the bill with tip came up to over $50.

I was mad, but mostly at myself because I had been weak and seduced into eating out. 

The thing that annoyed me was that the meal was at best mediocre. I could have easily done better, but again I was exhausted and didn't want to be on my feet another hour.

After that disappointing evening, I've decided to punish myself and not eat out on my birthday later this week. It's my penance for making a bad decision.

Had I gone to my favorite restaurant instead, it would've been far more than $50 but the food would've been first rate. We've never had a bad meal there. 

(We go there maybe once or twice a year because it's far away. Ironically, because of covid we hadn't been there in three years. We were due.) 

As it happens we hadn't been to the mediocre restaurant in three years either. It wasn't bad three years ago, but it's certainly gone downhill. I doubt I'll ever go back now.

So now I'm disappointed and 50 bucks poorer.

I'm trying to figure out why eating out isn't as enjoyable as it used to be. The food (in my opinion) is not as good as it used to be. Is it because the good cooks have gone on to better paying jobs or left the business all together? 

Service is clearly not as efficient as it used to be and that's definitely due to understaffing.

All I know is that I can do better. I just wish I had a clone so I didn't have to do it all. Greg grills once in a while, but it's hardly rocket science since all he does is throw meat on the barbi.

Meanwhile I'm inside cleaning, chopping, seasoning, and making any side dishes.

I miss the old Greg when he used to come up with these fabulous dishes all on his own. He hasn't cooked me a meal like that in decades. 

Until the economy improves and people go back to work I guess we're left cooking for ourselves.

What's been your experience? Do you think restaurant food has gone downhill?

Do you eat out as much as before covid?

Updates: Internet is still up, hallelujah! It was surprising to find how much I use it to stay connected to friends and businesses.

Now that Odin is no longer reliant on me 24/7 I'm spending all my time tending Nana. She has a serious skin infection that comes and goes. I'm redoubling my efforts to keep her medicated and treat her skin with a special shampoo.

By the way, do not use oatmeal shampoo on a dog if you suspect a yeast infection. Yeast feeds on oatmeal, which is a carb that turns to sugar.

I've started her on DouxoS3. I've noticed an immediate improvement.

I've also started her on fish oil and yucca capsules. My only joy in all this is that she is great about taking her pills. 

Spring has finally stabilized and I think we're done with seesaw temps. It's time to put plants out.

I might wait another two weeks before I put the hot weather plants out but I think I'm safe with everything else.

We have big plans to move the compost bin and Greg has promised me a greenhouse in its stead. Greenhouses can be hit or miss in Texas. They're basically unusable during the summer, but a real godsend in the winter and very handy in the spring. 

It'll be nice to spread my plants around. Right now I'm a little cramped growing everything under lights.

Is it spring by you yet? (Autumn for my down-under friends.)

Are you eating out much?



Lynn said…
We've had the same experience here at places where the quality of food and service have seriously declined, so we've pretty much stopped dining out. Since my nephew came to visit two weeks ago I've been cooking nonstop, because he likes my cooking, but it is a lot on top of a full time job.

I'm trying to make big batches of everything so we can have a leftovers meal. I also freeze some of the extra so I have some meals ready to defrost and make quickly, but it's still exhausting (my guy does grill out for us at least once a week, which does help.) Otherwise I'm mostly simplifying. We have sandwich and soup dinners, easy pasta dinners, and occasionally take-out Chinese for nights when I'm too tired to cook (which is now $25-$30, so not often.)

Since we're growing more of our own veggies I'm also shifting more toward simple dinners we can have with salads: sloppy joes, hamburgers, chili dogs, etc. pair well with garden greens. Sometimes I'll ask my guy to grill a chop for himself and make fish for me to go with pasta salad.
Maria Zannini said…
Lynn: How sad that we've come to this. I wonder where it will lead.

Today, theaters are barely staying solvent since covid. I know I prefer to stream or wait for the dvd rather than sit in a not so sanitary theater.

Where will we go with restaurants? Will people get accustomed to the lower quality and higher prices and continue to go? What about those of us who won't patronize them like before? How will it affect their bottom line?

I imagine younger people will continue to eat out if only to socialize but what a letdown compared to our experience.

I'm so glad you got a freezer. You're going to get a lot of use out of it.

Looking forward to seeing pictures of your harvest too!

Mike Keyton said…
Our eating out habit hasn’t really changed in that we did it rarely before hand and have maintained the habit of splurging on it after a period of looking forward to it. Problem is we are spoilt by having so many wonderful country inn /restaurants in the locality
Maria Zannini said…
Mike: I envy your local eateries. We are surrounded by franchises. The few local eateries are good but nothing to write home about.