In Praise of a Dependable Chain

img_5102-1I spend a lot of this blog talking about how much I want to eat out less, spend more time cooking, know more about the origins of my food, etc. While all of those things are definitely true, let’s not be unclear: I love eating at restaurants!

I don’t need them to be fancy; I love eating at the counter at Waffle House and I love trying tiny, fancy tapas at a swanky Spanish restaurant with candles on the tables. I like the interaction, the fact that I have so many options but I don’t have to come up with exactly what I want; I just have to identify it among many great choices.

I love that while my food is cooked, I can talk to my friends or to Husband, and I love guzzling tall glasses of water that I tend to forget to drink when I’m making my own meals or eating on the go at work. I like the sitting-down, doing-nothing-else of it.

Husband and I went to a big sit-down chain restaurant last night, a Chili’s, and I was reminded again how nice it is to go to a restaurant. I’m not a big fan of the little computers they keep on the tables, but it does help them save on costs and keep things quick for the servers, which I can appreciate in the prices. I loved eating something totally different from my husband; I liked my food, but I also loved stealing some of his. We were too full for an included dessert, so there was cheesecake to take home.

What I’ve loved most about my favorite restaurants is that some part of our experience is colored by the chef or the server or the bartender who talks to us about the life of the restaurant; that doesn’t really happen at Chili’s, but it still occurs to me, just in the easy kindness of our server last night who was clear and got us our food very quickly. There are times when a reasonably priced, super tasty, and convenient meal is just what I want. When I’m healthy and well rested, I’m all for taking things the long way with home gardening, home cooking, and restaurants that prioritize the local and seasonal, but I sure to appreciate the systems that allow me to, on a whim, decide to take a break for a night.

12 comments on “In Praise of a Dependable Chain

  1. Tony Burgess says:

    Waffle House is a place that equalizes male, female, rich, poor, everyone. They serve good food at a decent price. They are indeed quite goo.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Jasmine says:

    I think it’s great that you highlighted your experience eating out. I think a lot of us that are trying to eat slow food can sometimes get a little burned out. I think going out and taking a break and just enjoying yourself (especially on a date!) is great to recharge your batteries and not get discouraged. (I always appreciate food being made for me a little more after doing all that work!) I’m glad you had fun!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Yes! There are just some nights.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. jr cline says:

    Restaurants are nice. I like Waffle House. I tend to eat at ethnic restaurants when it’s not a Waffle House moment. I like Pho places. I guess I’m into that for a while. Most the time I go out to coffee houses and skip food altogether.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Keeping Up With Curiosity says:

    So true! I love trying new places and the experience (and sometimes surprises) they provide. 🙂


  6. Great post, thank you. Despite being a cook it’s still great to have the occasional night when I don’t have to think about what I’m going to cook, don’t have to shop for it or cook it and there’re no dishes! I get to simply eat and talk. What’s not to like?

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Great post. We too like the diversity of restaurants. Its funny you mention Waffle House.. When ever we travel south tops on the list of eateries is Waffle House. There is something about it that feels good above the food.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. smcwriter says:

    I agree, it’s great to take a break and let someone else cook for a change, especially if you’re the primary cook at home. I’ve never been a fan of Chili’s until I tried their enchiladas and I was sold. So delicious!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. theslingsta says:

    I’m the same. Here in the UK pub food has come on leaps and bounds in recent years. It doesn’t get much better than a long, lingering pub lunch!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Smitha V says:

    So true. It’s fun to eat out at times. I like that you mentioned the water. More often than not, after you’ve finished with the cooking, it’s just so tiring to get yourself a glass of water. A restaurant just serves it to you:)

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Waffle House was always my go-to place whenever I visited Florida with my family. The smashed hash browns and pecan waffles – and, oh yes, the grits – my mouth is watering just thinking about them. Thanks for the memories.

    Liked by 1 person

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