Eating out no treat

Pardon this rather long commentary/rant on the restaurant industry. Just got home from eating out (yeah, I know I do that way too much). Ate at an order-at-the-counter-type-chain. And once again, the experience was less than ideal. In this case, the entrée itself was good, but . . . the drink machine had a sign on it “sorry, no ice.” It’s 88 degrees today, and the soda was less than cold. The lady at the next table wasn’t so lucky. She got the wrong item, and the replacement didn’t get to her until her table-mates were done eating. And by the way, the WC had no TP. What’s up with that?

This week began with a breakfast delivered to me that was totally inedible. It wasn’t just me, 4 of the other 6 diners at the table found at least part of their meal unsatisfactory. Bad restaurant experiences have increased at an alarming rate lately. First I thought it was just to me, but I’ve observed them happening to others. And then, the ultimate authority – the workplace breakroom – confirmed my fears that the only way to be totally satisfied may be to eat at home. Someone reported that half of their dining party never received their order. Last evening, at my customary tgif observance (not the restaurant, but thank g . . . . well, you know), as we left the order-at-the-counter-person, a previous diner came up to tell the order-taker not to bother bringing out the fries and other to-follow items, since they were done eating and leaving.  Earlier in the week, I had a nicely crisped chicken sandwich that was raw in the middle and burned French fries (how do you burn french fries?) I did have a very good chicken salad sandwich at favorite-bar-and-grill, but while we were eating there was a huge crash when a stack of plates near us hit the floor. (I hope it was no one’s meal). My husband told me his regular fast-food-breakfast-after-golf wasn’t what he ordered, but then he almost never gets what he orders. Sheesh!

Two shining experiences in the last week encourage me to keep trying, however. A shout-out to Tokyo Restaurant for an amazing dining experience, like always, and another to Chick-a-dee, whose atmosphere hasn’t changed in 20 years (or more?), but the best breakfast I’ve had in a long time – piping hot, light pancakes and sizzling bacon done to perfection.