Monday, August 07, 2006

Recent Dining Excursions

Due to work getting in the way of life, as it often does, I have been quite remiss in posting on my latest dining excursions. The other problem has been that most of my recent dining experiences have been lackluster-- not bad, just not exceptional or noteworthy. I find it to be more enjoyable and satisfying to write about places I liked than those I was not crazy about, despite the fact that very few places interest me so much that I plan to return. I do, however, have several unfinished posts and copies of menus with my notes scribbled on them, waiting to be completed, including a couple of restaurants from Austin, Texas, one from Seattle, Washington, and another from New York City, as well as several from the San Francisco Bay Area. They each had their wow moments and their not-so-wow moments.

Some trends I have noticed (or maybe I am just cranky today), "small plates" are getting quite expensive, although to be fair, they are also not that small either. To illustrate my point, a small taste of cold cucumber soup would be refreshing, but a giant bowl of pureed cold cucumber feels like I'm being punished. In addition, despite the common refrain, "we have small plates for sharing," I often have to chase down servers to get share plates or additional silverware. Not to mention, while I do not expect a fresh plate and silverware for every dish, it would be nice to get replacement clean plates at some point during the meal when I order multiple small plates, so that my pasta does not taste like my salad and the sauce from my beef tenderloin does not get mixed up with the lemon juice from the crudo. Speaking of sharing, what is up with all of these communal tables? They are completely impractical for business meals and utterly undesirable when I am going out to unwind-- is there no place where I can escape from having to make small talk with strangers?

Work makes me grouchy. A mediocre meal makes me grouchier. If I'm using up credit limit and calories, I want both expenditures to be worthwhile.

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