Friendly as I am with food in general, restaurants and I have almost always been on terms of an especial camaraderie. So many memories are created when you feast on foods in fine eating establishments in good company. My past is littered with events that allow sentences to begin with “Remember when K threw artichokes at Prof. H in Cheddars……?” (no really, he did! That is the correct course of action when the professor in question throws you out of class for….but I digress.) Then there is the added comfort and convenience of someone else waiting on you and having to clear the table and do the dishes. But wait; don’t go away thinking I’m some kind of eatery style snob. Some of the finest eating establishments I know provide you with the food, a paper napkin, a curt nod and expect you to make the best of it. I am intimately familiar with this type too and will happily adjust, if the food in question tastes first-rate and the napkin is clean. (Mama raised very germ-conscious children!) I don’t ask for much from a potential food provider.
Touching briefly on a pet peeve of mine, here in the US, things are different from India when it comes to the actual restaurant space. Good (read expensive) restaurants in India are magnificent in their opulence. Scale, proportion, sound control and material are used with liberal abandon to make you feel like the money you are spending is worth it. And it does achieve its objective often. That is not necessarily the case with expensive restaurants here, especially in cities. You can end up spending a fortune in a tiny little joint where there isn’t enough room on the table for your food, the salt shaker and the customary single flower vase; and the noise levels require you to play the lets-see-whose-louder-game with the table next to you. These are restaurants, mind you, not clubs. You expect it from one but get horrible headaches and rising blood pressure when you find it in another. The higher the price tag on such an experience, the more robbed you feel. While restaurants here have introduced me to several different worlds, culinarily speaking, the designer in me wonders what they were thinking. I’m sure there’s a strata of uber-expensive restaurants that might offer me this, but those would probably be as inaccessible to most people, as they are to me.
Regardless, there are a host of wonderful restaurants out, no matter what country you are in. And that’s a good thing when you can’t be bothered to cook. In future posts, I will share some of the ones I’ve been to.
Also….raising my glass to the seasonal teeth-rattling we had today. This earthquake was exceptionally perky in the city. Escaped near-loss of finger nail when set-square came crashing down on hand. Stats say magnitude 4.3, bit north of Morgan Hill. Nothing to get ones noodles in a knot about, yet with – as I realized – pregnant with disaster potential.