Mr Eleanor and I like to go out to eat during the week sometimes. A little treat in the middle of an otherwise monotonous week. There are loads of places to eat near us, but most seem to have a fast-ish food approach to service, so finding a relaxing spot is a bit challenging.
And of course “the other thing” makes it challenging. I’m always nervous of eating out, particularly in as yet unfrequented establishments, where the relationship of trust between the venue and the gastrointestinally afflicted (me) has not been founded.
And even worse? Going to a trusted restaurant and finding at your first bite that they are trying to poison you, despite an extensive and excruciating conversation with the waiter. That? That is heartbreak, right there.
But on Thursday, I was willing to give this particular place another chance. Could I forgive and forget? Was our relationship strong enough that it could overcome this challenge? Thank God, yes! Ribs and chips for me, please! I haven’t had chips for AGES. You would be horrified at what gets done to the humble potato in the mass food producers’ quest for the perfect hot chip. So always go for hand-cut. They are made of real potato, y’know?
I’ve got to get better at having that conversation. You would think after 16 years I’d be a pro but please bear in mind that I’m also culturally afflicted (British) and I don’t want to be a nuisance to anyone. Get over yourself, woman!
Be clear about what you need. And then say it again. Lay it on thick. Lay it on until you’re happy that it has become your server’s personal quest to make sure that you have a delicious, poison-free meal coming your way.