Dining Out: What I’m Learning Every Day

So, I went to a restaurant, which is kind of a big deal, because we stopped dining out on account of the plague.

Doordash, though. Damn. I wish I had invested all the money I spent on Doordash over the past 2 years in bitcoin or something. I’d probably be telling a different story, or writing this from a private island. 

Since I’m vaxxed and boosted and got COVID, I figured I was safe to foray out into public eating. I made plans to meet a friend for lunch.

She had something come up and had to back out. But was I deterred? No, no I was not.

I felt ready to face the world and have never minded eating alone in a restaurant. In fact, I kind of dig it.

My normal work routine is to pack a lunch and, around noon, I grab my lunch and scurry back to my desk to eat.

I don’t avail myself of the breakroom. There’s fucking people in there.

Since I had no lunch, the world of restaurant lunches spread out before me. Where would I go?

I considered Italian, but I planned on making spaghetti and meatballs for dinner that night. Italian was out. No matter. I would drive a few exits down. There were all types of restaurants there. I would decide when I arrived.

At the top of the street, sat a restaurant I had never heard of before.

It had the same name as a TV show I was obsessed with in the nineties. The building had a lodge-y feel to it and the sign on the roof said “Great food and great scenery.” Cool! A lodge with pictures of mountains and crystal clear streams. This would be great. Just what I needed.

I walked in and was immediately struck by the hostess’s attire. She was dressed like a lumberjack whose clothes had shrunken down to Barbie doll size.

After asking to sit at a high top in the back corner of the bar, I felt happy to be out and about. I still wanted to avoid the other humans as much as possible.

I followed the hostess to my table and tried processing her outfit, but was in no way judging her. Humans have a right to adorn themselves as they see fit. I am sick to death of reading stories about young women in school getting sent home because their bare shoulders are apparently a threat to the young men in school. We have bodies and being taught to feel shame over the vessels that take us through our lives is damaging.

It wasn’t the skimpiness of her clothing.

I was worried for her because it is February in the Midwest. She needed a nice cardigan or something.

I noticed two things when I sat down. The waitstaff were all women dressed in the same lumberjack outfit that only a lumberjack with no concern for the elements would wear. Except for the boots. They wore nice sturdy boots. The second thing I noticed was every other occupied table was occupied by men.

It took me just a few more seconds to figure it out.

Ohhhhh. Twin Peaks. The restaurant is called Twin Peaks

It was basically a Hooter’s for the outdoorsy type.

I was the sole woman diner in a breastaurant. Sitting in a back corner. Alone.

This was not the experience I was dreaming of.

Did it go just a little downhill from there? Of course, as I am me.

As I said, we don’t go out for dinner anymore. I’m unaware that some restaurants don’t have traditional menus anymore. They have a barcode on the table that you scan with your phone to get the menu.

Did I have my readers with me? Nope. No way I was reading a menu on my phone. I mean, I could have expanded the picture, but I’d have to expand it so much that it would take a damn bit of time to scroll through a menu. I only had an hour.

So, I asked my waitress if she had a regular menu.

She did! The menu type was miniscule. So, you know, not much better than my phone.

I could make out what looked like fish and chips. I like fish and chips okay.

Honestly, at that point, I just wanted to eat my lunch and scurry back to my desk.

The food wasn’t very good, which isn’t surprising. I don’t think food is the main focus at any boobie restaurant.

But I did it. I ate lunch out in a restaurant. I called my mother on my drive back to work because I knew my story would make her laugh, so it wasn’t a total loss.

Later that night, I made pasta with a plan to pack the leftovers for my lunch last Friday.

Honestly, the pasta wasn’t very good. I wasn’t super excited about eating it again and decided to lunch out again. This time I would go to a restaurant that I knew, because I sincerely wanted no surprises.

I ended up on the same street I had been on the previous Wednesday. I passed Twin Peaks and parked near Bravo. They weren’t busy and had menus with large type.

Friday’s lunch was more satisfying, although the food wasn’t as good as I remembered.

I don’t know if my taste is still off from COVID or if I just don’t remember what chain restaurant food tastes like.

There was a TV playing the Olympics in my line of sight. I spent 30 minutes eating chicken parm and watching Curling.

My takeaway from that experience is that Curling is like a bizarre dream that is also sort of boring. Also, there don’t seem to be many instant replays in Curling.

I think next week, I will go back to my normal routine of eating lunch at my desk.


Photo by Joshua Woroniecki on Unsplash



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By Michelle