TNT Diner

Good eats and drinks around Tacoma, Pierce County and South Puget Sound

NOTICE: TNT Diner has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved TNT Diner.
Visit the new section.

When the working day is done, critics just want to have fun

Post by News Tribune Staff on March 24, 2008 at 10:24 am | No Comments »
March 24, 2008 10:24 am

Someone asked me: Do you ever eat out for fun? Do you eat out without being a critic?


I tried that Saturday night. It didn’t work.


It was my night off. I was battling fever and aches. I craved fried chicken. I’d promised my bosses that I’d be on budget hiatus through the end of the month. I was spending my own money.


One of the owners of the restaurant dropped by my table to tell me that the chef is now asking his grass-fed beef supplier to cut more fat into their hamburger. (In a fog of fever, I recalled writing that this restaurant’s burgers were lean to the point of flavorless). Then she swung by my table to show me a cocktail the bartender had just concocted. Then the bartender delivered three cocktails for me to check out.


Do you ever eat out for fun? Do you eat out without being a critic?


Maybe. Can you recommend a good restaurant in Seattle? I was up there on my day off, at Quinn’s on Capital Hill. I enjoyed a bowl of white-bean soup with preserved lemon, goat cheese and parsley pesto. I savored a pork-sausage sandwich on a baguette with meat-studded sauerkraut. (I was also tickled pink that Quinn’s, a “gastro pub,” ignores IPA in this neck of the woods.)


After I ate lunch, I gave the bartender my credit card. He returned, with the card and the receipt. “Thank you, Mr. Murrieta,” he said. I was just another guy having lunch. It felt good.


(Had I been working, I would have scribbled the following in my notebook: bartender needs shower & shave; no table service — sitting @ table/returning to bar to order food bad; bottles of tap water on every table — nice; mmmm, rabbit pate…)


But back to Saturday night.


Do you ever eat out for fun? Do you eat out without being a critic?


I chatted with the restaurant owner, to be polite. I sipped the cocktails, to be polite. On my way out, I thanked the bartender and told him not to be offended by the mostly-full glasses I’d left on the table, along with an unfinished (and unordered) toast-and-dip appetizer the owner had delivered earlier.


I enjoyed everything I bought and paid for that night. Despite the good company (I BYO’d my own date), despite the good food (the smaller the chicken, the sweeter the meat!), I didn’t have fun.


Do you ever eat out for fun? Do you eat out without being a critic?


Sometimes I want to be the one to eat in the sun. Sometimes I just want to have fun.

Categories:
Uncategorized
*
The News Tribune now uses Facebook commenting on selected blogs. See editor's column for more details. Commenters are expected to abide by terms of service for Facebook as well as commenting rules for thenewstribune.com. Report violators to webmaster@thenewstribune.com.