Son of Grok

I hate restaurants

February 8th, 2010

Ever since going primal and cooking for myself, I cannot stand going to restaurants.

Usually by the time I drive to a restaurant, get seated, order, wait for my order, eat, wait for the check and pay… I could have whipped up an amazing meal and enjoyed myself more in the process.

Then there is the issue of food quality. Cooks at 90% of restaurants really don’t give a damn about how much effort they put into your meal. Its just the facts. They are pressed for time, limited to crappy ingredients and most of them are paid like poop. I realized something interesting the other day when I had to go to a business meeting over lunch at a restaurant. How often have you gone out to eat with someone and heard the question asked “How is yours?” How often has the response been “Its ok” or “its alright” or its “so so”? This just isn’t something that has happened to me since not eating out anymore. The food is always excellent or phenomenal and if it isn’t… its my own darn fault.

Then there is the issue of cost. A meal at a half decent restaurant for just the wife and I always seems to put me back at least $30. I can cook whatever I want, grass fed, top shelf and organic for way less than that! I always leave a restaurant feeling a little like I just got robbed.

Kind of tying in with that is the issue of service. How often do you really get good service anymore. Admitted I do get better service when traveling than I do here locally (you other Albuquerque locals can probably vouch for this as well) but you just don’t get decent service anymore. It seems tipping has become a given requirement now and no one feels that they should have to work for it. I am not kidding… the last 3 times I have gone to a restaurant, I have had to stand up, track down my waiter/waitress and demand a refill on my water. When I get good service, I am a generous 20% tipper but it seems that never happens anymore. It is a “gratuity”… it iss meant as a gracious gesture for me to show my gratitude for being taken well care of during my meal. A lot of restaurants these days have even started automatically adding the gratuity to your bill for you thereby deciding for you exactly how much gratitude you posses for your meal.

And then there is… you know what? Never mind. I am just getting myself aggravated.  :-)

15 Responses to “I hate restaurants”

  1. Rob

    High-five. I feel the same way. Im much more impressed with how I make food than most of the restaurants that are out there.

  2. James

    Welcome back, champ! still a boxing fan? Not a lot to look at these days. I prefer to cook a lot more myself, but still do enjoy restaurants. I think the difference may be locale, and where I am, New York City, is probably the exception to the rule. You don’t, however, get something for nothing, and they give you the quality food and excellent service, where it kills me is the price tag. I can go out and get a great steak (yes not grassfed, have to pop some omega 3s!) and big ass salad, and it’s a good meal. It’s not ideal versus grass fed meat, but it’s good. But once I go away, (just went to maryland, for example,) not even small places, the service and more importantly food quality, it just falls off a cliff. I am not a big “we’re the best guy,” in fact, a lot about living in new york is brutal, but I guess I would say that if you ever make it to new york, I’ll take you out for a good dinner that you’ll like!

  3. Amy

    Oh bummer! I share your frustration about bad service and required tipping. Come on up to Boulder, CO sometime! We have some great paleo-friendly restaurants with staff that actually earn their tip. I’ve found that I really only enjoy high-end dining since I went Paleo. There are a few exceptions, but it’s much easier to find great high-fat, protein and veggie-centered meals at fancy places than at your typical carbarific sandwich/pizza/pasta place. And a fancy place is usually pretty willing to accommodate substitutions and requests. Of course, that means less frequent dining out, but I make sure to really enjoy it when I do.

  4. Heather Lackey

    >> I always leave a restaurant feeling a little like I just got robbed.

    Yes! I’ve had to stop eating out almost completely to save myself from the post-meal depression of having spent so much on “meh.”

    High-end dining is about all we enjoy anymore–better eating out be a rare treat than a frequent disappointment.

  5. Fitness Contrarian

    I think Tips stand for: To Insure Prompt Service

  6. FoodRenegade

    As much as I love cooking and preparing all my meals, I also LOVE eating out. I like eating foods I wouldn’t have made for myself. I like the convenience of NOT having to cook (I’m a mom and cook 3 meals a day for EVERY member of my household). Ever since I started caring about the sourcing of meats, veggies, and the like, it’s been harder to eat out.

    That’s why I’m super-excited about a GIVEAWAY I’m doing right now just in time for Valentine’s Day. It’s for a restaurant guide called Healthy Eats Here!, and the guide is pretty darn awesome. It ONLY features restaurants that source humanely raised/pastured meats, local & seasonal veggies, etc.

    I agree that the quality in most restaurants is lacking. But this guide should help you find decent restaurants in your area (in all price ranges) for those truly special occasions when dining out is just what the doctor (or WIFE) ordered.

    To find out more about the guide and giveaway, just click on my name above to get to my website.

    (AKA FoodRenegade)

  7. Adventure8410

    I used to love eating out and going to restaurants, but I found that the more primal, and health/food concious, I became the more I realized how awful the food out there really was. Hell most of the time I think I can whip up something far superior with just my microwave and blender, and it would actually be primal.

    The one thing that is really confusing to me when it comes to restaurants is why they insist on slathering most everything in crazy amounts of sauces or seasonings. I’m sorry but when I want a piece or meat, I want the meat and not a ton of sauce with some meat after taste.

  8. Benjamin Owen

    SoG, you’re TOTALLY right! My wife and I have been strict primal now for a while, and we have SO MUCH MORE $$$. We cook every night, and have great meals!

  9. John Sifferman

    Right on, buddy. Service has gone WAY down at most restaurants lately. On the flip side, diners and mom + pop places have stepped it up a bit, realizing that people are holding onto their money a little more with the recession.

    Nothing beats a well-planned, home cooked meal. That beats a date 9 times out of 10, but it is nice to just go out once in awhile, too.

    And don’t get me started on going out to the movies…

  10. Naomi

    In the netherlands it’s not ‘normal’ to tip. It’s really still a thank you for good service. I don’t eat out often because I can’t afford it, I still love to go. Good service, excellent food 90% of the time. Besides, while I can easily, cheaply and comfortably watch a movie at home I still like to go to the cinema. Eating out is a bit like that.

  11. julie

    Your waffle recipe rocked the house! Holy smokes you are good:) Hope you can keep finding time and energy for us, because we highly benefit from it and send you lots of good karma for it!!!!! We went out to breakfast the other day and my son ordered a huge ‘belgian’ waffle that came smothered in whipped cream, sweetened strawberries, and crumbled oreo cookies. Gotta love restaurants….NOT.

  12. Amy

    I’ve found that where I live some restaurants are definitely more primal-friendly than others.

    Some will gladly substitute veggies for potato/rice stuff, and yet others will go so far as to charge the customer extra for such a thing! Ridiculous…

  13. Deanna

    I am torn, personally. I really enjoy the food I make at home — it almost always beats out what I can get at a restaurant. So instead, on the occasion that we DO go out, I use it as a cheat meal and get something that I won’t make at home, like pasta or a real burger or something. Then, I get my cheat but I don’t have it hanging around the house.

    Hubby and I are actually going to Olive Garden tonight to split a plate of those “special” pansotti. And then we’ll split a tiramisu. I don’t expect it to be fabulous in the least. I expect it to be Olive Garden. And that’s okay with me, at least for tonight.

  14. Kiko in Chicago

    Right ON!

  15. greg

    Most restaurants in my area are more like ‘food service’ than anything else. When I order something it was usually frozen right up until I ordered it. I feel robbed when something I paid extra for, like bacon bits, is actually not bacon at all. I’m willing to forgive a multitude of sins, if the cook puts something in front of me that s/he made them self. Even if it sucks, I’ll pretend it was good. Positive reinforcement. There are about five restaurants around here, and they all have the same things on the menu. It’s to the point that when I do go out, I’m giddy when I see something that isn’t on all the other menus. I’ll order whatever it is just to make a point. The menus are incredibly uninspired to say the least, so it’s not surprising that the staff is also uninspired. I understand that most servers are very hard workers, but I don’t care how many ketchup bottles you filled today, or how many napkins you folded yesterday. I don’t want much, but if I have to choke down a club sandwich with dry as hell turkey on it, you should have the compassion to check if I need a drink refill once in a while. I prefer to cook at home. I’m not the best cook in the world, but I’m a hell of a lot better than any of the professional cooks I’ve seen around here. For one thing I can cook a turkey properly. I’m glad I found this post. I thought I was the only one who felt this way.

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