In my “Restaurants” category, find my tales of dining, fine and otherwise, from near and far, Seattle, Washington to Inish Bofin, County Galway, Ireland.

Superdawg Drive-in in NW Chicago. Photo copyright 2005, Zachary D. Lyons

I have a theory that a restaurant’s food is inversely proportional to the size of its pepper grinder. Thus, when the server arrives with my salad and asks me, “would you like some fresh ground pepper?”, instead of being dazzled by their eyes and smile, I am checking out the pepper mill in their hands. If it is so small that it fits neatly into one of their hands — maybe its even battery operated, so it only takes one hand to operate — I let out a sigh of relief, feeling increased confidence that my meal is going to be enjoyable. But if it is so huge that the server is only holding one end of it over my salad, and the other end with the grinder’s twist top is being held by another server on the other side of the dining room, I prepare myself for indigestion and an equally difficult to stomach bill at meal’s end.

Big John's Alabama BBQ in North Tampa -- the only place I've ever eaten that had armed security. Photo copyright 2007 Zachary D. Lyons
Big John’s Alabama BBQ in North Tampa — the only place I’ve ever eaten that had armed security. Nevertheless, the barbecue was worth the risk.  Photo copyright 2007 Zachary D. Lyons

I have learned, therefore, to check out a restaurant’s pepper grinders before committing to patronizing it, much like I ensure that a pizzeria does not have a conveyor belt in its pizza oven before I order a pie. Still, every rule has its exceptions (except the rule about pizza oven conveyor belts, of course, which just proves that even the exceptions rule has exceptions). There are the odd restaurants with big grinders and good food, but they are rare, and there are those joints with adequately minuscule pepper mills whose food is crap. And while I could spend a lot of time ranting about the crappy places here, I don’t really see the point. Those folks are perfectly capable of putting themselves out of business without my help, and plenty of people seem content with eating crap. Otherwise, why would McDonald’s be the most popular restaurant on earth?  Instead, I plan to talk about the good food I find, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic. I’m always looking for more good food.

One thought on “Restaurants

  1. Oh my, thanks for the laugh — I needed that or those (one great big belly laugh for each of the photos on your blog!)! Congrats on the blog–I look forward to being a regular reader!

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