Thinking about food -- 02/07/03

Friday Five

1. What did you have for breakfast this morning? If you didn't have breakfast, why not?

I had a dish of Raisin Nut Bran cereal (with skin milk), a glass of orange juice, and a lot of black coffee. (Breakfast was around quarter past six... and I also had a donut with coffee around eleven a.m.... and lunch was a toasted whole wheat bagel with a fried egg around 1:30 in the afternoon.)

2. What's your favorite cereal?

Raisin Nut Bran. That also seems to be fairly popular with the rest of the family. Sometimes just for variety I might get Oatmeal Crisp, either with raisins or almonds. Nancy also likes Kellog's Raisin Bran (their regular kind gets soggy too quickly for me, but their "crunch" variety is okay). Our daughter is a big fan of Honey Nut Cheerios.

3. How often do you eat out? Do you want that to change?

Which meal? Well, actually, we do not really eat out very much, more often meals not prepared by me would be take-out. Assuming I am not on a business trip, I might eat breakfast out once or twice a month (i.e., picking up a bagel and egg to go from a Dunkin' Donuts shop) and probably get take out lunch out a couple times a week -- i.e., something like picking up a tuna sub or an Italian sub from Subway or a number one sandwich (turkey, bacon, tomato on a croissant) from Pickles Deli to be eaten back in the office, very rare to actually eat lunch in a restaurant. If that means dinner, we probably get something take-out maybe once a week... usually pizza but sometimes Chinese food or fish-and-chips. Maybe three times a month we have dinner at Nancy's mother's house. We don't seem to go out for dinner very often, probably eat out at a restaurant once a month on average. I enjoy eating out but I get to do that a lot when I am away on business and Nancy would prefer to eat at home (she likes my cooking). Let's see... we ate out at the Mews Tavern with a whole bunch of people the night before Thanksgiving, don't remember having dinner in a restaurant in December, and in January we ate out twice, once with Nancy's sister and her husband (at Quatro's... I had pork roast with garlic mashed potatoes, yum!) and a couple weeks ago we ate at a Chinese restaurant when we went to see Lady Windermere's Fan.

Do I want that to change? Yes, in recent years I have thought that it might be nice to eat out a little more often... and we are about at the point where we really don't need to worry much about the kids -- after all, this May Sean will turn 18 and Jennifer will be 21... and if she and her friends can find an apartment she may not be living here much longer anyway. Of course come September we will be enjoying having two kids in college at the same time, and after I finish paying tuition and buying books, etc., going out to dinner with Nancy more often might need to be postponed for a while. Anyway, on Sunday I'm leaving for a week in Las Vegas (business trip) so by the time I get back I will probably be happy to stay out of restaurants for a while.

4. What do you plan on having for dinner tonight? Got a recipe for that?

I'm not quite sure yet. I have some boneless chicken breast and some asparagus so I'll probably saute the chicken and steam the asparagus. Jennifer is off to role-playing games with friends (picked up by a friend with 4-wheel drive, we're in midst of a major snow storm today), but Sean is home and I might feed him a steak. Recipe? Not really... I mean, I won't be opening a cookbook, I'll pound the chicken a bit flat and just toss it into a nice hot heavy non-stick frying pan (with just a bit of olive oil... just because), then add some white wine, basil, poultry seasoning, a bit of lemon juice... if I'm also fixing a steak for Sean (and he'd probably like it with a side dish of pasta with Prego tomato sauce, he thinks I put too many things in my homemade red sauce) I'll confess that I'll probably try to save time by making a sauce for the chicken out of a can of cream of asparagus soup rather than making my own white sauce (okay, so it's cheating, but this is just another nightly meal, can't do everything from scratch), meanwhile steam the asparagus... and fix some pasta (maybe linguist?) and serve him the steak with pasta and for Nancy and me I'll put the chicken and cream sauce on the pasta, asparagus on top, decorated with some lemon slices, maybe a little more sauce over the asparagus, then some fresh ground black pepper. I have Italian bread, maybe make garlic bread. A simple salad. Maybe serve it with a Pino Gringo.

5. What's your favorite restaurant? Why?

I have many favorite restaurants, wouldn't want to narrow it down to just one...

There are restaurants I enjoy in various cities... I can think of a very good Indian restaurant in Oslo (and any number of them in London... and while I'm thinking about London, think of all the pubs and all the Chinese restaurants as well)... some tasty pizza places in Nice, a decent Cambodian place in Pittsburgh (and actually, when in Pittsburgh I really enjoy the sports bar in the downtown Hilton, spicy hot buffalo chicken sandwich with fries and a nice glass of Guinness, mmmm good)... okay, okay, stick closer to home...

I've already mentioned two enjoyable restaurants in this entry -- Quatro's and the Mews Tavern -- and in various past entries I've named Champlin's and Main Street Fish Market and Aunt Carrie's as good (but very informal) seafood restaurants in Wakefield and Narragansett. (The Mooring in Newport is quite a bit upscale from the local places I've named, but their New England Clam Chowder is exquisite.) There is a restaurant on Main St. in Wakefield that seems to change ownership (and name) on an annual basis -- Nancy and I have enjoyed all of our meals there under prior regimes but have yet to visit it since its latest changeover.

Why? Good food is a key reason, but also a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere, good food, good service, good food, reasonable prices, and -- oh yeah -- good food. Well, here's one way to test a restaurant when you first sit down: ask what beer they serve. If their list includes among their choices brands such as Guinness, Harp, Bass, Fosters, Corona, etc., it's probably okay; but if their beer list is more like Bud, Bud Lite, Coors, Coors Lite, etc., then Run! because no matter what their decor, it is really just a Denny's in disguise. If they can't be bothered to serve good beer, they aren't going to bother to serve good food.

previous entry

next entry

To list of entries for 2003

To Home (Index) page