I hope by now, if you have read some of these posts over the past year, you realize that I have been guilty of just about every infraction I have described. You may think that I come across a bit holier-than-thou when it comes to the whole service and hospitality thing, but I have just assumed all this time you always knew I was full of it.
Yes, it is true, I do know what I am talking about. I have spent many years doing about all you can in this business. But mostly I know what I am talking about because I have learned from my mistakes–and I have made every mistake possible in this business, more than once. So, take each post with a grain of salt.
This whole blog thing is really just some new form of therapy. So far, it isn’t working. I still can’t go out and close my eyes and simply enjoy myself. I have to notice every little nuance during every dining experience.
Sometimes I find myself scrambling for a new post idea. Turns out all I need is to go out once in a while. That can be a challenge, because I work nights, and that keeps me from dining out as much as I would like. Now that I think about it, maybe that’s a good thing.
I find that if I just go out once, I get three or four good ideas for blog posts. If I go out more than once, I find that I go insane. I’m trying to find the balance.
Why do we go out?
It isn’t just for the good food. Food we would be challenged to create in our home. It isn’t just so we don’t have to do the dishes–although those are often two very good reasons. So, why is it? We go out to enjoy the company of those we are with. If we are not doing that, we are not doing it right.
Portland offers us so much. The eleven month growing season and all of its bounty. The freshest food, much of which is prepared quite brilliantly. We are lucky! (And perhaps a bit spoiled). I have joined friends for dinner in Los Angeles over the last number of years, and that town has nothing on us.
It is funny, though. My dear friends have accused me of being a foodie, even have called me Portlandia, because I happened to ask a server what kind of bun the hamburger came on. I am sorry if I am spoiled, but if I am going to pay $15 on a burger, I want to be sure to enjoy it. Forgive me please if I do not like my burger served on brioche, that tends to be dry, and falls apart.
Even during my most stressed times eating out, I still remember to gaze into my wife’s eyes and thank the heavens that I get to go out with her. If you are like me, and I pray you are not, I hope that you are able to look past the shortcomings of these places, and instead celebrate the fact that you get the opportunity to go out to fun places with good friends and loved ones. That is what it is all about. I never lose sight of that.