It’s Nice To Eat Out

But, you say it’s cheaper to eat at home.

You’ll have to work harder; earn the money, go to the store for the groceries, bring them home, store them in the pantry. Then the business of thinking up a menu, preparing the raw ingredients, and cooking them. Setting the table, serving the food and drink. Then after the meal, clearing the table, washing the dishes, drying them, binning and disposing of the rubbish. And storing the leftovers if you’re lucky enough to have a surplus of food.

Well, that’s a lot to do. But if you do it you cut out the labour costs of the restaurant. You still pay the transport costs to get to the eatery, but that’s just a two-way trip for yourself – if you get cheap transport pass it beats the shopping trips all hollow.

The meal at the restaurant may well be something that you never cook – that you never could cook. It may have ingredients than cannot be used economically, or obtained in small quantities. It may certainly contain more cooking expertise than you will ever have. Chefs only burn things that should be burnt – amateurs can do it to simply everything.

The meal at the restaurant is a feed-and-forget affair. No cleaning up before or after. Pay the bill and walk out and leave the work to others. They may be grateful for the opportunity to wash dishes for pay.

I strike a balance – if I am at home I don’t go out to feed. I go to the kitchen and open the pantry or the icebox and get busy. If I’m out on the road too far away to return for that home-cooked meal I give myself permission to enter any eatery I fancy and cheer myself up. I’m just grateful for towns that have enough of them to provide a choice.

I also realise that the timing is crucial – too often food joints close themselves just when I get hungry…leaving me to get hungrier. I have to train myself to suit my browsing and sluicing to suit their hours, lest I be left to the mercies of the fast food joint.

Note I once exchanged letters with a chap who always sought out WcKenzies’s drive-thru restaurants whenever he travelled because they provided a constant type of cuisine. The burgers were what they always were and he could recognise them. Sort of like going on a non-adventure.

2 thoughts on “It’s Nice To Eat Out

  1. One point you made is spot on, but I would go even further. As you rightfully note, often restaurants have the ability to use ingredients that the home chef cannot. There is an advantage to serving lots of the same dish. I often find that I buy a fresh herb or a specialty ingredient and end up throwing some away because it goes bad before I can use it all. The just don’t sell a tablespoon of this or that whenever the recipe calls for it!

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    1. So true. We once had a set of cookbooks that were a weekly part-series. The dishes looked marvellous, but called for things to be preprepared from ingredients that were just not available here in our town. It was like being a kid locked out of a candy shop!

      Like

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