I actually have deleted what I was just about to write and say in this blog because half way through I started talking about a subject I felt I should write about. I am without a shadow of doubt the most anal person when it comes to picking a restaurant, so much so it drives Joanne around the bend. She only said to me on Monday " Do you fancy going for food this Friday ", my reply as always is " of course! but leave it with me", those words strike fear in to Joanne. Joanne knows she will spend the remainder of the week asking me the same question "have you picked a place yet" to which I will respond "I see a few places but I am still thinking". Now don't get it twisted we don't go for food often, but when we do I have to research and research and research some more before I am happy with my first choice. Then that first choice will most likely get canned and I will have changed my mind soon after. Joanne is cute though ( cute in this sense is Irish slang for sly ) she always leaves the picking of a restaurant to me because she cannot make a decision either. On the odd occasion she will pick a place and invariably it will be somewhere I don't have much love for, i'd swear she does it to get a reaction out of me. There is also the game I play ( I say game it is me being thick ). Joanne will suggest a place, I go "nah" , I spend too long picking and we end up going to Joanne's original suggestion.
I use every single avenue open to me before picking on a restaurant. I will read blogs, newspaper "lifestyle" sections, food based websites, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and finally the bastion of all reviews TripAdvisor. I live and die by TripAdvisor, but I do know where to draw the line with the site. For example if a review for a restaurant is bad because e.g." The taps were not clean" or the toilet for floor was covered in urine, I am not going to obviously pay much attention to them. I am looking at 2 things, both are of equal importance to me. Firstly the food, the food must be good, the reviews of such must make me think going here is going to be a gastronomic pleasure. The food review can be very subjective though so there is quite alot you need to wade through in order to make up an opinion on an establishment. Secondly, and I say secondly as it is probably more like joint first, SERVICE. When I was younger I did a chef course and at the same time a hospitality course was run side by side with our course. I will openly admit thinking "Why in the hell would you do a course in hospitality" there is no skill in being a waiter/waitress". Oh my how I was wrong, service is absolutely everything in a restaurant. The people in front of house are there to ensure you are having a great experience. It starts from the very minute you open the door to the restaurant, it has to be always on point without exception. I am looking for good food and great service.
I am not a food snob ( I will now demonstrate this ) either I just want to eat really good food, and it can be as simple as a good stew, just give me good food and I am happy. I am going to end this now in a moment and you are all going to bust yourselves laughing at me. This morning Joanne comes down the stairs, "So Will, have you decided yet" to which I respond "hmmm still thinking". Right about now she is going to stab me! I gave it 10 mins until we hopped in the car "Ok so I think I have come up with my choices, how about a chipper or or or better yet McDonalds". She burst out laughing, I had spent the entire week dangling her on a string to come up with these two absolutely excellent choices I am sure you will agree. Yes yes I know it sounds absolutely ridiculous, well there in lies the rub. We have been both eating healthier since New Years and right now there is nothing I want more than either a dirty chipper or an even dirtier McDonalds. Did she agree? of course she agreed because sometimes all you want is a McDonalds. You can take the piss out of McDonalds until the cows come home, you can say its dire food, and my response : Nope Incorrect. McDonalds is perfection, they have been around 62 years that is why. I have never been one of those people that has McDonalds on a regular basis, but I use it is a place for a treat. When me and my brother were kids, we got McDonalds on a special occasion invariably we would go the day before going on our summer holidays. Flat out some of the best times of my life, there was nothing nicer than dipping chips in to my milkshake. McDonalds is and forever will be good memories with my family.
In conclusion picking a restaurant with me means there is a good chance we will be having a Big Mac for dinner.