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04/09/2004 Entry: "Friday 5"

Another week of no fresh Friday 5. Who's running this meme, anyway? I've pilfered Paddy's post.

1. What is your favorite restaurant and why?
Sadly, I have no favorite right now. For years, Susan and I always went to Ingrahams for our special occasions. It was quaint, the food was delicious, the prices reasonable, and the service attentive. Too bad they closed. So I'm left with a lot of nice restaurants in town, many of them decent, but not one that stands enough above the others to be called a favorite.

2. What fast food restaurant are you partial to?
Truly fast food? KFC or Wendys. If you include chain restaurants, as Paddy did, then I'd say The Macaroni Grill. There are always about a dozen dishes there I want to try. And since I only get there 3-4 times per year, Iíll never run out of dishes to try. (I always try to get a different one every time I go.)

3. What are your standards and rules for tipping?
Tipping is earned. Itís not required. I have left nothing before. I have left the one penny turned heads down before. Once, I was having a very late night/early morning meal with some friends at a roadside diner. The waitress was rude and inattentive, spending time hanging with her friends. As I recall, she never came to ask how things were, and never offered to refill my coffee. Took order. Delivered food. Brought check. Thatís it. Not only did I not leave her a tip, but when my friend wasnít looking, I took his tip off the table too. (He felt obligated to tip.) I gave it back to him when we were in the car. 10-15% is my norm. Friendly service gets more. The waitstaff doesnít get retribution from me if the kitchen screws up either. Theyíre two different things. As long as the waiter/waitress goes to bat for me in the kitchen, then everything is cool as far as their tip is concerned. And, also like Paddy, the percentage is higher at breakfast, simply because the check is lower.

4. Do you usually order an appetizer and/or dessert?
Not usually an app. I just get too full. Sometimes I splurge, but not usually. Dessert? Iíd say the odds are a little better there. If Iím not totally full from the entrťe, and thereís something on the desert menu that tickles my fancy, then Iím in. Blueberry gingerbread? Something lemony? Chocolate destruction torte? Ok, Iíll buy that. Plain cheesecake? Carrot cake? Brownie sundae? Not so much.

5. What do you usually order to drink at a restaurant?
What meal? Breakfast is black coffee. Sometimes grapefruit juice if itís available. (It usually isnít.) Lunch? Probably water or a Coke. But it depends on what Iím ordering. A Buffalo chicken sandwich might require a beer. And beer selection depends on the weather. Supper out? Usually water with the meal, and coffee for dessert. Depending on budget, there may be a glass of wine in there. Usually red, but it depends on what Iím ordering.

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