musical restaurants

So much for the idea of wings for dinner. Said the husband, “We already had wings this week.” Oh well…no big deal. I’m up for anything that doesn’t involve me cooking after a long day at work. So, off we go in quest of something “good” too eat.

Mike and I consider ourselves fairly good judges of fine dining. That is to say that we know when the food is pretty good, and we know when it’s crap. We live in Kennesaw Georgia. Not exactly your hot box of entertainment and culture, but it’s not that far from Atlanta, so certainly some culture must rub off. Right? We have a few really good restaurants, a handful of decent restaurants, and a whole lot of crap. We weren’t reaching for the stars this evening; we were just going for a mainstream solidly decent meal. Nothing fancy.

Ok, I’ve discovered there is a direct correlation between what I want for dinner…what I’m willing to eat…how hungry I am…and how long the line is. I’m sure I could break it down into a mathematical equation if I was so inclined, but I’m not.

What the hell? How many people actually live in Kennesaw Georgia? I’ve never looked it up, and honestly, again I don’t really care to do the math, but I’m fairly certain that the lion’s share of them were in line at the Longhorn Steakhouse. Like I said, I wasn’t looking for anything spectacular for dinner, just something tasty. Mike and I didn’t even get all the way into the front door before we turned right back around into the nasty weather and headed for the car. No problem, there are other places to eat, right? Wrong. The next place we went to was so packed we could see the line without even getting out of the car. The engine roars to life again and off we go. Suddenly I’m offering to eat at the one place we both agreed we would never, ever go to again. Did I mention NEVER? Ok, suddenly it didn’t seem like such a bad place. And they NEVER have a line. Not ever. Because as an establishment that's main focus is to serve food, it makes a great bar. And we don’t drink…anymore (unless it’s girls night out and I’m not driving…or if I have really bad laryngitis and I have to sing…because a nice shot of Crown clears all that frog out of my throat.) But I wasn’t singing tonight, I was hungry, and suddenly the worst food I’d eaten in recent memory was sounding pretty damn tasty! But even the crappy place has no parking and a damn line!

So where the hell did all of these people come from? There aren’t any activities in Kennesaw that could send that many people scurrying out into the freezing rain to descend on every single eating establishment in a five mile radius of my house! It was like someone turned a giant spotlight on and a million roaches started rushing for the woodwork. Ok, maybe that was an unfair exaggeration. No one in Kennesaw could be compared to a cockroach. Right…we’ll save that for another post…or five. Tonight my focus is on food. It’s after eight and Mike is ready to settle for McDonald’s! I’m not willing to settle that easily. Certainly not for McDonald’s. Not when the kids aren’t even with us, and we can do so much better. We can even eat in a “quiet” restaurant without having to censor any teenagers. That is, we COULD eat in a nice quiet restaurant, if there was one without a thirty minute wait! What happened to cooking at home? What happened to dinner at five? What happened to staying in on a nasty night? Who the hell knows…I was breaking all of those rules myself, and my husband was beginning to grip the steering wheel a little too tightly for my comfort. It’s funny how you get to know a person’s breaking point. I had eaten almost an entire bag of menthol flavored Halls to chase off the hunger pangs, but Mike hadn’t eaten since lunch. As McDonald’s loomed closer in the distance, I started shouting out other options. Mexican! Food that is. We were even in the correct lane to take the sharp turn into the parking lot of our favorite Mexican restaurant. My mouth was starting to water at the thought of fish tacos. What I really wanted was cheese dip, but it’s extremely difficult to eat with a pair of chopsticks, so I was going to go for the fish tacos. As we rounded the front corner looking for an open parking space, I gazed into the plate glass window only to see a row of people seated in chairs along the front. It was another damn line! Sadly, McDonald’s was starting to seem inevitable, and seriously, I had that for lunch! Luckily, we had already passed McDonald’s and would need to do an illegal U turn to get back to it, so I had at least a quarter mile of road to come up with a better solution. I made a last ditch attempt to avoid a McNasty taste in my mouth when I caught a glimpse of Rosaria’s Pizzeria up ahead. I wasn’t in the mood for Italian…particularly not for pizza…but at this point, I was ready to settle for anything that wasn’t fast food. We screeched into the strip of shops and squealed tires to park in front of the tiny Italian restaurant. I could see empty tables from my seat and experienced a tiny flutter of elation. The mood was tense almost all the way through the meal. We barely spoke. Not because either of us was angry with the other, but rather because the stress of spending more than half an hour looking for a place to eat had gotten under our skins. It didn’t take me long to find the positive side of the entire predicament. First of all, spaghetti is remarkably easy to eat with chopsticks, and secondly, wherein yesterday nothing bad had happened to me that warranted writing about, I had unexpectedly been presented with a deliciously (pun intended) interesting predicament to write about. It’s hard not to laugh at the fact that in the time we spend driving around looking for a restaurant without a line, we could have been seated and eating our free bread at Longhorn, awaiting a meal that would have been twice as satisfying and half as stressful. But then again, what would I possibly post on my blog this evening? I had a nice steak dinner? Who wants to read about that boring crap?

Please visit my husband’s blog at to see if his version of tonight reads differently than mine. He is a man so it probably goes something like this… "my wife didn’t cook dinner so we had to go out. Couldn’t find a damn place to eat until she said, ‘hey, how about pizza.’ I didn’t care. I was just hungry. I would have eaten at damned McDonald’s if she hadn’t been so picky!” Then again, he might just write a song about it!

Until the next time…


Copyright © 2000-2018, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.
Posted on January 30, 2010 .