Restaurant #5: Second Chances

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When do you give a restaurant you didn’t like another chance?

Perhaps when there is a new owner.

Maybe if you see the restaurant being remodeled.

Or if you are on a Cuisine Quest of your own, and visiting every single restaurant in your town!

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Restaurant #5 is another taco shop.  You’ll remember from a previous post that there are so many taco shops in our town that I wondered how they each could compete and survive. I decided to be very picky to determine the best taco shop for us.

This taco shop has been around for the 20 years we’ve lived on our street.  When we first moved in we were excited to have tacos we could walk to!

How great to be able to send my child to the taco shop to bring home dinner!

How great to be able to send my child to the taco shop to bring home dinner!

But, we didn’t like their beans.  Or their guacamole.  Or their carnitas.  Or their rice.

Tonight, we gave this taco shop a second chance.

The tortillas are soft and warm and yummy! They gave us a huge portion of  carnitas .

The tortillas are soft and warm and yummy! They gave us a huge portion of carnitas.

My husband ordered a  adobada  burrito, which is pork marinaded in red chili sauce with vegetables. It was good, and enough for leftovers!

My husband ordered a adobada burrito, which is pork marinaded in red chili sauce with vegetables. It was good, and enough for leftovers!

All these years later, we still don’t like their beans or guacamole or carnitas or rice.  Nice people, but the food just isn’t for us.

We give it two forks down.  But that is just our opinion.  While we were eating, a steady stream of customers came in the restaurant and through the drive through.  And the customer service was friendly.

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My friend Beverly says:  

This reminds me of what so many of us do with our faith. We walk away because we had a bad experience at a church. We didn’t like the music or the preaching or the greeters were particularly cold one day. Maybe they didn’t keep the building clean enough, code for ‘they let a lot of riff raff in’. Or, maybe they kept the building too clean, which means there were lots of rules and regulations.
If you’re one of those that tried church for awhile and didn’t like a few of the menu items, then give another one a chance. You won’t like every item on the menu, but you’ll find what your soul is craving. And, oh, the deep down belly satisfaction that awaits...it’s oh so good.

Is there something in your life that could use a second chance?

Restaurant #4: When to Break a Rule

We shouldn’t have gone to this restaurant.

There are five of them in our county, and one in the county just north of us.  By our own definition, that makes it a chain. If there were only four of them, we would have been fine, but we still went.

So, if our Cuisine Quest is to visit every non-chain restaurant in our town, and the list is very long, why did we waste our time on a restaurant that should have not been on our list?

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Soccer.  Or, football.  Depends on where you’re from.

You see, we are soccer fans in America without cable TV.  So, unless we invite ourselves to someone’s house to watch the game, we have to go to a restaurant to watch.

The best restaurant we’ve found that our whole family can watch soccer is a chicken wings chain restaurant the next town over.

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That restaurant is the only place I’ve ever eaten wings.  During FIFA World Cup, and during the Summer Olympics, we eat a lot of wings.

That is why I broke our rule and visited a border-line chain restaurant.  I wanted to know what chicken wings were like at other restaurants.

My husband refused to order wings. His salad turned out to be really tasty!

My husband refused to order wings. His salad turned out to be really tasty!

It looks and tastes the same as at our usual wings restaurant. But the bread sticks are amazing!

It looks and tastes the same as at our usual wings restaurant. But the bread sticks are amazing!

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Would we go again? Yes, for the food. Two forks up. Will we go again? Not during soccer season!

Is it ok to break a rule just because I want to?  There are many reasons for rules.

  • Courtesy – open the door for someone with their arms full.

  • Law and order – don’t take something that doesn’t belong to you.

  • Social behavior – look at the person, not your phone, when they are talking with you.

  • Business – If it’s not necessary to ‘reply all’, don’t.

  • Health – don’t start smoking.

  • Family – ask first before borrowing.

  • The Golden Rule – do unto others as you would have them to unto you.

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Restaurant #2: Too Much Competition

Look at all the lovely, identical snakes for sale at the  pet store ! How can I choose?

Look at all the lovely, identical snakes for sale at the pet store! How can I choose?

How do you stand out in a crowded field?

Our town has a taco shop on nearly every street. How can they all stay in business?

Our Cuisine Quest to eat at every restaurant in our town took us to a taco shop we had never been to before.  My husband was excited that they had posole.  Posole is a soup with hominy and meat, often served with tortillas, cilantro, radishes, avocado slices, cabbage, or onions.

Not many taco shops have red posole! You can see how difficult it is to make  here .

Not many taco shops have red posole! You can see how difficult it is to make here.

I ordered a carnitas plate, which is pork served with items to eat separately, or together in a tortilla.

The pork carnitas were delicious, not too fatty, and enough for leftovers.

The pork carnitas were delicious, not too fatty, and enough for leftovers.

Again, my question is, how do you stand out in a crowd?

Personal attention.  For this restaurant, the lady at the counter seemed to know everyone who came in.  These individuals and families come again and again because they know someone will show that they are happy to see them!

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Would we come back again?  For me, since there are so many taco shops in my town, I will be more picky.  I want a place with Coke products.  And, I prefer my guacamole to be more chunky.  Yes, those are little things, and with this restaurant being so friendly I am uncomfortable saying this, but I would go elsewhere.

My husband will be back again for that posole!  Unless the next taco shop has posole that is just as good….One fork up.

How do you stand out in a crowded field?