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Restaurants and Etiquette

Although I consider myself (and Mrs. sp) very good cooks I absolutely love going to restaurants. Well prepared, innovative food, ambiance, and no dishwashing are some of the lures. I prefer rather high end restaurants for the above reasons and the fact that it is one of my favorite entertainments so I want any experience to be very special.

The statistic depicts the number of restaurants in the U.S. from 2011 to 2013. The total number includes chain and independent restaurants (quick-service and full-service restaurants). In spring 2012, the number of restaurants in the U.S. was at 614,460.
I was surprised at the above Google-derived statistic because at least in the Bay area there seem to be so many in every city and suburb. There are so many choices; I would have guessed half a million countrywide.

Recently I planned to go to a restaurant which I expected to fulfill and exceed my standards, fantastic location, great reputation, positive Yelp reviews, and so on. It took weeks to get a reservation but finally the stars were in alignment. I mentioned here that we were going (DKos is my Facebook) and mentioned the name, which I won't repeat because of an aspect of my experience.

We arrived in the late afternoon after driving along the beautiful Sonoma County coast. The restaurant was bright and cheerful, as we sat down at a well-set table, next to the fireplace. I remember almost overwhelming excitement at what was to come. Then at the large table rather close to us, five people were seated, two couples and a single guy.

At once, the single guy started talking. He was large, with a huge booming voice (and a huge, booming ego). On and on he droned, describing his life in Ohio in excruciating detail. We figured out they were in town for a wedding and he was not close or well known to the other couples; of course, as of now we all know the details of his remarkable life.
The other couples were polite and tried to converse but we could see they all became slack-jawed eventually. "Surely when his order arrives he'll stop" we thought. But it was not to be.

The upshot of the experience was that except for our now-encyclopedic knowledge of Ohio it certainly diminished my anticipated fabulous restaurant evening. I could have complained but there were no open tables to move to. Near the end of the meal the owner walked by, lowered his eyes, and whispered "I'm sorry". We declined a dessert and paid the bill, one of the more expensive dinners I've had.

Do you like or love going to restaurants? Have you had "interesting" experiences such as we had?

We are heading into town for the last movie of the Film Festival. I anticipate returning in time for the diary publishing but it will be close, so if I'm late please discuss stuff and I'll be back to tell you if you're right or wrong.

Kitchen Table Kibitzing is a community series for those who wish to share part of the evening around a virtual kitchen table with kossacks who are caring and supportive of one another. So bring your stories, jokes, photos, funny pics, music, and interesting videos, as well as links—including quotations—to diaries, news stories, and books that you think this community would appreciate. Readers may notice that most who post diaries and comments in this series already know one another to some degree, but newcomers should not feel excluded. We welcome guests at our kitchen table, and hope to make some new friends as well.

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