Restaurants & Bars Washington DC & Baltimore

Economy = Cheaper Eats?

FoiGras | | Feb 23, 2009 04:31 PM

About three weekends ago, hubby and I ventured to Towson Town Center Mall. It took us 15 minutes to locate a parking space. The mall was over run with people--actually shopping, not just "malling around.' People had shopping bags.

At 4:40, we decided to just grab a bite to eat at the Cheesecake Factory. We determined that it wouldn't be crowded at that time on a Saturday, early winter (after Holiday--pre holiday, i.e., Valentine's Day). WHOA!! A MIMINUM of a one hour wait. Same thing for P.F. Cahng's.

So, we trotted to the parking garage and drove out to Padonia Road to the Macaroni Grill. We arrived about 5:15 and were informed that there was a 40 minute wait. Oh, come on. What is going on?

We declined to sit around and wait for mediocre food. (Usually, on the weekends, we "Dine Out" at uupscale restaurants. But., like many of us, we are scaling down. And, on that particular weekend, we just didn't feel like doing the "gourment thing."0.

So, now we were really irritated and acutally very hungry. So, we popped into the Natilus Diner on York Road. Fortunately, we were immediately seated, albeit, into a tiny booth--there were larger booths available--most of which only two people occupied the booths.

We were just grateful to get seated, otherwise we would have pointed out that we would have preferred a more spacious seating area. Okay--when we ordered out entrees, my hubby selected a special of the day--roasted chicken. Our server came back after an awfully long wait, only to be informed that the entree was "sold out." AT 5;30!!!??"? The special was already gone? Hubby then ordered the prime rib "RARE"--NOT. It certainly was well past rare.

Anyhow, if the economy is so desperately in a funk--everyone seems to be deprived or depraved--well, go to any of the local malls and chain restaurants on a Saturday and you'd believe otherwise--that the economy is booming.

Now, I know that the restaurants I mentioned are more affordable then the upscale places.

But, Valentine's weekend--did anyone attempt to make a last minute reservation and garner one with any success? Lucky you if you did.

We opted to dine out at Flemings on Friday the 13th, at an early hour. We enjoyed a fabulous dinner--a prixe fixe at $89--two salads (choice of Caesar or house)--an entree of wonderful rack of lamb and a lobster that had been prepared by cutting up the lobster meat and seasoning it then placing it on rice in the lobster shell-it was too spicey for Hubby, but just enough heat that I could handle).. There were delicious roasted vegetables, etc. We were quite happy with our meal. Usually, we never take advantage of those holiday fixed menus, but were completely satisfied.

But, we were told that the restaurant was booked for the entire weekend. Okay--between that and the mall/restaurant incident I previously elaborated upon, where is the recession?!


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