I was posting in another board about "foodie vacations" when I was reminded of an experience I had on a business trip last year:
I travel fairly frequently for work. While I am not a big fan of WORK travel, I do try to reap the benefits of trying out new foods in the location I am at. Last year I travelled to Wichita, Kansas for an audit. Not exactly my first choice but hey, I thought I could get to try some good BBQ. On our first night our audit leader was asking where we all wanted to eat dinner and he mentioned that there was an Olive Garden close by. The look on my face must have been classic. First of all, I wont even eat at an Olive Garden at home - I mean, come on, really? Who eats there? I'm sorry if I've offended any OG lovers but I just can't stomach the place. And second, we're in the midwest! Let's try something we can't get at HOME! No chains, please!!!
We finally ended up at a local brewpub which was actually pretty good - thanks to some quick internet searching on my part. The next night my friend (who loves to try new food too) and I decided we'd go out on our own for dinner and tried a local steak and chop house which was excellent. Definitely the type of experience I look for when in a new locale.
The last night our "hosts" (ie. the locals) decided they were taking us all out to dinner. What did they pick??? No, not OG......but Texas RoadHouse. There are no words....
Is this seriously the type of place the locals should be picking for a group of out of towners? I had no choice - I had to go. I tried to play it safe by ordering some chicken dish. No dice. Everything was so salty I couldn't eat. My dinner consisted of the cornbread that was served and plenty of alcoholic beverages. Most of the others in our party ordered various steaks. The weird part? They raved! To me, all of the steaks looked thin, dried out and overcooked. I guess I must be a steak snob because I will only order a steak at a high end steakhouse or simply buy a nice cut of meat and make it at home.
So have any of you had similar experiences with non-chowhounders and being forced to eat at a restaurant you can't stomach? I'd love to hear what happened and how you handled it! :)