lifestyle

Restaurants: How to Be Your Own Restaurant Critic

lifestylehobbies-me time

Whenever a new restaurant pops up I’m always eager to try it out. I love comparing, not only the food, but the design, pricing, family friendliness and the affability of the owners and employees. Sometimes I leave a new restaurant feeling disappointed but other times I waddle out the door hoping my pants can stay buttoned saying, “Wow, this is my new favorite."

How to Be a Restaurant Critic

Here are some tips for beginner restaurant critics:

Atmosphere

First things first, I love looking at the interior design of restaurants. They say don’t judge a book by its cover, but the décor totally sets the mood and prepares you for what type of food you have in store. Bright colors often say to me, “bring the family,” whereas dim lighting tells me to hold on to the credit card.

Bring a Friend

I always take someone with me. Eating out is more fun as when you have company. Plus, the more people you have with you the more meals you can try. You can’t critique the entire menu based on one meal, so make it a party and try an assortment of their menu.

Set a Budget

I always try to have the amount of money I want to spend in mind before I go. This doesn’t always mean I have to skip out, though. When eating out I use these tips to save me money:

  • Look for coupons. Many restaurants have email lists you can sign up for or even text message discounts. Check coupon entertainment books as well as community ads for coupons and specials.
  • Be an early bird. Eating out earlier in the evening is a great way to save. You can also opt for lunch instead of dinner to take advantage of the lunch specials.
  • Go on kid’s night. If you’re taking the family, look for kids specials on certain nights of the week.
  • Share your meal! Split the price and avoid overeating by agreeing on a mea you both enjoy.
  • Take home the extra. Make one meal last for two!
  • Drink water. Restaurants raise the prices for all drinks.
  • Say"'no" to dessert. They always ask and I’m always tempted, but alas, I say no. Fill up on your meal and if you still really need something, wait until you get home.

Give Second Chances

Just because you don’t like a restaurant the first time, doesn’t mean it can’t have a second chance. If the service was bad, I give it the benefit of the doubt and say it was just super busy that night. If I only tried one thing on the menu and disliked it, I’ll go again and try something new. That’s one of the great things about finding new restaurants, they’re changing a lot. Whether they got new management, a new cook, or took your favorite meal off the menu, your old ‘been there done that’ restaurants can become something you can experience all over again for worse or better.

 What are some of your favorite restaurants and why?

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Cambria VandeMerwe

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