Once a year, the pish posh, hoity toity restaurants of Baltimore offer special menus in order to get poor lowly patrons like me and my friends to have girls nights out. The cost is still up there - $30.09 (why the extra nine cents?) per person. But - this is for an appetizer, a main course, and a dessert. So, compared to the average chain restaurant, is this really so much?
Case Study - I picked three random items at Applebees: Dynamite Shrimp ($6.99); Fiesta Lime Chicken ($10.99); and then my purpose became rather anti-climatic because they do not have the prices for desserts listed. But let us say for the sake of argument that the "Strawberry Cheesecake" costs $3.99. Grand total: $21.97. So not too much less.
You may notice, however, that the above "meal" is enough to feed a family. I participated in three girls nights out in a span of six days. At my first outing, I toughed it out. No doggie bags for me! I was brave! Sure, I could have taken that ginormous piece of chocolate cake home. But what message would that convey? That I am a quitter? That I can't take the heat? Heck no! I stuffed myself so much that I could not move for the rest of the night.
And no, I am not truly proud. Truly, I am disgusted with myself. At my second outing, I ordered the salad. I was pleased with myself, and then the waitress brought out my food. And only mine. Boy, I hate that. I sit there, hungry, with a plate of food in front of me, and my friends wait. After 5-7 minutes, I take a nibble. After 10-12 minutes, I have finished half my plate. After 15 minutes, the waitress returns with two coldish burgers and fries. As I am nearly done with my salad, I can do little but drool over their heavenly burgers. Argh. I end up eating half of my friend's burger AND my meal.
OK, number three. This place was oh so yummy with its tuna AVOCADO plate for an appetizer. I have a mini-obsession with avocados. I do not know why. For my main course, I skipped over the meat trio, and tried the "Vegetarian Nirvana". Honestly, I am not sure what was in this dish, but it satisfied my new rule of going out - that it should be something I will not turn around and make at home. Whatever it was, it was a heavenly blend of black beans and pineapples. I could have done without the large banana leaf used as a garnish. (Do I eat this, or is it for looks? Really, there should be an instruction manual with some meals.) I then ate my yummy bananas foster bread pudding. At the end of my meal, I was full, but not stuffed. However, this was achieved with no will power of my own, so I think I will chalk it down as a draw.
Many of the restaurants have decided to extend their specials until Feb 8th. Is it possible for me to win one yet?