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Distracted Dining: Dining Out is about more than just the food

Who likes to eat out? I do! I do!
Distracted Dining with Nancy Revie

There are so many interesting, exciting, unique places to consume food in Guelph and surrounding area. We’ve got everything from fine dining to ethnic variety to home grown to fast food. Microbreweries are also on the list of places to get some great grub in Guelph, complimented by a myriad of fine tasting beverages!

Dining out, be it leisurely or grabbing something on the go is an experience unto itself.

Way back when I was a kid, I distinctly remember dining out for dinner was reserved for the most special of occasions. Breakfast and lunch were always at home, but once in a very long while, we were treated to dinner out.

One of the first times I remember eating out was for my grade 8 graduation. It was a big deal. We went to Lee’s Chinese Restaurant in Mount Hope. I ordered my first Shirley Temple to drink and thought I was really something! Living on a dairy farm, eating Chinese food was living on the edge. In retrospect, it was very Canadian Chinese food, but it was still special.

These days, dining out is more a part of life and what an awesome part of life it is! Out for breakfast; out for lunch; out for dinner could happen all in the same day; the same week and most certainly in the same month. I can’t imagine what we spend on eating out. Actually — that’s not true — we have a spreadsheet.

Let me rephrase. I know for a fact — millions of dollars are injected into our local economy by those of us who choose to dine out on a ridiculously regular basis.

Welcome to Distracted Dining.

Who better to write this column than an extroverted foodie? I love to dine out and I love people-watching.

My expectations are high for customer service and I’m a perfectionist organizer. I’m in a constant state of judgemental evaluation while simultaneously enjoying consuming food and beverage I did not have to prepare.

As an extrovert, I love to discover new things. I’m active, daring and inquisitive. Put me into a dining experience and I can turn it into so much more than eating.

My dopamine-charged good feelings energize my brain to become alert and hyper-focused on its surroundings and I can barely process everything that’s going on! Not to be outdone by any social experience, I sit with my back to the wall and concentrate on taking it all in.

I’m the one who takes too long to decide what to order — mainly because the menu dulls in comparison with the action.

Sometimes food is the least important item of a dining experience. I may not remember what I ate, but I’ll remember decor; service; cleanliness and most importantly, whether I will recommend and return to the joint, and for you Guelphites that’s the joint — as in a place — not The Joint — the restaurant.

Distracted Dining will deal with all of that. I’ll take you on a journey of delicious delicacies, succulent savories, whimsical wines, fresh food, best beers and all the other stuff that goes with it! Dining is about the total experience, not just the food. It’s an experience that leaves us feeling energized or flat, joyful or angry, satisfied or ready to write a nasty review on any number of social outlets for all to see. While dining, we engage all of our senses and experience changing emotions.

It’s going to be awesome to discuss the multi-faceted dining experience. Guelph and area has so much to offer.

To whet your appetite for Distracted Dining, here are some of the different venue types where I’ll be bringing you all you need to know about what goes on.

  • Bistros and cafés
  • Breakfast Joints
  • Casual Dining
  • Ethnic Favourites
  • Fine Dining
  • Pubs
  • Food Trucks
  • Vegan/Vegetarian

Rebecca Zamon wrote a recent column in the Huffington Post called, ​The Best Restaurants In Guelph: Where To Eat In The Royal City. She states, ​‘It's known as ​one of the best places to live in Canada​, but where can you find a good meal in Guelph? Just about anywhere, as it turns out, since the Royal City has embraced a serious restaurant scene in recent years, and the best meals are often no further than a few streets away.’

I don’t think we’ll have to worry about having enough content.

There are pros and cons to distracted dining and we’ll cover them all. You may agree or agree to disagree with me, but hopefully we’ll have some laughs along the way.

Grab a snack and join me on this journey of discovery into distracted dining. It’s going to be a yummy experience.

Nancy Revie is a Guelph author, motivational speaker, fitness instructor and entertainer. Visit Nancy at​​. Her column appears every other week.