I was challenged by a friend over the holidays to define this column — Distracted Dining. She was confused as to its theme and purpose.
It wasn’t that she didn’t enjoy the read, it was just she was not sure what she would be reading. As I pondered the challenge, it made sense to me to clarify the theme of this column as we look forward to sharing 2017 together.
Distracted Dining came as a result of my last column Boomers & Boomerangs running its course. That phase of my life has passed — much to the relief of my personal realm. When it was announced I would no longer be writing B&B, a resounding choral sound of relief simultaneously broke out from my family members who would no longer have to dread reading about their personal lives, and worse yet, have others read it too.
The editor of GuelphToday was open to suggestions for new column topics and after some discussion we arrived at Distracted Dining. This chosen topic suits me to a tee. Distracted Dining encompasses all that involves a dining experience — in all venues. I’ll cover everything from drive-throughs to microbreweries to fine dining.
What will I cover? Everything about the experience, especially the distractions.
Dining is about the total experience and that’s what we’ll talk about — not just the food. There are a lot of distractions that contribute to eating out. I will share my sometimes strong, always informed and focused opinion on various distractions of relevance from the consumer’s point of view.
I feel choosing to spend our well earned income for an experience in being served is a big deal. 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. Sometimes it’s the food itself that is distracting. Often times the distractions overtake the experience.
Distracted dining will encompass my personal experiences and observations. What interests me when going out to eat? Everything — even the food. I always try and sit with my back to the wall at restaurants so I can observe all the goings on at every table; at the bar; in the kitchen, right down to who’s going to check out the restrooms. These personal distractions and observations are what I’ll be sharing with you as I hit the eating trails. Ambiance; menu options; decor; what the heck is she wearing over there; smells; are they fighting at table 2; cleanliness; I think that waiter just wiped his nose with the cleaning cloth….we’ll talk about it all. I’ll include lots of relevant information for the consumer, peppered with copious amounts of personal opinion and humour.
This column is not a restaurant review although some of my rants will include references to said establishments. I may straddle the line of restaurant review when warranted and give you recommendations — or not — of where to find some of Guelph and area’s best. From time to time, I may delve into explicit details of a dining experience — juicy details too good not to share.
As I live life, I make mental and sometimes physical notes on where I’ve been; what I’ve eaten; how the service was and how would others feel about it. This is what I’ll be sharing with you, the consumer. My target audience is the all encompassing public whose day to day life includes everything from grabbing a coffee on the go to sitting down to an elegant, pampered, tantalizing taste event. I hope that includes you.
We live in a consumer-driven; fast-paced society. We are willing to pay someone else to make something else to serve us somewhere else. Dining out is an important indulgence of life, full of distractions and worthy of discussion. Share the joy and misery loves company!
Distracted Dining will deal with all of that. Stay tuned for my next DD column that will deal with the new Ontario Menu labelling regulations - talk about distracting!
Nancy Revie is a Guelph author, motivational speaker, fitness instructor and entertainer. Visit Nancy at www.nancyrevie.com. Her column appears every other week.