What is your criteria for checking out a new lunch spot? Decor? Waitstaff? Cleanliness? Prices? All of the above? Mine is how good their tuna sandwich is. I’m very fussy about tuna. I only want solid white, nothing even remotely looking or smelling like cat food.Usually I make my mom try it out first, maybe take a small bite. Looking at it is important; texture imperative. Is it in chunks or all mushed up together? Does it taste fishy (hello? waitress, this smells old, can i please have a grilled cheese instead?) The grilled cheese, one of the safest foods you can order from a coffee shop or diner.We literally pick places to eat by whether their tuna is acceptable, even admirable when we need a tuna fix. My friend, Susie, poisoned my mind years ago, by telling me that you cannot save a half eaten tuna sandwich in the refrigerator overnight. You can never have the other half the next day. According to her one date with a Pharmacist there is something about the tuna and the mayonnaise that take some compounds of one and minerals in the other to make it unacceptable for her pharmacy friend’s private FDA. For months I went along with this, being the highly suggestible hypochondriac that I am. Later, I decided it was “Kvatch” translation, crap or made up. What could happen, I say now? So I get food poisoning and I lose a pound, nothing gained, nothing lost.
Another thing to be aware of is coffee and this is tough but also optional. The weak brown water coffee or the thick as mud coffee is not necessarily a deal breaker providing there is a Starbucks nearby ( or a Dunkin Donuts if you were my sister.)
The last item on our coffee shop/diner inspection is the distinctive 3+ layered revolving dessert case. WHAT? no revolving dessert carousel? That one gives us pause to think. If you don’t have the option to buy a g0od dessert, and one that is revolving has many tantalizing choices how good can it really be? I’m not saying you Have to have dessert but you definitely should have the option. Dessert requirements include: a rainbow cake or rainbow cookies, a chocolate cake, cheesecake with fake strawberries, rice pudding with raisins and cinnamon and something oozing with honey and gooey with nuts like the ever so delicious backlava to which I am a self proclaimed slave.
By all means, wrap up the leftovers, proudly tag them in your refrigerator. Resolve NOT to go out to eat for a month; dine on Lean Cuisine’s and Weight Watcher’s dinners for only 6 points. But, next time you do decide to go out, think carefully. We all are short of money these days, order carefully, let the good times roll,weigh the options, enjoy your meals, and always leave a tip. The waitstaff thanks you.