It is no secret that I LOVE food plus eating out and if I could I would eat out 3 meals a day 365 (366 Leap Year) days a year. I am not a snob when I eat out and can just as easily eat at a fast food place as I can eat at a 5 star restaurant. I have favorite restaurants in each category but COVID-16 knocked out quite a few though new ones are coming along every day.
An irony involved with me and restaurants is that I don't have a good record of restaurants staying opened after I have celebrated my Leap Year there!! In 2020 when I turned 21 I invited my guests for dinner at the Nabu American Fusion buffet and though no one got sick because of the virus it still was one of the first to close for good! Sweet Tomatoes, The ZanZbar on Los Olas, the Marrott Marina hotel restaurant and The Ark all shut their doors while only Cafe Vico has improved by opening another restaurant! I am now starting my hunt for my Leap Year party restaurant on February 29, 2024, so I am making sure not to mention any of those places when I inquire about booking my party at a new place.
I, accidentally, found a gem of a restaurant that for 2 decades I have passed by without taking notice of until they got an eye-catching marque and since then I have been eating at the Fredo's Lebanese restaurant known for their kebobs, slowly working down the lunch menu with the 15 specials. Also, the Jalisco Mexican restaurant, right across from Winn-Dixie where I have been shopping the last 21 years caught my eye and I have found a few new dishes there so added it to the Tequila Sunrise and Tipico restaurants when I want south of the border food.
There are a few restaurants I go to for specific items such as the Quarterdeck is my go to for Jambalaya and the IHOP for a cheese omelet with a short stack, the Outback for cheeseburgers not to forget Subways for a turkey hero and, yes, The Cheesecake Factory for cheesecake.
I'm jumping ahead of myself as I am going to talk about restaurants for particular items in another post! Not to forget restaurants I make sure out of town guests go to for pizza or seafood or pasta---now if I only can find a restaurant that serves prime rib on the bone since the one I loved has gone out of business, the second one to do that, where I didn't have to get a bank loan for dinner.
That is something else I have noticed as a result of the epidemic--restaurant prices have gone sky high! Whereas before a lunch in a full service with linen tablecloths cost about $10-12 now it is about $20 plus tax and tip!!