Friday, February 3, 2012

The Joy of Eating Out

I tend to be a rather frugal individual, but the thing that I fear will one day break the bank is that I eat out. A lot. I love food. I won't apologize for it. I think my future financial goals are mostly to have enough money to eat and drink well whenever I wish. (And to be able to buy $5 DVDs from Blockbuster.) Since I've been in Edinburgh, I've taken to eating out for every lunch because lunches are not included in my dorm meal plan. However, breakfast and dinner are included, so I take most of the those meals in the cafeteria. And it is these meals that have made me truly appreciate eating out.

Eating in the JMCC (which is the name of the building in which our "restaurant" resides) is an exercise in mental, gastrointestinal and gustatory fortitude. What I'm saying is, eating there on a regular basis is like punishment. You have to fight massive crowds of people in horribly disorganized queues just to get a plate of barely palatable food. 

Okay, I'm being a bit unfair. Some of it is actually quite tasty, but those dishes are so few and far between that they're hardly worth mentioning. I know I should expect bad food; it's a cafeteria, after all. But that knowledge doesn't make eating there day in and day out any less depressing. I can't get excited about going there. It's just something that must be done, gotten out of the way so that I don't starve to death every evening. And for someone who truly loves food, this is quite a sad thing to have to accept. 

I could go into further detail about the JMCC, but as I said, this phenomenon of living on a meal plan has made me come to truly relish the times when I get to have dinner somewhere else. At least once a week, I try to dine at an actual restaurant. Sometimes several members of my hall all go out together. We call those occasions Family Dinners. It's very cute. Wednesday night was such an occasion. Not to buzz market or anything, but we got an amazing Groupon deal for a restaurant on the Royal Mile we had never tried called Gordon's Trattoria. It's a family-owned Italian restaurant entering its thirtieth year in business, and it was delightful. Everything was so good that even after a starter and an entree each, we all had to get dessert. How can you say no to tiramisu? How?! You can't. So we didn't. 

The question remains whether GT's was really so great or if our senses of taste have been dulled after months of eating in the JMCC. But regardless, we will be returning to that establishment, and I will continue to savor those moments when I can truly enjoy the things I eat. 

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