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If there’s one thing I’ve noticed since moving to America it’s the emphasis placed on food! It is EVERYWHERE!!! Now I know it’s essential we all eat, in a nutshell if not we’d die! But I think there’s a difference in how American’s view food and how us Europeans do! And here’s why…
The first thing you notice when you land in America is that there’s somewhere to eat on every single corner! Seriously!! And I’m not just talking one restaurant, wherever there’s one at least another 3 are lurking in the sidelines! For example, within walking distance of our first apartment (and when I say walking distance I mean a few minutes on foot!) there was a Taco Mac, Longhorn Steak House, Chillis, a Five Guys, Wet Willies (yep that name makes me chuckle too!) and at least 2 others that I can’t remember the name of and not forgetting the Chick-fil-A a couple of minutes up the road!
Basically it’s so easy to pick up food in this country – you can’t drive 500 yards without stumbling upon some sort of restaurant or fast food joint! And just about everything has a drive thru, even Starbucks! And on a completely different note that I’m guessing might shock you a bit (well if you’re not from the States!) you can pick up your prescription from the drive-thru pharmacy!!!! I kid you not!!!
Anyway back to the issue of food! As you all know it’s one of my favourite subjects so there’s no wonder I’m blogging about it!! In fact just last night we ended up at The Vortex (of Man v Food fame! It deserves a blog post in itself and will indeed get one at some point!) and chowed down on this…
A huge Tex Mex BBQ burger with a big side of Tater Tots and yes it was amazing!!! And yes I will be going again to try one of their other delights – there was just too many to choose from!
Right Rachel back to the blog post! Basically, eating out here is a way of life. It’s a given and for many people it’s an activity they do every single day, whether it’s grabbing some lunch at Moe’s (they do amazing burritos!) or heading out for dinner after work. Instead of making some lunch and taking it to work, to me it seems like the majority take advantage of the fast food world they live in and just see bobbing to the nearest drive thru as a way of life. If I leave the gym at lunchtime, the queue for the Chick-fil-A is literally around the block and holding up other traffic!!
Similarly when you go out for dinner over here, things always seem quite rushed. Your appetizer is out before you know it, closely followed by your entrée (I’m actually using American language here, I should have said starter and main course. I’ve slapped my own wrists!!) and before you know it or you’ve even asked for it your cheque is on the table! There’s no break between courses so you can have a chat and soak up your surroundings, no sitting around and finishing your drinks before asking for the cheque, this is a part of America I’m not so fond of. Admitted it doesn’t happen in every restaurant you go to but it’s very common. I enjoy eating at my own pace, having conversations and feeling like you have to shovel food in your face at a rate that’s going to give you heartburn by the time your done!
Every night restaurants over here are busy, even on Mondays! Back in the UK Friday and Saturday nights are packed, but the rest of the week places are usually quiet. It may be because of the high work ethic in America, people work long hours and probably don’t want to slave over a hot stove when they get home, this I can completely understand – I mean who wants to spend hours cooking up a storm in the kitchen when they’ve been at work for the last 12 hours – definitely not me!!
Now don’t get me wrong I’m not complaining about the food over here, definitely not in no way shape or form! In fact I love it! Who wouldn’t want cheese on everything? Who wouldn’t want the most amazing burgers ever? Who wouldn’t want steak, seafood and as much Mexican food as you can imagine including some of the tastiest tacos I’ve ever had the pleasure of putting into my mouth?
I think what I’m trying to say here is that to me, American’s see eating out and eating in general as a necessity, not necessarily something to enjoy. I may be completely off the mark here and please do correct me if I’m wrong!