Thursday, July 27, 2006

Smoking or non-smoking?

It seems like more and more restaurants in the Grand Forks area have a slew of televisions on the walls, all showing different channels, but almost exclusively on sports (I even saw dominos, if you can really call that a sport). I can understand TVs in a sports bar, or if you have a sports bar adjacent to the restaurant, but does that idea have to flow over to the restaurant portion of the establishment? As much as I try not to look, there is just something in my brain that makes me turn in the direction of the flashing images. It probably goes back to the primitive hunter’s peripheral vision spotting movement in a bush, but that's just the science junkie in me talking.

It’s to the point where I don’t want to go these places just because of the damn TVs! However, part of me thinks that it's to help restaurants cover up for bad or slow service. If you distract the customer, maybe they won't notice that their mediocre dinner has taken 45 minutes to arrive. Not that I like to keep picking on Boston's, but...

I know that there are more and more places that are setting up tableside TVs, and families that like them say they generate discussion, but I'm a traditionalist when it comes to dining out. I like good service, good food, and good conversation based on our lives, not some athlete's. Besides, we don't allow our kid to watch TV at home all that much. I guess the more I think about it, the more I'm going to start to make my dining decisions based on this fact, which is a shame.

Here’s my list of waitstaffed places with and w/o TVs. Please help me fill out this by adding a message, and I'll add them to the list. This should be an interesting exercise.

Has TVs:

  1. Suite 49
  2. Boston’s
  3. Paradiso
  4. Ground Round
  5. The Blue Moose
  6. Grizzly's
  7. Green Mill
  8. Buffalo Wild Wings

No TVs, or TVs not easily visible from the restaurant:

  1. Sanders
  2. Paolo’s
  3. Bronze Boot
  4. Panda Buffet
  5. Toasted Frog

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Oh where, oh where has my little blog gone? Oh where, oh where can it be?

Until I figure this out, we shall continue.

The last post, I think, I mentioned the possibility of an Olive Garden coming to Grand Forks. This story came from a dinner conversation I had with somebody whose friend (or whatever) has seen some schematics for an Olive Garden that might go in the strip in front of Kohl’s. I, for one, am in favor of an Olive Garden coming to town. At least I know I can get a somewhat decent pizza, which is head and shoulders above Boston's. Olive Garden also serves one of the better cups of coffee I've had in a restaurant. Their Caffe la Toscana (from S&D Coffee), is a new line for them, and along with their new brewing system, makes a very nice cup...for a restaurant, that is.

We went to Boston's the other day. Man, could the service be any slower? Not slow in a "let the guests enjoy their meal" sort of way, but slow in a "Has our waiter quit?" sort of way. At least they didn't screw up the order this time the way they seem to every other time we've been there. I've just about had it with them. However, they make some of the best Buffalo wings in town. So, what's a guy to do? Go to Ground Round, I guess.

Speaking of Kohl’s, I wish I could figure out why Grand Forks needs one. I would have thought that Sears/JC Penney/Target/Wal-Mart/Gordmans/etc. would've cornered all of those markets by now. It isn't like Kohl’s is more upscale or anything. Macy's, I can see, but not Kohl’s. I guess I'll see when it opens.