We have always had a favorite restaurant. A place where we were regulars, could go on a whim, and know we’d be well taken care of and have a good experience. It’s not something we set out to find, it just happened. Over time, we discovered that we consistently chose that particular restaurant when we wanted to relax, spend some time together and have a meal out. In fact, as I look back, we also fell into predictable patterns when it came to ordering as well – we each had our favorites that we ordered consistently.
Our first home was near Trenton, New Jersey. We commuted to work together, and at our exit on the way home was a place called the Yardville Hotel. It was in Yardville, but it hadn’t been a hotel for years. But it was a comfortable, small restaurant that served good Italian food. My favorite was the meatball sub sandwich and I could count on Rich to order a pizza. Including our side salads and requisite half liter of wine, our bill was under $20 including tip. Rich even went there the night after our first baby was born, and baby Karen made her debut just ten days later. She spent many a dinner hour there in her stroller snoozing by our table.
During our child rearing years in the Twin Cities, Marcello’s Pizza became our regular haunt. We all loved the pizza and it was our favorite Friday night place. Suckers for the kids, and Dad the Monster chasing the kids down the deserted hallway of the mall after dinner were part of the ritual.
Since then, D’Amico and Sons has been our hang-out. We know the staff well, enjoy being able to eat outside in the summer months, and like the ambiance. We’re comfortable there and have mulled over issues as well as celebrated good news there. It has a varied menu, although once again we usually stick to our favorites – pepperoni pizza for Rich and the basic Neapolitan for me. Side salads and wine are still requirements, but the bill is higher these days.
Now that we’ve moved to Duluth, we are in need of a new regular spot. There are many good restaurants that we like, but so far none fits the bill for an old standby. Perhaps we’re trying too hard. We’ve gone out several times thinking “this is going to be it” but always leave still searching. We should know better. A favorite isn’t selected, it happens. Until then, we’ll enjoy sampling the local offerings.