A week or so ago the teachers from the preschool went to a local hibachi grill for lunch. It had been a looonnngg time since I had been there and had forgotten how much fun it could be, not to mention the excellent food.
So right then and there I decided that I wanted to bring the fam back to eat there and see the kids reaction to the flaming onion tower, etc.
Last night was one of those nights when I really didn't feel up to cooking and despite e-mealz, didn't feel that prepared either, so I suggested we go out to eat. I ran the idea of the hibachi by Brad, and he was up for it. We didn't tell the kids where we were going - I think we did say something like, "It's not Wendy's."
We arrived and sat down at the table with another nice young couple. At first, Poptart was on the edge emotionally. The more our chef-guy rhythmically banged his utensils on the table the more her face became serious. It was obvious to me before long that he was trying his best to make her smile, but I wanted to warn him that that is a delicate balance with Poptart. I was afraid instead of making her smile, the attention would make her dissolve, and I would end up trying to eat my rice with a 6-year-old's head buried in my chest. She held it together though and I believe she even smiled slightly once or twice. She just wasn't so sure about the whole fire - entertaining - cooking process.
Gogurt on the other hand loved every minute of it. He watched intently and informed us he wanted to work there one day. Ummmm, I think you are the wrong nationality, son. Sorry.
Yes, the food was delicious.
But oh my, the bill was frightening.
I knew that the dinner prices would be more than the lunch price I had paid on my previous trip there, but I wasn't prepared that it was more than double per person.
Before we ordered, I noticed there were no $ signs on the menu. It would just look like: Steak 25
I asked Brad, "Is that as in dollars?!" It was too late though. We were in there and we couldn't back out now. So I told my frugal self to suck it up and that what you were really paying for was the experience, not necessarily the food. By the way, have you ever noticed how much food they give you? We brought home three take-out boxes of leftovers!
I must not have done such a good job hiding my shock at the bill - the young lady of the couple at the table laughed an "I can relate" laugh as she watched my expression when I saw the total of our bill. Then you add tip, YIKES!
I'm serious when I tell you that is a once in a year, maybe 2 or 3 or 5 years, place my family will be patronizing.
That's when I realized - there was not another family in there. It was a couple, a mother and daughter (they probably had to leave daddy and other kids home, don't worry, hun, I'll bring you some leftovers), and then groups - you know, where each individual is paying their own bill. When I was in there for lunch paying for just me it didn't seem that expensive. Going in there at dinner paying for 4 was a different story altogether.
I'm totally not stressing over the fact that I could have bought a good buggy-full of groceries for what we spent on dinner last night.
Well, at least I'm tryin' not to.