This weekend I was lucky enough to have a few days off to enjoy with my family , and as one does,we visited the parental units in Fergus. In the small township of Elora you will find Best Baa, or the Ewenity Dairy Co-Op, which sells delicious sheep’s milk cheese at a great price. They also sell other cheeses for a good price too, meaning they are not sold in 1/2 pound bricks for a gazillion dollars, but rather in small wedges, anywhere between $6 to $9 dollars. This not only makes it easy to buy a few wedges, but also to enjoy them before they go off or stinky. We bought a variety of cheeses, (5 in fact) for under $30 dollars. I was pretty pleased with the purchase. I found this to be EXCELLENT value for what I got. The cheese is local, not too expensive, and I could enjoy it without waste.
I also was lucky enough to spend an afternoon with friends at a restaurant which is touted to be quite good here in Niagara. The place was packed, and the menu was relatively inexpensive for the meals served. Between 8-15$ for your meals, light lunches really. Unfortunalty I was not impressed with half of the offerings on our table. Stale bread, a charcuterie platter that didn’t promise at all what was on the menu, and pizza that was not soft , yielding to the bite, and “crisp”, but in fact hard, leathery, and crunchy. Yet this small business was busy and people kept coming. My question is this. Why? I know I will return to give it a second chance, I must. If it bites me twice, I won’t go back. If I had complained, I know that whoever I had spoken to would probably look at me and shrug. Point out the other customers and kind of give me a ” look around yourself bub, there’s not a seat in the house”.
So I wondered how many people are repeat customers? Was this a ‘first time and possibly I’m just passing through kind of visit’? Will people return because there is no other place like it along the wine route? Quick, easy, cheap, and even if not PERFECT, pretty acceptable. I mean, we finished our meals afterall. Have we become so complacent? Are YOU complacent. Do you take a fast food outlet meal for what it is, 8 dollar combo’s which will fill you up and give you exactly what you know you want and be done with it, happily.Or do you always head to the same restaurant mid-week because you know what you are getting. How much it will cost, and that you could live with steamtable mash because it’s only an $80 dollar meal, but leave the four star dining to once a year or special occasions? Do you expect perfection for that higher price, but are ok with mediocre at 1/3 of that price. Why? Does the lower cost meal not add up over time? I’m curious as to what people think? How and where they eat. I for one eat at the local pub twice a month, and EXPECT good food, even if it’s only a twelve dollar burger. Because let me tell you, I expect a twelve dollar burger to be hot and delicious with crispy fries, because 12$ is 7 dollars more than a Wendy’s burger, and when our expectations start to be lowered so does the food quality of the most basic of food, and all of a sudden “fast food” is the benchmark, because it is for the most part true to menu, and CONSISTANT in its offererings.
Don’t get me wrong in that it’s all bad. I recently enjoyed a lovely lunch along the wine route where the chef obviously knew value,and his customers, and how to execute 15 different dishes with one chef. Everything arrived true to the menu, and delicious. Crisp crackers, lovely pate, and Panini that was oozing with cheese and that was nice and hot.We got there in the middle of a mad lunch rush, and wouldn’t have known it. Service was prompt and friendly too. Again, menu range was from 8-15$. Good, nay GREAT value.
So what is your take on all this? I am not looking to pass judgement, but I am just wondering what are other peoples “eating out” habits? Are you happily filling your belly, or just wasting your money?