It's something I used to be pretty okay with. Comfortable, actually. I didn't give it a second thought. What's that? Dining on my own. In public.
When I traveled frequently for work, it didn't bother me. I'd sit quietly, tucked away in some corner with my laptop, a book, newspaper...whatever I had that needed attending to. I had good intentions last night to study for Beverage Management, but I've done so much reading for school lately that I decided to take the night off. I'm paying for it today, but it was probably much needed and of course...well deserved. ;)
I decided to try something new last night. Something new as in---location, regional cuisine, and new food. The trifecta of things that make me uncomfortable. I was so, so, so close to chickening out and being completely boring---but I decided that I'm not going to be expanding my palate without trying something new.
I'd been discussing Mediterranean food with my father in law the other night and have been craving hummus and pita bread like nobody's business! It's a little different buying it at HEB with a bag of pita chips, or having the appetizer at The Cheesecake Factory. I craved an authentic experience. Thanks to yelp.com, I picked Arpeggio Grill. Not only did this offer the things I'd listed above that I was nervous about, it's not in a great area of town...and it's in a strip mall. Normally, I don't think twice if Husband is dining with me, but after a frightening semester of sanitation and safety with a scary instructor, I usually triple-check my options. I sucked it up, plugged in the address in the GPS, and headed out with my book in hand.
The food was good. Not earth shattering or mind blowing, but large portions and inexpensive. I had the hummus, chicken kabob with basmati and Greek salad (seriously, people...I want authentic salad...not Romaine with a few red onions and two olives), and tabbouleh. I've never had tabbouleh, and what I was expecting and what I ate were completely different. I have to confess, though, I was much happier with what I ate!
Here's a link to their website if you happen to live in the area:
My biggest complaint was that the service was so slow...slow as in, I was there for about 2 hours. Yes. For an appetizer, entree and salad. Not cool, AG, not cool. Enjoy the pic!
Tabbouleh (far left) with Greek salad, basmati rice, and two chicken kabobs with green pepper and red onion. Mmmm....