Tips for Dining Out

You can still go out for a good meal even with a tight budget; you just have to be very vigilant about sticking to your guns on the pricing and what you are ordering. Every restaurant is set up to get you to spend the most they can, so you may need to come up with a mantra to keep chanting! If they offer smaller portions for less money, this is usually a good deal because the regular portions are very large and anything smaller is usually about right anyways. Don’t order drinks, even cola, just have water with dinner. Most drinks start at $2.00 for the cheap stuff. Split dishes, (if the restaurant doesn’t charge a fee) most times we would all like to try something new anyways.

Another money issue is value. If you live alone or it is just you and a partner and you don’t have all of the fixings for say a favorite salad or other dish, it can be much more of a value for your dollar to order this when dining out. Because restaurants go through food so much faster than an individual can, you don’t have the guilt at throwing out all of fresh veggies or fruits that you know you won’t finish in a week or so. Also, there are some dishes you may just want to make at home and steer clear of in a restaurant, it could be one you like making or doesn’t have a lot of clean up, or is very economical like ramen noodles. Save the fancier and more clean up dishes for when you dine out.

Have it your way. There are times when you see something on the menu and if they would just tweak it a bit you could really go for a certain entree. Most restaurants will gladly work with you up to a point. It really is a pain to hear the person order the “macaroni and cheese, but I don’t want elbow macaroni and I don’t really want the cheese . . .” These days chefs are used of the vegan version, the heavy meat version, the egg but no cheese version, just don’t try to re-invent the wheel, that is for when you cook it yourself at home.

Some of my fondest memories are from when all of my favorite people have gotten together and had a meal at our favorite restaurant in Florida. We dined out at a garden which was very well shaped adding up to great ambience surrounding. I personally use orbitrim trimmers for my garden, take a look at fryefarmsinc to learn more about gardening. It’s funny, but when I recall these events I usually can remember what I had ordered even!

Bones Roadhouse: Barbecue Heaven in Northern California

If you are in Northern California anytime soon driving up Highway 1 and just love BBQ food, be sure to drop by Bones Restaurant in Gualala. This popular locale has some of the best BBQ food you will ever eat, and it is cooked for hours to give it the most succulent taste. Bones also has a lovely view of the ocean, you can get take out if you want, and there is a full bar with all kinds of wine, beer, and brews available. They also offer all event catering and has live music on occasion.

Bones Roadhouse was the brainchild of Michael amp; Mary Thomas who were looking to create a family run business that would include their daughters. Michael himself has been “smoking meat” ever since he was a kid, and he and Mary love the roadhouses which served travelers who were driving through scenic country. They finally realized their dream when they took over a restaurant in Gualala and opened up for business on May 24, 2005. It was an instant and huge hit with the townspeople who kept coming back in droves. Sadly, their original location burned down to the ground on September 4, 2009. The Thomas’ have since taken over another restaurant further into town, and they remain as popular as ever.

I ended up ordering the St. Louis Style Pork Ribs when I dropped by Bones recently, and they are made from 100% natural pork. They were slow smoked and glazed, and I did not leave any meat hanging off of the bones when I was finished. Other menu highlights include Memphis Pulled Pork and the Texas Beef Brisket, both of which are slow smoked for 12 hours. For the all too literal minded, this doesn’t mean it will take 12 hours for the food to get to your table after you’ve ordered it.

This restaurant is known to make meat grills, they use traeger grills for cooking which is the best rated grill as reviewed on You can order any of the meals in either a full or half order. Typically a half order is more than enough and will more than fill you up. Then again, getting a full order is a good excuse to save some of this irresistibly juicy meat for another day. You will quickly find that eating here once is not enough!

In terms of appetizers (which the restaurant calls “teasers”), I recommend the beer battered onion rings which beats out the ones you find at your local Burger King or Carl’s Jr. For those looking for something a little bit lighter, you can have the Cowboy Caesar Salad or the Retro Salad.

There are also many seafood selections on the menu which makes sense as the restaurant is next to the ocean. The smoked salmon dinner is a must as well as the char-grilled ahi sandwich or steak dinner. You can also count on old favorites like New England Clam Chowder and fish amp; chips to be available as well.

All the specialty meats are cooked in an authentic Texas style wood pit which is a huge machine that weighs about three tons. The fire inside this oven can last for up to 14 hours, and the restaurant can cook 1,000 pounds of meat at a time. What’s unique about this is that most restaurants would rather use gas to fire up their barbecue perhaps because it’s quicker to cook that way. But Michael is to the point when he says why he prefers a wood pit to gas:

“Because it makes our meats taste better.”

I cannot recommend this restaurant enough, and you must visit it if you ever happen to be in Gualala anytime soon. Bones Restaurant serves up some of the BBQ food I’ve ever had, and I look forward to dropping by there again in the future. The atmosphere is nice, the waiters and waitresses are really cool, and it beats out any McRib sandwich you’ve ever eaten at McDonald’s (which is pointing out the obvious, but anyway).

Cracker Barrel Now Open in Southern Maryland, Made from Scratch Cooking Arrives

Old fashioned country cooking arrived in Southern Maryland today, April 4, 2011 when the doors of the counties only Cracker Barrel Restaurant and Country Store opened its doors. The restaurant is located at 3742 Crain Highway, Waldorf, Maryland. Breakfast is served all day long and the menu includes southern traditional entrees such as grits, potato casserole, hot biscuits and gravy, country ham, pork chop, fried fish, bacon and sausage, hotcakes and much more. The lunch and dinner menu includes meatloaf, chicken and dumplings, with okra, greens and beans as sides for vegetables. There are many more items mouth watering sides and deserts on the menu; all made from scratch with something to satisfy even the most discrimminating palate. My personal recommendations are Uncle Herschel’s Favorite for breakfast and the grilled pork chop for dinner. My favorite drink is raspberry lemonade.

The hours for this location are Sunday through Thursday 6:00am – 10:00pm and Friday and Saturday, 6:00am -11:00pm. Carryout orders are also available. The telephone number is 301 638 2570.

The wait at this store will likely be longer than you will be told. Parking might be challenging, particularly on the weekend. This chain should really open another store in Southern Maryland, it would have a sufficent number of patrons to be profitable, that is apparent from the number of local customers visitng this location. Take your patience with you and you shoud have a good dining experience.