Monday, January 26, 2015

The No-Restaurant Resolution

            Last night, as a belated birthday celebration following week too hectic for cake, I was treated to dinner at one of my favorite restaurants in my city, the SpringfieldGourmet Taco Company.
I love this place. The menu is wildly creative, and each bite is a little festival of flavor. The décor is fun—lots of black and red, film posters on the walls, neither a sombrero nor cactus in sight. I’m smitten with the cilantro tiger shrimp sriracha taco, with its grilled pineapple, feta, spinach, and cucumber.
My server, Ty, told me that they prepare all of the fresh ingredients each day, from the cilantro to the tiny minced pears to the white corn hominy salsa. They make their own chili sauce, four kinds of salsa for the chips, and six clever varieties of guacamole.
If I sound unusually excited about tacos, well, it’s because these are unusually good tacos—but also, this birthday meal happened to be my first restaurant meal in 2015.
My family made a joint resolution this year, and it was not to eat out in 2015, except for special occasions. A birthday, even a belated one, counts.
We’ve noticed myriad benefits to our no-restaurant plan. We’ve saved a ton of money. We’re more creative in the kitchen. Our food choices are more mindful. We direct more of our energy toward home and family. And, as evidenced by my birthday meal, the times we do eat out are much more memorable and special.
When we do eat out, it is our plan to dine at those places that do what we cannot. We could never fashion a curry blend to rival the flavors we find at the Taj Mahal restaurant. We might feel stymied by lemon grass, but they know just what to do with it at Thai Peppers. And I’m not about to mince pears into tiny quarter-inch squares—but I certainly enjoyed the little explosions of flavor on my tongue when I tasted them last night.

Maybe true innovation is best left to the professionals, but it has been satisfying to find that the home can be my family’s center of nourishment and sustenance.


  1. This is such a smart decision. It really does end up saving tons of money. Even for events we stay in and cook because we enjoy doing it as a family. We go out only when we feel so utterly lazy that taking something out of the fridge sounds too exhausting. This is an extremely rare occasion for my family.

    Cristopher @ Lamoraga Restaurant

  2. Being a single person, it often seems easier to eat out in restaurants rather than cook for just one. I like how you have saved money by eating at home and shopping for your own meals. It's simple to adjust recipes and plan meals that can feed a family and stay healthy like your family has done.

    Crystal Carson @ Tacky Jacks