Dining Out

One of the biggest challenges this winter was consistently finding good coffee to make at home. In Canada, my compromise for taste and price is Nabob Full City Metropolis. My coffee choices have been hit or miss all winter, and my latest purchase has been thoroughly a miss. L spoiled me rotten in Wichita, having a fresh pot of really good stuff available to me every morning. My morning coffee has been disappointing since Kansas.

I remembered from last year that the Dakota Magic restaurant has really good coffee. So I planned on having a lunch here, for both the coffee and to use up the rest of my U.S. cash.

I ordered a full pot of coffee (did not get through it) and a club sandwich, which came to $10. I brought half of the meal home for dinner. I’m going to miss this price/portion ratio when I get to Canada.

The coffee was sooooooooooo good. Since I only ate half my meal, I asked for a slice of pie to go with my final sips.

When I came into the restaurant, the server didn’t see me be seated and I was apparently invisible because it took AGES for her to see me. I was actually about to walk out, figuring they were too busy to take on any new customers, when she came to take my order. So when I asked for pie, she pointed to the buffet ($13 for lunch, OUCH), and told me to help myself to whatever looked good, plus ice cream if I wanted it, and that she wouldn’t charge me. That doubled her tip! I enjoyed their pecan pie with just a dollop of chocolate ice cream.

When you live alone in a small space, dining out is practically a survival mechanism. It’s an excuse to get out and do a little socialising. For me, food is food when it comes to my budget. Said budget goes further in the U.S. than in Canada and allows for more meals out, but regardless, so much per month goes to food and I eat very simply at home to cut costs (I so rarely buy desserts and junk food, for example, that saying that I never buy them is barely an exaggeration). Dining out is not a place where my budget needs to be trimmed, contrary to what some readers may think.

Another thing is that this blog is a business. When I post a review of a local restaurant, I keep a copy of the bill and the blog post and claim a partial deduction on my taxes! The logic there is that I keep a travel blog. Part of travel is discovering local cuisines and restaurants. Part of my business is travel writing. To write about travel, I have to write about food. Ergo the deduction.

I’m off to do more laundry. I did three loads this morning and now I have the heavy denim stuff to do, which will take FOREVER to dry since it’s almost impossible to wring out by hand.

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  • On a cold winter day after shopping I love going through the drive through at Timmies (Tim Horton’s) and picking up one of their medium coffees with one cream and an Apple Fritter for my hubby.

    I missed Timmie while we were in Florida this year.

    You are correct re the eating out in the USA, it is so much cheaper. We had a delicious Cuban meal in Little Havana in a very nice restaurant in Miami including doggy bags for something like $17 US?

  • I must be the only Canadian who doesn’t miss Timmies. Their coffee is terrible and how they treat their employees is shameful.

    $17 for two? That sounds about right. I’m at the point where if I pay $10 for a meal and don’t have leftovers, I feel ripped off. Fajitas are the best; I usually get three meals from them!

  • I don’t know anything about T.H. Employees. I rarely go inside. There are five Timmies in our city of 20,000 so somebody must be drinking their coffee.

    Yes, there were two of us at the restaurant and $3.00 of that was for the tip.

    Where we live here in eastern Ontario we can be in a restaurant in the U.S. in about 15 minutes. Friends buy all their gasoline over there.

  • I have a friend who worked for Timmie’s and it’s just really bad. 🙁 I also used to think their coffee was amazing… until I discovered good coffee. 🙂 The only thing that gets me into a Timmies these days is a craving for a Dutchie! (square holeless donut studded with raisins)

    When I lived in the Ottawa area, I used to go to Watertown all the time. A friend in Prescott does about 95% of her shopping there and is on a first name basis with the customs officers on both sides of the order! I don’t feel comfortable doing those border hops anymore since I want to spend six months of the year in the US and don’t want to raise any more red flags than I already do.

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