There are probably one hundred food choices within a couple mile radius of me at this moment, and thankfully, I don’t have to make a decision where to eat. My eyes were bigger than my stomach last night and I bought a burrito with two tacos and the burrito alone filled me up. Easy decision tonight: leftovers.
I’m traveling for work this week and find myself in Houston Texas. Back home in New York, we don’t have many restaurant choices in the small town I live in. If we want something different, we usually travel to a small city about thirty miles away from us. As a family, this can still be a dilemma because not everyone agrees on where to eat. Majority rules, a decision is made, and somebody settles for something on the menu that obviously wasn’t their first choice. When we travel, be it a day trip or longer, we will always choose a restaurant that we don’t have access to in our immediate area. It’s an unwritten rule and everyone buys into it. Where we differ is the degree of adventure we are willing to subject our taste buds to. My oldest son and I will try most anything. My wife and youngest son however are a little less willing to try new things.
So why is it when I travel on my own and have nobody to please but myself do I find it difficult to make a decision on what or where to eat most of the time? I asked myself this question tonight and had to think about it, realizing that most of my indecision is coming from places I might travel to where there is a “choice” overload. I would equate this to having three hundred plus channels and not being able to figure out what to watch on television. Often, I will be at a hotel that has a restaurant inside or attached to it or has a few eating establishments close by making the selection process much easier. Other times, I am at the mercy of a local who has picked a restaurant for us to eat at. Here in Houston however, the area I stay at is called the Energy Corridor and there are restaurants everywhere. Driving is problematic during rush hour and a short trip to a restaurant can take forty five minutes. It’s not the type of place to keep driving around looking for a place to eat.
Our company has a very generous policy when it comes to dining out while traveling on company business. I don’t abuse it and usually only have one or two meals at restaurants. The other meals will be takeout and typically low cost. I travel to Houston about three or four times a year and the hotel I stay at is an extended stay hotel with a kitchen so I will also buy groceries for breakfast and sometimes grab a meal from the “pantry” as they call it and have a microwavable meal. My feeling about spending company money on food is to spend it as though it was my own. I would not eat $40 or $50 meals on my own so I don’t expect to do that on the company’s dime. Yeah, moral me.
As I stated earlier, I don’t want to eat a restaurant that I can eat at back home. So my first night here is always a no-brainer. I checked into the hotel, unpacked, and headed out to the nearest Whataburger. If you know me, this is a given. One burger, less than $5, and 790 calories of my daily diet is gone. If you have been lucky enough to have enjoyed a Whataburger, you understand.
Night two involved my driving around which was a big mistake. I wanted Mexican Food, saw a place called Taco Cabana and ordered what turned out to be enough food for two nights. Meal cost? $11.
Tomorrow will be my last night here and I will eat at a restaurant. My plan is to stop there on the way back to the hotel after I get off work. I saw a Japanese restaurant today that a few of the employees at our sister company recommended to me. If I pass that, I have about twenty more choices along the frontage road before I hit the street I need to turn on to get to my hotel. If I remain indecisive during that drive, I’ll get to the hotel and walk to a restaurant. There just happens to be about five or ten within walking distance. Taste of Texas, Pappadeaux Seafood, Pappasito’s, Fuddruckers, some deli, and so on, and so on. More decisions… although I am only willing to walk so far. Choice overload.
I know one thing. I will eat.
How about you? Is your choice of dining establishment an easy decision?