Serious Eats or Pretentious Treats?

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Disappointment is when reality doesn’t meet expectation.  What are the consequences when you’re disappointed?  Specifically, what are some outcomes when eating establishments disappoint you?  Let’s get into a deep discussion on… cupcakes?

NadiaCakesStrawberry

 

Imagine strolling by a bakery window and spying a luscious [insert favorite flavor] cupcake with creamy frosting.  There’s a slight glow surrounding it as everything else fades to dark.  Your eyes go wide as faint sparkles slowly twinkle near the delectable delight.  You can’t withstand the pull of that tasty treat and walk in, determined to enjoy the best cupcake in the world.

 

If you’re as lucky as me, there are numerous restaurants close by (within 30 mins) that range from fast food to fine dining.  Some are average, but that’s what’s expected so you still go back.  Some are subpar because it wasn’t as expected and you probably won’t go back.  Then there are those that exceed expectations and you can’t wait to let others know about these gems via social media and of course, blogs 🙂

QPC_JBAwardExpectations met:  I’m going to let you in on something about me.  I still eat McDonalds.  Every once in a while, I buy their chicken McNuggets.  It is the perfect driving-in-the-car meal: cheap, portable, and bite-sized.  It is what I expect it to be.  McDonalds isn’t touting to be a refined establishment with a James Beard Award winner preparing a Royale with cheese.  Therefore, expectations are met, I’m not disappointed, and I will continue to order McDonalds.

Expectations not met:  Unfortunately, one of my recent experiences at Pearl and the Thief is an example of a Pretentious Treat.  It’s a new restaurant in Stillwater and we were looking forward to trying out what they had to offer.  The night started out strong with unique and tasty appetizers, but we waited over an hour between appetizers and entrees.  I know how long it took because I snapped photos of our starters.  Needless to say, this was a major turn off.  The end result was that we were disappointed.  As delicious as hubby’s fish dinner was (my etouffee, on the other hand, was mushy and bland), we’re not quite ready to go back there.  Maybe in a few months after they work out the kinks in their service.

SpoonStableFish_smaller

Expectations exceeded:  Finally, there are those gems you feel so blessed to have stepped foot in and feasted at their table.  These are the restaurants that do not disappoint.  You can’t wait to go back and taste what other morsels they’ll prepare.  An example that comes to mind of Serious Eats is Spoon and Stable in Minneapolis.  My husband and I have been there several times and I still look forward to the next visit.  It goes without saying that we were far from disappointed.  The photo above was my husband’s seafood entree from our most recent dinner there and it was delicious (I snuck a bite)!

So, what do we know?  Eating at a fancy restaurant doesn’t automatically yield a positive dining experience.  Fast food chains can gain your repeat business while higher end eateries can certainly disappoint, resulting in a potential loss of business.  If the restaurant has an expensive menu, swanky decor, upscale property, renowned chef, etc… you better believe expectations are set high.  Will they disappoint or would you eat there again?  The only thing you can do is bring your appetite and hope they meet the expectations they set and don’t disappoint us.

Back to that cupcake daydream… After eagerly taking a first bite of that cupcake, did it meet your expectation, exceed your expectation, or were you disappointed?  If you can’t imagine how it’d taste, time to go visit a local bakery and comment below to let us know your reaction 🙂

 

[Featured photo was my rib eye entree at Spoon and Stable.  Cupcake photo from Nadia Cakes.  Quarter pounder with cheese photo from McDonalds, James Beard medallion photo from James Beard Foundation, the mashed-up photo was created by me.  Seafood entree photo taken at Spoon and Stable.]

#seriouseats #expectations #food #cupcake #goodeats #wheretoeat #welovetoeat #foodreview #restaurants #mcdonalds #spoonandstable #pearlandthethief

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