Nancy Roman

Restaurant Reviews – From The Foodie

A few days ago I treated myself to lunch. Nothing fancy, I had a nice tuna sandwich and a cup of coffee at Panera’s.

Years ago, I hated having lunch alone. I was more apt to take the sandwich back to my car than to sit alone in a restaurant. Even when I was a quasi-hot-shot executive, when I traveled alone on business, I would either order room service or go get Chinese take-out and bring it back to my hotel room. Basically, I didn’t know what to do with myself if I had to eat alone in public. I could take a book, and occasionally I would do that. But how uncomfortable and self-conscious (and friendless) I felt.

But all that changed. Cell Phones! Everyone sits in restaurants focused on their cell phones. I can do that too! I don’t have to look friendless. I can stare at my phone.

So I got my tuna sandwich and my coffee and found a table right next to the gas fireplace. I took out my phone like everyone around me. My phone immediately figured out where I was. The omniscient little spy said, “You are at Panera. Would you like to tell your friends?”

And since my phone is the boss of me, I said, “Sure, phone!” And so it did.

The following morning, when I checked my phone, the little bugger was still obsessing about Panera. It said, “You were at Panera yesterday. Would you like to leave a review?

I love reviews. I love to read them and write them. But I had written a whole blog about tunafish sandwiches just a few weeks ago. And as much as I love tunafish sandwiches, they are pretty much all the same.

Which finally (aren’t we all relieved?) brings me to my point.

I love excellence. I appreciate great design, quality materials, refined execution.Who doesn’t?

And I believe we should all expect excellence, and we should discriminate between quality and mediocrity.

But I also think that we all complain way too much.

I am a bit weary of hearing and reading that nothing is as good as it used to be.

I think there is a super-abundance of wonderful stuff today. Stuff that is better than I had as a kid, much better than what my parents had, amazingly better than what my grandparents had, and probably a gazillion times better than what my great-grandparents had.

Remember what your parents had? How about the refrigerator they had when you were a kid? How about the television? The lawn mower?

And, Oh-My-God, the phone! We have information and photography and directions and games and our friends and music right at our fingertips. If I hear one more person bitch about their shitty phone, I think I will hand him one of these:


And clothes. Holy cow – there are great, fun, stylish clothes in all price ranges. You might buy a tee at Nordstrom’s for $79 and it’s terrific. But if you are on a limited budget you can also get one at Costco for $7.99 and guess what? You can still wear it to the beach. It’s still a tee shirt.

And there is so much of it. Go to the supermarket and stroll down the detergent aisle. You can choose from forty different products. And they all clean your clothes just fine. The last time I replaced my bathroom scale, the store had TWO aisles of bathroom scales. I do believe any one of them would have weighed me just fine.

And FOOD! Restaurants! It may be just a faulty childhood memory, but I think in 1957, when I was six, the only restaurant in the whole state was Howard Johnson’s.

Which brings me back around to restaurant reviews.

I know there are plenty of mediocre restaurants out there. But all in all,


Appreciate it. Don’t worry about it.

Enjoy it.

And to help you enjoy it, I have enlisted the most appreciative eater in the world.

My dog Theo.


Theo has made a scientific in-depth study of restaurant offerings. By always ordering the same thing, he is able to provide a rich comparison that will enable you to savor the bounty we are blessed with today.

In particular – Cheeseburgers.

Here are Theo’s unbiased, thoughtful, and well-reasoned cheeseburger reviews. Thanks to his careful analysis, you should be able to enjoy your cheeseburger as much as he does.



  1. Wait until he eats at an In-N-Out, I bet Theo will think it’s REALLY GOOD!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, and I forgot Smashburger – which was his most incisive of all. So I just added it!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh I agree. Why aren’t these people complaining abou the wars and problems at home. Don’t like your phone? Buy a new one then find someone who doesn’t have one and give the old one
    to them. This will brighten their day and I guarantee you’ll stop complaining when you see their reaction


    • I know…. all I hear is “too slow” “battery drain” “autocorrect” etc…. do they no realize what they have in their HAND? What it can do???? To me, my phone is like a miracle – and a big one!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Don’t be down on the refrigerator, the television, the lawn mower. They were the mod cons of their day and we were grateful to have them.
    I love my smart phone, but long to go back to the day you could leave your phone at home. I don’t feel alone and friendless of I’m on my own in a cafe. I bring my book out and read. Or my IPad and read. I love the new technology, bu appreciate having experienced the old ways. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, for sure. My mother was grateful for her washing machine. My grandmother used a wringer washer and my grandmother’s mother washed her clothes in a basin.
      I have to confess it is extremely hard for me to put away my phone. It drives my husband crazy, and I don’t really blame him. I need to try harder.


  4. A very discerning dog…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. PS when you’re six, there is a lot of fun to be had with two tons toe to a string.


  6. ‘Tins.toed to string’. 😊


    • We did that all the time – (but without much success)


  7. I now love eating alone on occasions; there is a great freedom in being able to chose the type of food, the place and how long you stay with no one to consider but yourself – bliss!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’ve got a very good point. That is the way I feel about shopping too. I love to shop alone. I can take all the time I want and do exactly what I want. I’m not waiting for anyone and no one is waiting for me. I’ll have to think about eating out alone the same way.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I don’t mind eating by myself. I like to have my back to the wall and watch people. I don’t pull out anything. I just watch. (I know creepy.) People are amazing. Theo is definitely no cat. Each of my cats likes something different. Not only that, if they don’t like something I serve, they try to bury it. Dogs are definitely easier to feed. Many dogs eat cat poop. It’s because cats only eat the finest stuff.


  9. Oh how I love Theo! He is adorable. And not fussy, which is good in a dog.

    We seem to have gone review crazy–why do places we go to demand our comments?


  10. Wow! That’s a lot of cheeseburgers. I didn’t even know that Tim Hortons sold cheeseburgers. I can honestly say I have never seen anyone have one here in Canada.


    • You are right! Theo meant Wayback Burgers. I should never have let him do his own typing.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Oh, I thought maybe it was an American thing. I’m a fan of the 5 Guys, don’t know why, I don’t even like hamburgers. 😉


        • I love hamburgers. Smashburgers are incredible. The calorie count is also incredible.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I don’t think we have Smashburgers here.I just googled and there are two in Alberta (too far for a weekend jaunt) and one inside the Toronto airport (that’s just bizarre). I guess I will have to look for one on your side next time I cross over. He-Who lives on hamburgers & fresh cut fries.


  11. I’ll pass this along to my meat-eating half.
    I so enjoy your voice in these posts, it’s like we are all sitting next to you by that fireplace having coffee. Toni

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much… you can sit by the fire with me anyday. I promise not to peek too much at my phone.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. You are so right on so many counts, especially about the chronic complaining that goes on about just about everything. Why are people so dissatisfied when life (in general) is pretty darn good for most of us in the Western World (who are the ones doing all the complaining online). Instead of complaining, take action: if you don’t like the food at a particular restaurant, don’t go there again; if you don’t like your phone (or your car, or your clothes, or your whatever), buy something different; if you don’t like your job (or your husband/wife/significant other), make a change; etc. There’s a great song by Trooper that’s on my ‘favourite songs list’ called “Raise a Little Hell” (I often think of it as my theme song!) – the lyrics say it all:

    If you don’t like what you’ve got, why don’t you change it?
    If your world is all screwed up, rearrange it!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. The thought of eating alone in a restaurant has never bothered me, only done it once and that was in the days before mobile phones and had a nice time but I like my own company


  14. I love all food!
    But it’s true I think people generally leave like yelp reviews when they’ve had a bad experience. Which is sad!


  15. This is good

    Sent from my iPhone



  16. I love it! And I wish everyone did reviews like Theo. For god’s sake, it’s just food. I’m just glad I didn’t have to cook it, generally.


  17. Lizzy

    Love your research so thorough. Your dog is the best at analytical, qualitative analasis. I eat alone and never take out my cell phone. I take breaks from caring for my husband of 46 years to relieve the stress. I love him dearly but it can be challenging. He is 85 with dementia. Be thankful for your blessing and enjoy life while everyone is healthy.


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