I can answer the title of this story…hell yes! I think one of the great pleasures in life in enjoying a good meal while someone else serves it to you. It’s often a surprise at every turn. From finding a new restaurant to walking in and checking out the atmosphere to opening up the menu and of course to digging in. Unfortunately the economy means a lot of people have decided to forgo luxury. Economic advise are on the morning shows telling people to eat at home, brown bag it to work, etc. Sure this is a good idea some of the time, but don’t you still want to get out and enjoy your life? I can already see some people saying “that’s easy for her to say, she must be able to afford it”, but now I think most of you can afford a meal out at least once a week if you keep it within your budget. One of the most fun meals I had in the last couple of months was at “Southern Hospitality” on the Upper East Side in NYC. It’s Justin Timberlake’s restaurant, but you don’t have to spend JT money there. Two of us ate there for about $40 total with tip. A huge pitcher of beer was $10. A sandwich my dining companion had was $10 and I got a few vegetarian side dishes for my meal. Are there entrees on there for more money? Sure, but my point is you can go out and eat a darn good meal for a darn good price still. Being a vegetarian is always a little cheaper anyway, but if you look at a menu and steak is $35, but a steak sandwich is only $12 if you are crunched for $$ I think it’s obvious which item you should order. A lot of people though have just initiated a blanket rule that they won’t eat out. This means restaurants are closing left and right. Even big chain restaurants are suffering. Bennigan’s, a restaurant I waitressed at in college is no kaput. Steak and Ale shut down leaving us without their salad bar and places like Outback (home to my beloved Cheese Fries) are struggling. Just take a look at their stock. Last time I was there I noticed new, more affordable, options on their menu. I think it’s good that restaurants are trying to do what they can to keep guests and that only benefits those of us who dine out. Even higher end restaurants like Thomas Keller’s Per Se in NYC are adjusting to the times. The Time Warner Center restaurant used to only have a pre-fix menu that was almost $300 per person, but now they just announced they will offer some al a carte items. Also “BR Guest Restaurants”, a big restaurant group just closed a couple well known restaurants then took another step. They used to only take phone reservations, but now they are participating in opentable.com. I love Open Table, it’s a website where you can punch in the time you want to eat and restaurants that have open tables show up and you choose the restaurant. Anyway BR Guest Restaurants going on there is a sign they want to fill tables up anyway possible. I hope you will be one of those filling tables at a restaurant near you this week. Just think you are putting money back into the economy, while putting yummy food into your stomach!