One thing that I enjoy very much when going on a vacation or just traveling somewhere special is when we try different restaurants and places to eat. Of course, when we go to a new place, we don’t know where we can find the best food. Therefore, usually we used restaurant guides to help us find restaurants in an unknown town. Soon, we realized that restaurant guides most of the time provided us with disappointing results. We found out that restaurant guides were not giving us correct information about the best places to eat as they were usually printed by restaurant owners who were advertising their business. We needed a more reliable method than restaurant guides were.
In the quest for an effective way to find nice places to eat, we decided to ask desk clerks at the hotel we were staying about their recommendation of good restaurants. Although we were happy to get better results than the results we got using restaurant guides, we soon realized that talking to the clerks was not the best way as well.
Most often the clerks were to busy to answer our question, so we got no recommendations. In case they were not busy, they usually started to ask questions about what type of food we would prefer and how much we could afford to spend at the restaurant. According to our answers to those questions, they would make recommendations. Fortunately, their recommendations were usually very helpful.
Actually, if it happened that we were staying at a hotel, which was provided with a dining room, they would simply tell us to visit their own restaurant. On the other hand, some clerks were recommending looking for restaurant guides provided in the room.
We knew that some local newspapers were publishing restaurant guides. Unfortunately, this type of restaurant guides was not offering any critics but just a list of the local restaurants and some basic information about cuisine, price, and some other information such as reservation requirements and dress code. So using such newspapers restaurant guides we were able to know the available restaurants but we didn’t know how to choose.
At one of our trips, we found out that the best restaurant guides were talking to local residents. May be I am surprising you with this method but asking local residents soon appeared to be a very effective way to find good places to eat. We realize that people would love to support their favorite restaurant by recommending it.
We used to go to the nearby bar for a drink. There we just asked the people we met about their recommendations. Sometimes we simply asked the bartender. Actually, it has happened that we had much fun when talking to the locals.
I remember a situation when we were visiting Minneapolis. We were staying at a nice hotel but one evening we decided to walk to a nearby pub. It was not Saturday or Sunday, so the pub was not crowded. When we entered the pub, we sat at the bar and ordered a drink. Soon my husband decided to ask the bartender whether he could recommend us a nice place to eat.
A man who was sitting next to us interrupted us and named a local restaurant before the bartender could answer. Another man immediately added that this restaurant had been good in the past but now it was under new management and it was no longer so good according to him. Soon all the people in the bar began to argue. Everyone was telling various stories his or her experience with local stories.
We realized that we are enjoying very much the lively conversation so we asked to bartender to make is a pizza. Then we spent the whole evening talking to the locals in the bar. It was really a nice evening! When they served us the hot pizza, I heard someone saying that we could not find such a meal in the restaurant guides. I must admit that this evening was more wonderful that any offered by the restaurant guides.