Let’s face it, there are many people that honestly never eat a meal at home, in their own kitchen, or dining room. And, believe it or not, I’ve heard these words from folks who reside in many different parts of our country, and from many different socioeconomic groups living in and around our East Coast.

This mantra has been shared with me on many occasions: “I don’t care where I eat, just as long as I don’t have to shop for the food, prepare it in my own kitchen, and clean-up! Just remember, I don’t cook!”

Perhaps, this conversation may be limited to a few people that we know, but in all honesty, I truly know some folks that never ever prepare a meal in their home. These ladies and gentlemen usually arrive at their favorite Supermarket, Delicatessen or Take-Out place, and purchase a fully prepared meal, or peruse a take-out area, and select a bit from a gaggle of lovely lamb chops to perhaps, mashed potatoes, and trays full of prepared vegetables.  They’ll have their meal wrapped well, then take it home, and enjoy it for lunch, dinner, or serve it to guests that are due to arrive that evening for dinner..

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I am sure you’ve seen these “Never-Cook” folks.They usually arrive late in the afternoon, and peruse the Take-Out area, taking special time to figure out what they really feel like eating, and how much effort it will entail to place it on the table with their dishes, silverware, and glassware.

They’ll then order the meal, have it individually wrapped, and take it home. Once they arrive, all they have to do, is set the table, and enjoy their dinner. Or, as in some cases, there are  folks that don’t bother with “real” dinnerware, but resort to paper plates and plastic knives, forks, and spoons.  (Excuse me, but that really causes me to shudder!)

As one who truly enjoys spending time in my kitchen, I cannot conceive of anyone resorting to a constant life of “Take-Out,” anymore than I could get used to eating-out 6 or 7 nights a week. But there are folks like that, and as always, who are we to judge?
Dining Out in Vermont is absolutely nothing like “Going Out to Eat in New Jersey. First off, the menus are far more streamlined. The Caesar Salad is not always topped with a variety of tastefully prepared croutons, and the Romaine lettuce, as we know it in our locally prepared Caesar salad, appears as two or three, whole Romaine lettuce leaves, surrounded by a gaggle of tasty croutons. The average price? Approximately $6.00.   
The same may be said for main dishes served in a variety of restaurants ranging from Diners, to Restaurants located in Hotels, as well as freestanding establishments.

I would say, “As a Burger lover, I really liked every burger I ordered. Each arrived charcoal broiled to perfection. The rolls were toasted, and the burgers I ate, were tastefully, flattened to an acceptable size, and prepared and presented with delicious, crispy, French fries, and a lovely salad.  The cost?  Most were in the $10 range, and all but one, I suspect, was set on the grill, frozen.

Yes, we were definitely in a different part of our country, but we were able to find places to dine that would satisfy most appetites.

But how can you be sure you’ll find an acceptable place for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, in a location that you rarely frequent? 

First off, make a list of those concerns that seem to be bothering you. Like: 
* Is there a dress code in most restaurants? 
* Can you use your credit card to pay your bill? 
* Does the restaurant have a Bar, or are you able to”Bring-Your-Own?”
* Do you need a reservation, and how far in advance should you make that reservation?
* I have known people who have actually called their soon-to-be vacation spot, and made Lunch and Dinner reservations for their entire trip. It’s all possible, but be sure to ask if there is a penalty for cancellation of these reservations?

In truth, I almost guarantee you’ll have a spectacular time, if you truly plan ahead!

I’d love to hear from you. Please, email me, and share a memorable “DINING-OUT experience. With your permission, I will share it with our loyal readers, but will not, if you wish, share your name, as the writer.

Best wishes for a Happy End to the Summer of 2015, and a joyous welcome to Autumn 2015. I look forward to hearing from you!