What dining experience do you miss the most since the pandemic began?

I know a lot of states have relaxed dine-in restrictions in the last few months, including my own state of Michigan, so it’s possible to dine out again, but I and my wife haven’t been too keen on doing that again yet.

Fortunately I’m a pretty good cook, so we’ve still been eating well at home for the past 7-8 pandemic months.

And we’ve been getting take-out, but I’m only comfortable with ordering food that has been cooked. Which leads me to sushi…oh how I miss it. Sushi is one thing I never learned how to make from scratch, or had the inclination to. I think making sushi is like playing bass-- easy to be mediocre at, very difficult to master.

We’ve missed Holiday get togethers & BBQs the most. We’re basically going to pass on Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Years also.

Oh, jeez, where do I start? My favorite neighborhood fine-dining place has now closed for good, as have at least two of my favorite downtown restaurants. I miss going for steak and potatoes with my friends at a very comfortable, welcoming restaurant not far from the courthouse. And I miss sitting in the coffeeshop with another friend, a large mocha in hand, just shooting the breeze.

Exactly. Sitting at the sushi bar and talking to the chefs. Sometimes we get some tuna and wasabi and do something up ourselves, but it’s not the same by a long shot.

Two in particular:

  • Getting together with friends at a local brunch restaurant – it was a big part of how I’d get to spend time with, and catch up with, certain friends
  • Going to the nice French bistro for a special-occasion meal – it’s where we’d often celebrate our anniversary, and my birthday

Sushi is pretty easy to make. Sushi isn’t easy to make pretty.

…Just have to have the proper ingredients, sushi grade fish, etc.

I miss those long, leisurely meals where after the bottle of wine is empty I order another. With restricted seating of 25%, there is pressure to eat and leave.

I miss going out, getting a drink, shooting the breeze, lingering over a meal and all of it being normal.

I’ve been learning sushi for years, and have gotten many of the basics down solid, like making the rice. I can make pretty much any maki so that it looks like restaurant sushi. I’m working now on cutting fish.

Brunch, yeah… that also reminds me-- I used to meet up with my wife and frequent lunch buffets at an Indian restaurant and an Ethiopian place we both worked nearby. Th eEthiI imagine brunch and lunch buffets are long gone now. At least for the foreseeable future.

Like I said, it’s probably like playing bass, easy to be mediocre, difficult to master. It sounds like you’re getting proficient at ‘playing bass’, kayaker. :grin:

This too, getting served by the chefs is part of the experience. Plus, if you make your own sushi at home, you’re not going to be able to match anywhere near the variety of a sushi bar.

That’s an understatement! :slight_smile: Really good sushi is truly a fine art that requires not just great skill and knowledge, but the ability to source the finest ingredients, often exotic ones imported from Japan and other far-away places.

I can’t honestly say that I “miss” our high-end sushi experiences since at about $600 a pop for omakase for two it wasn’t something we did often. I only hope that our favorite sushi place can weather the storm and stay in business. We didn’t go there often but it was heaven when we did.

On a much more modest scale, I miss a great steakhouse that was a frequent hangout on birthdays and other special occasions. Never actually had steak there that I recall, but they had great roast beef and a garlic shrimp appetizer that I loved. I hope they, too, manage to stay in business.

I miss having lunch with friends, as that was my principle way of socializing in the Before Times.

Specifically, I miss sitting down in a Mexican restaurant and having the server set down a screamingly hot plate of cheese enchiladas in front of me with the instruction, “Hot plate! Don’t touch!” which, of course, makes you immediately grab the plate. Favor and Door Dash can’t get the enchiladas to the house fast enough to recreate the effect.

Food carts. While they’re still in operation, I don’t really trust the food handling.

Buffet places. We’d just recently discovered a wonderful Asian buffet place that had a Mongolian grill and sushi before the pandemic hit. I don’t know if they’re still in operation.

Any dining without the children.

We have a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old whom we love dearly, but we are really missing being able to hire a sitter and go out and have a meal just the two of us. Seven months and counting.

Sushi, hands down. Jonesing for it!

A proper night out. Something with a sense of occasion to dress for. A cozy bar for pre-dinner drinks. Comically large red wine glasses with dinner. Freshly shaved truffles to my wife’s heart’s content. A luxurious hotel nearby so I don’t have to worry about drinking and driving. The next morning, a bed that we can leave unmade.

We order sushi to go somewhat often. It’s our go-to birthday\celebration meal. Order and pickup I’ve never had a problem with quality. We were doing this before the pandemic. Plus it makes it a lot more affordable when you cut out the markup for beverages and subsequent tip. I’ve ordered out just some regular not fancy meal and realize that I could have gotten sushi for the same amount.

If you are jonesing for sushi but are worried about the difficulty and aren’t comfortable with takeout, I suggest making Poke bowls. Very similar in satisfying that craving but much less fussy preparation. Acquiring qualify fish is the hardest part. You just need to cut it into smallish cubes and put together the necessary accouterments.

Sister! :smiley: