A few years, we pretty much stopped going out to eat for financial and culinary reasons. Financial is pretty much self-explanatory but the culinary simply means we tend to make better stuff than anything we get out - I'm not bragging - it's just that homemade food tends to be tastier. The interesting offshoot of this is that we never get indigestion or food poisoning any more, which in itself, is a disturbing thought.
I also allow myself $5 a week for either a snack or an outing with a friend. When you're out Christmas shopping at the mall, a break for fries or a chicken salad wrap at Tim Horton's (big and only a $1.54 here) can be a welcome break.
As a result, when events occur and we do get a free meal out, we really enjoy the outing. This weekend saw us attend two such events, one a thank you party for volunteers and the other was a staff party for my part-time job. The volunteer party was held at a hotel and featured an all-you-can eat buffet with very limited selection. The staff party was held at a gourmet restaurant and featured a traditional chicken dinner and orange ginger cake for dessert but it was nicely done. Both were good but I confess at both, my tummy ached afterwards. The interesting thing was the tea. The gourmet restaurant served up lukewarm dishwater while the hotel's was piping hot and quite tasty. I've never been able to figure out how places which make good food can goof up something as simple as tea. All you need is boiling water and decent quality bags - is that so difficult?