Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Fine Dining Imposters

Gabi loves Denny's. And I mean LOVES Denny's.

It's like our secret family shame. No matter how hard we try to diversify her pallet by taking her to different fine dining restaurants, her loyalties to Denny's remain true.

I think my mom was the one who took Gabi there for the first time. She had mashed potatoes with gravy and got a rocket shaped cup with a blue drink inside. It was love from then on out.

And now every time we mention that we're going out, she begs to go to Denny's. We oblige her occasionally, but the last time we went there I had the worst salad of my life. Wilted cucumbers, tasteless cherry tomatoes, white lettuce with dried carrots. Gilberto's omelet was so fluffy it looked like meringue. Who wants to squish that around in your mouth? But Gabi was in Heaven with her mashed potatoes and blue rocket cup drink.

So it was no surprise that when we went out to Tony Roma's for dinner last night, Gabi cried when we pulled into the parking lot and she realized we weren't at her beloved Denny's. We've dealt with this so many times before we didn't bat an eyelash. But we should've. Because for the first time, Gabi brought her little fit inside.

The whole time we were in the restaurant, Gabi whined and cried and begged to leave to go to Denny's. By the time our food arrived, she was getting loud enough for our fellow diners to hear.

Gabi: I HATE this food! I want MY food at DENNY'S! It's my most favorite place and I want to go there NOW!

Me: Honey, we are NOT going to Denny's. This is good food! You need to eat your dinner. Now hush.

Gabi: I WANT TO GO TO DENNY'S! It's the only place I like to go. Why do we have to eat here? I don't like it here. We always go to Denny's!

Me: No we don't!

Gabi: Yes we do!

Me: No we don't! Stop saying that! Now eat your dinner! And for the love of God, Shhhhh!

It was like being in Ralph Lauren and loudly discussing how you hate cotton and the polyester at the $5 clothing store was so much better, while your best friend stands there embarrassed beyond belief at your horrible taste and the salesperson stares at you in shock.

And it was a good thing we didn't have any duck tape on hand, because I figured as long as our cover as sophisticated diners had been blown I might as well embrace our hillbilly roots and tape the girl's mouth shut. THAT would give the eavesdroppers something to talk about! Not like the mention of Denny's wasn't enough.

And then we paid with a discount coupon.


  1. Strong willed children grow up to be successful adults. Just keep telling yourself that when this happens.

    BTW, I used Doodlebug Designs to redo my blog. Take a look and see what you think.

  2. My shameful secret: I love Moons over My Hammy.

    Also when we first started dating, Sidnei kept taking me there. He also LOVED it. I mean love. I told him we needed to diversify and he finally started taking me out to different places.

    I swear it's a wonder I kept dating the boy. I must have been head over heels.

  3. Oh honey, I can only imagine!

    I HATE (and I mean HATE) Denny's! My husband loves their breakfast so once a year (usually around Father's Day or his birthday), I oblige and deal with it.

    The funny thing is, when I was pregnant and sick as a dog during my first trimester, we used to stop there on the way to the beach - Moons Over My Hammy was one of the only things I could handle. Insane, right?

    Happy Holidays - miss you!

  4. First off Denny's is a denison of Americana. I mean breakfast all day, what a concept? Brings back the 1am, the drunk is wearing off and I'm sarved, days of my youth. Ah Moons over My Hammy how I miss you. That said, no it's not chic but hey we can't all be Anthony Bourdain (THANK GOD, he is an ass!).

    Secondly, anyone who sits in a chain eatery like Tony Roma's and judges YOUR dinning habits needs to get ZAGAT and a life!

    Thrid, welcome to parenthood sweetie.. with four kids if we can even afford to eat out it usualy involves a bevy of crayons with the menu and atleast one hissy fit!

    To the three of you, have a WONDERFUL Christmas! And to you Laural, thanks. Thanks for keeping me entertained and for showing me the bloggy ropes. For your humor and the smile your posts almost always put on my face. I'm glad to know I'm not the only person who spills salad dressing on my shirt

  5. My kids LOVE Red Robin. Love. At least at Red Robin I can get a drink.

  6. Oh, I feel your pain! Olivia LOVES this noodle shop and begs to go there every weekend. She's now into saying that it isn't fair that we keep picking and we never let her pick where we go! :)

    The best part of your night was using the coupon! My husband is known for pulling out coupons for everything.

    Have a great holidays.

  7. Oh great, NOW I've got a taste for Denny's. Love them grand slams.

    Just wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas!

  8. Oh dear. I don't know what Dennys is like, but I can imagine from your description.
    Kids - you got to love them!

    Merry Christmas Laural.

  9. When kids get their minds set on something, they do not let go. I am glad that you all got out alive:-)

  10. Well, I didn't hear anything about Denny's when we all went out to dinner in August. Probably because she loves me...

  11. Merry Christmas from Okinawa. And Happy holidays too

  12. Oh, good heavens...I think we're headed in this direction. My daughter prefers Costco pizza to almost anything else. It's a good thing she can't say "Costco" yet! (She can, however, say "pizza" and she screams it every time we buy groceries and DON'T stop at the food court! 'I wan' pizza! I wan' pizza! I WAAN' PIIIZZZAAAA!!!!!!' It's pathetic, really. ;-))

    Good luck with the Denny's fetish. :-)

  13. Merry Christmas Laural! hugs!

  14. Your shame is my life - Perkins has kids eat free on Saturday nights.

    Best part - you paid with a discount card :)

  15. LOL. I feel your pain. Mine? Loves IHop over the gourmet "Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles". How's that for embracing the not-so hoity toity roots?

  16. Laural, I just got back from the movies, I watched Twilight! I loved it! I have to tell you this because it was after reading so much about the book here I wanted to watch the movie. And now i'm gonna get the books!! Thanks! ;)


  17. Maybe you and Gilberto should order the mashed potatoes and the rocket cup drink! Maybe you're missing out and once you've had this, YOU'LL be the ones who want to go to Denny's all the time!

  18. Just when I didn't think this post could get ANY say "And then we paid with a coupon"

    Ha ha ha!!!!!!!!! This post was comedic PERFECTION!!

  19. Well, she is opinionated, isn't she? And that's not necessarily a bad thing, although I know you've got to be embarrassed! Christmas Blessings to you and yours!!

  20. That is too funny!
    This is the best post of the week :)

  21. Hey... girl knows what she wants :)

    Love those discount coupons ;) Love how it makes the waiter/ess get all insecure about their tip... Ha!

    I know, SO BAD.


  22. Every single time you write about a conversation you've had with Gabi, I feel like I'm reading a conversation I am destined to have with my own daughter. I feel your pain.My kids will only eat macaroni and cheese, chicken fingers and French fries. That's it.

  23. New post please all my comments are on this one!!!

    Happy New Year!!!
    May 2009 be the start of a great time in your lives. I wish you health of mind and body. May your Resolutions for the New Year be attainable.

  24. Bless... you always make me laugh... hope you have recovered from the dining experience...

  25. lol at Gabi! Hope she doesn't do it again. Maybe throw in a trip to Denny's before you guys make another restaurant stop?? lol~~

  26. This post had me rolling on the floor!

    Leo's family hearts Denny's like no other. I must admit...I have been having some strong cravings for it...want to go to dinner with me? :)

  27. That's one classy girl.

    My kids love Hoss's {hanging head in shame}.



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