I get grossed out pretty easily when it comes to food. Usually it has something to do with finding foreign objects mid-bite (um, curly hair/fingernail/bug anyone? All true stories. I'll spare you the details. Mostly because the thought of these stories pretty much makes me want to vomit. Again.)
Because I've experienced all of the above, it isn't uncommon to find me closely inspecting my plate as I'm digging in. Eating at home isn't as bad - I mean at least I know my kitchen is clean. But eating at restaurants? All bets are off.
My husband thinks I'm insane that I am so picky about what dining establishments make the grade with me. And it's not just him, I can remember going on road trips as a family and driving my dad crazy mad with my objections to the dives he would sniff out from the highway. I blame this on my mother. And television. (Hellooooo...have you seen Kitchen Nightmares or those investigative reports on Dateline?)
A few of my personal requirements:
- Must have the health department's "Grade" form clearly displayed; grade must be an "A".
- Must have well-kept appearances - if the outside, entrance, dining area and restrooms are not clean, I simply cannot trust that the kitchen is up to cleanliness standards
- Wait staff must appear well-kept - who wants someone handling your food when it looks like they haven't slept and/or showered in 4 days?
- Must have the appropriate number of visitors - if it's prime-time for lunch or dinner and nobody is there, I will make negative assumptions about all of the above conditions
With my notorious restaurant pickiness, it kind of surprises me that I am not more choosy when it comes to the actual food I put in my mouth. I have flirted with vegetarianism in the past - even going 5 years without eating any red meat - but I could never give up chicken. Then, when I got pregnant, I craved hamburgers so my trendy stint as a vegetarian ended just like that.
*Disclosure* I was not compensated in any way to mention Silk in this post. It just happens to be the brand of soymilk I chose for our family. In addition, I realize there are many opinions regarding the consumption and/or safety of cow's milk. I also acknowledge that my opinion may have been formed less upon scientific evidence and more upon my gag reflex. Say what you will, I'm trusting my gag reflex. :)