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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Getting my money's worth.....

I won't lie, I always believed that when you are spending money on something.....you have to get your money's worth.  Or more. 
Most people probably agree with me....
Hey we work hard for our money.....
As I told you--this past weekend, my gal pals and I went to The Grand Concourse for their Sunday brunch.  It's definitely not the place to go if you are watching your wallet or looking to limit your intake of food.  Although I never have a problem with paying  for good, quality food, top notch service and perfect drinks,  this place can be considered  pretty pricey for a brunch.  Plus, they charge close to $15 for my beloved Hendrick martini. Just sayin'
Now, even though the brunch is a bit pricey, I have to admit that the selection of food and the amount of food is way over the top.  Way way over the top.  Since the brunch is your only choice for Sunday afternoon dining (you cannot order off the menu), you have no choice but to partake in this foodie spectacular. 
The place is always jammed with out-of-town visitors and people celebrating momentous occasions.  Even with reservations, you can expect a hefty wait.  For us, the wait was no problem.....we were happy to linger at the adjoining bar...the Gandy Dancer ( I talked about that on Monday).....
Food stations overflowing with huge quantities of food everywhere you look!
Sunday Brunch at the Grand Concourse is probably not the best place for a Lapbanded girl.  But, if you are okay with just having the experience of being in such a gorgeous place--rich with Pittsburgh history, oozing with atmosphere and brimming with grandeur and you don't care much about making sure you get your money's worth and your main reason to be there is to enjoy the company of someone(s) special, then all is right with the world.   A martini or two doesn't hurt either. 
Since I wasn't spending my time in search of food or trolling the food stations, I had the luxury of just observing the other diners when  my friends would scamper off in search of their latest foodie conquest.  And, just for the fun of it, a few times I did stroll around to soak up the ambiance and watch the look of thrill on people's faces when they spied something they loved.    The donut machine was one of  the more popular places---as was the bananas foster bar.   The lines at those stations never seemed to go down.   Every donut and bananas foster lover in the tri-state area had to be there....

How can people eat so much?   I asked myself as I watched people pass by my table with plates piled high with everything you could imagine.   Oh yeah, they don't have Lap bands. 
And, they want to get their money's worth.....

Of course, being a girl who does enjoy good food, I  did eat.  I'm not that crazy.  But, knowing that I wanted to enjoy the experience (as in--I didn't want to have a Lap band moment right there at the table), I took a little of this and a little of that and ate very slowly...making sure not to use that time to test my Lapband.   I chose foods that I enjoy and experimented with some things I never had at the restaurant.   Their version of Salmon Rockefeller was scrumptious  and I just loved their renditions of mussels pommes frites and battered calamari.   Even though I do love those foods, I would not have ordered them from the menu since I have other favorites that I would prefer to order if I was eating from the menu.  But, since they were on the buffet offerings, I got to enjoy them.  And, it was especially wonderful that I could enjoy them in a smaller quantity than a full portion size.  So, I didn't feel like I wasted my money just because I didn't get to gorge on everything in sight.  In fact,  I considered it money well spent---simply because I got to enjoy a few yummy  things in moderation.  
The only bad thing about going to a pricey brunch and eating a small amount of food is that you do get hungry by dinner time.   Just as my girlfriends were saying "OH MY GOD, I AM STILL SO STUFFED" for the 52nd time, I was thinking about dinner.  "Who's ready for dinner?" is definitely not the question I thought I should  be asking as we sat at a clubby little bar drinking frothy alcohol-laced latte concoctions.
Lucky for me, Carmen was picking me up around 7:30 pm and I knew he would be starving by that point.  I figured he would be ready to eat--especially after he heard about all the decadence of the brunch buffet.     After I told him about the copious amounts of food that I spent the day surrounded by and how much I spent on my  food,  the poor guy was shocked when I announced that I was hungry and NO, I would not be cooking....hey I had 2 martinis, a  pretty cosmo and a hot chocolate spiked with Grand Marnier (oh yum!). I was a dinner-date-in-the-making. 
As Carmen and I  sat in one of our favorite little neighborhood establishments--where we often go when we just want to relax with a good meal---with him enjoying his favorite Reuben sandwich and me savouring my appetizer portion of mussels-a-la-marinara, he asked me if the brunch was worth the money--especially for me.  He pointed out that it seemed like there was a lot of food for the money but not a good place for me to go to get my money's worth.    
 "After all, I had to take you to dinner...." he pointed out.
"And, that, my dear is why it's been a perfectly wonderful day,"  I told him.  "You always get your money's worth when you spend time with the people you love....."

He then accused me of being  a little tipsy.
I was just trying to tell him that we both got our money's worth....




1 comment:

FitBy40 said...

I'm so glad you were able to have an enjoyable experience and not agonize over all the food you couldn't eat, and the money you had to spend. I still have a hard time with that. I was so relieved that none in our group who went to vegas together was interested in going to any of their grand buffets. As it is I was never hungry when they were!
I hope you had a nice end of the night too ;-)