Dining out - but... 'in'
Over the last 3 months or so, I've been harboring this deep, dark suspicion about myself. I fear I'm getting lazy. Too lazy. It's not just a matter of not wanting to do chores. Sometimes I don't want to go out because I know it means I have to put on 'proper' clothes (as opposed to trackies and floppy home t-shirt). Sometimes I even dread having to go through basic acts of humanity (showering, brushing teeth, washing hair). My day's off work are spent in bed playing games and reading George Martin books.
Last Wednesday, I attended a CPD seminar in Brisbane (touched upon in this post), before which I stayed in a hotel.
When I start talking about my dinner arrangements, you'll make sense of why I started this post with a speal about laziness.
On my entire ride to Brisbane, I was thinking about different options for dinner that night (that's just how a food blogger thinks). I had a few spots in mind and at one point, I even thought of walking to Southbank to check out the new restaurants there. I was limited to places whereI wouldn't feel out of place dining alone.
Hmmm... in the light of day, dining alone doesn't seem to bad. As the sun set, the idea of eating at a restaurant by myself felt seriously daunting. I've done cafes many times but restaurants are another matter.
As I walked from the coach station to the hotel, I passed Groove Train and peered in. Being one of the places that I considered, I was seeing if there were any solo diners. Nope, not a single one. There were loads of couples and a few families. Well, that totally killed my confidence. I quietly checked into my hotel and planned to hide in my room nibbling from the mini bar.
Lo and behold, upon entering the kitchen, I found a menu titled 'Gourmet Deliveries'. Was it for room service? Well, sort of. I'd never really been exposed to this before but what the booklet promised was the convenience of room service for a vast range of restaurants located around Brisbane CBD. Come again? The variety and quality of eating out without having to endure the social angst? Colour me interested.
I spent a good half hour leafing through the booklet with the mantra 'decisions, decisions, decisions' repeating in my head.
Finally, I settled on Groove Train. If I can't go to it, let it come to me.
Not knowing what the serving sizes were like, I chose an entree and salad and sat back to wait for my order.
It was promised to be delivered within the hour and arrived just short of that. I was hoping I wouldn't have to elevator-ride back down to the lobby to pick up the order (laziness again) and was pleasantly surprised when the guy showed up right outside my room. Woohoo! Ultimate convenience.
The food was organized into large foil trays. I set myself up in front of the TV (watching Angelina Jolie pout her way out of impossible situations on Salt) and started unpacking.
It didn't take me long to realize the Turkish bread and dips were not for one person to attempt alone. There was enough there for maybe 4 people to have as starters? I bravely ate my way through as much as I could.
The dips were nice. The semi-dried tomatoes and olives were tasty.
The Turkish bread itself was way too oily for me. One was OK but by the second, I could feel pimples getting ready to spawn just under my skin.
Grilled Calamari salad - on rocket salad with snow pea sprouts, tomatoes, cucumber, spanish onion and a balsamic & olive oil vinegarette
I quickly turned my attention to the salad, my 'healthier' choice. It was the grilled calamari salad and was actually very fresh, considering it was packed and delivered to me.
The serving was HUGE and there was an ample amount of tender calamari. A little lacking in flavor but overall not bad.
My experience with Gourmet Deliveries was fantastic. They made ordering very simple (everything is numbered) and afterwards, you just wait. I liked it better than standard room service in that you could choose from many different restaurants rather than just whatever is affiliated with the hotel. The individual items are a bit dearer than if you ate in store though.
The food from Groove Train was pretty good. I know it's not fair to judge the restaurant since I didn't get a feel for their service or atmosphere. The food was nice (aside from oil-drenched Turkish). The serving sizes were huge.