I can’t remember the actual occasion – Honey could probably tell you – but sometime in the mid-1960s, we went to our first high-end restaurant for an evening of fine dining. The place was Tony’s, which was supposed to be the place to go in Houston for a true gourmet experience. This was after we were married, but before I got drafted, so it must have been 1965. We wore our best clothes, but still felt slightly out of place. Other diners were oil barons, politicians, and at least one local TV personality dining with a lady who may have been his wife.
The food was okay.
The escargot sautéed in a light garlic butter sauce – our first time to eat snails – was wonderful, but the main course was a disappointment. It was chicken prepared with a wine sauce that was so overwhelming that it could just as easily been any other protein from catfish to alley cat.
The entire experience cost us $50, about half of my weekly take-home pay. We agreed that we were glad we had done it, but would probably never do it again.
Yesterday, I stopped by a local barbecue joint and picked up four sliced beef sandwiches, which, with tax, cost just over $32. We ate them at the coffee table while watching Jeopardy (Honey had recorded it while I was shopping) and the local news.
We agreed that we thought $32 was outrageous, but even considering that I am retired, that was just a fraction of what our trip to Tony’s had cost in terms of percentage of income.
And, I’m pretty sure that we enjoyed this dinner more.