Dining during Covid…

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We had 10 inches of snow this weekend and it’s now pretty cold and the thought of dining outside is the furthest thing from my mind… in fact, I would consider giving the delivery guy my garage code and an extra tip if he plated my delivery order and brought the cocktail to me in my blanket fort. No, not really, but kind of…

Since it doesn’t seem that things are going to change anytime soon (Denver is going to a stricter level of safety measures today, so the rest of the state is likely to follow) we needed to make a plan on how to support our local restaurants, and not just the ones we have been already going to. So we sat down with a spreadsheet and typed out:

  • every restaurant we love
  • every restaurant we have meant to visit lately
  • every new restaurant we just haven’t seen yet
  • every fast casual place that has gotten us through a busy night
  • every coffee place that has that really good cinnamon roll
  • and every restaurant suggestion we have heard from friends and family

And then we categorized them, printed them and stuck them in envelopes. And when we wrote out our menu plan, instead of just saying we are getting tacos on Friday, we drew restaurants at random. A breakfast, lunch, and dinner spread out over the week. Once we drew the restaurants, I put them in the “discard” pile for our next go round and we plotted out the week.

By putting all of the restaurants in a bowl and drawing blind, we are making sure we don’t fall into a rut before we get to some of the restaurants we really want to try. There were a couple of caveats on how we categorized that will help us make this system last. I think we ended up with 6 or 7 categories to remove some of the chance from the “game”.

  • Rule #1 – We did put restaurants that are new to us in a separate envelope. These restaurants may require some adventure on our part for our menu choices as well as some research before we order. We will use these when we have a bit more time in our schedule
  • Rule #2 – Fancy restaurants also got a separate envelope. While we may still be getting these to go, we don’t want to end up with several high ticket dinners in one week (or maybe even one month!).
  • Rule #3 – We did include our favorite fast casual spots because while we want to make sure we are supporting our local restauranteurs as much as possible, we know that the convenience of a fast casual place is sometimes hard to beat, especially if we have busy work weeks ahead!
  • Rule #4 – The final rule is going to be a hard one for us and we will try as best we can but NO REPEATING. The point of this is to visit as many local restaurants as we can so we will do our best but the chicken from The Post might be an exception for me…

Of course, we don’t know how the next few months will go but making a plan helps to make things a bit more manageable. Are you still going out? What restaurants should we put on our list?

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