Friday Five:

1. What is your favorite restaurant and why?
In England, I would’ve said Wagamama’s. Love the gyozas. In the U.S., I’d probably say Chili’s (the one in South Bend, Indiana), since that’s where we always went during college. Here in Australia, though, I’d have to say Mama Maria’s. It’s a dinky little Italian place a couple blocks from here. Really great food and a friendly atmosphere. That’s our default place when we can’t pick anywhere else to go.

2. What fast food restaurant are you partial to?
Internationally, McDonald’s. Yeah, yeah, global corporations are bad, but it’s such a comforting feeling knowing that wherever I go, I can always get a Quarter Pounder with Cheese that will taste exactly the way I expect it to taste. In the U.S., I’ll go with Taco Bell, since I miss it. They’ve got them here in Oz, but the stuff isn’t quite right. It’s close, but still a little wrong.

3. What are your standards and rules for tipping?
I’m all messed up with this. See, in places other than the U.S., they actually pay wait staff a decent wage. Tipping isn’t necessarily expected. Delivery boys in England would make me wait while they made change, rather than just keeping it as I requested. It was weird. Here it’s much the same. You generally just leave the change (as in, the coins) and that’s enough. At a nice place, though, I think we generally tip about 15%.

4. Do you usually order an appetizer and/or dessert?
Depends on the restaurant. At Wagamama’s, I always got an appetizer. (Mmmm, gyoza.) At the Red Kangaroo Noodle Place up the street, I always get their Chicken & Sweet Corn soup. At other places it just depends on how big my main course is. Snookums is a desert freak, so I’ve been ordering those more and more. Cheesecake is my favorite, but I had some passionfruit sorbet the other night that was to die for. (No wonder the weight loss is going so slowly.)

5. What do you usually order to drink at a restaurant?
We usually drink wine. Most of the places here are “Bring Your Own”, so we always grab a nice bottle at the shop on the way there. Otherwise I’ll just have a soda.

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  1. Ooh! Addendum: Moire mentioned Indiana Fazoli’s, which I totally love and can’t believe I forgot. My favorite is eating in the restaurant, because the “breadstick boy” will come by every ten minutes and give you more garlic breadsticks. YUM.

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