Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Why do they eat so early

There is a saying in Indianapolis that if you ‘want to eat well – eat at home’.

The majority of restaurants are indeed those of national chains – where the food is entirely adequate if that is what you like -  but we have been working our way through a list which purports to list the ‘25 best restaurants in Indianapolis’.

We have found some decent places to which we are happy to return. OK so it’s not Vienna - but there are a few places where the food is of a consistently high standard – and it is certainly much cheaper than Vienna – although the wine is astonishingly expensive.

We are slowly coming to grips with the fact that most Americans eat very early. Most restaurants are full from 5:30 to 8:30 and then start to empty out. Almost none are open after 10:00pm.

And of course most of them do not take reservations – so we normally toddle along at about 8:30 and can usually get a table.

Americans also do not appear to linger over their food. The ‘starter’ arrives within 5 minutes and the ‘entrée’ will often arrive immediately the starter has been finished. The ‘check’ arrives as soon as they see you are done.

Now we cannot think of a reason they eat so early – but there must be one. I can assure you it is not because of the high quality of the television – this is definitely not worthwhile hurrying home for.

I am pleased to report that the problems have been solved and we are now regular receivers of both the New York Times and the Indianapolis Star. The latter does not take long to read.

The Star does not like President Obama at all and I must say I did not realize what an asshole he was until I subscribed to this newspaper. 


  1. I was confused by the Aug 1st date on your blog post thinking, I wonder if I fell asleep then I noticed the timestamp was also 12:02 AM, and then I realized it must stiLL be tied to Wien Time.

  2. I had to "larf" at The Star's opinion of the poor Prez. I don't agree with their opinion either but it must be an entertaining newspaper. So glad you're getting deliveries now.

  3. To improve their profits, restaurants in Washington DC expect to "fill" their tables two to three times during dinner hours. Whatever time frame you are allotted to, is your guess, but it's less than you'd expect. I remember my all time favorite restaurant critic, Phyllis Richman, writing about plates being whisked away before the last forkful disappeared. I suspect Indianapolis is not exception to this "let them eat faster" rule. I truly enjoy that such practice has not yet arrived in Vienna. I suspect it never will. ;-)

  4. Your are in the mid America, farm belt, breadbasket, hardy part of the country where early to bed and early to rise is what this nation was built on. I believe that the urbanites get up to work-out etc. and then eat right after work and drinks to hit the sack and start out again in the morning. Everyone I know in the auto industry starts at 6 or 7, lunch is 11 and they are thankful to end the workday between 4 and 5. Does not leave much time. Even on vacation we eat at 6 when possible so we don't fall asleep at the table.

    Yes, restaurant wine and spirits are expensive. And sometimes for not worth it wines.

  5. Ah, Badger! I ran into him on the Internet long ago when he was a proud atheist residing in Vienna. Now he dares to inform us that he subscribes to a wood-pulp edition of the The Indianapolis Star, while saving up to purchase an iPad enabling him to read electronic stuff. And, as Badger becomes more and more American (bless his god-fearing soul), I guess he's getting closer and closer to believing the newspaper's motto, which appears on the title page just beneath the word "Indianapolis". Like me, he's probably a little short on newspaper material ever since our dear The Sydney Morning Herald went on a disastrous downhill slide, contents-wise, while daring to set up a paywall preventing outsiders from even browsing through their low-quality stuff. I don't know about Badger but, if these trends continue, I think I'm going to start reading books... like all those Hoosiers who dash out of local restaurants as soon as they've downed their ice-cream dessert, so that they can tuck into a little Dostoyevsky or Dawkins before ending the evening in lengthy and torrid erotic sessions with their current partners.

  6. esb: Thanks - I had so many things to change I forgot about my blog.

    Sandy: They are no worse than 'The Australian' on Julia Gillard.

    Merisi: I don't think we will get the Viennese custom of lingering for hours over a cup of coffee.

    fmcgmccllc: I am glad I am not in the workforce

    William: There is much fascinating reading in the Star - I can read about the overnight murders downtown and there is also a daily prayer to give me encouragement.

  7. Badger: You exploit systematically (ad nauseam) the technique of dumb one-line reactions to specific readers, often intended to be smart, as a means of keeping your readership in control. And you use monstrous shortcuts ("a daily prayer to give me encouragement") in an attempt to brush aside any kind of serious discussion. Sorry, mate, I'm pulling out...