Friday, November 26, 2010

And in an Instant, Christmas Arrived {Ruth's Chris}

We ventured out into the madness today and shopped in record speed. In just about 30 minutes, B bought a shirt, I bought two sweaters, a rolling pin, two dresses and we bought a Peanuts Christmas tree complete with Linus blanket. The crowds were a bit distressing... at least to me. I blame all the many years in retail, but when I get into situations with that many people anymore, I start to panic. I really can't imagine how I dealt with it for a decade and I'm incredibly grateful not to deal with  it any longer... After our shopping adventure, we dropped into Hard Rock and then jumped in a cab and headed home to set up our tree.
I love the Peanuts. Though I'm not a huge fan of Christmas (again, retail survivor in remission), I love a Charlie Brown Christmas. I mean, really, who doesn't?

It's amazing how quickly we transition from Thanksgiving to Christmas. Just yesterday, I was sulking over the loss of a family Thanksgiving and last night B and I shared a very nice dinner at Ruth's Chris. In a blink of an eye, there are Christmas carols, lights and the Space Needle is glowing with it's sparkling tree topper..

I hate to be one of those people who claims to hate chain restaurants. Truth be told, I don't hate chains, I just prefer to support local businesses. In Seattle, we're so fortunate that local businesses abound and, especially in the restaurant industry, it's just as easy (if not easier) to support a local owner than to visit a chain. I'd just rather give my money to people whose names I know than faceless corporations. That said, though, our options for Thanksgiving dinner were limited once we cancelled our reservations at Salish. Ruth's Chris had a spot open, so this is what we chose.

It was both my and B's first visit to a Ruth's Chris. We endured an incredibly scary walk from our place to the restaurant. Both Belltown and downtown were completely dead aside from some very aggressive panhandlers. I was quite relieved when we stepped out of the cold into the  warmth of the restaurant. We were a bit early, so we sat at the bar while we waited for our table. B had his usual Woodford and soda. I was sucking down iced tea like they were going to run out. After the brisk and stressful walk, I felt very dehydrated.

Eventually, we were sat at our table toward the back of the restaurant. Though I was feeling a bit sorry for myself for having to eat in a restaurant on Thanksgiving, I felt far worse for those working the holiday. One thing I noticed throughout the meal that drove me absolutely crazy was how inconsiderate and  plain rude a lot of the other patrons were. I don't understand how it's even possible to forget that the folks staffing the restaurant you're visiting are people, but apparently many do. No thank yous, no smiles, no general consideration. It's really sad and inexcusable.

Our meal was quite good. I was worried about the portion sizes when I ordered the Shoestring potatoes and received an order large enough to feed a table of six comfortably, but our entrees were much more reasonably sized. B had the filet and shrimp, I had the filet and lobster tail. B also ordered the garlic mashed (which I dipped into) and we shared the desert that came with his meal (cheesecake and chocolate bar). Again, the photos are quite dark, but the annoying people snapping hundreds of flash photos validated my disdain for flash photography in restaurants.

We enjoyed a nice meal and, just like that, the Christmas season is upon us. I've committed to trying to get into the holiday spirit this year. We'll see how that goes. I'm looking forward to trying out some holiday baking and enjoying a few holiday parties here and there. Here's to a stress-free holiday season for all!

Ruth's Chris Steak House on Urbanspoon

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