Saturday, December 3, 2011

Eating out in Riyadh

Our dining experiences in Riyadh were pretty tame. For the most part, we ate food from the hotel restaurant. I am pretty adventurous, but I was sick when I got to Riyadh and my stomach was doing all sorts of crazy things the whole time we were in Riyadh, so I steered clear of adventurous and stuck with bland. Boring, yes. But I don't have any stories to relate about vomiting all day, so that was good.

The last night I was there, we thought we would try Tony Romas. Saudis LOVE food and the LOVE American food in particular. I suppose its all the junk and crap we put into our food that makes it so appealing. Tony Romas was pretty close to our hotel. We were about to go eat when we heard the call to prayer. After waiting 20 minutes (more about the prayer thing) we went to the restaurant. It was completely empty, with the wait staff lounging around. It wasn't early, around 8 p.m. so I was surprised to see how empty it was. The waiter assured us the restaurant was open and seated us.

Brent and I looked through our menus. I started asking about different foods and the waiter responded to virtually every question with this response, "We don't have that item today." Finally, I asked him what they DID have. He pointed to the steaks. I happen to like steak and so ordered a steak, medium rare.

The food was okay, nothing spectacular. The restaurant was reasonably clean. The waiters were helpful, if not overly attentive.

When we were paying the bill, I asked the staff when the crowds would come. I was so surprised when they said that between the time between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. would be their busiest time of the day. Really????? Wow! I asked if families with children came to eat during that time and he said, "of course", like it was completely normal for children to go eat at restaurants at 1 a.m. I have a lot to learn!

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