The first restaurant I ever went to

morning glory

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When was the first time you went to a restaurant? When I was growing up we never ate in restaurants - unless, that is, you count the café in the Co-op department store in Portsmouth where very occasionally we would get a midday meal. I can't remember what it was we ate.

First proper restaurant I ever went to was probably aged 18. I was vegetarian and had left home (still living in Portsmouth) and me and my boyfriend used to go to an Indian restaurant in Southsea. This is such a long time ago (1968!) but I can still recall the wonderful dhal with a slice of lemon and the vegetable biryani. This food was a total revelation to me and the beginning of a lifelong love affair with Indian food.

What about you - what and where was the first restaurant you remember?
 

rascal

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The first time I ate out was when a mate of mine and I did a motor bike road trip to Nelson looking for some chicks. We stopped half way and went to a place called the craypot in kaikoura. It's still there to this day. We had fish n chips at a table. But what was prolly a flash place was a place called the guardsman restaurant. My wife loved the chicken croquettes and I loved their steak Dianne. I was about 18 at the time and as I've mentioned before worked 2 jobs and I considered it quality time spent with my wife. We went nearly every Sunday night for years. Even when the kids were growing up we went out every Sunday night for dinner. Growing up in a poor area, we never ever went out. My kids have been pretty lucky really. They take their kids out regularly as well. I have replicated the sauce and croquettes down pat. Still my wife's fave.

Russ
 

CraigC

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Don't remember actually, but it was either Black Angus (steak house), Beefsteak Charlies (all you could eat shrimp and all you could drink beer) I was too young for the beer or Mary's Italian Restaurant (great garlic bread sticks). There was also a place called Old Scandia which featured a seafood smorgasbord. All gone many years ago.
 

medtran49

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Really don't remember, but probably Kresge's or Woolworth's. They were big department stores that had EVERYTHING back in the day, as well as diner-type restaurants with countertop and a few tables service. Made the best sundaes and floats.

The first real restaurant I remember was a family owned place. Basic southern American food. Buffet on Sundays after church. That was their big day. Opened up a big dining area in back for that and they were always busy on Sundays. Otherwise, they had a small area in front with maybe a dozen booths. I do remember they always had country hams hanging in the rafters in the front dining area.

First fancy place was in the downtown section of the town I grew up in. Mind you, downtown literally turned off the lights and rolled up the sidewalks at 6 or 8 p.m. depending on whether it was Friday or Saturday, or the rest of the days of the week. First time I had ever had filet mignon wrapped with bacon, which was my go to protein whenever we ate there.
 
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rascal

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Really don't remember, but probably Kresge's or Woolworth's. They were big department stores that had EVERYTHING back in the day, as well as diner-type restaurants with countertop and a few tables service. Made the best sundaes and floats.

The first real restaurant I remember was a family owned place. Basic southern American food. Buffet on Sundays after church. That was their big day. Opened up a big dining area in back for that and they were always busy on Sundays. Otherwise, they had a small area in front with maybe a dozen booths. I do remember they always had country hams hanging in the rafters in the front dining area.

First fancy place was in the downtown section of the town I grew up in. Mind you, downtown literally turned off the lights and rolled up the sidewalks at 6 or 8 p.m. depending on whether it was Friday or Saturday, or the rest of the days of the week. First time I had ever had filet mignon wrapped with bacon, which was my go to protein whenever we ate there.
I still love fillet Mignon.

Russ
 

medtran49

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I'd MUCH rather have rib eye now that my tastes have matured. You can get tenderness with the rib eye and have much better taste, and I no longer like bacon with beef.
 

smellycat

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All I can do is smirk and hope my parents forgave me..... eventually. The first memory of going to a restaurant is a doozy. I have 2 siblings.
I am a middle kid. Say nothing. :)

So the first memory I have of going out to eat was when I was a young child. I think I was 5 or 6. I am sure we went out before then I simply have no memory of it. The story told as an adult of my very young days. I dont know why my parents didnt sell me. :)

Family of 5 in the early 70's in the US. It was a big day. My folks tantalized us with the idea, of going to a fancy restaurant for dinner that night, most of the day. So lets blame them for the stuff that happened.

Go forward several hours.... evening time, my mom getting ready and probably yelling at the 3 of us to do the same as we were so excited. We didnt go out to eat very often and it was a special treat to do so. As a family we piled in the car and headed to the " place ". we were seated promptly( my memory) at a round table with redish burgundy cloth napkins and silverware ever so delicately wrapped in the cloth, water glasses perfectly displayed and the pretty crystal salt and pepper shakers smack dab in the middle of the beautifully cloth covered round table. Mind you this is a 6 yr olds memory. I was thoroughly impressed.

My sister was to my left and 3 yrs younger than myself. My brother to my right. My dad to the right of my brother and my mom to the left of my sister.

moving right along...

my little sister was getting fussy and probably very hungry. I took it upon myself to entertain her because my folks were threatening to leave if she didnt settle down. I was not going to leave the experience of a lifetime. I wrapped the circa 70s huge silverware back in the cloth napkin and did a " magic" trick for my sister. Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoon was very popular at the time too. SO I said.. Illy beeny chilly beeny watch the silverware disappear. I promptly waved the poorly wrapped silverware over my head and it flew... really flew. and whacked a fella in the back of the head, I found the butter knife and spoon. My mom was horrified and I think my dad was too but he was just grateful my sister stopped crying. After several apologies the waitress finally took our order and I was so nervous. I wanted to order my favorite... PB and J and macaroni and cheese. My reading skills were not developed then.
I asked the waitress, remember Im a bundle of nerves, I asked her if I could have a PENIS butter and Jelly sandwich, macaroni and cheese and a glass of milk? Please? My Mom gasped so loud that I looked up and she was as red as I had ever seen her. Much to my surprise my dad, bless him was the comic relief. Said "we'll have 3 of those, one for each kid". Over the years I was reminded of bruising a gentleman with a magic trick and ordering a 'private" part. I didnt get my PB and J. One of my parents must have ordered me a hamburger
 

Karen W

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I grew up in New York City, so we ate out quite often. Hard to remember which was the first, but I have a few favorites that I recall.

On Saturdays my mother took me to Radio City Music Hall to see a movie and the Rockettes. We always went out to lunch beforehand. One restaurant that stands out in my memory, and is no more, was Horn & Hardart's Automat. The food was behind little glass windows. You put your coins in a slot, turned a knob, the window opened, and you took out your dish. It could be a slice of Pie or cake, a glass of milk, or sandwich. The other side of the restaurant was cafeteria style with hot foods. They were famous for their mac and cheese. I thought those little windows were the coolest thing ever.

In my late teens, I worked on 34th Street in Manhattan near Macy's department store. Money was tight, so I had lunch at a restaurant called chock full of nuts, named after the coffee. I loved their cream cheese on date nut bread, and would have a brownie & a cup of coffee to go with it. The bill probably came to about $1. Lol. The sandwiches and the brownie were paper thin, but delicious nonetheless. I still remember the TV commercial for chock full of nuts coffee. It went, chock full of nuts is that Heavenly coffee, Heavenly coffee, Heavenly coffee. Better coffee a Millionaire's money can't buy. I think the lyrics used used to be better coffee Rockefeller's money can't buy. Story had it, Rockefeller sued, and they changed the lyrics to Millionaire's money can't buy.

Sometimes I ate lunch at Schrafft's on 34th Street. They served sandwiches and dishes like lobster Newberg, or creamed chicken on toast. I looked forward to their delicious vanilla ice cream sundae with chocolate sauce. They served their ice cream in silver goblets. Schrafft's is long gone as well.

Another restaurant we went to was called the Italian Kitchen on 14th Street in Manhattan. There was a fellow in the window tossing pizza in the air. There were little jukeboxes on every table. I always ordered the same thing. Veal cutlet parmesan and french fries. I liked to dunk my French fries in the tomato sauce. You could have a side of spaghetti instead of the french fries if you liked. So many great restaurants, and beautiful Deco architecture. They will be sorely missed as well as the old fashioned ornate movie theaters with red velvet drapes and gold tassels, grand staircases and chandeliers, and Usher's with flashlights that showed you to your seat. Those were the days.
 
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Lullabelle

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14 Oct 2012
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Leicester UK
All I can do is smirk and hope my parents forgave me..... eventually. The first memory of going to a restaurant is a doozy. I have 2 siblings.
I am a middle kid. Say nothing. :)

So the first memory I have of going out to eat was when I was a young child. I think I was 5 or 6. I am sure we went out before then I simply have no memory of it. The story told as an adult of my very young days. I dont know why my parents didnt sell me. :)

Family of 5 in the early 70's in the US. It was a big day. My folks tantalized us with the idea, of going to a fancy restaurant for dinner that night, most of the day. So lets blame them for the stuff that happened.

Go forward several hours.... evening time, my mom getting ready and probably yelling at the 3 of us to do the same as we were so excited. We didnt go out to eat very often and it was a special treat to do so. As a family we piled in the car and headed to the " place ". we were seated promptly( my memory) at a round table with redish burgundy cloth napkins and silverware ever so delicately wrapped in the cloth, water glasses perfectly displayed and the pretty crystal salt and pepper shakers smack dab in the middle of the beautifully cloth covered round table. Mind you this is a 6 yr olds memory. I was thoroughly impressed.

My sister was to my left and 3 yrs younger than myself. My brother to my right. My dad to the right of my brother and my mom to the left of my sister.

moving right along...

my little sister was getting fussy and probably very hungry. I took it upon myself to entertain her because my folks were threatening to leave if she didnt settle down. I was not going to leave the experience of a lifetime. I wrapped the circa 70s huge silverware back in the cloth napkin and did a " magic" trick for my sister. Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoon was very popular at the time too. SO I said.. Illy beeny chilly beeny watch the silverware disappear. I promptly waved the poorly wrapped silverware over my head and it flew... really flew. and whacked a fella in the back of the head, I found the butter knife and spoon. My mom was horrified and I think my dad was too but he was just grateful my sister stopped crying. After several apologies the waitress finally took our order and I was so nervous. I wanted to order my favorite... PB and J and macaroni and cheese. My reading skills were not developed then.
I asked the waitress, remember Im a bundle of nerves, I asked her if I could have a PENIS butter and Jelly sandwich, macaroni and cheese and a glass of milk? Please? My Mom gasped so loud that I looked up and she was as red as I had ever seen her. Much to my surprise my dad, bless him was the comic relief. Said "we'll have 3 of those, one for each kid". Over the years I was reminded of bruising a gentleman with a magic trick and ordering a 'private" part. I didnt get my PB and J. One of my parents must have ordered me a hamburger
:laugh:
 

SatNavSaysStraightOn

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Growing up, my family was too poor to even consider eating out. We did 'eat out' at events such as Bonfire Night when Father Christmas arrived on a seaplane and we all had jacket potatoes made on the bonfire outside, usually with loads of butter and I seem to recall melted cheese. Probably where my addiction of jacket potatoes with loads of melted cheese came from (until my dairy allergy reared its ugly head!)

It wasn't until my step-father came onto the scene that we ate out at a restaurant. There was a café the we often had lunch at in the very early days. I always had the same thing and would be very disappointed if we were late and there was no rice salad left. I loved their rice salad, even as a very young child. It was a healthy eating café, hippy type back in the early '80s and I loved it. My brother was less keen on it.

The very first restaurant we went to however was a Balti restaurant. They were a big thing in the late '80s. It was before my sister was born, the first time we went to one. We always went to the same restaurant. We were often the first people there. I guess that was to do with our age, and our bedtime! We loved it. I can remember the fantastic vegetable balti and naan breads they did. We much preferred the plain to the stuffed ones, and I always had the vegetable balti never anything else which means I was over the age of 11. We were most upset when the restaurant finally closed it doors (primarily because a road was being built through the middle of it or over the top of it. The area is now part of the ring road for that town. I don't know if it moved somewhere else, but we stopped going sadly.
 
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