#767 Foodie Rankings

So, I had a lot of little things that made me happy today, which I’m all grateful for. But the one that had the lasting impression, was the pleasant surprise.

In case you didn’t realise, over on my parent blog SmikG, I post, along with many other things, Food Reviews. I’m about a year behind in actually posting them (for example I recently posted the one of our experience at The Royal Hotel, when we in fact dined there in March 2017), since I take them quite seriously. I don’t just take a snapshot of my meal with the words “yum” and “9/10.” I will dissect the experience, environment and the food, and because of this and this thing called ‘Life’ as Prince would say, these writing exercises of mine have fallen to the wayside.

I link my Food Reviews to Zomato, and if you’re over there too, give me a shout-out, my name is smikg needs coffee… for obvious reasons 🙂 But because of all of this, I subsequently haven’t updated any Food Reviews to that site in so long. I was sure I had definitely fallen off the top of the Mornington Peninsula bloggers leader board…

I only discovered this Zomato leader board after our Port Douglas trip years ago. Zomato likes to rank bloggers, as well as people who take and post photos of their food experiences, and rank them according to suburb. Since I blog, and link all my Food Reviews to their site, I discovered that I was near the top of the leader board after our stay in Port Douglas, simply because I had posted so many reviews in such a short period of time. That is the key you see. You could have posted 10 reviews from the one location and reach the top, but if you then don’t do anything for 6 months, you are likely to slip down to someone else who has been slowly gaining reviews, yet still hasn’t reached the number of restaurants you have. Suburb ranking works on current reviews, more than all-time MOST reviews published.

I was seriously chuffed when I saw my name up there for the Port Douglas list. It has since fallen off since obviously I am not dining there. However when we moved to the Peninsula, I had a little peek at that leader board, and low and behold…

I was on top. I was ecstatic. Can you imagine winning a competition you didn’t even try to compete in? It was a great feeling. I knew I had to maintain it, I mean, I wanted to, I lived in the damned geographical location! But as it happened, and the months wore on, some new bloggers came to town, and I found myself staring at my name in second, even third position .

Damn. Talk about bringing me down a notch.

But today… Oooh today. I went onto the Zomato site to link my latest Food Review there, and thought casually ‘I might as well check where I am,’ not even thinking I would be anywhere NEAR the top. I actually said to myself ‘if I’m in the top 5, I’ll be rapt.’

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Can you see that number 1?! (and my all-too-obvious shadow???) I don’t know how it happened, but clearly the last posts I did were more recent than everybody else’s, because I’m back on top baby!

Small victories, small victories.

(Fist pump).

 

#660 A new find

It’s always nice when you and your family go to a new place to eat, and you see yourself going “yeah, I can see this working.”

Though it didn’t necessarily start off with good vibes. Fussy Butcher Hubbie’s beer glass was chipped; baby girl would NOT STOP WHINING because she wanted to go outside; and the service I got from one waitress was colder than the iceberg that hit the Titanic.

But then, there was a shift. Without going into too much detail, because, future Food Review (which you will probably get to read about in 6 months’ time –  I know, Queen of Suspense), but baby girl was happy running in and out – because of the closed off play ground outside she had access to; Hubbie, was well, happy regardless of any chipped glasses; and other waitresses were especially lovely. All round with food and noisy family-appropriate atmosphere, we were ALL pretty happy.

They were decked out in Christmas spirit too which helped.

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It wasn’t the best place we have eaten at. But the thing that hit the nail on the head? Because the food was decent, and baby girl was really content running in and out, we were… relaxed.

A 4 minute drive from home helps too.

Lots of gratitude for this new place today. 🙂

#444 8 Years

(There’s something beautifully symmetrical about the above…)

Sure, last night we all went out as a family to celebrate, at a local and pretty nice restaurant. But tonight, this is how Hubbie and I spent our 8th wedding anniversary:

(Baby girl ordering us to hide, so she can ‘find’ us)

She runs out of the room squealing, pretend counting.

We huddle under the couch’s throw, wrapping it around and ensuring we are well covered, giggling as our bodies draw closer and we cheekily kiss and hug, knowing we are well out sight.

“Happy Anniversary bubs.”

“Happy Anniversary.”

“I love you.”

“I love you honey.”

Baby girl re-enters the room and excitedly pretends to look around, trying to ignore the fact that she knows where we are. Hubbie’s head pops out of the throw cover and he asks “where’s Mama?”

Minutes later and I am ‘found,’ and soon enough we are all under the covers, laughing and tickling and making memories. No fancy restaurant can match that, because that’s the most important seat in the house.

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#189 We are so bad…

… and I love it.

So, a couple of days ago we’re working out our repayments for our new Sea change house. (Tee hee hee, excuse me while I repeat the words ‘our Sea change house’ for forever).

We’re like “ok, I think this will work.”

It will work. But we just have to be a bit more careful with our money. No random purchases and go out here and just eat there and buy those shoes because what the hell.

We need to be a little careful. Mindful. We’ve gotten used to a very relaxed way of living, and now we need to be considerate of where our money goes, because not only will we be paying off our Sea change house (tee hee hee) but we also want to save on the side so we can slowly, do the place up, and renovate areas while we’re living there.

This conversation, literally happened on Monday night.

Today, Wednesday. We’re driving home from the shops after running around all day, and Hubbie suddenly turns to me:

“I feel like dinner out tonight.”

I withhold a big smile creeping onto my face. I purse my lips and he’s grinning, waiting.

“Well we might as well take advantage of our local while we’re still in the area.”

He laughs. “You’re shocking.”

Hours later, and we’re at a reliable local, TGIs. It’s loud, it’s bustling, we can sit in a booth and hole up baby girl at one end (until she climbs under the table) the food is moorish, and of course the crayons and free balloon are always entertaining.

For baby girl of course.

And then this:

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We shared something calling itself a ‘chocolate malted turtle,’ or something like that. There was warm, moist chocolate fudge cake, chocolate malt icing, ice cream, and caramel sauce.

Oh My Gosh. This thing should never be shared, ever, ever, ever.

It was so insanely good. It was a dessert orgasm, that’s what it was.

And sitting there eating all this food, eating out, days after saying we need to watch our money more, we were thinking the same thing.

‘We are so bad.’

But, I love being bad.

 

#119 Lunching it when it’s cold out

We always had plans to head over to our seachange destination today, but we never thought it would turn out like this:

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Perfect.

We’ve already been to About Thyme twice before; this was our 3rd visit. I am still yet to post my food review of our first time there, but oh man… today was exceptional.

It wasn’t just the food. The melt in your mouth gnocchi. The comforting barley and chicken soup.

Or the pinot grigio. Crisp, sharp, clean.

Or the coffee. Warm. Strong. Smooth.

Or the above-and-beyond service we received.

We were all happy. We were all calm. We had bliss, because baby girl was happy, and calm. She drew in a scrapbook from a children’s toy basket with pencils from the same basket, and that activity, along with finding various other picture books to leaf through, kept her busy, amused, and satisfied.

Then there was the weather. It was windy and cold. It was fantastic. I mean, where else do you want to see the Wintery world from, other than from inside a café?

I’m grateful for moments like these. These are the greatest moments, more because they come unexpectedly. The joy is more pleasant, more surprising and more gratifying than you can imagine.

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#112 Mid-week eating out

Even better than simply eating out, is the mid-week eat out we sometimes do.

It was necessary today. We’ve just had a long weekend, which was great. But because of that, Hubbie doesn’t get his usual mid-week day off. Which means we won’t have our usual caffeinated, shopped up free day together. And it so happens I’m working during the weekend, so yeah, there goes any time we can spend together for another week.

I was feeling a bit down in the dumps about this realisation, starting to realise it was going to be a LONG week.

When we decided to go out tonight, despite not having any nearby days off together, it immediately made us feel better. I mean, what the hell.

Why do you need a reason to eat out anyway? I mean, other than the perfectly good reason of enjoying the moment and not waiting?

I’m grateful we did it, because suddenly, the week doesn’t appear so long, and next Tuesday doesn’t seem so faraway…

#91 Eating Out

I love eating out.

I also love creating and preparing food, discovering new recipes and then putting them to the test in my kitchen. I even don’t mind doing the dishes. I’d much rather do that than another chore. But still, I love being able to go out.

Is it a time-off thing? Well yes, in some respects. I get time off preparing and cooking and then cleaning up, but in turn I need to watch out for baby girl and try keep her busy and entertained for the time we are at the restaurant.

Is it a luxury thing? Well yes, of course. There are people in the world who don’t eat out very much, or at all, compared to us Westerners… hell, there are Westerners who don’t eat out ever. Whatever their reasons, I am grateful that we can do it as often as we do.

But it’s actually more than that. It’s the change. The varying scenery. Eating different food. Mixing things up. Having dinner at home night after night can become monotonous, so going out for a bite can be the breath of fresh air you need. Things become stale if they stay as is… it’s so important to just be spontaneous and do something novel.

For the time-off, the luxury of it, and the change, I am grateful for eating out. It saves me on many days.

And yes we did eat out tonight. It was fantastic 🙂