happy irish woman

January 28, 2011

Today could quite possibly top out as one of the best days so far in 2011. First of all, it was Friday — enough said. I also ate my body weight in a dried fruit and nut medley from Costco.  This afternoon also included running six miles while catching up with a really great friend. Fabulous. Then the Husband suggested we go out for dinner. Oh yeah, and he folded clothes — and did a load of laundry. I don’t know what he wants or what I did right, but I never want it to end.

We never go out to eat — okay, I lied. We rarely go out to eat. When we do go out, it is more than likely with my parents (who are great at “comp’ing” our meals). We could probably go out more often if we wanted to, but more often times than not, I could make myself something better at home.

Insert Groupon Love here — this was indeed my first Groupon purchase, which I made back in October. I finally cashed it in today.

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We were off to Tommy Nevin’s Irish Pub, but first I couldn’t forget two very important things in my purse.

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Don’t even pretend like you don’t bring your own condiments to restaurants.

Upon arrival at Tommy Nevin’s, we were seated immediately. On a Friday night at 6:30, I’d say that is awesome. They were busy, but had a few tables open — and I was very grateful as I was very hungry.

They also had a gluten free menu available for me when I asked.

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I have to say though, if you’re gluten free AND a vegetarian, the menu was slim pickings. I was planning on just ordering a side salad and a few sides to round out my meal. This is usually what I have to do when I go out to eat.

The Husband admitted he was a little embarrassed with my excessive picture taking, so I tried to make him feel better by taking a picture of him.

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However, he likes to remain mysterious like Wilson in Home Improvement — he says “Howdy neighbor” to you all.

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The Husband snapped a few pictures of me, but I haven’t achieved my goal of tweezing my eyebrows yet today, so I’m sparing you. I was also quite impressed by the ambiance the table brought — our own little candle.

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We both started off with salads — a house salad for me, and a Cesar salad for him. 

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Our service was beyond excellent. Our server, Eric, did everything in his power to make sure we had a great experience. He was upset that all I was ordering were a few sides just because I had food restrictions. I told him not to worry about it — that it happens all the time, and I don’t really mind. He left to go put our order in, but came back about a minute later because he just couldn’t let it go. There was a veggie sandwich on the menu with grilled eggplant, portabella mushroom, red pepper, and tomato which he thought would be perfect breadless and atop a plate of asparagus.

He was right — and the Husband wanted to know if I was going to ask him for his number because I was swooning over this so badly.

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The vegetables came out with a pesto on top, which I mostly pushed aside as it was really parmesan heavy, and I didn’t want to have a stomachache. It was as delicious as it looks.

You may not know this about me, but I waitressed my little butt off in college. I hustled for 8 hour shifts and “yeehawed” more times than I would have liked (Logan’s Roadhouse, anyone?), but the number one concern I always had was making my customers happy.

I left a happy woman.

Question: Have you ever used Groupon? OR What was the best restaurant experience you have ever had?

{ 55 comments… read them below or add one }

jqlee January 28, 2011 at 8:56 pm

oh heck ya, i’m a groupon/youswoop/livingsocial whore!!

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lindsay January 28, 2011 at 9:07 pm

I love groupon! THe best for finding good dates nights. Pub night fun!
LC

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peacebeme January 28, 2011 at 9:07 pm

That is awesome to have a waiter like that. I have to eat gluten-free too, and I am not ashamed that I also bring condiments everywhere in my purse…usually wheat-free tamari sauce and salad dressing. :)

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cleaneatingchelsey January 29, 2011 at 6:45 am

I need some tamari sauce – I love the taste of soy sauce!

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runyogarepeat January 28, 2011 at 9:09 pm

I bought my first group on this week – a $25 gift certificate to Nutty Guys online for $10. They have so many nuts (organic too!), seeds (chia!), and chocolately goodies too…so excited.

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cleaneatingchelsey January 29, 2011 at 6:45 am

That’s a good oen!

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Maryea @ Happy Healthy Mama January 28, 2011 at 9:14 pm

Love Groupon! I’m getting ready to cash in a $75 Groupon to Nature’s Prime Organic Foods that I scored for $35.

It looks like you ended up having a great meal!

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cleaneatingchelsey January 29, 2011 at 6:46 am

Wow! You scored a great deal!

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Christine @What The Front Door??!! January 28, 2011 at 9:19 pm

I love Groupon. I usually use it to buy clothes. They had one for the firing range which I thought looked awesome but I was pregnant and figured firing a weapon while pregnant was not a great idea.

I loooove restaurants and thankfully have no food restrictions. but I usually choose restaurants based on the booze. ;-)

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cleaneatingchelsey January 29, 2011 at 6:46 am

Firearms and pregnancy don’t go hand in hand? I’m surprised. :)

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Lauren @ Coachlauren.net January 28, 2011 at 9:32 pm

I used to be a server too so I know what that’s like. I always tried to make sure my guests were as happy as possible…looks like Eric did a good job! I worked at a Montana’s Cookhouse which also has a western theme…and funny enough, it’s actually a Logan’s Roadhouse now!!

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Katelyn January 28, 2011 at 9:35 pm

Groupon is my favorite thing, I have gotten the best deals with it! A local hot yoga studio has a juice bar and cafe with AMAZING Buddha Bowls, and I scored big when I got one for cheap with a Groupon. Lurve:)

Beeteedubs, I absolutely died when I saw your purse full of condiments! Giiiiirl we would seriously be best friends, I bring my own condiments/food “just in case” they don’t have vegan or gluten-free friendly food. I am serious when it comes to my mah belly:)

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cleaneatingchelsey January 29, 2011 at 6:46 am

We probably would be – I don’t joke around about condiments.

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Stephanie January 28, 2011 at 9:44 pm

What an excellent server! Wilson…lol!

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Katie January 28, 2011 at 10:26 pm

There is no groupon where I live. Sigh. There are also no really good restaurants, so I don’t think I am missing out too much.

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cleaneatingchelsey January 29, 2011 at 6:47 am

Probably not – but if you are ever traveling, it would be good to look up that city a few months in advance!

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missymiller January 28, 2011 at 10:27 pm

I’m all about going off the menu, girl …just snuggle the server let them know ahead of time that you’re gonna be “special” and wink because “we” know having been there…then explain. Concoct your own creation off the menu….”could I maybe have a big old salad with roasted veggies on the side and some of the portabellas just grilled,, no cheese? *bat eyelashes*
Then they go to the chef and voila!
Just be you…cause you are lovable..and it’s all good.
This does not work well in chain restaurants however which is why I just don’t go there. “Um, Mam…actually our vegetables come from a bag from corporate already pre mixed..”
LOL.. The book “The End of Overeating” ruined me for chain restaurants forever. I believe Chili’s salads are probably coated in MSG and sugar before they reach the plate.
Sorry about this novel of a comment.
I just care about your restaurant experiences…you cook so much you deserve some GOOD eats no dishes…you know?

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cleaneatingchelsey January 29, 2011 at 6:48 am

I totally play the “please don’t worry about me” card. :) That makes them feel a little worse. Chili’s does have a gluten free menu, but everything is prepackaged there. Chain restaurants + Chelsey = no beuno.

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Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) January 28, 2011 at 10:45 pm

you are so right that vegan/veggie AND gf is hard to come by…the options are slim, i totally agree.

love that you brought your own condiments. Rock it girl!

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cbrady3 January 28, 2011 at 11:00 pm

you. crack. me. up.

And we aren’t out of water, but our hot water only lasts for 5 minutes. How the heck am I supposed to take BATHS? I take baths at least twice a year!

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cleaneatingchelsey January 29, 2011 at 6:48 am

I know, right!!!

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kissmybroccoli January 28, 2011 at 11:31 pm

Wow, that was so sweet of your waiter! Awesome looking dish too!

I’ve never used Groupon before because I’ve never really been sure how it works, but after seeing so many people say how awesome it is, I may have to look into it!

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katshealthcorner January 29, 2011 at 12:57 am

Yes, we love Groupon!! We got a full year’s pass to the zoo for our family for only $30!!!! :) Yippee!!

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cleaneatingchelsey January 29, 2011 at 6:49 am

That is an awesome deal!!!

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Angie @ The Fitness Apple January 29, 2011 at 1:01 am

I wouldn’t have been able to push that pesto aside LOL. I love pesto sauce! Pete always hides from the camera too and is embarrassed of my pictures oh well… he’ll get used to it. :)

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Mandi January 29, 2011 at 2:02 am

That was so nice of your waiter! Little things like that always make a restaurant experience more enjoyable. :)
There’s actually no Groupon for where I live, but if there where I’d probably try to make use of it.

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Sara @ Nourish and Flourish January 29, 2011 at 2:53 am

I want a taste of that sandwich! Eggplant, portabellas, and roasted red peppers are three of my very favorite veggies…Combine ‘em and I don’t know what I’d do with myself!

I always carry condiments and little “extras” in my bag. They’re great to have on hand, just in case. However I have a tendency to not close the caps tightly, resulting in a huge mess in my purse! haha

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cleaneatingchelsey January 29, 2011 at 6:50 am

Oh no! Maybe you can put them in a big ziplock bag?

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healthyexposures January 29, 2011 at 6:29 am

That was so nice of your waiter! Looks like a good suggestion, too. I love when restaurants don’t make a big deal out of really simple substitutions/alterations.
I JUST purchased my first Groupon the other day! Unfortunately, there aren’t many that I am able to use because the closest city to me to sign up for is Boston – but the occasional online one pops up that piques my interest :)

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Tina January 29, 2011 at 7:13 am

It can be very difficult going out to eat with dietary restrictions, but it’s nice to know that your waiter was so accommodating!

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Meg January 29, 2011 at 7:46 am

No joke, Costco’s fruit + nut mixes are addictive, there’s crack in it, no doubt.

I need to jump on the Groupon bandwagon, your dinner looks delish :)

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Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin January 29, 2011 at 7:49 am

Aww, what an awesome server! I love it when you find servers who are actually concerned about the customers and not just there to get a paycheck. I’m glad you ended up having a great meal!

I always get amazing service everytime I go to Milestones (an upscale chain restaurant in Canada). They’re really good at accomodating food allergies, and the manager always comes to check up on me multiple times throughout the meal to make sure everything is okay.

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Kelly January 29, 2011 at 9:47 am

You are too funny! I can honestly said I have never brought my own condiments to a resturaunt before. But then again I am not much of a condiment person. I am basically just an olive oil and balsamic vinegar person. I don’t really “get” the condiment thing but my I know I am in the minority. Even my own husband doesn’t understand my lack of condiment love.

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cleaneatingchelsey January 29, 2011 at 11:45 am

Condiments MAKE the meal!!!

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Emily @ One Sweet Vegan January 29, 2011 at 9:58 am

Okay, clearly I need to figure out what Groupon is all about because I’m utterly clueless. I’m glad you had a good restaurant experience. I’ll be bringing my homemade ranch out to dinner with me tonight.

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cleaneatingchelsey January 29, 2011 at 11:45 am

Thats what I like to hear!!!

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megan @ the oatmeal diaries January 29, 2011 at 10:31 am

I have totally put hummus in my purse before. And that dinner looks awesome!! I need to start using Groupon!

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cleaneatingchelsey January 29, 2011 at 11:45 am

I’m glad I’m not the only one!!

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Lisa @ Thrive Style January 29, 2011 at 10:58 am

I’m a big fan of Groupon, and have several just sitting here waiting for me to use them! I haven’t bought a restaurant one yet though…mostly for facials and yoga, and stuff like that!

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Natalia - a side of simple January 29, 2011 at 11:23 am

Can I just say that you’re above and beyond my hero for bringing condiments in your purse? I even have ketchup stashed in my car. You just never know when you’re going to need it!!

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Amy @ Second City Randomness January 29, 2011 at 11:28 am

I’m actually making plans to use a groupon with some friends tonight! We failed at getting to use it last weekend (reservations were an issue), so we’re trying again! Persistance will pay off eventually…

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Stacie@sugarandsneakers January 29, 2011 at 12:50 pm

It’s funny how good service can completely make or break the whole meal experience.

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cleaneatingchelsey January 29, 2011 at 2:32 pm

I totally agree!

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Autumn @ Good Eats Girl January 29, 2011 at 12:58 pm

I love Groupon! And what an awesome waiter!

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Jess January 29, 2011 at 1:31 pm

My best experience was probably at a restaurant in Vancouver. I can’t remember what it was called (ugh!) but the food and location were amazing!

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Simply Life January 29, 2011 at 2:15 pm

I have yet to use Groupon but I know tons of people love it!

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lauravirginia January 29, 2011 at 2:48 pm

Haha, I love the condiments in the purse! I love Groupon! I also do LivingSocial. I scored a sweet deal on there for laser hair removal and got my armpits done. Beware, that stuff HURTS!!!

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janae@hungryrunnergirl.com January 29, 2011 at 4:45 pm

GIRL!!! you guys are adorable! I have never used a groupon before….I NEED TOO!!! I LOVE that you brought your own condiments…I wish we could go out to eat together and be weird together. Your meal looks awesome! I am so glad you guys got a date night….you deserved it!

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thefitacademic January 29, 2011 at 7:08 pm

Sounds like a great waiter! I LOVE groupon – use it ALL THE TIME!

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edenseats January 30, 2011 at 12:37 am

Um…..you have yet to see my purse! Its a mini grocery store!

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allieatfood January 30, 2011 at 12:05 pm

So great that your server was willing to accommodate to your food needs. I’m a HUGE fan of Groupon, I used 2 of them this weekend! Who doesn’t love a good deal!?

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Meagan January 30, 2011 at 2:09 pm

I love Groupon. I bought a YOUBAR coupon and other organic meat supplier coupon there. Fantastic! AND I LOVE KETCHUP TOO

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happytalesblog January 30, 2011 at 6:29 pm

Ahhh I love that you carry condiments in your purse!!! I’ve done that, too!!

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cupcake dynamite January 31, 2011 at 12:44 pm

Groupon’s are the BEST. What’s even more awesome is scoutmob.com because it’s usually 50% off for FREE! :D gotta love free..

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Runeatrepeat February 10, 2011 at 12:24 am

Very cool waiter!
And I love Groupon :)

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