New Year’s Dinner

On 7 January, 2023, went out to dinner with the family. This was an adults only dinner, with the kids doing their own things that night. So just my significant other, with their parents, their brother, and sister, and their respective spouses. We went to a lovely little place called Danas, in Geleen. Their food is mostly Mexican inspired, and it was delicious! We started with a round of drinks, I tried a house virgin cocktail, called the Red Bliss Cobbler. The drink featured strawberry, orange, and pomegranate, with fizzy Sprite type soda, crushed ice, garnished with a small strawberry and a sprig of fresh mint. It was so yummy! The others got a range of drinks, including various beers, including one with pineapple, and a margarita. Next up we were delivered our appetizers, we got two Triple Starter mixed platters, and some Everyday Nachos. Their platters included fresh calamari fritti, with a lovely garlic aioli; taqitos, and onion rings with marinara. I was surprised at the size of the calamari, and they were deliciously tender! Most of the times I have had calamari in the States, it was so rubbery, and usually fairly stringy and small. The nachos were freshly made, topped with guacamole, melted cheese, and salsa. Then shortly after we demolished the starters, dinner arrived. My significant other and I ordered the same thing, The Steak and Shrimp dinner, with Fries and Coleslaw. Wow! The steak and shrimp came out on little skillets, as you might expect for this particular choice, with the coleslaw in a little ramekin. The freshly made fries, were baked to a lovely crisp, and were full of flavor, served on the side in a paper lined, camping style, tin mug. I need to say, I was quite impressed with the simple presentation. Then I tried it, and OMG! The steak strips were so tender, well seasoned, and packed with flavor! It literally melted in your mouth. The shrimp were cooked to perfection, and you got more the 3 or 6, like you would in most American places. Even the sides were awesome. The coleslaw was perfectly balanced, without tasting too bitter from too much vinegar, or too sweet from sugar. I absolutely loved it. The fries were bigger than your average fast food shoestrings, and not as big as “steak fries” in more popular American places. They were baked to a delightful crisp, and kept separate, which of course, kept them from getting soggy, which was wonderful. I devoured the majority of my dinner, only leaving a few fries, and I do believe my significant other, ate all of theirs. Some of the other meals ordered included, Tenderloin Steak, Enchiladas, and a few vegan dishes, the Creamy Quesadillas looked amazing. Everyone loved their food, and we were talking amicably throughout the meal. After we finished, we had a round of coffees, and desserts. I couldn’t eat more if I tried, so decided on their, Cappu-Caramelo, a hot cappuccino with whipped cream, and caramel drizzle. Of course it was amazing, just like everything else I tried that night. My significant other had the Mexican coffee, featuring, Kahlua, Sauza Tequila, and whipped cream on the top! It was a very wonder evening, the atmosphere was very laid back and relaxed. I have to note a few things here, the restaurant is rather small, like probably a quarter of the size of most places I’ve been to in the States. The tables weren’t all packed in on top of each other, but not supper spaced out either. I found it was very comfortable and easy to get around. The decor was very nice, somewhat rustic, without being hard on the eyes, soft lighting, nothing glaringly bright, and a more muted color palate throughout the place. Think black, dark teal, slate blue, camel brown, creams and neutrals. All in all, I had a wonderful experience.

I am in constant amazement of the new things here. Life in the US was so much different. Very rarely have I ever had a laid back restaurant experience like this. The servers didn’t seem rushed or stressed at all, they were very personable, friendly, and joked around with us. They seemed to keep a good eye on their tables, and only seemed come when we were finished with things, periodically throughout the meal. Also, there is no tipping culture here, the servers make a reasonable wage. Therefore, tables are not flipped as quickly. In most American restaurants, they want you in and out in about an hour. We were here about 3 hours, and no one was looking at us impatiently, or trying to rush us at any point. Another thing that is the norm here, most places do not offer “doggy bags”. You finish the food at the restaurant. And the portion sizes are not massive. It’s usually enough for one sitting, and that’s what you are paying for. I love this, so many times in the States, I would get a meal, and there was usually about half, if not a little less leftover. Also, there are so many “extras” at most places that are chains, think Outback, Chili’s, Red Lobster and such. Like for example, bread or rolls, chips and salsa, that you get as a “freebie” while you are waiting to order. That is not a common thing here either. Most places do not offer free drink refills either, most of the drinks are not fountain drinks like in the US. The quality is so much better as well. I suppose that is all I would like to note about this experience. I’m looking forward to trying new places in the future.

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