Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The inns and out of eating out

Eating out paleo is rough. If you do much paleo you have already figured that out.

I have run the gamut. From tossing 3/4 of my meal out to having to get a manager involved to get pan fried unbreaded fish on a bed of romaine with mayo.

Fast food is a joke,. While it is barely possible to get something not toxic in a fast food establishment, it really isn't very compatible with the reasons to eat out. (Paleo fast food is stupid easy to pack. Fast food chains serve no need when you can carry a bag of jerky and cheese and salami around with some fresh cucumber.)

Diners, while a bit easier, fare poorly for people on paleo or real food diets. For so called "market" reasons, the ingredient lists plainly suck. Corn, wheat, and soy products are in every sauce and dressing. And don't even try to find oilive oil and vinegar. I have worked in and operated restaurants. The market and cost issues are pretty bad, but I think there might be another answer. Let's forget paleo for a moment. Anywhere honest food is served, it is possible to eat paleo with a little explanation. Let's look at honest food. To keep food honest, you have to work with variable seasons and supplies. Which means set, plastic coated, everything the same across the country menus won't work. The answer, in case you missed the post title, is the Inn. The classic romanticized public house style inn. Big pots of chili or soup- not from a menu, but whatever is being made today. Cuts of meat from a locally butchered animal, possibly quarter steer roasts. The list can go on, with local produce, regional harvests like seafood. Fast food? Well, much of the daily menu is already ready already. Menu? Daily, on a chalkboard. Food costs? If you aren't reliant on the manufactured food industry to maintain a set menu, you can work you food costs using seasonal, local/revional, food. At lower cost.


  1. There were few inns left back in PA - the last good one nearby to shut down was Mr. Ron's in Blue Bell. Even though it was considered by many to be a historic landmark - originally the Geo. Washington Inn, one of those "George Washington Slept Here" inns, it was sold, torn down and replaced with a CVS.

    And even then, it was starting to have what I guess you'd call Costco Creep - more of its "made" food was being replaced by frozen deep fried pre-prepped bar food sold in restaurant and warehouse stores in 10 lb bags. A lot of that was staffing costs (paying someone to Make The Food costs more than having Sysco or ARAmark deliver the cases) but I suspect a lot was triggered by the Applebees type chain stuff being requested by, excuse my generalization, Obese Clerical Workers who wanted to see a plate full of crunchy brown food for lunch.

    (Sigh. I know. I was one of them at the time, but Mr. Ron's was great because you COULD get real food there too, and I wasn't one of the fat people who grew up with the "normal" flavor of boxed mixes pumped up with MSG.)

    How much would the economy have to improve around here for that kind of inn to succeed? If more people get to doing hiking, exploring, off-roading up the road, a small place near the gas station *could* work. (deleted reminiscence of old school PennDutch diner at the foot of Hawk Mountain.)

  2. Here? Fallon? If you go strict local/regional and do the big pot stews and such? You can put lunches out for $6, dinner for $7.50. No yuppie influx needed