Chow Bella took a bite out of the holidays earlier this month with our annual "Eating Christmas" event at Crescent Ballroom. No worries if you missed it -- catch the essays here through the holiday season.
My grandma is tired, she explains, and this Christmas it's going to be real easy: We're going out for Christmas Eve dinner.
My grandma announces this on Thanksgiving. We've cleared the table, dishes are soaking in the sink, and everyone is picking at their slices of pie. This is the traditional time for proclamations in my family. "No presents this year except for the kids," someone always says, but it never goes down, so I take this "out on Christmas Eve" thing as an empty threat. As the night creeps closer it becomes clear that grandma is not kidding. I hold out hope that someone is going to jerk the wheel, but no: We're going to Outback Steakhouse.
I don't wanna besmirch the place too much -- there are worse chain restaurants, and I'm not above the perverse charms of the "bloomin' onion" -- but the last place I want to spend Christmas Eve is Outback Steakhouse. I try reasoning. How bad could it be?
It is very bad.