Saturday, November 20, 2010
The Big Chill: Dining Out in Bend
Not long after moving to Bend, I noticed something peculiar about the local restaurants: Most of them didn't provide any place for you to hang your coat and hat.
After living here a few months and going out to dine a few times in Bend restaurants, I figured out the reason: The restaurants are so cold in winter that you'll need to keep your coat and hat on.
Most of the restaurant owners in Bend seem to think that 45 to 50 degrees is a nice, cozy temperature at which to dine.
And then we have the common phenomenon of Bendites who love to stand in the doorway of a restaurant for 20 minutes at a time blabbing with their friends with the door wide open, letting gusts of 10-degree air blow in over the shivering patrons.
Jack Elliott, my friend and comrade in bloggery, has suggested that the restaurant temperatures are kept low for the greater comfort of the kitchen staff. With all due respect to Mr. Elliott, that seems implausible. If I owned a restaurant I'd worry more about the comfort of my customers than my kitchen staff.
I think the more likely explanation is that Bend restaurant owners are just too damn cheap to turn the heat up.
I'll say one thing for this policy: If you're having champagne with dinner, you won't have to worry about it getting too warm. Won't need any ice bucket to chill it, either.
Getting frostbite in restaurants -- just one more reason why Bend really, truly, deeply and profoundly sucks.