Wife Becky and I have decided that if we find a restaurant that  suits our tastes, we’re not telling anyone.

Based on recent history, when we have found a restaurant we really liked, we excitedly told friends and relatives. Of course, they eventually went to the restaurant, expecting the same excellent dining experience that we bragged about.

In almost every case, of course, they left disappointed.

Example No. 1 of three involves hamburgers.

We have our favorite restaurant for hamburgers. Ordering hamburgers from this establishment is a weekly event in the Hardin household. We like them. They’re the best in our opinion.

We bragged to relatives. Our son-in-law visited the same establishment, ordered a hamburger and got a bad case of disappointment. The patty was small, cold and hard.

What? It couldn’t be the same restaurant! It was. We’ve never had a patty from this establishment that was lacking in quality or quantity.

I think it’s part of that kiss of death theory — When you brag about an excellent restaurant, someone will try it based on your recommendation and they will be thoroughly disappointed.

Next is Mexican food.

We have longtime friends who recently moved from Longview to Rockwall. They had a favorite Mexican food restaurant in Longview. They dined at that restaurant every Thursday night, probably for years.

If you were looking for them on a Thursday night, don’t bother calling. Just stop by Little Mexico and they’re there.

So, after they moved to Rockwall, we invited them to our favorite Mexican food restaurant. We bragged, of course. If fact, we probably over-sold this restaurant.

Bad decision on our part. They did not enjoy their food at all.

I apologized later, telling them we should have known better than try to duplicate their favorite restaurant in Longview. There will never be another Little Mexico in their lives. They agreed. We laughed. We’re still friends and we will dine with them somewhere in the future — but it won’t be at a Mexican food restaurant.

Finally barbecue.

We have a friend who opened a barbecue restaurant in Longview. Honestly, I was not pleased with my first order of ribs. But when friend’s employees learned what I liked, they responded. Now, I’m happy customer and when I’m happy, the recommendations start flowing.

While visiting with friends in Longview recently, I mentioned our friend’s new barbecue restaurant. The two men in the group looked at each other. Words weren’t necessary. With their facial expressions, they told me they had tried the restaurant and were not pleased.

I told them my story, how I wasn’t pleased with their ribs at first, but I was a satisfied customer the second and third visits.

When I mentioned that I’m now happy with the ribs, one of the men responded, “What did they do, go get some from (competing barbecue) restaurant?”

I know there are some good restaurants in the area and I’m sure I dine at some of them. But if you want my opinion about any of these eating establishments, I believe it’s best for me — and the restaurant — to keep my mouth shut.


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