My ideal dinner is a collage of American and Spanish experiences.

It starts at 8pm. As soon as I sit down, someone is bringing tap water, and I can ask them for a cold beer right away: there’s no wait for the water waiter, wine steward, drinks waitress, food server, cocktail master, the bus boy, and an assistant to the regional manager whose sole purpose is to bring the menu.

My ideal restaurant is different from the one next door, and only one of them has salmon, chicken, and would you like fries or salad with that.

There is bread – real bread – on the table.

In my dream dinner, the check won’t appear in front of me whenever I take a thirty second break from the steak. And, when I am actually done, I won’t have to run around the restaurant begging to pay, either.

A 20% tip is not needed for servers to make ends meet, and drinks after dessert are commonplace. Because I am outdoors, I can enjoy a cigarette.

It’s a few minutes past ten and I have plenty of time to do things before going to bed.

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