Pandemic Lists: Four Before, Six After

The pandemic transitioned from faraway news to full-blown this spring. Now, we’re moving towards winter and it’s still here.

A spring onset let us quickly pivot to eating outside, talking outside, moving outside. . . being outside a lot more than we used to.

Winter is coming and I’m worried.

Can restaurants make it without patios? Will ice bars become a thing? What will holidays look like? I wonder if people will get restless and do the inside things they avoided during the summer. Will the people that don’t, go full blown Shining?


While many restaurants have opened for indoor dining at reduced capacity, we’ve chosen not to roadtrip or eat meals on patios and indoors, especially while experiencing an immune-compromised condition this summer.

More and more often, I find myself wistfully think of those last meals we enjoyed, inside, with our families. We sat next to each other, laughing and sharing appetizers. The most ordinary of moments that feel so special now.

Here are the last four meals I ate inside restaurants.

With each of our families:

Fish tacos at the Crooked Pint

The most perfect seared scallops at Baldamar

With Jake:

Estelle: Garlic shrimp, a beautiful grapefruit salad with tart dressing, cresto de gallo pasta (still on the menu) and fideuà (lovely!), our server’s choice of sherry.

With friends:

Happy Hour at Soberfish. 

On the flip side, I’ve been thinking about the things I want to do when the pandemic ends – silly food experiences that I took for granted.

  • Drinking overpriced wine and eating fried pickles with ranch at The Alamo Drafthouse. Catching movies at The Alamo was one of our favorite things before the pandemic.
  • Making a what the hell trip to Golden Corral.
  • Sitting in one of the bouncy booths eating cream cheese wontons and drinking too much punch at Red Dragon.
  • Going to a Chinese food buffet with AYCE sushi + a Mongolian grill.
  • Having a big, drippy fondue party, loved ones crowding around boiling pots of oil, willy nilly stabbing things with skewers. A mess of community dipping sauces. Maybe someone double dips, maybe you grab someone else’s skewer and eat it anyway. Shrug.
  • Sitting shoulder-to-shoulder on bar stools at an old man bar, eating a Heggie’s pizza and drinking a whiskey cola.


  1. Katy F.

    That shrimp with the grapefruit salad has my mouth watering! Here’s to hoping things start to return to “normal” soon!

  2. katie

    I will do any of those activities with you. I haven’t been to alamo yet. I am waiting until its a good movie to go see, hopefully by christmas? I’m hopeful that restaurants are buying outdoor space heaters and that i can at least do weekend lunch dates outside. i have no idea what this winter will bring, but I’m trying real hard to be outside this fall while we still can.

    • Jeni

      I hope so! Anytime you want to when this is over, it will be something to look forward to:)

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