How often do you dine out? Daily? Weekly? Once in a blue moon? What pleasure do you get from dining out? The bold flavor? An excuse to consume alcohol? Not doing the dishes? For me, it's the opportunity for others to serve me and be pampered. I think this is a personal treat that we often overlook. While we're often busy 'serving' others, whether it is a mother who cooks breakfast for the entire family plus getting ready for her full time job, a social worker who worries about a client's problem during the off-hour, or of course, a waitstaff who attends to a customer's dining needs, we sometimes forget that WE deserved to be served too.
I usually order my 'usual' in a restaurant - a clearcut macro plate. This frustrates my dining companions because they think I'm boring and why go out when I can make the same thing at home. Yes, I am tempted to select the world-renowned surf and turf at a steakhouse (that is if I eat meat, but I don't) or cave into a decadent slice of new york cheesecake (though I've lost my sweet tooth), but for me, the main purpose of dining out is to be pampered. I enjoy the moments a waiter poured me a glass of water instead of me getting up and grab a pitcher from my kitchen. I love the details of someone clearing my used plates and scrapping the crumbs and remnants off the table. I also use this as an opportunity to step away from technologies (except for the cell phone) and totally engage into a conversation with my dining companions or just submerge within myself during a solo meal.
Yes, a salad is nothing extraordinarily special. As much as I adore a home cooked meal, it is important to treat yourself to a meal because you deserve the attention and you deserve the absence of workload after your meal.