For someone who loves food, I tend to be a bit particular when it comes to eating out in restaurants.  Now, that doesn’t mean that I only want to eat in 5-star, Zagat rated, or “top of the list” places.  When it comes to eating it’s about flavor, not the price tag or the prestige.

With certain lifestyle changes, eating out has become a less frequent experience, and as such, every time counts just a little bit more.  This past week, I somehow managed to eat out three times, and sadly each one was a disappointing experience (as far as the food went, the company thankfully was stellar).

It all started out with an improptu happy hour at Duke’s on Green Lake.

One would think that on a Wednesday evening, a place in a popular location would be happening.  One would be wrong.  Entering Duke’s at 9pm (that’s the start of their happy hour), was a sad scene.  Empty restaurant.  But the drink menu promised a list of cheap cocktails, so my companion and I proceeded.

I chose the Grapefruit Nirvana, a combination of Finlandia Grapefruit with agave nectar, muddled fresh grapefruit and a splash of fresh squeezed lemonade.  Apparently, the drink was voted most refreshing cocktail in Seattle — 2009.  It was alright, but I highly believe it raised to its high award.  There was a noticeable amount of alcohol, but the drink was a one-note wonder. 

My food choice was a Sun–Dried Tomato Pesto Chicken Sandwich with all natural chicken breast, sun–dried tomato pesto sauce and warmed goat cheese.  The waitress was gracious enough to let me substitute wasabi mayonnaise for the tarragon mayonnaise.  It was an ok sandwich.  The goat cheese was a tad overwhelming.  The highly unfortunate part was the sandwich’s accompaniment – a pile of potato wedges. I would bet (and I’d win) that the wedges were frozen.  They surely tasted it – stale and soggy.

Chances of me returning to Duke’s?  What do you think?