What Do You Remember About the Restaurant?

2016-05-01_2310I don’t go out to eat all that often, but I had the pleasure of joining a few friends at Modesto on Saturday for tapas. It was a lovely evening filled with nearly a dozen shared dishes, some delicious drinks, and interesting conversation.

One of the topics we discussed was memory; specifically, what we remember about eating at restaurants.

Before I go any further, try to think of a restaurant you ate at 6-12 months ago and try to answer the following questions:

  • Do you remember what you ate?
  • Do you remember whom you were with?
  • Do you remember where you sat?
  • Do you remember when exactly you were there?
  • Do you remember anything else?

The fascinating thing to me was that we each had very different answers for those questions. For example, I ate at Modesto about 18 months ago. I have no recollection of what I ate (other than a theory that I may have eaten the bacon-wrapped dates), nor do I remember my company.

But I know exactly where I sat–the exact table and chair.

I understand that spatial relations are important–our brains are built for it–but it seems like the least important thing I could remember about the restaurant. I would much prefer to remember what I ate and if I liked specific dishes, and after that I’d want to remember who ate with me. Dead last on the list is the chair I used.

As I said, everyone at Saturday’s table had a different answer. I’m curious what you remember about the restaurant you selected for this experiment–feel free to check multiple boxes on the poll below or comment.

4 thoughts on “What Do You Remember About the Restaurant?”

  1. It sometimes depends on the restaurant, I went to a small Ramen restaurant in Austin, There was not much interaction with the servers, but I remember everything else about the experience, While on the same trip I went to the Alamo Drafthouse and I remember the movie, the server, and where I sat, but can’t even remember what I had to eat. The later part with the server was mainly as they were very personable and we even talked about the philosophy of the movie afterward.

  2. I wonder how much this is influenced by a person in this scenario having the ability to choose the memory. My answer might be totally different if you said to me, “Trevor, remember that we ate at X restaurant 6 months ago? What do you recall about that experience?” Sometimes I may only vaguely recall actually going to the restaurant at all in that scenario. However, if you ask me to select an experience from 6-12 months ago, I think I can recall most of the details mentioned in this entry.

  3. I’m impressed that you two are able to remember so many details! Though, Trev, that’s a good point that since I’m asking you to think of the restaurant, you’re picking something that was memorable to you.


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