How to Eat Out
You would think that eating out would be pretty self explanatory. But my well read friend, you may be mistaken. Many people make classic mistakes when going to dine out that effect their overall experience. Amongst these are:
- Trying to pick a place to dine according to how long the queue is outside
- Picking a place to eat when you are already starving
- Picking a place that you are uncomfortable at (etc. music is too loud, the level of service is lacking in professionalism)
- Eating with people you really, really, really do not like
All of the above circumstances could potentially lead to indigestion and an unhappy dining experience (I am just trying to help you out here). So in order to provide a solution to this problem, I thought I should visit an establishment to see how this could be remedied.
The Portuguese restaurant, Atasca, is located at Cascades Lifestyle Centre in Pietermaritzburg with views out onto the forests beyond.
Firstly, what style of dining are you looking for?
Atasca is warm and welcoming. By atmosphere and by style of food. The Portuguese word “tasca” means a small cafe, bistro or taverna where good food is prepared with the freshest ingredients and plenty of love. This is the epitome of what Atasca delivers.
What level of service are you expecting?
If efficient, friendly service is what you are looking for? Then this establishment will suit you down to the T. The service I experienced was friendly and jovial. I was in a group, which always brings a little chaos, but it was well handled and everyone was served promptly.
What food are you looking for?
Atasca serves up yummy seafood to tickle your tastebuds
in addition to salads, chicken and meat dishes. Not to mention desserts that would have any sweet tooth satisfied.
One of the the Sunday evening specials is R59 for a half chicken and chips. For such a reasonable price, you don’t expect the roof to be raised. But, you would be mistaken in assuming this (as was I).
The garlic butter was moreish and warming along with sturdy wedges of chips and tender chicken. My heart and stomach registered high on the satisfied scale with the level of attention to what would be considered a ‘quick dish’ normally. This is equally reflected on the plates of those around with with varying choices of dinner.
What atmosphere are you looking for?
Are you looking for a vibey restaurant with a bustling atmosphere and trendy decor, or are you looking for a quiet setting with classic decor theme? Atasca has a family and friends orientated atmosphere with cheerful vibey music. It is very relaxing and friendly while encouraging conversation and laughter.
There are beautiful doors that are set up in the restaurant that are fascinating and detailed and have an intriguing story behind them. I am fairly certain a large number of selfies are taken alongside this with the courtyard fresco that looks like you have been whisked away to Lisbon.
There are two large art pieces on the walls that have been reproduced from photos taken in Lisbon of popular spots by the owners of the restaurant which are great fun conversation pieces.
And last but not in the slightest the least, you need to have decided who you want to dine with?
I am very blessed in that I have a good group of friends who are easy going and blend well in personalities and sense of humour. I believe that who you dine with will impact the kind of experience you have. So this was most definitely a good group to enjoy dinner with at Atasca.
Dining should never be perfunctory. Where is the joy in that? Food should inspire you and be an experience (on more than just a stomach level). So if you are dining out, plan ahead a bit, pay attention to what you need, who you are with and where you are dining.
Also to be noted, Cascades Lifestyle Centre and Atasca restaurant are wheelchair friendly and readily accessible.
For more about Atasca, you can visit their website at http://www.atasca.co.za/.
Trust me, you will thank yourself 🙂
Until then……see you on the road.