West Side Stories

A Tosa resident for almost 20 years, Karen is a mom and freelance writer, addicted to playing tennis. When not on the tennis court, she spends the fall and winter in the stands at Green Bay Packer and Marquette basketball games.

Karen is the author of “Grab a Bite,” a dining out column and the former community columnist for the Wauwatosa NOW newspaper.

No TV Dinners, Please

Restaurants, Things that bug me

If you know me (and most of you don’t), there are two things you know: 1) I love TV. I watch a lot of it. More than I should, but at this age, some things won’t change. Unlike Tom Gaertner, I have cable and lot of it. 2) I’m easily distracted. I probably can’t walk and chew gum. If you’re talking to me and have some spinach in your teeth, I will not hear a word you’re saying. (Primarily because I will be having an internal argument with myself about whether or not to tell you.)


Sorry, I digressed. The point of this post is to talk about what is, to me, an annoying trend – televisions in restaurants. I eat out a fair amount and there seem to be many restaurants in Tosa that have giant televisions for all to view. This is really starting to bug me.


Let me say, however, that I have no problem with bars that have TVs. I think lots of people visit places like Colonel Hart’s or Leff’s to have a drink and watch a game. That’s just fine with me.


But when I go out to eat, I just can’t stand it when there is a giant TV where I’m having my dinner or my lunch. If I’m facing the TV, I have the most difficult time focusing on my dining companions. If they’re facing the TV, I know they are not paying attention to me. It’s a lose-lose situation.


Here are just a few of the Tosa places where I’ve found TVs:  ***'s Chinese Restaurant, Pizzeria Piccola, Firefly Bar & Grill, John’s Sandwich Shop and Cheesecake Factory. At many of these, the sound is turned off. That’s certainly better than competing with the TV sound, but still distracting.


Growing up, watching TV during dinner was a HUGE no-no, with the possible exception of a major news event, like the Lunar Landing or a presidential election. Once in a while, we’d have TV dinners and sit with metal trays in front of us as a special treat. Eating without television forced us to talk to each other, a foreign concept for many of today’s families.


What do you think? Am I being a cranky old lady about this?  

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