Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Input needed - where to meet & eat?

On Friday, I'm meeting one of my former managers (who is now the controller) of the firm I worked for over a year ago, and had been working for for seven years. She called me asking if I'd be interested in returning to that firm in an Accounting Manager role. We've set a time to meet near my current job for lunch to discuss what she's offering, more detail as to why I left, what I'm looking for, etc. Honestly, this is the first time I've ever been in such a position - where I'm more or less in control of the situation and being "courted", so to speak. I told her I'd figure out a place to meet for lunch, and I'm trying to come up with the right place. The neighborhood I'm working in is a little sketchy, but pretty hip, part of the "gayborhood" in Seattle (well, being a liberal Left Coast city, they're ALL pretty much gayborhoods anymore). Most of the places I know are more take-out/grab your food and go back to your desk kinda places. But she's very VERY cool and is looking forward to meeting me there.

Scott and I are not big into going out - we're homebodies and have favorite restaurants that are in other neighborhoods on the rare occasion that we go out to eat. So while I know the neighborhood, I don't really know the good places to go. And while the meal itself is secondary to the conversation we'll be having, I still want the location to leave a good taste in her mouth even though I have limited knowledge of the restaurants (no pun intended - or was it?).

So my choices are (in order of proximity to my office):
  1. A nice-looking sit-down Thai place (I'm not big on Thai food, but I can live) that's right next door to my office, which no one I've talked to has eaten at but the one review I've been able to find online says it's pretty decent - and seems to be a good atmosphere for actually having a conversation while eating)
  2. A brew pub that has a good reputation for food and may still be semi-private for talking, and reflects the neighborhood pretty well (hip but not overly-alternative) - but might be too noisy?
  3. A quasi-Mexican restaurant a few blocks farther away (part of a newish hotel) that others have recommended but doesn't have stellar reviews, and probably not an over-crowded lunch place

So ... will the place I choose to meet have a huge impact on the discussion? If the food or service isn't great will that reflect poorly on me?

I'm leaning toward # 1 or #2. I thought I'd shoot her an e-mail in the morning asking her preference, but I'm guessing she'll say "whichever you'd like!". Any opinions? Of course, we want to talk more than anything, so I guess I shouldn't plan on having my mouth filled with the GREAT burgers the brew pub has ...

Of course, the (interim) CFO at the company I'm working for sent out an e-mail this afternoon telling everyone that the clinic is buying the department pizza on Friday, so not to bring our lunches - so maybe I can have a few slices of pizza before meeting her and the food won't be of any consequence to me ... (hey, if I'm being courted with food, I should make it my advantage, no?).

I know this seems like a silly thing to ask about, but like I said this is new to me and am just curious what anyone has to say ... I'm in a good position here but I'm nervous ...

7 comments:

CondoBlogger said...

Hmmmmm is Dicks in Ballard still open?

Seriously though, um... I like #2, but then again I've yet to meet a brewpub I didn't like, especially in the NW.

It's been so long since I've been to Seattle... I remember a coupld good places at Pikes Place, and down around the stadium(s) there used to be some cool smaller places.

I know you are looking for serious help, but the last thing that comes to mind for me... is that resturaunt at the top of the space needle... At least you'd both be able to find it with no problems!

Have you looked in seattle.citysearch.com? There are usually some pretty good reviews there, and you can search by neighborhood.

LSL said...

It's killing me to be too busy this week to keep up with my favorites, so I had to peek in when I woke up early this morning. I would go with #2, it sounds kind of like a good atmosphere, and you could maybe ask when you arrive (or call ahead), saying, we're going to be doing some business during lunch, can you please seat us in a corner or a little out of the way? Just a thought. I've done that a lot and people are always happy to help.

Good, good luck and I'm really happy for you! I also hope to have good news about my situation to share with you soon :)

[One more thought - I SO miss the liberal Left Coast vibe every single day! No gayborhoods out here in my area :( ]

LSL said...

P.S. You could also call or e-mail her and say, there are two great places nearby - Thai or pub. Which would you prefer? She might really like or dislike one.

Lewis said...

I'm thinking pub....more balanced choices....even though its a pub. I think you said it was quiet too. I actually don't think you can go wrong....it's always noise, TONS of people, and distractions that confuse the hell out of any meeting. Good luck, Matt!

jo said...

I vote for door #2, the pub. Good luck Matt!

Paul said...

You want a place where the focus is on the conversation, not the food.

Spider said...

I agree with lsl - give her the option - speaks volumes about you, your ability to work with people and put the wants and needs of others first... afterall - the food is about 3 or 4 down on the list in terms of importance of this lunch...